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Implement financial management approaches

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Provide support to ensure that team members can competently perform required roles associated with the management of instances 2. 3 Determine and access resources and systems to manage financial Budgets as plans, monitoring and communication tools What is the point of budgets and why should they be monitored? In order to plan effectively – both strategically and in terms of operations – management must have analyses that provide estimates of income and of factors that will cause variation in any or all of the factors related to income. Income will change and sales volumes will fluctuate.

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This is a certainty. Yet in order to maintain and initiate operations a forecast of how much things will change is necessary. Thus financial information – on costs, environmental factors, expenses, units, capital, revenue, variance etc is brought together to provide a picture which relates directly to operations -? its planning and function. Properly conceived budgeting can mean the difference between a general drift that might (or more likely will not) lead toward a desired goal, and a plotted course toward a predetermined objective that holds drift to a minimum.

Managing financial information and budgeting is not simply a once yearly (or 6 monthly) process – where a budget is prepared and at the end of the budgeting ERM you check to see whether your business activities match the projections. If you use the budget in this way, you might get a very big surprise at the end of the year. Use the budget to monitor work activities, resource use and income. The other thing that should be remembered is that it is very difficult for employees to work toward achieving a budget if they do not know what the projections are. Reports and other relevant financial information (e. . Cost cutting needs, sales targets etc) must be communicated to the employees within the organization, as well as to other shareholders and stakeholders. Age 13 Responsibility accounting Responsibility accounting is a method of attributing costs to specific departments/ sections/ teams or project areas within an organization. In this way a fair assessment of team and individual performance can be based on the resource costs for which the team/ section etc is responsible, and over which its members can exercise control and seek to improve their performance.

Responsibility accounting can provide a sound basis for team decision making. It can be positively motivational because members who are directly responsible for the management of their own team/ section/ visional costs, can relate operations to financial outcomes. They become, to a large degree, self-managing ; waste reduction and cost improvement techniques are within their sphere of influence.

Involvement The guidelines that should be followed if budgeting is to serve effectively as a source of motivation are that: C] subsequent evaluations of performance should be made carefully with opportunities to explain apparent deficiencies objectives reflected in a budget should be obtainable -? they must be realistic – and clearly communicated 0 employees who will be affected by a budget should be consulted when the gadget is prepared and should be kept up to date with regard to monitoring Performance evaluation One of the hallmarks of leading-edge organizations is the successful application of performance measurement to gain insight into, and make judgments about, organizational effectiveness – to drive improvements and successfully translate strategy into action. A cohesive and clear performance measurement framework that is understood by all levels of the organization, including employees, process owners, customers, and stakeholders, supports objectives and the collection of results. High-performance organizations Leary identify what it takes to determine success and make sure that all employees and managers understand what they are responsible for. Accountability for results is clearly well-understood and assigned.

Budgets – as a planning/ forecasting and as a monitoring/ evaluation tool, contribute to the determination of performance expectations (Key Performance Indicators and Key Results Areas). They contribute to the design of information collection systems and those information results are, in turn, used to develop and design future budgets/ forecasts. Accountability requires understanding and information. It is amazing that in so many organizations employees have no awareness of the relationships between costs, profits and their own contribution to financial success. The communication aspect of a budget should enable employee awareness and involvement in waste reduction, cost cutting and revenue raising. Yet managers often withhold this information from employees.

Performance measurements offer information on what expenditures are needed and on how to priorities expenditures – how to develop the financial plan (budget) that will support all organizational operations. They help to identify what works and what does not so as to continue with and improve on what is working and repair or replace what is not working. Thus performance management and budgets are critically linked. Budget analysis produces information about the efficiency with which resources are transformed into services and goods, on how well results compare to a program’s intended purpose, and on the effectiveness of operations in terms of their specific contribution to program objectives.

For this reason, it is vital that information be collected, collated and stored, so that it is both accessible and useable for hose purposes Page | 4 Budgeting steps Cash flow is the movement of money in and out of a business – the process through which the business uses cash to generate products/services for sale to customers, collects cash from sales, then completes this cycle all over again. Organization’s need cash flow in order to operate. The cash position changes constantly, depending on material/stock/supplies purchases, leases or wages payments or incoming payments. Inflows are the inward movement of money from the sale of products/ services.

If your organization extends credit to customers and allows them to hare the sale of the goods or services to an account, then inflow occurs as money is collected on the customers’ accounts. Proceeds from bank loans are also cash inflow. Outflows are the movement of money out of a business – generally the result of paying expenses. If the business involves reselling or on-selling goods, then the largest outflow is most likely to be for the purchase of retail inventory’. A manufacturing business’s largest outflows will mostly likely be for the purchases of raw materials and the supply of other production components. Purchasing fixed assets, paying back loans, and paying accounts payable are also cash outflows.

Profit is not the same as cash flow. It is possible to show a healthy profit at the end of the year, and yet face a significant money squeeze at various points during the year. Assignment tools Budgets provide for money and specify where it should be spent. They determine who should be accountable for what activity and are used to allocate human resources to processes, functions and projects. They are also used to match resources to results. The intention of budgets is to ensure: 0 sufficient cash flow which will meet all financial obligations 0 maximum profitability Types of budget There are a number of different budgets that will be prepared in an organization.

Some of these are:: sales training cash flow capital expenditure operations advertising etc Page 15 Managers, frontline managers and supervisors will deal with some of these budgets; either trying to stay within budget, in terms of expenditure, or to reach budgetary expectations with regard to revenue (income). The different cost centre in the organization will obviously have different budgetary applications. The master budget pulls each of these individual budgets together to form a budget for the overall organization and provides a marry of the financial sources and requirements for operations. It establishes planned and authorized expenditure and when compared with financial reports and running operational information, provides a monitoring tool so you can determine whether events over the budget period are following the predicted course.

It indicates revenue shortfalls, excess of over cost spending and sign efficient changes in the economic performance of the organization, a department, project or product. Thus budgets tell you where the organization’s money is going and where the resources for operations will mom from. They tell you, therefore what money is available for your team/ division/ section or what the organization’s expectations are with regard to income generation by your team/ section/ division. Budgets are one of the most commonly used management tools. Every business, large or small, public or private, profit oriented or not- for-profit should have a budget of some sort.

They enable the organization and the people working within it to pull together its commitments, projects and plans and all its costs and to contrast expenditure with expected revenues. A budget enables an organization’s financial manager (or team) to anticipate the business’s cash resources and make sure they are available ahead of time. Every budget process, therefore, develops a cash flow budget and in most organizations there will be a capital budget (usually extending for more than a year), which sets expected needs against the various sources of capital, providing the basis for capital resources allocations – money for capital expenditures (CAPE). Rapports for expanding business, changing operations, purchasing new machinery and equipment are allocated from the capital budget. As a managerial and planning tool, when properly deployed, budgets ensure that key resources (including people) are assigned to priorities and results. In their capacity as a reporting and monitoring tool, they enable managers to know when to revise and review plans, either because results are different from those expected (better or worse) or because environmental, economic, market or technological conditions no longer correspond with the budget assumptions. Page 16 Forecasting and operations budgeting Budgets are concerned with the uncertain future.

They forecast or predict what will happen to the various parts of the operation, and used to ask questions such as: What historical data or trends can we use to help us? How much cash will we need to operate the business? What profit will We make? What will happen to costs? What can we sell? Developing cost consciousness Controlling costs and continuously improving our cost performance requires that teams and individuals constantly review work procedures, practices and systems. This requires the cooperation of the whole team and their ongoing support to develop a cost conscious culture where searching for improvements is part of everyday activities. Many people in organizations know how to do things better and save costs and time, but they are often reluctant to suggest them.

There can be a number of reasons for this: fear of rejection, fear of loss of a job if the idea could reduce the number of employees, or simply because they think the company does not care or would not act on their suggestions. One of the other reasons for this reluctance might come from the fact that they have not been informed of the budgetary requirements applicable to the team or group with which they work, therefore the significance of their suggestions is lost. These are the barriers that team leaders, frontline managers and supervisors have to overcome so that their team/ work group members will talk freely with them and know that good suggestions will be recognized, acted on and rewarded.

Information regarding budgets should be disseminated to team members; they should be given opportunities to contribute to the development Of new budgets, the tools to use for monitoring the budget and the training that will enable them to understand how their work impacts on organizational cost/ profit ratios. If they do not have this information, they cannot be expected to erect their work activities at cost savings and effective income generation. Thus, not only do team members require the right information, they also require the skills to be able to use that information to add value in terms of their work and in terms of improvements to work. Page 17 Budgets as controls (setting direction) Organizations apply financial controls in order to monitor progress.

Cost or actively centered budgets and actual expenditure reports or financial statements are compared and analyses to budgets to identify variance, its causes and corrective actions. As a monitoring tool, budgets enable assessment of success in various areas – are we under, over or on budget? Figures show the organization’s performance relative to a specified time frame – last week, last month etc. They act as an early warning system for poor performance and danger, or for the need to revise a forecast. Performance against budget should also be viewed as a warning system for opportunities – for performance that is better than expected and should, therefore be analyses and where appropriate, reproduced. Budgets as reporting tools Budgets are financial reports. They report on what is expected to happen.

Comparing and monitoring what actually happens (or is happening) over a set period gives a picture of how well the organization is progressing in achieving its goals. In most organizations a business manager, accountant or accounting department will be responsible for the organization’s overall financial management. This is usually achieved through input from the various cost centre which are the units, divisions or sections in an organization which carry accountability for their own expenditure. Such responsibility might relate to day-to-day operations or to the management of specific projects. The employees in the various cost centre would be responsible for collating, collecting and recording the data that will support financial plans.

Examples of cost centre include the following departments: Production marketing administration manufacturing Smaller organizations will probably not be broken into separate cost centre. You might be required to record and collect financial data, and, at times, prepare financial reports, oversee the budgeting functions in your section/ division or manage project budgets. At the least, you should be able to read and understand the information contained within financial budgets and reports. Financial information relating to operations, costs, credit analysis, inventory management, invoices and accounts, etc enables management to monitor and control cash flow, production and productivity, solve problems, plan for continuous improvement, implement quality control procedures and to plan future strategies.