advantages of flexible budget

Getting early buy-in on this contingency list from the management team may also make evolving financial decisions easier when or if they become necessary down the road. Another feature peculiar of this measure is that the reports of actual costs against those who have been budgeted are significantly more relevant, due to the characteristic of varying depending on the activity.

A flexible budget recalculates your production and overhead costs based on sales data or units sold. You can review these numbers each month to determine which of your products are providing the best profit margins, helping you determine whether it is cost effective to keep producing them.

What Is Flexible Budget

A flexible budgeting approach narrows the gap between actuals and standards due to changes in activity levels. A flexible budget consists of adjusting expenditures according to the evolution of real incomes. The flexible budget is restructured according to activity levels, which is why it is a good performance evaluation tool and useful for any planning. Just like its good odds the flexible budget has its disadvantages as well. It may be a good tool but difficult to formulate, because there are several costs that are not entirely variable. Therefore, it will be necessary to take into account those fixed cost components that must be calculated and then included in the flexible budget formula.

advantages of flexible budget

However, this approach ignores changes to other costs that do not change in accordance with small revenue variations. Consequently, a more sophisticated format will also incorporate changes to many additional expenses when certain larger revenue changes occur, thereby accounting for step costs. By incorporating these changes into the budget, a company will have a tool for comparing actual to budgeted performance at many levels of activity. In summary, flexible budgeting is a budget that has scenarios for different potential volume levels. Flexible budgets act as a benchmark by setting expenditure at various levels of activity.


He graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and received an MBA from Columbia University. We have noticed that the recovery rate (Budgeted hrs/Total expenses) at the activity level of 70 % is $0.61 per hr. If the factory works hrs in a particular month, the allowances @ $0.61 will come put to be $9,760, which is not correct. As shown in the above table, the accurate allowance is computed to be $8,880.

And changes that happen with the level of activity attained, or change in the revenue or other variable factors. More than likely, you dutifully prepare a static budget each year and put it in your desk drawer – and it’s not seen again until it’s time to prepare a new budget. After you get used to flexible budgets, they will become one of your favorite management tools. Unlike a static budget, a flexible budget changes or fluctuates with changes in sales, production volumes, or business advantages of flexible budget activity. A flexible budget might be used, for example, if additional raw materials are needed as production volumes increase due to seasonality in sales. Also, temporary staff or additional employees needed for overtime during busy times are best budgeted using a flexible budget versus a static one. In view of the importance of budgeting in companies and businesses, it is worth analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of both static and flexible budgets, to apply the most convenient.

In the case where the business totally depends upon Mother Nature, i.e., rain, dry and cold, the flexible budget helps the business to estimate there output considering the good or adverse weather conditions. For example, agricultural activities, wool-based industries, etc.


A flex budget uses percentages of revenue or expenses, instead of fixed numbers like a static budget. This approach means you’ll easily be able to make changes in the budgeted expenses that are directly tied to your actual revenue. Hence, any error in books of accounts can mislead the budget preparation and chances of flexible budget variance may increase. It is because the base of the budget starts from the past performance of the company. If sales declined to $150,000 per month, then labor cost should be reduced to $37,500 (25 percent of $150,000). A static budget would not adjust to the decline in revenues and would keep labor costs at the original level. A flexible budget can be found suitable when the business conditions are constantly changing.

advantages of flexible budget

This analysis would compare the actual level of activity so volume variances are not a factor and management can focus on the cost variances only. Notice that a flexible budget will still include fixed costs – rent/mortgage, utilities, etc. Very few business will have exclusively fixed or entirely variable costs. A variable budget allows you to take all of those costs into account. Another benefit to a flexible budget is the variances you get from the budget to actual are smaller and more significant, since you modulate your budget as you go. Your first step in building a flexible budget is to determine what all of your costs are.

What Are Flexible Budgets?

Flexible budgeting can be used to adjust for these large purchases when they occur without requiring any adjustments in following months. These points make the flexible budget an appealing model for the advanced budget user. However, before deciding to switch to the flexible budget, consider the following countervailing issues. The factors of production are prone to certain limitations and are not in human control. Static budgets remain the same, even if you have significant changes from the assumed circumstances during planning. Static budgets are great for keeping your production costs in line.

A flexible budget is prepared after taking into consideration unforeseen changes in the conditions of the business. A flexible budget is defined as a budget that by recognizing the difference between fixed, semi-fixed and variable cost is designed to change the level of activity. Choosing the appropriate types of budgets for businesses is also dependent on how great the level of variance actually is in terms of increased or decreased profits. This variance is directly affected by the nature of expenses as well, which can be fixed or fluctuating in nature. A static budget approaches variance by trying to work in excess resources beforehand for any possible changes in demand down the road, and can therefore lead to issues with inventory.

The factory equipment operates on an average of 3,000 to 6000 hours per month. Let us consider firm M wants to determine the cost of electricity and supplies cost for its factory. Let’s face it – business moves fast, and we have to be flexible for what is thrown at us. Customize Your Model Financial models based on templates aren’t very flexible.

advantages of flexible budget

A flexible budget is much more realistic than fixed budgets since it gives emphasis on cost behavior at different levels of activity. With a flexible budget, it’s easy to show that while costs for a month might have been much higher than budgeted, so were sales – justifying the increase.

Adjust For Changing Costs And Profit Margins

It is specially structured and designed with the purpose of if activity levels change, it adapts to this and of greater coverage in the allocation of resources. Input the final flexible budget from an accounting period into your accounting software to compare it to the expenses you initially anticipated.

For instance, staffing projections may be dependent on an expected long-term contract being finalized, or economic stresses cause you to extend payment deadlines or loosen return policies. No matter what, flexibility serves you at the moment you need it—and pays dividends down the line. This type of budget does not cover the changing events that may happen around the organization, that is, the problems or variants that may arise in the organization’s environment. Budgets are helpful but they can also become oppressive if an individual consistently cannot stay within the limits or passes on opportunities in order to save money. By designing a budget with flexibility in mind, you won’t find yourself stressed out at the end of every month or telling your friends you can’t join them all the time. Just be sure not to use it an excuse to lose the boundaries entirely. A fixed budget does not allow room for any extra, unforeseeable monetary needs.

9 Flexible Budgets

These budgets are different in different levels of activities, which facilitate the ascertainments of fixation of cost, selling prices, and tendering of Quotations. A flexible budget model allows you to analyze multiple scenarios when you are unsure how much revenue you will generate.

Prepare a flexible budget for the three scenarios wherein the activity levels are 80%, 90%, and 100%. Creating a flexible budget begins with assigning all static costs a fixed monthly value, and then determining the percentage of revenue to assign to your variable costs. A flexible budget often uses a percentage of your projected revenue to account for variable costs rather than assigning a hard numerical value to everything.

So, it can prepare flexible budgets with different levels of output based on the analysis of the demand for a similar product. Therefore, we can conclude that with the change in the machine hours of the factory, the flexible budgets also change. Variable expenses in flexible budgets are defined as percentages of sales. For example, if sales were to increase dramatically, flexible budgets would get adjusted to increase spending on marketing to take even more advantage of unexpected increases in revenues. When preparing a Flexible budget, managers are forced to consider the different scenarios and their responses to them.

You’ll get through this chaos by leveraging the benefits of flexible budget variance capabilities within Workday Adaptive Planning, you even might get through it in a stronger position than your competitors. Though powerful anytime, you can imagine how useful this capability would be now, with so much disruption to normal course of business activity. And it’s a safe bet that business planning and budgeting overall will be subject to rapid and ongoing course correction for months to come. By updating budgets to reflect those changes, you can quickly course correct to improve efficiency or enhance performance. But now more than ever, it’s an essential tool for modern FP&A teams.

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