What is budgeting all about?
Each year at about this time, organisations are planning, drafting and finalizing budgets. They do this as in the world of business, we all need a budget…or do we? Let’s take a look at the recent Federal Budget which was a compilations of funded actions based on wildly variable and sometimes questionable assumptions. These seem perfectly reasonable as things are volatile so if they don’t pan out the way we thought in May 2016, the budget bottom-line differs. That’s right; we have a bigger surplus, or deficit, because of a range of factors, ‘largely out of our control’ or that ‘could not be predicted’. Yet at this time of year, we agonise over whether the overhead should be 12 or 12.4% or should we increase our headcount by 1.2FTE. Why do we do this? Not sure, but it has something to do with trying to get certainty when most things are actually uncertain.
It’s time to start looking at the budget as just another tool the business has at its disposal to plan for the next few months. It is a guide and very useful reference point but don’t let it determine every decision you make. If you do, you will land up with the budget you wanted and the business you didn’t.