How To Create A Flexible Budget With Example

flexible budgeting examples

Variance analysis in absolute figures cannot reveal the actual causes. The management may also adjust sales prices to achieve the favorable variance provided it doesn’t affect the competitive edge. Budgeting and variance analyses can help management to price the products at an optimum level, meeting the market competitions and covering the production costs. Identify the variable costs that are to be incurred and determine the variable cost on a per-unit basis or as a percentage of activity level. Flexible budgets also allow companies to model how they might allocate their funds in lieu of particular changes. A company can prepare an array of flexible budgets that each reflect a different scenario.

These are added to the fixed costs of $12,500 to get the flexible budget amount of $24,750. Big Bad Bikes is planning to use a flexible budget when they begin making trainers. The company knows its variable costs per unit and knows it is introducing its new product to the marketplace. Its estimations of sales and sales price will likely change as the product takes hold and customers purchase it.

Big Bad Bikes developed a flexible budget that shows the change in income and expenses as the number of units changes. It also looked at the effect a change in price would have if the number of units remained the same. The expenses that do not change are the fixed expenses, as shown inFigure 10.25. A flexible budget, on the other hand, is a series of budgets prepared for various levels of activities, revenues and expenses. 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. This flexibility to adapt to change is useful to owners and managers. The flexible budget-based performance evaluation is a remedy for this phenomenon.

The Implementation Process

Creating a second, flexible budget allows a company to evaluate its actual performance during the static budget period. Then, upload the final flexible budget for the completed period into your accounting system so you can compare it with actual expenses through a variance analysis. Flexible budget works best with businesses and companies that deal with a wide array of variable costs that change significantly with changes in output. Similarly, it is not possible to load flexible budget figures into accounting software for comparison with financial statements. This can only be done upon completion of an accounting period to be able to issue financial statements that compare actual and budgeted figures. Flexible budgeting can also go a long way in updating a budget for which revenue and other figures are yet to be factored in.

While this is more realistic, many of us benefit from rigidity when it comes to daily, healthy routines. No matter which type of budget model you choose, tracking your finances is what matters most. Creating a flexible budget is a lot of work and requires a great deal of time to develop and maintain. A flexible budget gives you wiggle flexible budgeting examples room for the unexpected and unknown. Flexible budgets offer close monitoring of expenses versus revenue, and they allow for the opportunity to test things out and see what might work and what won’t without rigid financial constraints. Flexible budgets are dynamic systems which allow for expansion and contraction in real time.

flexible budgeting examples

The workload is determined primarily by management decision instead of sales volume. Some examples of departments in this category are administrative and marketing.

What Are The Advantages Of A Flexible Budget?

In the case of the cost of goods sold, a cost per unit may be used, rather than a percentage of sales. Flexible budget reckons operational realities and streamlines control function and profit planning.

  • For example, a business’s insurance policy costs may vary based on how many employees the company has and may increase if the company hires new employees.
  • Since the actual activity level is not available before the accounting periods closes, flexed budgets can only be prepared at the end of the period.
  • Spending variance is the difference between what you should have spent at your actual production level and what you did spend.
  • They take into account that a business is an organic, growing system and that life is not predictable.
  • New environmental regulations might increase the costs of production and could require the purchase of different types of machines.
  • A static budget approach monitors the planned and actual results, focusing mainly on achieving the set targets.
  • And changes that happen with the level of activity attained, or change in the revenue or other variable factors.

Fixed budgets may be used for projects involving fixed appropriations for specific programs, such as capital expenditures, advertising and promotion, and major repairs. A flexible budget is a tool used in the preparation of financial statements. It allows companies to prepare budgets under different scenarios to be adjusted for future projections. The static budget is intended to be fixed and unchanging for the duration of the period, regardless of fluctuations that may affect outcomes.

Personal Finance

Due to the ability to make real-time adjustments, the results present great detail and accuracy at the end of the year. Income taxes are budgeted as 40% of income before income taxes.

flexible budgeting examples

Capital Expenditure Budget and Research and Development Budget are examples of long-term budgets. Where the undertaking is suffering from shortage of a factor of production such as materials, labour, plant capacity etc. The level of activity depends upon the availability of such a factor of production. While preparing any budget at all is always better than not having one, a static budget does not prepare you for revenue and expense changes in real time. A flexible budget is best used in a manufacturing environment where the budget is able to be based on production volume.

Flexible Budget Cons:

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. Expenditures may only vary within certain ranges of revenue or other activities; outside of those ranges, a different proportion of expenditures may apply. A sophisticated flexible budget will change the proportions for these expenditures if the measurements they are based on exceed their target ranges. Is a special kind of budget that provides detailed information about budgeted expenses at various levels of output.

The flexible budget for income before income taxes is $20,625, and 40% of that balance is $8,250. Actual expenses are lower because the income before income taxes was lower. A flexible budget can be found suitable when the business conditions are constantly changing. Accurate estimates are expected from if the resources are available with the experts.

  • Hence, any error in books of accounts can mislead the budget preparation, and chances of flexible budget variance may increase.
  • If production is higher than planned and has been increased to meet the increased sales, expenses will be over budget.
  • The flexible budget might show that the company paid employees $15,000 in wages instead of $13,000, reflecting extra hours that they worked.
  • Determine what costs will be incurred at different levels of activity.
  • The budget shown inFigure 10.27illustrates the payment of interest and contains information helpful to management when determining which items should be produced if production capacity is limited.
  • The coffee shop’s activity is then reduced to 70% of what was expected.
  • Unfortunately, real life doesn’t let everything stay the same.

Divide the budget you plan on spending on variable costs by your estimated production. In this article, we will explore what a flexible budget is, the advantages and disadvantages of flexible budgeting and how you can create this type of budget for your business. Determine the extent to which all variable costs change as activity measures change. Leed Company’s manufacturing overhead cost budget at 70% capacity is shown below. Leed can produce 25,000 units in a 3 month period or a quarter, which represents 100% of capacity.

In What Situations Will A Static Budget Be Most Effective In Evaluating A Manager’s Effectiveness?

Suppose the budget was set up with the expectation that sales would be $200,000 per month and labor cost was budgeted at $50,000 per month, or 25 percent of sales. They allow managers to predict the effect that changes will have on their company’s income statement and balance sheet while still being able to reflect actual figures. It helps to provide accurate forecasts without using theoretical data since they are based on what occurred. At 80% capacity, the working raw materials cost increases by 5% and selling price falls by 5%. At 50% capacity, the cost of working raw materials increases by 2% and the selling price falls by 2%.

flexible budgeting examples

So now, you create budget scenarios at the 40- and 60-units level of sales. When sales changes, your cost of production will change also, but your rent doesn’t change. In this case you are also paying a flat rate to a part-time sales person, so selling costs won’t vary either.


It’s a budget that is prepared at the beginning of the year and not changed until it’s time to make a new one at the start of the next year. The numbers do not change for the entire year, regardless of anything that happens in the business environment. For example, under a static budget, a company would set an anticipated expense, say $30,000 for a marketing campaign, for the duration of the period. It is then up to managers to adhere to that budget regardless of how the cost of generating that campaign actually tracks during the period. Selected information may also be shared with a business’s suppliers and customers via electronic data interchange. The net result is that the supply chain is immediately adjusted to match raw material orders to actual production needs, thereby eliminating billions of dollars of raw material waste and scrap.

The alternative, static budgeting, can’t account for unexpected expenses or changing income. Revenue and cost needs to be compared monthly and adjustments or notes should be made.

Variable costs are usually shown in thebudgetas either a percentage of total revenue or a constant rate per unit produced. If your expenses aren’t directly related to revenue, this budget model probably won’t work for you. This budget model can justify large variances which may have occurred because of increased demand or other external factors. Flexible budgets take time to maintain, with routine monthly reviews and edits. It’s also important to request accountability for all changes made to this budget in order to keep it working for you.

In order to accurately predict the changes in costs, management has to identify thefixed costsand thevariable costs. Fixed costs will be constant within relevant range of operations where the variable costs will continue to increase as production increases. A flexible budget flexes the static budget for each anticipated level of production. This flexibility allows management to estimate what the budgeted numbers would look like at various levels of sales. Flexible budgets are prepared at each analysis period , rather than in advance, since the idea is to compare the operating income to the expenses deemed appropriate at the actual production level.

These points make the flexible budget an appealing model for the advanced budget user. However, before deciding to switch to the flexible budget, consider the following countervailing issues. A cost driver is defined as the unit of activity that causes a change in the activity’s cost. In our Simply Yoga example, we first just looked at the number of students through the door as a cost driver. But, then we also need to look at how many classes are taught and how that may affect wages and other costs. To conclude, a flexible budget is more useful, elastic and practical.

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