Reasons to Budget Throughout the Life Cycles of Swedish IT Companies
Sammanfattning: The budget is shown to be the most prioritized management accounting tool for companies with scarce resources, while at the same time it is criticized for being time consuming and ineffective. This study uses life cycle theory as a framework to investigate how the budgets can be used in a more efficient and effective way, depending on what life cycle stage the company is in. The purpose of this study is to investigate how commonly budgets are used throughout the life cycle stages of IT companies in Sweden, and whether there is a difference in what reasons to budget are considered the most important in different stages. By using previous research made on life cycle theory and the reasons to budget as a foundation, this study collects the data using a quantitative method where a survey is sent to a sample of IT companies in Sweden. The answers to the survey lead to results about the budget use, what life cycle stage the respondents consider their company to be in, and how important ten different reasons to budget within the areas control, planning and evaluation are to the individual companies. The results show that there is a low budget use among companies in the birth stage, and that the budget use is high for companies in the growth, maturity and revival stages. The increasing budget use follows the increasing number of employees through the stages. The study finds that in general there are no major differences through the stages in what budget reasons are chosen to be most important; control is overall the most important purpose that the budget fulfills. Furthermore, there are some reasons to budget that have been assigned low values of importance across all the stages. Staff evaluation and encouraging innovative behavior are not considered important by the responding companies.
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