Budget vs Forecast: Whats the Difference?


We understand the complex challenges that the Office of the CFO faces and translate that knowledge into intuitive, enterprise-scale CCH Tagetik performance management software solutions. Access our complimentary and informative resources focused on improving corporate performance management processes. A long-financial planning policy, which commits officials to considering the long-term implications of decisions made today. Without a forecast, you’d end up spending resources on endeavors that are not aligned with your overall business financial goals.


Again, most recurring expenses are pretty simple to account for in your budget forecast. But don’t forget about any one-time expenses that you might incur throughout the year. Now that we’ve set the expense and parameters, whenever we hire a new employee or someone leaves, the budget forecast will update to reflect the change for our Slack expense. However, variable expenses like cost of goods sold or software with usage-based pricing might be a little more difficult to accurately forecast. This is one of the things that can make budget forecasting a little tricky.

How can maintenance teams prepare their forecasts?

Sometimes you’ve got to spend money to make money, and sometimes it makes more sense to put cash back in reserve. Fixed Expenses are costs that don’t change from month to month, like rent or insurance premiums. As a business owner, you need to find the ideal balance between spending and saving.


Despite this, a plan is more static in nature—more of a roadmap than a document that’s updated daily. The plan also relies on historical performance data and subjective financial analysis, so it can never be fully accurate. In fact, financial forecasting, budgeting, and planning each serve a unique purpose. A plan serves as the foundation, a budget guides how to allocate cash, and a forecast projects the financial future of the business. While budgeting and forecasting are used interchangeably, especially in small business circles, they are not the same.

Other considerations for your maintenance budgeting and forecasting

A What Is A Forecast Budget? forecast is a fiscal management tool that presents estimated information based on past, current, and projected financial conditions. This will help identify future revenue and expenditure trends that may have an immediate or long-term influence on government policies, strategic goals, or community services. The forecast is an integral part of the annual budget process.

Budgeting and forecasting are complementary, but they’re definitely not the same. Before we get into best practices and common challenges with budgeting and forecasting, let’s break down the key differences between them. The purpose of this exercise is to shift your mindset about expenses and budgeting. Instead of thinking of expenses being something you document, think about how the money you spend will help you grow the business. That way, you’re not just thinking about “how much can/should we spend”, but rather, “how much do we need to spend to reach our goals”. You need a tool that’s going to take into account your revenue forecast, fundraising goals, and overall financial projections in order to create an accurate budget forecast.

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