A budget (from old French baguette, purse) is a financial plan and a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving, borrowing and spending.
A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods. In other terms, a budget is an organizational plan stated in monetary terms.
In summary, the purpose of budgeting is to:
Provide a forecast of revenues and expenditures, that is, construct a model of how our business might perform financially if certain strategies, events and plans are carried out.
Enable the actual financial operation of the business to be measured against the forecast.
Establish the cost constraint for a project, program, or operation.
Budget helps to aid the planning of actual operations by forcing managers to consider how the conditions might change and what steps should be taken now and by encouraging managers to consider problems before they arise. It also helps co-ordinate the activities of the organization by compelling managers to examine relationships between their own operation and those of other departments. Other essentials of budget include:
To control resources
To communicate plans to various responsibility center managers.
To motivate managers to strive to achieve budget goals.
To evaluate the performance of managers
To provide visibility into the company’s performance
Globally, a government budget is a document that is often passed by the legislature, and approved by the chief executive-or president. For example, only certain types of revenue may be imposed and collected. Property tax is frequently the basis for municipal and county revenues, while sales tax and/or income tax are the basis for state revenues, and income tax and corporate tax are the basis for national revenues.
The two basic elements of any budget are the revenues and expenses. In the case of the government, revenues are derived primarily from taxes. Government expenses include spending on current goods and services, which economists call government consumption; government investment expenditures such as infrastructure investment or research expenditure; and transfer payments like unemployment or retirement benefits.
Budgets have an economic, political and technical basis. Unlike a pure economic budget, they are not entirely designed to allocate scarce resources for the best economic use. They also have a political basis wherein different interests push and pull in an attempt to obtain benefits and avoid burdens. The technical element is the forecast of the likely levels of revenues and expenses
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