BUDGETING PROCESS Definition

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BUDGETING PROCESS is a systematic activity that develops a plan for the expenditure of a usually fixed resource, such as money or time, during a given period to achieve a desired result.

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HIGH-LOW METHOD of approximating cost behavior considers only two points of data, the highest and lowest, for activity within the relevant range. The method first focuses on cost changes, allowing an analyst to determine the presence of any variable cost. Next, fixed costs are determined by subtracting variable cost from the total cost at either of the two data points. The calculation is an algebraic procedure used to separate a semi-variable cost into the variable and fixed components. The method calls for using the extreme data points (highest and lowest x - y pairs) in the COST-VOLUME FORMULA y = a + bx; where a = fixed cost portion and b = the variable rate.

BUDGET is an itemized listing of the amount of all estimated revenue which a given business anticipates receiving, along with a listing of the amount of all estimated costs and expenses that will be incurred in obtaining the above mentioned income during a given period of time. A budget is typically for one business cycle, such as a year, or for several cycles (such as a five year capital budget). Of the many kinds of budgets, a CASH BUDGET shows CASH FLOW, an EXPENSE BUDGET lists expected payments of money, and a CAPITAL BUDGET shows the anticipated payments for CAPITAL ASSETS. See FORECAST, PROJECTION.

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