- number of partners, paralegals, assiociates and others,
- number of expected bills,
- hourly charge rates,
- number of billable hours.
Most of organisations have three types of budgets: an income budget, an expense budget and an annual budget. The goals of them are to:
- provide finance' predictions,
- give clarity on organisation's needs,
- inform all stakeholders,
- evaluate level of an accountability.
The income budget might consist of an income from: investments, a profit from sales, net incomes from a special event and in case of non-profit organisations (but not only): donations, tuitions, membership dues, gifts-in-kind. From a perspective of a marketing management an income budget and an expense budget is tranferred into a profit and loss account. Sub-budgets coming from the budget are visible in enterprise's responsibility centres and at the end might be allocated to product or market groups.
Consequences of overestimating and underestimating the income budget
Overestimated income budget causes overestimation in an expense budget as well. Consequently, the enterprise might have net loss - the income is lower than estimated and is not covering expenses. Underestimated income budget causes underestimation in expenses. Consequently, the income is higher than expenses which gives positive financial output for the company. A conclusion is that it is better to conservatively approach the income budgetting. C. T. Dones suggests to use a time-to-billing percentage which means calculating actual amount of money needed but taking ratios depending on how much time upfront is needed.
The time-to-billing approach adjust actual amount of bills based on assumption that a timekeeper is not always able to bill at optimal level. It comes from sickness, vacations or unpredictable events of the timekeeper. Most of companies are using ratio from 85% to 100% billings. For example, using 95% ratio means 5% bills reduction. A very long medical leave or too few customers might be reasons behind not billing required number of hours.
Author: Dominika Zaich
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