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April 20, 2022

What is a Master Budget and why is it important?

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The master budget is a collective concept that includes all other business budgets, allowing you to consider the company’s financial situation from all sides. The master budget consists of the cash for staff salaries, marketing, production, and other company departments, forming a single economic system.

It is customary to account for the company’s operating income statements in one master budget in practice. This summary is used as the organization’s financial plan. It also considers the movement of funds, full-fledged financial planning, and reporting. Every year, all companies draw up a master budget, describing all the cash coming into the account.

The financial document with management can be divided into quarters and months. Usually, when planning the master budget, a separate column is allocated for accounting for funds and summing up, which makes budgeting easier.

What is the Master Budget?

The master budget is the leading financial planning document for a particular organization. As a rule, it includes all budgets at different levels of the company’s work within a single prepared report and financial budget.

Usually, the operating budget shows the company’s activities that generate income statements. As a result, the budgeted income statements and expenses are described. The financial funding is distributed in such a way as to determine as accurately as possible the inflow and outflow of cash, other financial elements, and working capital necessary for the operation of the company. The result of the work is the management balance.

Many companies use budgeting to describe all operations with a cash flow and working capital to grow their business and sell their products.

How does the Master Budget work?

The general financial plan is used to form various types of working capital and aspects of the work of financial organizations. All cash flows received in day-to-day activities are entered into the master budget. As a rule, it may contain separate items of expenses, budgeted income statements, quarterly, and monthly. The company plans the master budget, maintaining continuous financial records. If the company plans to change the master budget, it is necessary to consider these funds in a separate column.

The budget committee of the company develops a budget plan of working capital every year. The CEO oversees all tasks under consideration. As a rule, information from budgets and working capital can change and vary depending on the specific management requirements of buyers.

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Master Budget components

The master budget is a complex financial concept that considers many related factors. Some companies use these parameters to design and plan their next steps in growing and running their business. The form of the cash flow report in the organization may differ depending on the field of activity of the company.

Sales budget

The sales budget of working capital takes first place — it considers possible receivable forecasts about sales. The master budget does not always coincide with this indicator. The cash flow is controlled and managed through analytics and continuous data collection.

What is a Master Budget and why is it important?

Production schedule

It takes second place in the preparation of the master budget. The production schedule management helps to display the company’s estimated sales for the next year and working capital. The company must independently determine how much cash it plans to receive in the conduct of its work. This allows determining the requirements, management, and methods of replenishing stocks and working capital for a given period. Most companies have a limited inventory, so it is necessary to collect sales information every month to optimize all purchase costs.

Direct Materials, Labor, and Overhead Budget

The master budget includes the budget for direct purchases of materials and raw materials for production. Additionally, the labor budget is taken into account, which estimates how much the company’s workforce is needed to implement the tasks. This category includes fixed and variable costs.

Finished Goods Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold Budget

A manufactured inventory budget is required to maintain a balance of products sold. This budget includes the cost of each unit of production.

Administrative Budget

The administrative budget covers administrative and commercial expenses. This may be the cost of supplying materials and more.

Cash Budget

The cash budget takes into account the inflow and outflow of funds, investments, and debts on a monthly basis. Non-cash expenses are not recorded.

Budgeted Balance Sheet

The budget balance sheet displays the accounts of liabilities, assets, and capital. This is only valid during the replenishment period.

Capital Expenditures

The capital expenditure budget includes the performance of the firm’s large funds.

In addition, the master budget considers other major flows of commercial funds.

The consolidated budget is one of the leading financial operating documents. It includes all high and low-level working capital and tracks the organization’s cash flow and reporting. The working capital budget is developed by authorized persons who monitor spending in the company.

The master budget includes many different components and instruments of financing and management. It is a tool that various organizations actively use. It includes some indicators with working capital:

  • expenses;
  • incomes
  • related components.

Possible issues with Master Budget

The master budget management considers different receivable indicators of asset planning and financial model validation. When the company works with the master budget, it is necessary to strictly follow the set goals and objectives to implement the organization’s policy. It is required to pay attention to such possible problems with management:

  • When preparing a financial budget, employees often estimate high costs and relatively low sales, which is not suitable for management. This is necessary to fulfill the set plans for receiving remuneration promptly.
  • In order for the organization to follow the budget, the help of financial analysts is necessary. They monitor adherence to the plan and report possible deviations. It requires additional costs.
  • Managers do not always pay attention to new business opportunities because they do not want to change the allocated resources and allocate the budget.

Master budget management requires proper planning and adherence to all rules to avoid overspending.


Compliance with all the principles of drawing up a basic budget will help establish an effective business operation and make a good profit. The master budget is recommended to be used as a guideline for planning short-term budgeted income statements and expenses of the organization to further advance in the market.

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Author: Charles Lutwidge

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