Functional budget

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Functional budget
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Functional budget shows revenues and expenses for each separate functional area. In a business, the major functional areas are marketing, finance, and production. In a nonprofit, these might be development, finance, and services. The services subunit can then be further broken down into program subunits, if desired. The main advantage is that each area can be held responsible for costs, revenues versus costs, or net revenue versus investment[1].

The functional budget delivers a better understanding of what funds are to be spent. It combines information about inputs and responsibility centres or programs that are being funded. It also permits a certain amount of cross-program comparison within the overall budget of the organization[2].

Types of the functional budgets

Functional budgets are prepared for each function and they are subsidiary to the master budget of the business. Types of the functional budgets to be prepared will vary according to the size and nature of the business. The commonly used functional budgets are[3]:

Limitations of financial budget

There are several significant limitations to the functional budgets. Structure limits management's ability to discern the spending flow in terms of the total operation. Knowing 'what spending is for' is equally as important to management as knowing ' how money is being spent' ( i.e. function, salaries, travel and other). For example, since that is a multi-product firm, the knowledge of planned expenditure for individual products, especially when considered in relation to forecasted sales, would be as valuable to management planning, controlling and decision-making as the knowledge of the function and object for which spending occurs.

The example of the advertising division illustrates the inability of the functional budget to provide product information. Although the total advertising costs for a product line are identified, the structure does not provide any indication of the planned spending for individual products. Even though advertisements do cover an entire product line, a large number of individual product advertisements are included with the total product line costs: consequently, they cannot be easily separated.Thus, the identification of the total marketing spending for a specific product is virtually impossible under the functional budgets structure[4].


  1. J.A. Hankin, A. Seidner, J. Zietlow 1998, p.155
  2. A. Graham 2014, p.55
  3. P.C. Tulsian, S.D. Tulsian 2002, p.89
  4. R.M.S. Wilson 2016, p.273-274


Author: Dawid Barcik