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The role of rolling forecasting in budgetary control systems: reactive and proactive types of planning

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  • Tiina Henttu-Aho

    (University of Oulu)

Abstract

The paper examines how rolling forecasting is used in planning and linked to other practices in a management control system. The paper combines a function-based view of budgeting with a more disaggregation-based conceptualisation, considering individual control systems. A multiple-case-study approach was adopted to investigate differences in the design and use of control systems across three industrial firms that had recently sought to improve their planning. The findings reveal two approaches to forecasting. In proactive-type planning, rolling forecasting was employed to promote information oriented toward more realistic forecasts and ideas emerging from interactive discussion were often put into action before quantified monetary deviations between plans and targets emerged. In reactive planning, rolling forecasting supported the supremacy of annual budgeting, and a more stable, joint process for both enabled analysing variances formally in a diagnostically oriented manner and revising plans accordingly. Synergies between budgetary practices were also found—for instance, in the process of setting targets, wherein the forecasts informed managers of the outcome level that was likely to be achievable and hence served as a realistic basis for setting more demanding targets.

Suggested Citation

  • Tiina Henttu-Aho, 2018. "The role of rolling forecasting in budgetary control systems: reactive and proactive types of planning," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 327-360, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jmgtco:v:29:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00187-018-00273-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s00187-018-00273-6
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Forecasting; Functions of budgeting; Planning; Budgetary control system; Diagnostic use; Interactive use;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • M40 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - General

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