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Outline ReviewIf you need to take responsibility for the budget of your organization or department--or if you're not directly responsible for it, but it would help you immensely to be able to understand it--you'll love this energetically formatted pocket-sized book that explains the whole budgeting process in 72 quick-and-clean pages. Opening with a basic explanation of budgets and their purpose, it goes on to illustrate how to prepare one (clarifying objectives, standardizing it), write one (anticipating revenues and estimating expenditures, producing the figures, understanding capital budgets, and producing cash budgets, then consolidating and finalizing them), and monitor one (analyzing discrepancies, monitoring and investigating variances, making adjustments, and recognizing "behavioral" problems). If all of that sounds confusing, you'll be happy to know that boxed tips, sample budget sheets, to-do checklists, and easily followed flow charts demystify the process on every page--even for those (like this reviewer) who barely can balance their own checkbooks! Granted, if you're looking for very specific or in-depth guidance, you might find this book too cursory and general in its approach. But, if you're looking for a thumbnail guide to the basics, it'll do just fine.
It's worth mentioning that the book is part of the "Essential Managers" series by reference publisher Dorling-Kindersley--a series comprising 20 itty-bitty books on business and career topics that range from communication, leadership, and decision-making to the management of time, budgets, change, meetings, people, projects, and teams. Combining the talent of the "For Dummies" book series for breaking down a lot of information into bite-sized bits and sidebars with Dorling-Kindersley's signature design style of crisp, classy graphics on a gleaming white backdrop, the books don't represent the cutting edge of business thinking or reflect necessarily any unique individual perspective. Instead, it's as if someone had collated the best general thinking on these 20 topics, and rolled them out into 72 brightly designed and easy-to-read pages--studded along the way with boxed tips, color shots of a multiracial cast of "coworkers" animatedly hashing through the workplace issues of the day, and, on the last few pages of each volume, a self-test of one's skills in the topic at hand. Again, they're not for anyone who's looking for more in-depth or focused help on any of the covered subjects, but they're perfect as a quick general-interest reference; and, let's face it, they're so damn cute, and look so smart in a neat little stack or row, that probably you'll want to buy a whole bunch to give as gifts to your entire staff or department. --Timothy Murphy
Learn all you need to know about the budgeting process, from preparing a forecast to monitoring variances and making adjustments. Managing Budgets gives you a clear understanding of the budgeting cycles and explains standard concepts and terms. It shows you how to create a personalized budgeting system, anticipate revenues and estimate expenditures, correct errors, and motivate staff to achieve financial targets. Useful tips help you to handle real-life situations and develop first-class budgeting skills that will dramatically improve efficiency and results. The Essential Manager have sold more than 1.9 million copies worldwide! Experienced and novice managers alike can benefit from these compact guides that slip easily into a briefcase or a portfolio. The topics are relevant to every work environment, from large corporations to small businesses. Concise treatments of dozens of business techniques, skills, methods, and problems are presented with hundreds of photos, charts, and diagrams. It is the most exciting and accessible approach to business and self-improvement available.
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