Zero Based Budgeting 2022: Features, Advantages & Disadvantages

In the finance minister presented Budget 2021-2022 the finance minister highlighted the significance that Zero based Budgeting as well as more robust budgeting models to prevent unnecessary spending and revive the growth cycle and profit.

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zero based budgeting

Overview: Zero Based Budgeting

Every business needs to prepare an annual budget to allocate the right amount of money and effective management of the expense cost. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic companies have experienced a large loss and are looking for ways to minimize the damage. 

One of the most robust budgeting models to prevent unnecessary spending and revive the growth cycle and profit is zero-based budgeting. 

The strategic budgeting method known as zero-based budgeting (ZBB) has become more popular recently. ZBB forces organizations to rationalize each expenditure from fresh, as opposed to building the budget on prior spending trends, as typical budgeting techniques do. 

In this article, we will briefly discuss zero-based budgeting, along with some of its benefits and drawbacks.

What is Zero-Based Budgeting?

Zero-Based Budgeting involves the creation of a budget that does not have any previous reference. The zero-based budgeting process differs from the traditional budgeting process (incremental budgeting) in the budget template is created every budget period from scratch starting with the zero bases. 

Contrary to traditional budgets, they are built on budget forecasts and allocations of the prior year’s budget template. In zero-based budgeting, current business operations are scrutinized and analyzed together with the new proposed actions and justify every line item before allocating budget funds. 

This budget can comprehend the real demands of the business and does not allow unnecessary credit to fund extravagant projects.

Features of Zero Based Budgeting

The advantages of a zero based budget are discussed in the following sections:

  • No link to the budget before and start fresh;
  • Planned Spending;
  • Strategic Resource Allocation;
  • Decreasing Strategic Goal Mismatch;
  • Reducing the possibility of communication failure across several business units.

Process of Zero Based Budgeting

Zero-based budgeting can be created by using a variety of methods and innovative approaches. Some of the steps involved in preparing a zero based budget are described.

Identify the Business Plan

The most important step in zero based budgeting is to establish the goals and objectives that are important to your company. A New annual budget, as well as an operating plan, is created entirely from scratch, with no reference to the actuals from the previous year as a reference.

Budget Evaluation 

A thorough analysis of all budget components must be conducted to identify the possibility of making savings and reducing unnecessary expenditures. 

When evaluating, preference is given to extensive budgets and items, and then placed following the requirements of the company. A special focus is placed on the most cost-effective and cost-saving aspects in budgeting based on zero.

Alternate Working Methods 

A business implementing the zero-based budget strategy must address the numerous bottlenecks within the organization and search for alternative efficient ways to achieve the goals currently set.

Prioritization of Activities 

Certain business operations require regular cost reduction and must be distinct and prioritized. A structure should be set up to execute all tasks in a time-bound to get the most effective results. 

Implementing automation, artificial intelligence, and standardized procedures is beneficial in managing finances during difficult times.

Finalize the Zero Based Budget

After the thorough process of planning and execution, it is essential to effectively communicate specific duties and roles to employees and other businesses within an organization is essential for the successful non-budgeting procedure.

Advantages of Zero Based Budgeting

  • It permits improved monitoring of the cash flow of the business and avoids the unnecessary spending of funds, which offers financial security
  • It minimizes unnecessary and inefficient actions of the company;
  • Zero Based Budgeting offers a chance to modify the spending and manage it effectively;
  • Funding for discretionary plans for the coming financial year regardless of the prior budget allocations.
  • Cost-benefit analyses are taken into account while traditional budgeting requires research into the effects of shifts in expenditures.
  • Sometimes, the same tasks are carried out by multiple units. Hence the zero-based budget assessment helps to reduce the number of activities;
  • Organizations that use zero-base budgeting frequently will be able to identify and solve issues quickly due to the regular evaluation of each line item in the annual budget
  • Zero-base budgeting forces management to choose and prioritize activities that are essential to the company. It permits the reduction and outsourcing of activities that are not essential.

Disadvantages of Zero Based Budgeting

The process of zero based budgeting can be costly, complicated, and time-consuming as it requires a significant amount of time to carefully analyze and justify every line item in the budget.
The operation’s execution can be difficult due to the high demands on manpower (limited funds as well as time);
The involvement of various business units is essential to identify the exact requirements of employees.
The budget gives managers the ability to make decisions on their own and assign money for expenditure;
Could harm the image and organizational culture;
One of the biggest drawbacks of budgeting based on zero is that it relies on short-term plans, which involves the transfer of resources towards specific units that will yield profit after the conclusion of the financial year.

What benefits does zero-based budgeting provide for small companies?

A wonderful technique to manage and enhance your small company’s budget is zero-based budgeting.

It can assist you as follows:

  • Make your initial budget: For startups, zero-based budgeting is essential. Startups must start from zero since they lack historical budgets to reference. This provides you with the opportunity to thoroughly organize your spending and look around for a more affordable source.
  • Save cash: You can increase your annual profits and make financial savings by using a zero-based budget. You may cut back on unneeded business-related costs by determining where they originate from. You can plan how to use money wisely rather than always spending money on items that won’t help your company.
  • Understanding the flow of money: Knowing where the money is going is important if you give management a budget. Managers are required to put their financial needs and intended uses in writing.

Zero-Based Budgeting vs. Traditional Budgeting

Zero-based budgeting is fundamentally different from standard budgeting methods in the following ways:

  • Traditional budgeting also only analyses new spending, but ZBB starts from nothing and requires an explanation of both new and ongoing expenditures. By optimizing costs rather than just revenues, zero-based budgeting seeks to produce value for an organization by placing the responsibility of justification on management.
  • ZBB places a stronger emphasis on potential results and strategy alignment than traditional budgeting, which frequently concentrates on past spending trends. ZBB promotes resource allocation that is more proactive and forward-looking.
  • ZBB encourages cost-consciousness, transparency, and resource optimization while traditional budgeting can lead to expenditure inefficiencies and fiscal stagnation.


In recent times, major MNCs and private equity firms have been embracing zero-based budgeting because it creates opportunities for cost reduction as well as financial security. 

The idea requires the education of employees to establish a cost-cutting culture. To summarize, zero-based budgeting permits efficient allocation of resources, as well as an effective cost-cutting mechanism.

So, if you still have any queries regarding zero based budgeting, we are ODINT Consultancy. We’re we are here to help you at each stride of your way.


Zero-based Budgeting (ZBB) is an approach to budgeting in which every expense has to be justified for every new period. 

The budget, according to government officials consists composed of three types of budgets: Balanced. Surplus budget. Budget deficit

Zero-based budgeting is a great option for all businesses who want to concentrate on particular goals for a specific financial period. 

Benefits of Zero-Based Budgeting
Zero-based budgeting allows managers to consider how each dollar is allocated, throughout the budgeting cycle.