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Budgeting and Beyond

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Budgets and budget control has been known since the early 19th century1. However the use of budget control was until the beginning of the 1920ies in US primarily related to governmental units and states and to a minor extent to business units in practice. At that time James McKinsey describes budgetary control as involving the following2:1. The statement of the plans of all the departments of the business for a certain period of time in the form of estimates2. The coordination of these estimates into a well-balanced program for the business as a whole.3. The preparation of reports showing a comparison between the actual and the estimated performance, and the revision of the original plans when these reports show that such a revision is necessary.As can be seen from the statement budgetary control includes at the same time a planning and coordination mechanism for actions and performance ex ante as well as a control mechanism ex post through a comparison between estimated and actual plans and performance.

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Carsten Rohde

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