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Effective Budgeting and Operational Cost Control



Now, more than ever, organisations need to ensure they are financially sustainable.  An excellent budgeting process is a crucial tool to achieve this. 

This course takes delegates through the whole budgeting process, from strategic planning, through target-setting and budget negotiation, to budget monitoring and variance analysis.  We examine how key performance indicators can be used to tighten up behaviour within the organisation.  In particular, we explore best techniques for the control of operational costs, and the achievement of radical cost savings where necessary.

Who should attend

This course is designed for Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders, who need to be effective performers in their organization’s budgeting and operational cost control process.  It is beneficial to those who have recently been given a new budget responsibility, or have recently been tasked to control costs within their organisation.  No previous financial knowledge is required.



Grounding your budget in your strategy

  • Developing your strategic plan: gathering and analysing data
  • Creating an operating plan: managing staff numbers and other resources in the light of your strategy
  • Establishing a one-year budget cycle consistent with strategy

Constructing budgets

  • The difference between capital budgets and operational budgets
  • Planning revenues: Why budgets overstate revenue and bringing realism in revenue estimates.
  • Planning costs: variable and fixed costs; absorbing fixed costs

Communicating your budget effectively

  • Negotiating the annual budget process: top-down targets v realism
  • Choosing floor targets, stretch targets, and expected results: selecting targets to influence staff behaviour
  • Summarising budget information effectively; identifying what is and is not controllable by a manager

Effective target setting, measurement and monitoring

  • Choosing appropriate Key Performance Indicators
  • Benchmarking and balanced scorecards
  • Variance analysis; fixed versus flexed budgets

Achieving operational cost savings

  • Reducing cost prices: assertive approaches to purchasing
  • Increasing efficiency: doing more with less resource
  • Zero-based budgeting: a radical approach

At the end of this course, delegates will be able to:

  • Negotiate and participate in the annual budget process
  • Work with up-to-date techniques for achieving cost savings and cost control
  • Understand how budget models are constructed and shared
  • Take part in the setting of realistic targets and KPIs
  • Engage with actual-budget comparisons and variances
  • Understand how the best budgets are rooted in a sound strategic and operational plan

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