Assignment 1: Discussion—Forecasting and Budgeting
Although non-accounting managers use budgets based on past performance and projections of costs and revenues for short-term planning, relying on such information is not enough. Managers also need to predict many of their companies’ future financial conditions and the activities that accompany them. To do this, managers need to answer questions such as the following:
- How many employees do you need?
- Do you need new equipment?
- What level of supplies and inventory should you maintain?
- What is your targeted revenue?
In this assignment, you will analyze various forecasting techniques used for budgeting and recommend specific ones for Compnet. You will also analyze various aspects of budgeting.
Using the Internet, select and review resources on budget forecasting, seasonal adjustments in budgeting, and cash forecasts.
Respond to the following questions:
- Which forecasting techniques are available for budgeting purposes? Would you consider using more than one technique? Why or why not? What techniques would you recommend for forecasting Compnet’s budget? Why?
- How do you get accurate and timely information from different departments so that you can accurately forecast the budget?
- When is it appropriate to adjust the budget once it has been set? Support your response using examples. What specific adjustments were relevant to Compnet during the past three years? Why?
- Other than financial data, what economic and external variables will you incorporate in making decisions while creating the budget? Why?
- If the budget is to be considered a control, what should be done to make management accountable for budget variances?