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Budgeting is a fundamental aspect of financial management for businesses, organizations, and governments. Among the various budgeting methods available, incremental budgeting stands out as a widely used approach that offers simplicity and flexibility. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about incremental budgeting, from its definition and principles to its advantages, disadvantages, and practical implementation.

For this blog, we collaborated with Finsmart Accounting-  trusted for outsourced accounting services – to discover everything crucial about incremental budgeting.

What is Incremental Budgeting?

Incremental budgeting is a budgeting method where the current budget is based on the previous period’s budget or actual performance, with adjustments made for changes in circumstances or objectives. In simpler terms, it involves making incremental changes to the existing budget rather than starting from scratch each time a new budget is prepared.

Principles of Incremental Budgeting

Baseline Budgeting: Incremental budgeting typically begins with the previous period’s budget serving as the baseline. This baseline serves as a reference point for making adjustments and setting new budget figures.

Incremental Changes: The primary characteristic of incremental budgeting is its focus on incremental changes. Instead of overhauling the entire budget, adjustments are made incrementally to account for changes in costs, revenues, priorities, and other factors.

Historical Data: Incremental budgeting relies heavily on historical data, including past expenditures, revenues, and performance metrics. This historical perspective informs decision-making and helps maintain continuity in budgeting processes.

Periodic Review: While incremental budgeting involves making adjustments based on historical data, it’s essential to periodically review and reassess budget allocations to ensure alignment with current objectives and priorities.

Recommended: Learn about outsourced bookkeeping services in India

Advantages of Incremental Budgeting

Simplicity: Incremental budgeting is relatively straightforward and easy to understand, making it accessible to managers and decision-makers at all levels of an organization.

Stability: By building on the previous period’s budget, incremental budgeting provides a sense of stability and continuity, which can help streamline budgeting processes and reduce uncertainty.

Efficiency: Since incremental budgeting focuses on making incremental changes, it requires less time and resources compared to other budgeting methods that involve extensive analysis and forecasting.

Flexibility: Incremental budgeting allows organizations to adapt to changing circumstances and priorities by making adjustments to budget allocations as needed.


By building on the previous period’s budget and making incremental adjustments, organizations can effectively allocate resources, adapt to changing circumstances, and maintain continuity in budgeting processes. By implementing incremental budgeting practices thoughtfully and periodically reassessing budget allocations, organizations can leverage its benefits while mitigating its limitations.

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