The value of a budget allocation plan for businesses

Budgeting is one of the most crucial aspects of any business. However, many companies don't budget "smartly" since they don't have a budget allocation plan. It could be the difference between success and failure in your business. 

What is a Budget Allocation Plan?

A budget allocation plan is a blueprint of how much you can spend on a program, event, person, or product within an organization. Essentially, it is the amount allocated to expenditures, telling staff how much funding is available, and having them to stick to the allocations.

Usually, businesses create a budget by taking into account expenditures, resources, and expenses from each department from the previous year. Identifying the needs, program expenses, and available resources of the company in the coming months can help to allocate monetary resources better. This can boost employees' confidence and productivity.

Overall, the goal of the plan is to account for the monetary resources of a company, thus ensuring money is spent as planned. In other words, the plan keeps the company in check by allowing management members to understand when they are spending too much. 

However, with only 54% of small businesses having a budget many companies are vulnerable to overspending. So how can a business make a plan that works? 

How to make a plan for budget allocations

A good question to ask yourself is, what is a good budget allocation plan? A good plan entails the allocation of resources. It is a realistic, transparent, and professional approach to an organization's finances. 

The first thing that management and sales teams should do is understand and outline all the expenditures, allocation limits, revenue, and standard budget categories of the last few months or years. By looking at the amount spent on direct costs and indirect costs, the company can account for, limit, or adjust its expenses, thus conserving its resources. 

Some companies keep subscriptions on for many years without using them. Looking back at these costs can help determine overall expenses, determine direct costs, and the assigned expenditure for these services. 

Furthermore, analyzing past spending can help companies form a performance trend to predict expenses and expenditures in the future. After all, if we write an unrealistic budget, no department, employee, or staff member will truly follow it since it just isn't realistic. 

Allocating Budgets across Departments 

You already understand the importance of a budget. But it is crucial that your employees know that the maximum amount of money they can obtain for a fiscal year stays within the allocation plan. Therefore, consider allocating across departments by; 

Determine spending requirements

No allocation plan is as good as facts and figures, so you want to make spending estimates based on historical data. Have each team discuss and provide details. Furthermore, you may find it helpful to consider all business costs, especially fixed costs and variable costs. 

Of course, you may be past the startup stage, but if your allocation plan will be effective, it is essential to include this cost. Fixed costs, on the other hand, are consistent expenses that occur weekly, monthly, or yearly.

For example, salaries, health insurance, travel and subsistence item, etc. The variable costs fluctuate and may be dependent on sales and revenue. For example, your sales team may have to attend a conference, so paying for round trip airfare, and accommodation will increase your personnel expenses for that period.

Since it may be challenging to set a fixed price for variable costs, it is best if you considered buffering this part of your allocation plan (to the nearest hundred or thousand) - to accommodate increments and unforeseen expenses. 

Generating a reliable revenue

It is imperative for companies to have reliable revenue so that they can have a reliable budget. It is also reasonable to have an expenditure line with the maximum amount payable. If a company has an inconsistent revenue source, it is tough to devise a competent way of calculating its budget or predicting overall performance. 

A better way to secure a reliable revenue plan is through long-term contracts and partnerships that yield monthly revenue.

If an organization has yet to have a reliable revenue, it is crucial that the company knows where to make cuts in case of an economic downturn to ensure that the company will not be in the negative. However, if that is not feasible, it is crucial to find new ways to generate reliable funding sources so that they can still continue to survive in the long term. 

Executing your allocation plan 

The first few months after developing an allocation plan should focus on execution. Note that it may be slightly challenging to get used to the changes that come with cutting costs. 

Ultimately, the first few months of execution determine the success of your plan. However, if the company can not follow up with the plan or there has been no change, it may mean that the plan needs changes. An unsuccessful plan may not be a negative. Instead, it should be an opportunity to improve your company.

Monitor the allocation plan

Monitoring the allocation plan is great for accountability, especially with economic inflation. It is essential for the company to look back at the budget allocations every few months. 

Furthermore, recording your spending, expenses, budget allocations, and purchase orders will further promote accountability in the company. This will help employees determine allocated funds per department, what they have spent, and how expensive it is.

It will create a sense of responsibility and accountability and promote an ideal management culture in several organizations. 

Adjusting your allocation plan 

Your plan may not be perfect. Chances are, it won't be. It is not unusual to make some corrections that include fund transfers from one category of the plan to another. This is especially ideal for a category with surplus funds. Adjusting the budget keeps your results in view and prevents the adverse effects of an economic downturn. 

Allocation costs

There are usually two classifications of allocation costs: direct and indirect costs. 

Direct costs

Direct expenses that are directly related to a product or service. These typically include raw materials, personnel, allowance, vehicle costs, holiday pay, services rendered, and more.

These costs are usually very easily traced since they fluctuate with production levels, such as inventory. If a company is doing well, the direct costs are usually higher than before. 

Indirect costs

Indirect costs are not so easily traced. They're "overhead expenses" which cannot be easily traced back to a project or product. A few examples of indirect costs are utilities, premise rent, equipment, security, operation and maintenance, and more.

Indirect costs usually fluctuate quite a lot monthly since they don't tie into how the company is doing. 

Business Budgeting Methods 

Organizations use different methods in determining the best budget for their resources. However, four are common: incremental budgets, zero-based budgets, value proposition budgets, and activity-based budgets. 

Incremental budget

An increment budget reviews last year's budget to determine the current year's performance. It is last year's figure plus or minus the allocated percentage. This method is ideal for any business. A factor to consider in this program is funding and the change in primary cost.     

Zero-based budget

This method assumes that all departments have zero budgets. Each department in the organization must justify its expenses. Money management is good because it avoids non-essential costs and spending. It is an excellent example of when you want to shake things up in your business. 

Value proposition: this falls between incremental and zero-based budget to produce a sweet balance and profitability. It analyzes different expenditures and seeks to; 

  • Understand why a department spends a certain amount of money. 
  • Justify expenses 
  • Determine the value expenditures provided to various departments within the organization.  

Activity-based:

The activity-based budget is prepared based on targets, especially for a newer organization interested in budget allocation and funds maintenance. The activity-based approach promotes performance and is a better way for the organization to allocate its funds. If you don't spend more time analyzing the program, it could prove detrimental to your developing enterprise.  

Conclusion

Overall, a budget allocation plan is crucial for any business. It is a good habit to track and control the costs related to your business and improve the financial health of a company while eliminating wasteful or toxic spending habits.

Your business will enjoy growth when you have a good picture of your finances. Remember that all spending information is relevant in the process. If you need to keep your records safe and accessible, you may consider opting for software. If you want to stay aligned with your business objectives and easily monitor your spending and performance, check out our free budgeting template.

Get a real-time overview of your metrics with gini

Access free templates

gini currently provides free templates for businesses to monitor business performance, manage your money effectively, and make it easier to report your financials. Check them out here.

Get a grip on your finances and accelerate your growth with gini

With our AI-powered financial analysis software, you can get the necessary answers to make the tough decisions needed to drive growth.

Just connect gini with your cloud-based accounting software (Xero/Quickbooks online), and our CFO services can help you create customized financial reports (income statement/balance sheet) and cash flow forecasting models for you. We also offer financial planning services and growth opportunities for small businesses and startups. Click here to start your 14-day free trial.

Get the latest gini templates and insights straight to your inbox

New templates, trending metrics content and tips from entrepreneurs to help you fundraise and grow.
Request access

By clicking submit, you consent to allow gini to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.