What Is A Flexible Budget? Definition And Example

flexible budgeting examples

Typically, the machine hours are between 4,000 and 7,000 hours per month. Based on this information, the flexible budget for each month would be $40,000 + $10 per MH.

  • A big organization should hire experts to prepare a flexible budget and to help their organization make a clear vision about what output should be produced to achieve the targeted profit.
  • 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.
  • Let’s say Green Company estimates their total production capacity to be 250,000 units.
  • Businesses are finding that to be true when it comes to budgeting.

It sets the standard to measure the variances of the budget estimates and the actual performance of the company for control purposes. Further, it can be prepared either for the whole company flexible budgeting examples or a specific department or unit. Input the final flexible budget from an accounting period into your accounting software to compare it to the expenses you initially anticipated.

Although with the flexible budget, costs would rise as sales commissions increased, so too would revenue from the additional sales generated. A flexible budget is useful for manufacturing industries where costs change with a change in activity level. To make accurate budgets, companies must involve experts so that there is less scope for error and variance analysis is improved. Plot the variable and fixed costs for the budgeted activity level and this will lead to the creation of a flexible budget. In this method, the budget takes a tablet form, where horizontal columns represent the different levels of activity or capacity. And the vertical rows represent the budgeted estimates against the different levels of activity or output. The expenses are categorized into fixed, variable, and semi-variable costs.

The main importance of flexible budget is that it reflects the expenditure appropriate to various levels of output. A fixed budget presents budgeted amounts at the expected capacity level. It is best used when the department’s activities (e.g., sales) are stable. A deficiency with the static budget is the lack of flexibility to adjust to unexpected changes. Changing costs in the manufacturing process can severely impact your profit margin. Any unexpected market shifts may find a material essential to your production line suddenly costing more than three times the original budgeted amount. Both static and flexible budgets are designed to estimate future revenues and expenses.

Benefits Of Having A Flexible Budget For Your Small Business

Here, the activity level varies from time to time, either due to its nature or variation in demand. If a company is labor-intensive and where labor is a crucial factor in production. For example, the jute industry, handloom industries, etc., where a worker performs a significant portion of work. Here, a flexible budget helps management determine the productivity of the labor.

The flexible budgeting takes considers both fixed costs and variable costs with variance analysis. The management may set flexible targets to cover the fixed costs first and gradually build on profits later.

Intermediate Flexible Budget

A variable cost is an expense that changes in proportion to production or sales volume. Unfavorable variance is an accounting term that describes instances where actual costs are greater than the standard or expected costs. A budget variance measures the difference between budgeted and actual figures for a particular accounting category, and may indicate a shortfall. When using a static budget, a company or organization can track where the money is being spent, how much revenue is coming in, and help stay on track with its financial goals.

flexible budgeting examples

You build your budget at the beginning of the fiscal year, accounting for how much money your business has, needs and expects https://intuit-payroll.org/ to make. Instead, the hope is that patterns will be observed making future cost planning easier and more accurate.

Disadvantages Of A Flexible Budget

The biggest advantage with flexible budgeting is the stress on operational efficiency to achieve the standard targets. It is pertinent to note that actual results will always differ with the planned targets. Budgeting helps management to analyze the causes or factors behind the variances. Flexible budgets will allow the management to revise and adjust to the new targets. In our example, the company might have set a target of 90% production, revised it to 85% and still would have achieved a 75% production level. It is the calculated difference between the planned or forecast budget against the actual results. In our working example, the company sets out a target of 85% production capacity.

A company with high fixed costs will have a lower ratio, meaning it must earn a substantial amount of revenue just to cover fixed costs and stay in business before seeing any profits from sales. Unlike a static budget where you set it once and repeat the formula, a flexible budget requires constant monitoring and tweaking — with no guaranteed rewards. The hours of analysis and modifications could be rendered futile if predicted conditions, trends or objectives change. Formulating and administering a flexible budget is no easy task given that most costs in a business are rarely variable. A great deal of time goes towards formulating fixed cost components and developing cost formulas that might not work in the end. At its purest form, a flexible budget alters expenses depending on how revenues change.

Additionally, flexible budgets have a lack of accountability to some degree since they are so fluid and open to change. The flexible budget shows an even higher unfavorable variance than the static budget. This does not always happen but is why flexible budgets are important for giving management an indication of what questions need to be asked. When preparing a Flexible budget, managers are forced to consider the different scenarios and their responses to them.

flexible budgeting examples

It is quite difficult to prepare and requires experts for its preparation. It is for this reason that many companies do not prepare this budget. Revised budgets may not still be accurately updated and actual results May fall short which results in a low staff morale. If the company performs below targets and produces only 75% of the units they will produce an adverse variance of -$181,250. As companies get larger, with more sophisticated finance operations, more data and more people involved, expectations should be higher. To ease the process, McFall shared several startup budgeting lessons he’s learned over the course of his 25-year career. But, in a happier scenario, what if the coffee shop exceeds expectations and operates at 120% of original expected activity?


Variances can be calculated based on the revised budget and the actual performance. Flexible budgets have the advantage of adjusting for changes in volume so that your budget to actual comparison is more useful in managing your business. It is also easier to analyze manager performance when costs shown are appropriate for the volume of business conducted. In a static budget, higher sales generally result in higher costs, and it is difficult to tell if the higher costs are appropriate for the sales level achieved. A flexible budget also estimates costs and profitability for different sales levels, which can aid in decisions such as whether to accept a large, unanticipated order. Enter actual activity measures into the model after an accounting period has been completed. What is not known from looking at it is why the variances occurred.

flexible budgeting examples

Fixed and variable cost determination happens on an arbitrary basis. Hence flexible costs are less relatable to the correct budget cost of the level of activity. This type of budget flexes with a company’s expenses that change directly in relation to its revenue. A basic budget may build in a percentage that varies based on revenue. This type of budget is typically used to denote cost per unit or percentage of sales.

How To Create A Flexible Budget With Example

The master budget, and all the budgets included in the master budget, are examples of static budgets. Actual results are compared to the static budget numbers as one means to evaluate company performance. However, this comparison may be like comparing apples to oranges because variable costs should follow production, which should follow sales. Thus, if sales differ from what is budgeted, then comparing actual costs to budgeted costs may not provide a clear indicator of how well the company is meeting its targets. A flexible budget created each period allows for a comparison of apples to apples because it will calculate budgeted costs based on the actual sales activity. In calculating the overall average water intensity, many companies simply sum differing units of output, as in this example where product X is measured in bottles and product Y is measured in tons. A common solution to this problem is to convert physical measures of output to the sales value of output and then combine revenue totals.

After each month closes, you compare the projected revenue against the actual revenue and adjust the next month’s expenses accordingly. This allows for a more symbiotic relationship between the two. It helps to determine the quantity/amount of output to be produced to help the company achieve the desired profit level. In case of a business which carries their entire work with the help of laborers.

  • In contrast, intensity measures fail to adjust for the fixed and variable components of sustainability aspects and do not provide an accurate indication of the actual change in efficiency.
  • If the machine hours in February are 6,300 hours, then the flexible budget for February will be $103,000 ($40,000 fixed + $10 x 6,300 MH).
  • The rest of this article will focus on the personal finance of flexible budgeting because… well, that’s a lot more relevant to the rest of us.
  • This accounts for any changes in both the company’s revenue and staff that may occur throughout the year.
  • When using a static budget, some managers use it as a target for expenses, costs, and revenue while others use a static budget to forecast the company’s numbers.

The type of budget shows the business what the static budget should have been by using the actual numbers from the budget period. For instance, if the budget covered the production of 1,000 units, but only made 600 units, then the flexible budget adjusts to account for only the 600 actual units. The flexible budget shows the budgeted items from the static budget, including the cost and the expected sales, compared to the actual results.

The Advantages Of A Flexible Budget

Fixed factory overhead is the same no matter the activity level, and variable costs are a direct function of observed activity. July of 20X9 was hotter than usual, and Mooster found itself actually producing 105,000 gallons. Mooster’s July budget versus actual expense analysis reveals unfavorable variances for materials, labor, and variable factory overhead. Does this mean the production manager has done a poor job in controlling costs? What is needed is a performance report where the budget is “flexed” based on the actual volume. Static budgets don’t allow for making changes in the variables based on a change in activity level.

To compute the value of the flexible budget, multiply the variable cost per unit by the actual production volume. Here, the figure indicates that the variable costs of producing 125,000 should total $162,500 (125,000 units x $1.30). Some costs are variable — they change in response to activity levels — while other costs are fixed and remain the same. For example, direct materials are variable costs because the more goods you make, the more materials you need. The process of preparing a flexible budget is very similar to the traditional static budget process. Let’s assume that you are a small business owner and need to prepare a budget for your aquarium company for the next fiscal year.

Flexible Vs Static Budgets

This type of budgeting changes with a company’s level of activity or volume and is especially useful for businesses that see a lot of variations in cost-related activities throughout the year. Thus, a flexible budget gives different budgeted costs for different levels of activity.

Create your budget with set fixed costs that will not change and variable costs depicted as percentages that can be adjusted based on actual revenue. A flexible budget enables companies to have a more realistic idea of their budgets based on changing costs and profit margins. The focus of this article is to consider the impact of factory utilization on efficiency measurement. To be clear at the start, companies are constantly seeking to improve factory utilization most often by increasing production volumes. All other things being the same, increased production improves average intensity, but will not in itself create an efficiency improvement for environmental aspects.

This helps in a transparent and accurate calculation of variances. A flexible budget is prepared after the end of the budget period.

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