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Special report: Better budgeting

This dual-badged publication examines the role of budgeting in business, as seen through the eyes of finance directors and accountants in business. It has been produced jointly by ICAEW and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and distributed as a Special Report by ICAEW's Finance and Management Faculty and as a Technical Report by CIMA.

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A report on the latest thinking on budgeting from thought leaders, finance directors and financial controllers.

Better budgeting

On 24 March 2004, ICAEW and CIMA held a joint round table event at Chartered Accountants Hall. The intention of the gathering was for senior members of both institutes, including thought leaders, finance directors and financial controllers from large and respected companies, to discuss some of the practical issues and challenges they face in planning and budgeting. The event was introduced by Paul Druckman, deputy president of ICAEW (now president) and chaired by Charles Tilley, the chief executive of CIMA. The two institutes agreed to work together because budgeting is an important issue for professional accountants in business.

The collaboration doubled the intellectual input and halved the cost. It was experimental and - as the feedback showed the evening to be a success - we hope to repeat it. In the ensuing round table discussions, participants highlighted examples of best practice in their own organisations, as well as suggesting areas deserving of further research or improvement. The debate was lively, and, if there was one overall conclusion of this session, it was that budgeting is alive and well, though practice is evolving with new tools and techniques. The event was held under 'Chatham House' rules, ie participants could be open in the knowledge that their comments would not be attributed to their companies, many of whom were large and well-known.

One of the most important objectives of the day for both CIMA and ICAEW was to engage with members and develop relationships and partnerships with them. In this way, members can help guide the institutes agendas as well as draw support for their businesses in the future. The publication also includes suggestions for further reading, as well as a list of companies represented at the forum.

Published by the Finance and Management Faculty (SR4, July 2004)