Activity-based budgeting is a budgeting method that uses activity-based costing while preparing budgets. In simple words, activity-based budgeting is a management accounting tool that does not consider the past year’s budget to arrive at the current year’s budget. Instead, it deeply analyzes and researches the activities that incur the cost. Based on the outcome of the study, the resources are allocated to an activity.
Need for Activity-Based Budgeting
Activity-based budgeting is carried out to bring efficiency to the activities of an organization. Budgets are prepared after justifying the cost drivers. Thus, it is activity-oriented and not function-oriented.
Let us now have a look at its benefits.
Advantages of Activity-Based Budgeting
Activity-based budgeting method evaluates each and every cost driver. It takes into consideration all the steps involved in an activity. It eliminates irrelevant and only the necessary activities form a part of the business.
Activity-based budgeting system eliminates all sorts of unnecessary activities, which helps the business to save its costs. The saved cost results in the production of goods and services at a lower cost than that of competitors. It also helps the organization gain a competitive edge in the market.
Business as a Unit
This budgeting technique helps view the business as a single unit and not in the form of departments. The managers or top management prepare the budget for the business unit as a whole and do not keep in mind any single department as done in the case of other budgeting methods.
Elimination of Bottlenecks
The preparation of budgets under activity-based budgeting takes place after deep research and analysis. This study removes all the unnecessary activities of the business. By doing so, the business eliminates all sorts of bottlenecks associated with an activity and carries out its functions more smoothly.
An activity-based budgeting system helps improve the relationship between the organization and its customers. The main aim of this budgeting method is to eliminate unnecessary activities and serve the customers with the best quality at the best price. This enforces (indirectly) the employees of the company to serve the customers in the best way possible and ensure customer satisfaction. In turn, the relationship between the organization and the customers improves. Let us have a look at the disadvantages of activity-based budgeting.
Disadvantages of Activity Based Budgeting
Activity-based budgeting offers many advantages. However, like every process, this too has its disadvantages, as listed below:
Activity-based budgeting requires a deep understanding of various functional areas of the business. If the manager preparing the budget is incapable of understanding and evaluating business areas, it would lead to inaccurate budget preparation.
Activity-based budgeting system is complex in nature. It requires research and analysis of various factors. This budgeting method comprises of estimation of demand and based on that, it estimates resources to be employed in multiple activities.
The process of budgeting in this method consumes a lot of resources for an organization. It needs to employ top officials for conducting numerous analyses. It is a very time-consuming task too. If the business employs these resources in other operational activities, they can give better returns.
Implementation of activity-based budgeting requires trained employees. An amateur employee cannot handle this exercise effectively. So business needs to incur extra costs to train their employees. Moreover, the process requires the involvement of top management, so it proves to be costly too.
Activity-based budgeting focuses on the short-term goals of the business. It does not take into account the long-term scenario of the business. Focusing more on short-term goals rather than long-term goals can prove to be very fatal for the organization.