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Budget and Budgetary Control – The Effectiveness on Local Government System

what is budgetary control

Budget and Budgetary Control  – The Effectiveness on Local Government System

Budget and Budgetary Control  – The Effectiveness on Local Government System: The development and execution of fiscal action plans, is a major public resource allocation process, reflecting a mirror image of the state in terms of social values and priorities. This is the process of allocating resources to meet demands, as well as converting rhetoric to reality in the political system. That process should link the past, present and future in orderly and ordered way.

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Before the beginning of every financial year, Government at any level announces their budget for the New Year. They state the objectives they anticipate to pursue over the period, and the plan of action through which to attain their objectives. The budget statement is consequently followed by the reactions of interested members of the public indicating their support or criticism of the budget usually, interested members of the public react to the budget for some days after which the government is left to settle down to the execution of its budget. This situation has been there from year to year nevertheless most of the problems of government budget was design to solve also continue from year to year.

The failure or otherwise of local government budgeting has attracted the intention of many citizens as well as scholars to conclude that local government as an exercise is futility, notwithstanding, the kind of position will not help the situation.

Budget at every level of government is seen as a tool that assists in calculating and meeting the cost associated with social events. The problems faced by budget at local government level need urgent solutions, in as much as the same budget has worked at other levels. It is pertinent to budget.

This study tends to examine the effectiveness of budget and budgetary control in the local government system.

Statement of the Problem

The question whether budgeting in the local government is formality or reality has attracted the attention of many scholars and researchers.

This study is an attempt to investigate the effectiveness of budget and budgetary control in the local government system. It tends to discover how local government can make use of a prepared budget to achieve effective and efficient result results.

The study will specifically attempt to answer the following questions.

  • What are the causes of failure in the local government areas?
  • What budgetary techniques can give efficient result?
  • How can effective budgetary control bring about efficient in the local government system?
  •  What effect can the poor application of budget and budgetary control be to local government system?

 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to determine how the budgetary control enables government more effectively to plan, control, coordinate and evaluate its activities.

The secondary objectives include the following;

To know how effective budgetary control can bring about efficiency in the local government system.

To know the effect of poor application of  budget and budgetary control to local government system.

To know whether poor application of budget and budgetary control is the cause of failure in the local government system.

Research Questions

        i.            How can effective budgetary control bring about efficiency in the local government system?

      ii.            What are the effects of poor application of budget and budgetary control to the local government system?

     iii.            How does poor application of budget and budgetary control cause failure in the local government system?

Formulation of Hypothesis  

Ho: Effective budget and budgetary control cannot bring about efficiency in   the local government system

H1 : Effective budget and budgetary control can bring about efficiency in the local government system.

H0 : Poor application of budget and budgetary control does not have any effect on the local government system

H1 . Poor application of budget and budgetary control has effect in the local government system. 

H0 : Poor application of budget and budgetary control does not cause failure in the local government system.

H1 . Poor application of budget and budgetary control cause failure in the                  local government system.

Significance of the Study

The study will be benefited in many respects more especially as it concern the meaning of budget and budgetary control, the types of budgeting and how it benefit the organization; both profit and non-profit making organizations.

This work is also significant in the sense that it will:

  1. Determine whether the budget and budgetary control facilitates planning and controlling functions of management in any given organization.
  2. Provide a good bench mark for measuring performance.
  3. Serve as documentary evidence of the government policies, economic growth, development, employment and other goals for good governance.
  4. Ensure that local government operates within the scope of its corporate objectives.
  5. Determine the role of budget as a tool for effective and efficient management of the human and material resources.

The research work will help the local government immensely to analyze and carry-out the budget and budgetary control activities for the effective performance of the organization

Limitation of the Study

This research work emphasizes on the budget and budgetary control and its usefulness in the local government system. The study also examines the important of budget and budgetary control to the local government and other organizations and how it encourages the progress of the organization.

The research work seeks to pinpoint the improvement in budgeting and its control in every organization. The above would enhance the researcher to reach useful conclusion and also to make useful recommendation.

Definition of terms

Budgeting:  The certified nation accountant, the official journal of the institute of chartered accountants of Nigeria. Jan/ March 2006, volume 14 No 1 by Prof. EDET B. AKPAKPAN. Define budgeting as the process in which the objectives, policies, and policy measure, funding requirements, sources and allocation of funds stated in the budget are determined.

Budget evaluation:   This is a process that determines as systematically and objectively as possible the relevance, efficiency effectiveness, impact and sustainability of activities in the light of the budget. Evaluation is carried out during implementation, a review after completion.

Budget reporting: This is an account of a particular event situation, activity, programme   and project of concern such as a budget which provided based on due investigations and contains facts, opinions and recommendations on which to base effective decision.

Annual reporting:   According to part B: AKPAKPAN annual report could be the production and publication of an annual report and financial statement in a timely manner, completes the accounting cycle. This could report on performance against predetermined objectives and the budget approved at the start of financial year.

Meaning of Budget and Budgetary Control

The Nigeria accountant, official journal of ICAN (Jan//march 2005) vol. 38 No. 1 by Olabode M. Defined budgeting as the act of preparing or formulating a budget. In federal Nigeria context, budgeting could be described as the annual statement of income and expenditure of the national, state and local government. It can be conceived as a process of taking deliberate measure aimed at moving the relevant economic system from its current state towards a specified desired state.

Abdullar(2006) pointed out  that budget is a device intended to provide greater effectiveness in achieving organizational efficiency, the budget sets for priorities as well as levels of spending, ways of financing and spending and a plan for managing the funds.

Management account defined budget as a plan quantified in monetary terms, prepared and approved prior to a definite period of time, +which usually show the planned income to be generated and or expenditure to be incurred during the period and the capital to be employed to  attain a given objectives. To management account, budget is also an expression of management plans in quantitative and financial terms. Economist on their own idea defines budget as an official document showing the expected revenue and the expenditure for a given fiscal year.

Then Osibote (2005) in the journal of ANAN.  Conceived his own idea about the budgetary control as the budget or budgets to control activities of the organization. It is an accounting tools for planning and controlling Functions of the management in an organization, once the appropriate sets of budgets has been applied, the will be used as a means of allocating responsibilities, the use of statement and report for controlling performance and cost of the management.

Budget and budgetary control is also a techniques for the establishment of budget, relating the responsibilities of executives to the requirement of a policy, it is a management functions, which is essential if control is to be established over the different sections of the business. It uses planning and forecasting in order to achieve the objectives of the business and seeks to maintain effective performance by coordinating the various departments.

For a budget to provide this type of information and control, it must involve the following steps:

There must be adoption of mutually agreed targets of achievement to service as a milestone. Careful comparison of the actual performance and out come with the corresponding pasts of plan.

A system for periodic monitoring of performance. Financial statement must be prepared on a timely basis throughout the year and a comparison made to the budget, right on the statements.

Condition for an effective Budgetary Programmes.

KIABEL (2000) opined that the management must make hard decision about the company’s future if profits are to be expected. The best way to prepare for changing conditions is to provide a frame work that contains a specific, but sufficiently flexible plan to accommodate unanticipated changes. And the entire process of providing this frame work is known as budgeting. And budgeting also aid management in planning, coordinating and controlling operation. If management will consider the most important one, it must create an environment receptive to a fully implemented budget program; this made us to understand that most attempts in budgeting even small ones will prove helpful.

Before an effective budgetary programme will be in a good condition, it must involve the following items:

  1.    A health business organization.
  2.   Through a sound accounting system
  3.    A search program
  4.    A plan for administering the budget
  5.    The ideas of executives and employees.

Preparation of Budgeting.   

The Nigeria accountant, journal of ANAN (2000) when analyzing the preparation of

budgeting, pointed out that the budget development process and the degree of detail within individual budgets vary among companies. In small companies, one person may prepare the entire budget. In the big business, many people put their talents and inputs i.e. ideas from another place will be put together in preparing budgeting. However, for a budget to be effective it must be a joint effort of many people. It must by working document; which form the basis for action.

Here are the basic steps that an organization should follow on order to prepare a well conceived budget.

A list of objectives or goals of the organization   for the following year should be prepared. For many organizations, this process will be essentially re-evaluation of the relative priority of the existing programmes. If this is not done, the business that fail to constantly re-evaluat  and update its programmes is in danger of being left behind.

The cost of each objectives or goals listed above should be estimated.

The total expected income should be compared with the expense of achieving  the objectives or goals, after that the expected income and expenses is probably the most important step to take during the year because it is at this point that the programmes for the coming year is fixed.

The final proposed budget should be submitted to the appropriate body for notification when ratified; every body will be firmly committed to the plan of action.

EYISI (2003) on her own idea said that the preparation of a budget follows a steady sequence of preparing individual operating budgets. The sequence may summarily be sales, production, direct material usage and purchases, direct hour, factory overhead budget etc. this must then be gathered together and used in the preparation of the master budget involving the budget profit and loss account and balance sheet

The author further discussed about two major problems that stand out first in the preparation of budget.

Firstly, the budget administration which involves setting a clearly defined organizational structure along operational departments showing hours of authorities and responsibilities, setting guideline and assisting technically in budget conflict of interests, and ideas.

Secondly, the limiting factor in every organization preparing and agreeing budget are limited factors such as consumer demand, production capacity, shortage of labour and materials etc. these forms determine the activity level upon which the budget is prepared.

Functions of Budgeting

There are the functions of budgeting that organization cannot do without which involves.

  1.     Planning Annual Operation:  Every organization must see that the annual operation of their organization is planned very well to meet the organization goals and for the activeness of the business, because without planning for annual operation, the organization may collapse.
  2.    Coordination:  The activities of the various parts of the organization should be coordinated very well to ensure that the parts are in harmony with each other the managers of each sub-unit should be coordinated to be aware of others requirements.
  3.     Communication: Budget communicates plans to the managers responsible for carrying them out, without communication the sub-unit would not be aware about the budget planning.
  4.    Motivation:   Budget always intends to motivate managers to perform in line with the organizational goals.
  5.   Controlling Activities: Budget help manager to control the activities of the organization so as to achieve the objective set during budgeting period.
  6.   Evaluation: The performance of managers and organizational units should be evaluated. The way in which performance is evaluated will be a dominating influence on how a manager behaves in the future and therefore worthy of separate consideration.

Budgetary Control Techniques

Public finance in Nigeria by Ugwu Monday J. of  Okreke(2003) discussed about  budgetary control techniques, but  before he proceed, he defines budgetary control as a means of control in which the actual state of affairs is compared with that planned for, so that appropriate action may be taken with a regard to any deviation before it is too late.

Budgetary control techniques are now a result of continues comparison of actual results with operations. In addition, budget estimates need checking and revising when necessary. Successful budget control requires careful analysis of both actual result and budget estimates in the business organization. Budget control technique represents the mechanics adopted in budget preparation

Among these techniques are:

Zero base budgeting (ZBB): This is a techniques of budget preparation where all activities of the business are re-evaluated each time a budget is prepared ie. It assumes that references are not made to past or previous data. In a zero budgeting every thing starts newly, meaning that nothing of the past activity exists. This can be seen in a newly established industry.

Planning Programming Budgeting System:   This is a method of budget preparation that lays emphasis on a particular program to be executed for the period before its budget preparation.

Traditional Budgeting:  This is the most common method used in budget preparation. This techniques makes reference from past data or activities that is believing that previous data exist it becomes a basis for the next budget preparation.

Performance Budgeting:   This method lays emphasis on the performance of a particular periods before embarking on a new budget for example a firm budgeted for a profit plan of #8m with expenditure proposal of  N4.5m.  If  this is achieved he can now decide to improve on the performance by budgeting for  N12m. This techniques emphasis that budgets are prepared based on the performance of previous budgets.

Objectives of expenditure budgeting: This techniques is about the objectiveness of expenditure to be included in the budget ie. Any activity to be budgeted for, must serve as useful purpose towards the achievement of organizational goals.

Organizational Administration of Budgeting

According to the Nigeria accountant journal of ICA (2000) by BARIYIMA D.K. budget organization and administration as the ways of management  techniques for a budget lays down management’s plans regarding the economic resources to be is responsible for compilation of the budget, a budget committee with representative from all sections of the business should be appointed to plan and coordinate the budgets while in large organizations a budget officer is appointed to carry out the policy decision of the budget committee.

In organizing and administering a budget system, the following characteristic may be applied:

  1.      Budget Centre:   Units responsible for the preparation of budget. A budget center may encompass several cost centers.
  2.     Budget committee: This comprises the senior member of the organization i.e. departmental heads and executives (with the managing director as chairman). Every part of the organization should be represented on the committee, so there should be a representative from sales, production, marking and others.

Functions of the Budget Committee: The budget committee can be functioning according to BARIYIMA include the following:

  1.         Coordination of the preparation of budgets and the issues of a manual.
  2.         Issuing of timetables for the preparation of budget
  3.         Provision of  information to assist budget and investigation of variances.
  4.         They serve as secretary to the budget committee
  5.         They communicate the committee instruction
  6.        They prepare the master budget.

Budget officer: The work of budget officer is to control the budget administration. Their job involves:

  1.          Leasing between the budget committee and manager responsible for budget preparation
  2.         Dealing with budgetary control problems
  3.         Ensuring that deadlines are met.
  4.         Educating people about budgetary control

 Budget manual: This is a document with which the budget  are prepared. It can

  1.          Charts the organization
  2.         Details  the budget procedures
  3.         Contains account code for items of expenditure and revenue.
  4.        Timetables the process
  5.        Clearly defines the responsibility of person involved in the budgeting system.

Budget education:   This is the way of educating the people involved in the budget preparation, so that they will know where to specialize in the work of budgeting .example are:

  1.              Seminar
  2.            Workshop

The Key Purpose of Budgeting: Management and cost accounting in the views of Drary (2000) pointed directly to the view of the key purpose of budgeting, he said that budgeting is a detailed plan, expressed in a quantitative terms, that specifies how an organization will acquire and use resources during a particular period of time. The procedures used to develop a budget constitute a budgeting system.

Budget system has five primary purposes they are:

  1. Planning
  2. Facilitating communication and coordination
  3. Allocating resources
  4. Managing financial and organizational resources
  5.  Evaluating performance and providing incentives

Planning:  The most obvious purpose of a budget is to quantify a plan of action. The budgeting process forces the individuals who constitute an organization to plan ahead for the well performance of an organization.

Facilitating Communication and Coordination. For an organization to be effective, each manager throughout the organization must be aware of the plans made by other mangers.

Allocating Resource: Naturally an organizations resource are limited and budgets provide one means of allocating resources among competing users.

Managing Financial and Operational Performance: A budget is a plan, and plans are subject to change. Therefore a budget serves as a useful bench mark with which actual results can be compared.

Evaluating Performance and Providing Intensives: Comparing actual results with budgeted results also help managers to evaluate the performance of individuals, departments, divisions or entire companies since budget are used to evaluate performance, they can be used to provide incentives for people to perform well.

Budgetary Control in Socio-Economic Development, Government and Private Industry Compared:

AKPAKPAN (2006) highlighted that the concern for budgetary control should not be what goes to tiers of government but what is done with the resource available to each tires of government. Control mechanism must be instituted to ensure budget implementation. The good organizational structure for purpose of budget implementation should be maintained since without it performances become impossible. Control is the first requisites of budgeting, budget control not accurately account for the expenditure of fund. This to a certain extent explains the inability of the fiscal policy to upgrade the efficiency or effectiveness of the public service.

In Nigeria today budgeting has performed more as political instrument than as an economic instrument. Mobilization budget support was made without the capacity to figure out what to do i.e. making right choices. The comparison of what happened the previous year, have organized budget around activities or functions.

Government and Private Industry Compared

There are similarities and difference in the ways in which government and private industry uses budgetary control in the management of organization.

The illustration of this point is shown below in a tabular form.

The Comparisons between Government and Private Industry      

Category: Bank

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