May 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm
I am finding difficult to structure the accounting business techniques used as this is very broad . Unfortunately I do not have a mentor , so I would appreciate your help.
Do I need to explain types of budgets, budgeting techniques, variance analysis, standard costing ( even though the organisation in study offer a service and is non-profit? ) or shall I go straight to control systems?May 2, 2014 at 10:40 am
You need to find someone who will act as your mentor as you are required to give a Presentation of your RAP findings to them.
In part 2 of the report you will need to outline some budgetary techniques and then apply some of them to your organization (to satisfy the Understanding & Application assessment criteria 1 & 2) In part 3 you will need to evaluate the appropriateness of the techniques your organisation uses rather than just state them as such, otherwise you will not have any original analysis of your own.
I would suggest that you try to adapt the principles of a SWOT analysis to this part too, that is, assess the budgetary technique(s) actually used by your organisation in terms of their strengths, weaknesses etc. I am not sure about how you come up with a threat though – all I know is that I saw a project failed on this topic and it was for Application and the feedback said they hadn’t used a model and told the student to use a SWOT!!! (So ever since I’ve given this advice). Threats are supposed to be from the external environment so try to find something even if it is a bit tenuous… and of course use the SWOT heading so if the same marker actually marks it, you have ticked their box….. ( they are not going to fail you if your ‘Threat’ is nebulous if everything else meets the performance criteria ) 😀May 2, 2014 at 5:05 pm
Thank you very much for the advise! I think I was going to far with my techniques , as I also was including KPIs, balance scorecard and decision tree!
as for the mentor, I was too late to register in a college to get their mentor services but I still want to submit it on the 21so I will ask my work’s external auditor to sign it for meMay 2, 2014 at 6:06 pm
Generally it is better to outline one or two models / techniques and apply them really well than to go for too many and not do them very well. Personally I’ve found very few students do the Balanced scorecard well at all unless they actually work for the organisation so I tend to discourage its use overall. KPIs would be ok but choose the techniques you can apply the best.
Yes you need to get the mentor to sign or agree or whatever as occasionally OBU do check!February 18, 2015 at 7:04 am
Hi Need urgent help getting the project started. I have no idea how to proceed. I chosen topic 1 and have an organisation that has agreed to be my case study.
If anyone can just give me tips how do go about carrying out the project. I would appreciate it greatly.February 20, 2015 at 8:45 am
Your research will need to establish whether there are clear links with the performance management and how well the budgetary control system feeds into the decision making process (are variance reports acted on; are managers held accountable for discretionary/controllable costs etc. are budget forecasts reviewed and revised appropriately? is there evidence of improvements that can be traced to the system? Is feedback used appropriately?) Possibly a management questionnaire may help here.
Here are a few Project Objectives and research questions and how to approach them that you may like to consider. Obviously these are generalised and depend on the actual organisation chosen and what information will be available
1. To identify the budgetary control systems used by the organisation
2. To look at the role of budgetary control system in performance management and decision making in the organisation
3. To assess the effectiveness of the budgetary control systems as a performance management tool in the organisation.
4. To give appropriate recommendations to management.
1. Which forms of budgeting methods and control systems does the organisation use?
– Outline these preferably with a diagram including feedback loops to illustrate the control systems.
-Show the level of management involved and their contribution/participation
2. Does the organisation use measures of performance management e.g. KPIs, Variance analysis ?
– Investigate these, discuss their relevance to both the manager they relate to and assess whether the manager is being judged by these and the importance of the KPIs to the organisation as a whole
3. Are there clear links between the measurements of performance and the manager’s ability to control the cost (e.g. non-discretionary costs/ discretionary costs) ?
– discuss these and any issues arising from this supplying examples and evidence about whether budgets in the organisation are motivating/ applied fairly/ have improved the performance of managers and their departments.
4. Do the benefits for having a budgetary control system outweigh the costs both in financial terms and in improving efficiency of the organisation to meet its objectives?
– e.g. do the financial results provide evidence of improved performance? has staff turnover decreased? Is staff morale good/bad; (with these it may be appropriate to see if there is a relationship between particular departmental managers’ tenure in the role and their ability to retain staff)
It may be appropriate to do a management questionnaire but you must conduct this properly (see p.36 of the information pack on primary data collection). Markers are very critical of most questionnaires because often it is obvious that students have either faked the data or imply that the data “proves” something when it doesn’t, because the data is based on subjective perceptions. Only facts can be used to state something is true (and when data is fabricated it rarely stacks up and is credible). Both these common mistakes will lead to fails in Application and also Evaluation
In a nutshell to do a successful T1 you need to establish the actual functioning of the budgeting process in this organisation and investigate how it affects decision making and whether it operates as a means of controlling costs and achieving the organisation’s business objectives. Document the actual process and establish definite outcomes and measure these in quantitative terms. Rather than trying to rely on individuals’ subjective perception of what they think happens via a questionnaire frame your questions to extract facts from the appropriate people. It may be appropriate to have some open-ended questions to get particular information of managers’ experiences and expectations but be careful how you interpret these when discussing effectiveness of the budgetary process – cite their comments as appropriate but steer clear of making sweeping statements unless there is sufficient evidence, particularly independent evidence from elsewhere that supports the comments you make
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