How To Create A Flexible Budget With Example

define flexible budget

The long-term budget may be adversely affected due to unpredictable factors. Therefore, from a control point of view, the long-term budget should be supplemented by short-term budgets. A budget is a quantitative plan for acquiring and using resources over a specified period. Individuals often create household budgets that balance their income and expenditures for food, clothing, housing, and so on while providing for some savings.

  • Flexible budgets get modified during the year for actual sales levels, changes in cost of production and virtually any other change in business operating conditions.
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  • For example, telephone expenses may vary with changes in headcount.
  • The key difference is that Daily Expenses covers the things you buy routinely while Shopping covers the things you buy once.
  • Instead, they have a massive amount of fixed overhead that does not vary in response to any type of activity.
  • In a flexible budget, there is no comparison of budgeted to actual revenues, since the two numbers are the same.

It is suitable when the estimation of demand is uncertain and the enterprise works under conditions of lack of material and labor power. A static budget is rarely used and is not realistic as economies change at all times while flexible data is a realistic representation of a marketplace. A static budget is a kind of budget in which the income and expenditure of the concerned body are pre-determined for the upcoming period. Even in thee case of any fluctuation of change in the predetermined numbers, it remains static i.e., the same. A flexible personal budget is the individual equivalent of this process.

It will help you organize your spending based on what you want to achieve. Your second section will include your expenses with room to move. This will generally include categories like the Daily Expenses for groceries and coffee, your transportation budget and shopping. These are the expenses that you can’t cut out altogether but which you can adjust if need be. Flexible budgeting is an important tool for most small businesses.

The budget is prepared for each level of activity selected by associating the activity level with corresponding costs. The range of activity for which a budget is to be prepared is decided. This includes identification of the actual quantity of the output. It is difficult to make comparisons between actual and budgeted data if numbers differ in a static budget while in a flexible budget it is easier. The main difference between Static and Flexible budgets lies in its nature of adaptability. A static budget once formulated cannot be changed irrespective of changes occurring in its assumed activity before the fixed period is over. A flexible budget however is free to be adapted according to changes at any point of the set period.

What Are The Disadvantages Of A Flexible Budget?

Knowing where the money is going, and separating the flexible from the inflexible, can help people cope with a budget that is stretched to the limit or beyond. Even some apparently inflexible costs, like groceries, may include flexible components, like pre-cooked entrees or the most expensive cuts of beef. There are always more affordable options to inflexible expenses, such as purchasing a Ford instead of a BMW. To note your flexible expenses, review your credit card and checking account statements every month to see what non-essential items you are spending money on. A flexible expense is a discretionary purchase that can be altered or eliminated without a significant downside. These are non-essential expenses that stand in contrast to fixed expenses.

The company has a budgeted variable cost of $125 for each connector and fixed cost of $4,500 per month. The first step is to prepare a budget at your most likely sales level. Let’s say you anticipate selling 50 of your large aquariums next year.

  • Explore the explanation and advantages of the flexible budgeting process.
  • Where the actual level of activity is different from that expected, comparisons of actual results against a fixed budget can give misleading results.
  • Even inflexible expenses can contain flexible components, such as choosing more affordable substitutes.
  • One problem with its formulation is that many costs are not fully variable, instead having a fixed cost component that must be calculated and included in the budget formula.
  • Planning involves developing goals and preparing various budgets to achieve those goals.
  • We will not go into the details of how sales forecasts are made.

Further, since the flexible budget is not rigid, it can be adjusted according to the actual activity level at the end of the accounting period and used for variance analysis. The management can determine the performance of various departments based on variances determined. The second column lists variable costs as a percentage of the unit define flexible budget rate as well as the total fixed costs. The other three columns can list different output levels as well as changes in variable costs based on output. The range of possible outputs may be known as the ‘relevant range’. Flexing a budget takes place when the original budget is deliberately amended to take account of change activity levels.

Learn how it can help your business respond to the ups and downs of the marketplace. Lisa Jo Rudy covers entrepreneurship and small business finance and terms for The Balance.

Main Differences Between Static Budget And Flexible Budget

Unlike a static budget, it adjusts your original budget projection in using your actual sales or revenue. Revenues and expenses are constantly adjusted in flexible budgets for current operating conditions. New environmental regulations might increase the costs of production and could require the purchase of different types of machines. Weather conditions could increase shipping costs and result in delayed shipments to customers. Variable expenses in flexible budgets are defined as percentages of sales.

define flexible budget

To prepare the flexible budget, the units will change to 17,500 trucks, and the actual sales level and the selling price will remain the same. Given that the variance is unfavorable, management knows the trucks were sold at a price below the $15 budgeted selling price. What is not known from looking at it is why the variances occurred. These are the kinds of questions management needs answers to.

Objectives Of Flexible Budget

The expenses are categorized into fixed, variable, and semi-variable costs. Once an accounting period is over, update your budget with the actual revenue and/or activity measurements. This will adjust the variable costs based on accurate data from the accounting period. An intermediate flexible budget takes into account expenses that go beyond a company’s revenue. Typically, this budget includes costs that are related to activity in addition to or rather than revenue.

It is also difficult to determine and classify costs in a static budget if data differ whereas in a flexible budget it is easier to attain data as the budget is adjusted according to one’s needs. A flexible budget is the kind of budget that prepared in a way that allows it to changes according to changes in the assumptions made during its preparation. One has to have intricate knowledge of which costs are fixed and which are not and prior knowledge of the effect of changes of assumptions. It works with the as sales on that changes are bound to happen and hence are designed as flexible.

Let us consider the following information regarding the costs that are expected to be incurred by a company in the upcoming accounting period. The company wants to prepare a flexible budget based on an expected activity level of 70% of the production capacity. The number of units that can be prepared at this production capacity is 7000 units. A flexible budget is made with the objective of reference with the actual results for the calculation of variances between the actual and budgeted results. This helps in a transparent and accurate calculation of variances. The first column lists the sales and expense categories for the company. The second column lists the variable costs as a percentage or unit rate and the total fixed costs.

Company B has budgeted for $5 million in revenue and $1 million in cost of goods sold. The company has determined that $400,000 of the $1 million of the cost of goods sold is fixed and $600,000 of the cost of goods sold will vary based on its revenue. This means that the variable, or flexible, the amount of cost of goods sold is 12% of the company’s revenue.

What Is A Flexible Budget?

A flexible budget will include lines for different amounts. For example, if your production of widgets is 100 per month, your variable admin costs may be $200 per month. However, if your production of widgets is 200 per month, your variable admin costs would increase to $400. A flexible budget is a budget that changes based on your actual production or revenue.

How can you keep on top of unexpected expenses and the odd financial surprise? Flexible budgets are usually produced monthly or quarterly, rather than in advance like static budgets. Revenue variance is the difference between what revenue should have been for the actual production activity and what the actual revenue you take in is.

What Are The Advantages Of A Flexible Budget?

With the model, it is not possible to compare budgeted revenues to actual revenues. Similarly, it is not possible to ascertain whether actual revenues are higher or lower than estimates.

In fact, we still managed to contribute more than $600 to savings, or could take it a little easy and spend some money on entertainment. For example, say that April came in $500 more expensive than usual. You can account for that by flexing your budget to spend $500 less in May, making up for the unanticipated spending. Knowing your priorities will allow you to, essentially, solve for “X” in any given month.

define flexible budget

They sell for $1,000 each and cost you $550 each to produce. So, you predict you’ll have sales of $1,000 x 50 units, or $50,000, and costs to produce them of $550 x 50 units, or $27,500.

Flexible budgets have the advantage of adjusting for changes in volume so that your budget to actual comparison is more useful in managing your business. It is also easier to analyze manager performance when costs shown are appropriate for the volume of business conducted. In a static budget, higher sales generally result in higher costs, and it is difficult to tell if the higher costs are appropriate for the sales level achieved. A flexible budget also estimates costs and profitability for different sales levels, which can aid in decisions such as whether to accept a large, unanticipated order. This budget can be prepared even if the activity level is not decided since fixed costs are already known to every department and variable costs can be approved as a percentage of sales per unit. Variances can be calculated based on the revised budget and the actual performance. This approach varies from the more common static budget, which contains nothing but fixed amounts that do not vary with actual revenue levels.

What Is Flexible Budget

It can help in sales, costs, and profit calculation at different levels of operating capacity. The budget is the forecast of expected cash receipts and cash disbursement during the budget period. Without sufficient cash, a business can not be run smoothly. The receipts section lists all of the cash inflows, except for financing, expected during the budget period.

The flexed budget is only accurate, if costs behave in a predicted manner. All too often assumptions are made about cost behaviour which are too simplistic and hence do not reflect what actually happens. Build up the appropriate flexible budget for specified levels of activity. The flexible budget at first appears to be an excellent way to resolve many of the difficulties inherent in a static budget. However, there are also a number of serious issues with it, which we address below.

And a flexible budget that accommodates the difference in the various components of the cost to accommodate changing trends is always preferable. Variable costs are usually shown in thebudgetas either a percentage of total revenue or a constant rate per unit produced. A budget that is established for use over a short period and is related to the current conditions is called the Current Budget. This budget is adjusted to the current conditions prevailing in the business. This budget does not take into consideration changes occurring from the external environment which are beyond the control of management.

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