Online ExpertTrack in Business & Management

A Practical Guide to Budgeting

Understand the importance of budgeting for personal and professional finances as you gain the skills to create accurate budgets.

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Develop practical budgeting skills

Budgeting is a crucial tool to help plan for the future and manage costs.

On this ExpertTrack, you’ll develop the skills to help you budget, whether you’re currently working in a finance position, have aspirations to, or are involved in a small business, charity, or community group. While the focus is on business budgeting, the ExpertTrack will also help you to learn to manage your personal finances more effectively.

You’ll learn why budgeting is such an important exercise for both businesses and individuals as you explore the different levels of budgeting and how you can put them into practice.

Explore business budgeting

You’ll discover how businesses use budgeting to gain essential insights that will help make informed decisions.

Next, you’ll explore the budgeting approaches businesses can take, each with different levels of staff involvement in the budgeting process.

Following this, you’ll learn about data and information and how these are vital for budgets. You’ll understand the importance of both internal and external information and how it may be used in budgeting.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to budgeting. Each organisation must use an approach that suits them and their practices.

Delve into the budgeting process

After mastering the theory of budgeting, you’ll explore the processes behind it and the tasks that take place to help you find the budgeting approach that works for your context.

You’ll look at costing in detail, from categorising and organising costs through to calculating costs using different methods. This is followed by forecasting: how to use information to make accurate predictions of future costs or sales figures.

You’ll look at the difference between actual results and the budget, and discover how the difference is known as a variance. You’ll then apply this knowledge with a variance analysis exercise.

Learn how to create a cash and functional budget

You’ll then put your skills into practice as you learn how to produce budgets. You’ll start with a functional budget – prepared for any function within the business – and finish with preparing a cash budget, detailing all cash inflows and outflows.

Finally, you’ll learn how to deal with limitations that organisations face on a regular basis, such as materials and labour shortages, so that the business still makes the most profit.

Test your knowledge as you’re guided by the experts at Kaplan.

On the final course of this ExpertTrack, you’ll take a series of tests to help cement your budgeting knowledge and gain practical skills.

By the end, you’ll have the ability to budget for organisations or manage your finances in your personal life.

Key skills you will learn

  • Management accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Cash budgets
  • Functional budgets
  • Variance analysis
  • Data Information
  • Analysing and categorising costs
  • Calculating costs
  • Forecasting
  • Data and information
  • Limiting factor analysis
  • Approaches to budgeting

Learning outcomes

By the end of the ExpertTrack, you’ll be able to...

  • Explain the seven benefits of budgeting for an organisation
  • Assess different approaches to budgeting
  • Summarise the need for information when budgeting
  • Identify sources of information when budgeting
  • Classify costs in different ways
  • Produce a standard cost card
  • Calculate fixed and variable costs
  • Identify the differences between fixed, flexible and flexed budgets
  • Calculate forecasts using a variety of methods
  • Calculate variances using appropriate methods
  • Identify the difference between adverse and favourable variances
  • Calculate functional budgets
  • Identify the information needed to set functional budgets
  • Demonstrate how to include different types of receipts and payments in a cash budget
  • Calculate receivables, payables and discounts
  • Identify the limiting factor using calculations
  • Demonstrate an understanding of practical budgeting

Experience required

This ExpertTrack is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about budgets and accounting.

It starts at the basic level and requires no prior experience. It then moves on to intermediate and more advanced topics to cover a comprehensive overview of budgeting.

Getting started

This ExpertTrack is aimed at those with no prior knowledge. It starts with the very basics and finishes with a sound understanding of all things budgeting.

It is suitable for those in need of a practical skill which can be applied in the workplace as well as using it for your own personal finances.

ExpertTrack course overview

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World-class learning with Kaplan

Kaplan UK is a leading international provider of educational and career services. Building on a rich heritage of more than 50 years of training accountants and financial professionals, Kaplan UK serves more than 48,000 students a year, both based in the UK and from overseas, who train for AAT, CIMA, ACCA and ICAEW qualifications.

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