Essay about Zero Based Budgets

Words: 2138
Pages: 9

Zero-based budgeting starts from a "zero base" and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. Budgets are then built around what is needed for the upcoming period, regardless of whether the budget is higher or lower than the previous one.
Because of its detail-oriented nature, zero-based budgeting may be a rolling process done over several years, with only a few functional areas reviewed at a time by managers or group leadership.
Zero-based budgeting can lower costs by avoiding blanket increases or decreases to a prior period's budget. It is, however, a time-consuming process that takes much longer than traditional, cost-based budgeting. The practice also favors areas that achieve direct revenues or
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2.Justifying every line item can be problematic for departments with intangible outputs. 3.Requires specific training, due to increased complexity vs. incremental budgeting. 4.In a large organization, the amount of information backing up the budgeting process may be overwhelming.
The zero-based budgeting system puts the burden of proof on the manager, and demands that each manager justify the entire budget in detail and prove why he or she should spend the organization's money in the manner proposed. A "decision package" must be developed by each manager for every project or activity, which includes an analysis of cost, purpose, alternative courses of action, measures of performance, consequences of not performing the activity, and the benefits.
This approach is different than traditional budgeting techniques due to the analysis of alternatives. Managers must identify alternative methods of performing each activity first, such as evaluating the costs and benefits of making a project or outsourcing it, or centralizing versus decentralizing operations. In addition, managers must identify different levels for performing each alternative method of the proposed activity. This means establishing a minimum level of spending, often 75 percent of the current operating level, and then developing separate decision packages that include the costs and benefits of additional