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Chapter 12: Budgeting and Financial Planning

OVERVIEW

Budgeting and financial planning are not stand-alone activities. Budgeting or making a budget is the act of quantifying cost or pricing for an item or list of items, and in the case of communications, the list is likely to be a combination of goods and services. The items on the list may be a one-time occurrence or recur on some periodic basis. Financial planning is the process of striking several budgets based on alternative scenarios to arrive at a point where the budget fits within an overall set of financial parameters for the organization. The result of the budgeting and planning processes provide a financial benchmark within the overall business plan. The budget part of the business plan includes revenue, expenses, and net income, or if expenses exceed revenue, a loss, which is a big no-no. During the course of the year, the budget will be used to compare actual results of operations in current and previous periods, and to forecast results in future periods.

Organizational budgeting and financial planning for an organization typically rests within the chief financial officer function. There are two activities to be concerned with. Accounting is responsible for entering transactions into the system and periodic reporting of actual results. Successful budgeting and planning requires contribution, collaboration, and cooperation from department managers and subject matter experts as well. The communications cost management process described in Chapter 11 envisions working closely with both groups. Successful communications cost management depends on a high level of consensus among...

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