Budget control is a process of budget planning and implementation that is designed to ensure that resources are allocated in an efficient, transparent and secure way. The following are common elements of budget control.
Estimates & ForecastsThe development of estimates and costs forecasts.
Planning the expenses associated with programs, projects, strategies or operations functions.
CoordinationCoordination of budgets across an organization. For example, if marketing is planning a big spend to promote a product they will confirm that operations has a budget to produce the product. Financial calculations that show how spending will result in benefits. For example, a return on investment analysis for a project.
Roles & ResponsibilitiesIdentifying people who are accountable and responsible for the budget and related activities such as procurement.
ApprovalsA review and approvals process that establishes accountability for spending at an appropriate level of an organization. Changes and overspending also typically require approvals. Budgets may be designed with some flexibility to avoid excessive approvals.
Designing processes and roles such that there are no potential conflicts or security gaps. For example, separation of approval and administration of a budget into different roles that must be performed by different teams.Securing the technology tools and documents that support budget control. For example, permissions that only allow the owner of the budget to update it.
Logs that trace every financial transaction and change to information and back to an individual.
DocumentationControl and retention of documentation. For example, checking budgets and related information such as invoices into a knowledge management system that is managed according to an organization's document control practices.
AccountingPrompt reporting of expenses to accounting teams along with any procedures that may be required by an organization's financial accounting processes.Adherence to the procurement process and policy of your firm.
Monitoring & ReportingMonitoring budget plans against actual spending and progress. Calculating the variances between the budget and reality.
TransparencyCommunication of budget reports and escalation of issues such as overspending or underperformance.
Remedial ActionTactical actions to fix things when performance is failing or expenses exceed plans.
RevisionUpdating a budget when it no longer reflects reality.Setting goals for budget control and evaluating performance against those goals.
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