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Budgeting involves setting financial goals and standards for an enterprise.
The primary objective of the budget is establish a financial framework for
the operations of the business. The accounting period for the budget is
usually either the calendar year or the fiscal year. As we have noted, the
fiscal year is any arbitrarily chosen twelve-month period that does not
necessarily correspond to the calendar year. Many businesses have
provisions for review and change of the budget more frequently, such as
semiannually, quarterly, or even monthly.
A generally accepted budgeting device is a flexible master budget. This
budget foresees that management plans to operate the business at
various levels of activity and that all the different activities of the
enterprise are included in the financial forecast. Budgets for various
sections of the company are gathered together into one overall budget.
Then, as the business year progresses, management can use the budget
as a control device that permits monitoring of the company’s operations.
For our discussion, we will talk about a retail trade business. This type of
enterprise purchases merchandise, sells those goods, pays its employees
and its suppliers, and employs an administrative staf.. It may also move
into new headquarters or expand into new retail outlets. It must account
for each activity. This is generally accomplished by means of separate
budgets which then can be combined into a master budget.

One of the activity budgets is the sales budget. Information about unit
prices, that is, the price of one item of each kind of merchandise sold, and
the expected sales volume are the important entries for this budget.
If the business sells more than one kind of item, a provision for the sales
mix must be added. This, of course, is the mixture of the different kinds
and styles of goods sold by the retailer. A furniture store sells many
different kinds of furniture with many different styles, and each piece of
merchandise has its own unit price. In addition the furniture store may sell
such goods as rugs, carpeting, or artificial flowers. The sales mix in an
American drugstore would be even larger, including not only different
kinds of medicines, but also magazines, books, stationery, candy, tobacco,
and so on.
Similar items can be grouped to form a sales department. In the furniture
store, one department might include dining room furniture and another
department might include bedroom furniture. A separate budget is the...
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