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Budgets & Financial Reports: Understanding Budgets

Budgets are critical for businesses. Many stakeholders within the organization require that budgets be submitted for review every year. The budget sets spending limits and usually is broken down to the individual departments or business units. Typically, budget numbers are reviewed every month to determine how well the company is keeping within the budget.

In order to begin a budget, you will need the following three pieces of information:

  • Goal: Identifying a goal is the first step to creating a budget. Think about what you need to accomplish. This could be a sales goal, an efficiency goal or quality goal. No matter what the goal is, it is important to think carefully about the feasibility of the goal. Use the SMART technique for goal setting, which is making the goal Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time driven.
  • Money: How much money do you have? In the corporate environment, you may need to review the financial reports to determine how well the company is doing. When things are financially tight, the monies allocated to the budgets may be limited. Knowing how much is available will help you determine what you should request in terms of the business environment.
  • Costs: You will need to determine how much are the costs related to your goals. This may require you to breakdown your goals in to smaller components so you can put a price on each of them. Knowing how much things will cost will help weed out unnecessary expenses in your budget.

These three items will point you in the right direction when you are ready to begin your budget.

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