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Getting costs budgets right (but wrong)

Being able to justify a budget is more important than getting the figures right, argues Jon Lord

25 November 2014

There seems to be a bit of an obsession with getting the figures in a costs budget right. By 'right', I mean the figures included in it will be stuck to down to the last penny. Anybody who prepares budgets regularly and continues to take that approach will soon need to be locked away in a padded cell.

Calculating costs budgets

The sooner we all accept that every budget will be wrong, the better. After all, the glossary of the CPR defines a budget as an 'estimate', so wrong is fine. Of course, some may be more wrong than others. To stand a chance of approval, a budget has to be reasonable, proportionate and justifiable. The first two elements could be said to be capable of measurement in monetary terms; the third requires more than that, and relates to the assumptions behind the numbers.

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