Empirical evidence suggests that budgeting is principally the pivotal control system in today's fast-moving environment and has been viewed as the central instrument of management control systems. A simple definition of a management control system and an explanation of how budgeting allied with it will be the starting point of this essay. Then a summary of the suggested developments in management structures as organizations progress from the industrial era into the information era are outlined, together with proposed alternatives to budgetary/cost control. Are these alternatives better or is budgeting still possible?
Management control system is defined by Lowe (1970) as:
A system of organizational information seeking and gathering, accountability and feedback designed to ensure that the enterprise adapts to changes in its substantive environment and that the work behaviour of its employees is measured by reference to a set of operational sub-goals (which conform with overall objectives) so that the discrepancy between the two can be reconciled and corrected for.
Budgeting achieves the aim of MCS by setting standards, collecting actual cost and revenue information and reporting accounting variances on a routi