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Topic 2 Reading An Exploratory Study Of Operational Reasons To Budget Notes

Accounting Notes > Management Accounting, Budgets and Behaviour Notes

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Topic 2: "An exploratory study of operational reasons to budget" (Sivabalan, Booth, Malmi, Brown, 2009)

"An exploratory study of operatonal reasons to budget" (Sivabalan, Booth, Malmi, Brown, 2009)

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Budgets are often strongly criticized by practitioners and academics (Wallander, 1999; Hope and Fraser, 2003; Jensen, 2003) Most criticism focuses on the use of budgets for evaluation reasons (Jensen, 2003) o But budgets might also be used for planning and control reasons (Merchant and Van der Stede, 2003) Rolling forecasts are argued by practitioners to be a substitute for the annual budget (Bogiages, 2004) 10 possible operational reasons for budgets in organizations

Evaluaton Focus

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Three key performance evaluation constructs used in budget research are budget emphasis, budget participation and budget use Budget emphasis construct considers the focus given by an organization to the budget (Hopwood, 1972) Participative budgeting construct considers the extent of staff input into the setting of budgets, for the purpose of understanding its effects on staff evaluation (Milani, 1975) Budget use construct has been defined as the role of budgets for formal performance evaluation in the work unit (Hoque and Hopper, 1997) Recent research has begun to focus more explicitly on the use of budgets for reasons other than evaluation (Hansen and Van der Stede, 2004) Hansen and Van der Stede (2004) identified two operational reasons to budget o Planning o Evaluation They found that resource traceability and the competitiveness of an environment was positively related to the importance of budgeting for performance evaluation o But unrelated to the importance of budgeting for operation planning

Operatonal budget reasons

1. Staff evaluation a. Mia, 1993; Lau et al., 1995; Hansen et al., 2003)

2. Business unit evaluation a. Often discussed in tandem with staff evaluation (Milani, 1975) b. However, Sivabalan et al., argue that they are not always similar

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In a high uncertainty environment, organizations may not use budgets to evaluate staff due to the difficult predictive circumstances making the budget an irrelevant performance benchmark o However, in the same setting, organizations may still want to know how a business unit has been performing relative to a budget

Planning reasons

1. Coordination of resources a. Organizations often create budgets in order to inform departments and other organizational units about their funding constraints, prior to period commencement b. Process of requesting and negotiating budget funds

2. Formulation of action plans a. In many organisations, budgets assist in costing a range of alternative courses of action

3. Management of production capacity

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