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Table of Contents

Lead Story

A political action plan for ISOs

News

Industry Update

New best practices for data storage

Financial reform bill passes. What now?

Cash-only holiday to protest Durbin Amendment

ETA/Strawhecker report: Reason for optimism

Features

Research Rundown

ISOMetrics:
Top 25 privately held industries for the last 10 years

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Evolution Benefits ties prepaid to philanthropy

What's next in gifting technology

Walter Paulsen
Giiv Inc.

Views

Three kinds of consolidation to watch

Brandes Elitch
CrossCheck Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Is dial dead?

Ken Musante
Eureka Payments LLC

Agent or employee: Which are you?

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Budgeting: A crucial management skill

Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resources LLC

Best practices for crisis communications

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

Putting the cold call in its proper place

Jeffrey Shavitz
Charge Card Systems Inc.

More than PCI

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.

Avoid 'always be closing' and other old traps

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Company Profile

Voltage Security Inc.

New Products

Determine the best interchange for each transaction

BINSmart
Merchant Warehouse

Layered protection for ACH

ProtectPay ACH
ProPay Inc.

Inspiration

Focus on success with self-help CDs

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

August 09, 2010  •  Issue 10:08:01

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Budgeting: A crucial management skill

By Vicki M. Daughdrill

The process of creating, monitoring and controlling an annual business budget is a critical management skill for any successful business owner. Once you set your company's goals for the coming year, developing a budget helps you to:

A budget is the basis of every financial plan, the foundation that companies and individuals build on to reach their financial goals. Some people consider a budget an exercise in futility - something to mark off the "to do" list and stick in a drawer until next year.

Other people carve it in stone and never adjust it throughout the year. Finally, there are the people who understand the purpose of the budget; carefully craft a realistic, thoughtful budget; and adjust it throughout the year as necessary.

Some people feel only large businesses need a budget. However, businesses of all sizes should have a budget. It will help your enterprise become financially sound by focusing on the fundamentals of everyday business. The larger your business, the more detailed your budget should be.

Most businesses with a fiscal year of January to December begin the budgeting process in the third quarter of each year so their budgets will be ready at the beginning of the new fiscal year. Rarely is a budget completed on the first effort. It frequently requires edits and revisions. Be patient. Set aside the time needed to carefully consider the budget. When completed, your budget will help you achieve success and reach your financial goals.

Elements of a budget

The website www.answers.com defines a budget as "a spending plan used to allocate resources to accomplish an organization's objectives. This management tool coordinates anticipated expenditures to maximize resources. A budget is time-specific, and it must be flexible to respond to financial and programmatic changes."

The website www.wikipedia.org defines it a bit more simply as "a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving and spending."

Large companies generally have a master budget with a projected balance sheet and income statement. Each master budget contains operating budgets for individual departments, divisions, business lines or units.

Detailed by month or quarter, a good budget allows for adjustment or realignment based on actual income and expenses. The budget is never a rigid or fixed document; it always allows for modifications based on real-time circumstances.

Smaller companies may have a very simple budget that allocates expected revenue and expense distribution throughout the year. It, too, is flexible enough to allow for adjustments when revenue falls short of projections or unexpected expenses arise.

Benefits of a budget

There are several reasons why budgeting and business success go hand in hand. Budgets allow companies to:

A vital skill to master

As with most management skills, budgeting is not easy to master. Fortunately, numerous tools exist in the marketplace to help you learn new skills or strengthen abilities you already have. Entering "business budgeting" at www.amazon.com elicits almost 8,000 hits - from books to software.

In my next article, I will discuss the process of creating a budget for fiscal 2011.

Vicki M. Daughdrill is the Managing Member of Small Business Resources LLC, a management consulting company. E-mail her at vickid@netdoor.com or call her at 601-310-3594.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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