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Budget Forecasting, Costing, and Variances

Kaplan via FutureLearn


Understand the need for a flexible budget

To develop financial expectations for the future, there are many processes within a budget to help you manage both long-term and short-term financial goals.

On this three-week course, you’ll explore the tools to help you master budgeting tasks such as costing, forecasting, and variances.

Through real-life examples and interactive quizzes, you’ll learn how to calculate costs, cover fixed and flexible budgets, and find the budgeting approach that is best suited for your context.

Delve into budget forecasting

You’ll gain an introduction into forecasting to help you understand how to use it in your budgets.

Exploring time series analysis, moving averages, and variation, you’ll learn practical techniques to help you use budget forecasting to achieve your financial aims.

Unpack the different types of variances

On the final week of the course, you’ll unpack variances to understand how to account for the difference between budgeted and actual income and expenditure.

You’ll explore different types of variances and the reasons you could encounter them, such as materials and labour shortages.

Learn from the experts at Kaplan

Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by the experts at Kaplan. With their help, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to successfully carry out costing, forecasting, and variance tasks in your budgeting.

This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about the budgeting process and how to start preparing a budget.

You could be a new business owner, working in financial planning, or studying finance and looking to develop key budgeting skills.


  • Calculating costs and flexible budgets
    • Welcome
    • Breaking down the costs for a budget
    • Fixed, flexed and flexible budgets
  • Forecasting
    • Welcome
    • Time series analysis and moving averages
    • Linear regression
    • Indexes
    • Expected values
  • Variances
    • Welcome
    • Materials variances
    • Labour variances
    • Sales variances

Taught by

Katie Collins


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