Flexible Budgets

A company makes a budget for the smallest time period possible so that management can find and adjust problems to minimize their impact on the business. Everything starts with the estimated sales, but what happens if the sales are more or less than expected? What adjustments does a company have to make in order to compare the actual numbers to budgeted numbers when evaluating results? If production is higher than planned and has been increased to meet the increased sales, expenses will be over budget. To account for actual sales and expenses differing from budgeted sales and expenses, companies will often create https://kelleysbookkeeping.com/ to allow budgets to fluctuate with future demand. A flexible budget is an estimate of revenues and expenses that is prepared for a budgeted activity level and allowed to vary as the activity level changes in the actual results.

By the fourth quarter, sales are expected to be strong enough to pay back the financing from earlier in the year. The budget shown inFigure 10.27illustrates the payment of interest and contains information helpful to management when determining which items should be produced if production capacity is limited. In a flexible budget, there is no comparison of budgeted to actual revenues, since the two numbers are the same. The model is designed to match actual expenses to expected expenses, not to compare revenue levels.

Adjust for Changing Costs and Profit Margins

A flexible budget often uses a percentage of your projected revenue to account for variable costs rather than assigning a hard numerical value to everything. This allows for budget adjustments to occur in real-time, taking into account external factors. A flexible budget is kind of a hybrid approach to financial planning. It begins with a static framework built from the costs that are not anticipated to change throughout the year.

Flexible Budgets

The planning budget income statement and the actual income statement are provided in Exhibit 7-4. Flexible budgets have the ability to constantly restructure themselves around changes in activity. This adaptability allows flexible budgets to offer a precise picture of company performance, seeing as they’re always working with the most current data and details. Total Mfg Overhead$92,500$95,000$97,250$100,000A flexible budget can be prepared for any level of activity. The advantage to a flexible budget is we can create a budget based on the ACTUAL level of production to give us a clearer picture of our results by comparing the flexible budget to actual results. This analysis would compare the actual level of activity so volume variances are not a factor and management can focus on the cost variances only.

What is a flexible budget? Definition and example

Also, a great deal of time can be spent developing cost formulas, which is more time than the typical budgeting staff has available in the midst of the budget process. The budgeting process doesn’t have to be excessively time-consuming. Companywide financial data is kept in one centralized and up-to-date location, offering greater visibility over financial plans, forecasts and budgets. This also makes budget monitoring and maintenance an easier and more collaborative process.

  • Flexible budgeting can also tie into anything related to headcount .
  • Once you identify fixed and variable costs, separate them on your budget sheet.
  • Costs in the flexible budget are compared to actual costs to evaluate performance.
  • The laborers’ availability is a critical factor for these types of companies.
  • In short, the flexible budget is a more useful tool when measuring a manager’s efficiency.

Plot the variable and fixed costs for the budgeted activity level and this will lead to the creation of a flexible budget. Planning budgets are helpful in the planning and controlling phases of operations but not as useful Flexible Budgets for performance evaluation. During the planning phase, these budgets are used by management to help plan operations, including activities such as scheduling production, purchasing materials, and making capital investments.