ACCOUNTING FOR DECISION-MAKING

Every company, whether large or small, faces several dilemmas when confronted with the budgeting process. This essay traces the budgeting process from its beginning concepts to the budgeting of today by addressing the concept that budgets are sometimes referred to as “tools of repression and barriers to change.”

It is shown that there was some truth to that statement historically but that today budgeting is an essential part of a company’s strategic management process. The essay traces budgeting from its original concept of analyzing the past to its current status as a tool for predicting the future.

Along with an exploration of major theories, including the concept of Economic Value Added, there is a brief discussion of the role that budget projections played in a takeover consideration of a software company by a games manufacturer. The company name as used in the essay is hypothetical although the example is based in fact.

Proponents of the statement that budgets are “a tool of repression and a barrier to change” are as firmly grounded in reality as the Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. In fact, the scene between Alice and the Cheshire Cat could be used to typify the dilemma every company, whether large or small, faces when confronted with the budgeting process.

It will be recalled that Alice, while lost, asked the Cheshire Cat “which way I ought to walk from here?” to which the cat answered “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice, in response said “I don’t much care where so long as I get somewhere” to which the cat answered “Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk, “if you only walk long enough” (Carroll,

The cat’s statement “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to” could be used as a defining statement for any course of academic study on budget planning and analysis. In this paper, the initial quotation calling budgets a tool of repression an…

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