Budgeting: preparing estimates of income

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Tutorial.png Unit 7 

Introduction | Incremental Budgeting | Zero-Based Budgeting | Periodic Zero-Based Budgeting | Service-Level Budgeting | Performance-Based Budgeting


Budgets are important financial planning and management tools that list all projected revenue (income) and expenditure for a particular period, often a financial year (FY). Nevertheless, many managers of ODL institutions feel that the annual budgeting exercise is simply a chore. Monitoring the draw down of budgeted funds poses what they believe are unnecessary constraints on how they run their departments.

There appear to be a bewildering array of budgeting models. Each national government and ODL institution seems to have its own way of going about it, developed through years of experience. It would be impossible to provide a comprehensive overview of the range of processes currently in use in Commonwealth countries. Instead, this unit aims to introduce a five basic approaches to budgeting and suggests ways in which these can be of assistance in managing ODL programmes. These approaches or budgeting models are:

  • Incremental budgeting
  • Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB)
  • Periodic ZBB
  • Service-Level Budgeting (Modified ZBB)
  • Performance Based Budgeting (PBB)

The problems associated with securing sufficient funds to finance budget projections are discussed in Units 10 and 11.

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By the end of this unit, you will be able to:

  • list at least three common approaches to budgeting for public-sector bodies;
  • describe in general terms how each of these approaches works in practice;
  • discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches;
  • critically reflect on the approach used in your ODL institution to draw up the annual budget.