Budgeting in a Dynamic Business Environment

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
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Degree programme
This thesis aims to examine the role of budgeting and forecasting in organizational contexts, with a specific focus on a consulting firm within the engineering industry. The unique nature of the consulting industry presents distinct characteristics that significantly influence the planning and forecasting processes within such organizations. Budgeting has long been the cornerstone of financial planning within organizations, serving as a fundamental tool for resource allocation, performance measurement, and strategic planning. However, its suitability in rapidly changing business environments has been the subject of significant criticism for some time. Critics argue that traditional budgeting processes can be too rigid and slow to adapt to market dynamics, potentially leading to outdated or misaligned financial plans. The rolling forecasts offer a more flexible and adaptive approach to financial planning, allowing organizations to update their financial outlooks continuously as new information becomes available. Despite the growing adoption of rolling forecasts, they have not entirely replaced traditional budgeting practices. To explore this role of budgeting and rolling forecasts in fast changing environment, a qualitative case analysis was conducted in a target consulting company. The research methodology involved an in-depth analysis of the target company’s practices. This case study investigates the role of forecasting in an industry that diverges from traditional manufacturing sectors, providing insights into how forecasting practices adapt to the distinctive dynamics of the consulting field. The results are analysed in light of previous literature, offering a comprehensive view of how traditional budgeting and contemporary forecasting practices are applied in a non-manufacturing context. This approach allowed for a nuanced understanding of the company's financial management strategies in the context of its specific business environment. The findings revealed that, while the target company employs traditional budgeting methods, it also engages in forecasting the current year's performance. Additionally, the company undertakes unofficial, more detailed market forecasts, highlighting its approach to navigating the uncertainties inherent in the consulting industry.
Thesis advisor
Vaivio, Juhani
budgeting, rolling forecast, case-study, consulting
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