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Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Accounting | Accounting | 2015
Thesis number: 14041
Management control without budgeting - Case: entrepreneurial growth company in Finland
Author: Ottela, Noora
Title: Management control without budgeting - Case: entrepreneurial growth company in Finland
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Accounting
Academic subject: Accounting
Index terms: laskentatoimi; accounting; johdon laskentatoimi; managerial accounting; budjetointi; budgeting; yritykset; companies; kasvu; growth; ohjausjärjestelmät; control systems; tuloskortti; balanced scorecard
Pages: 126
Key terms: management accounting; budgeting; management control; balanced scorecard; beyond budgeting; growth company; entrepreneurship
The objective of this study is to understand how management control is executed without the use of budgeting in practice in entrepreneurial growth companies that operate in environment of high uncertainty. The aim is to examine how the benefits and functions of budgeting have been replaced, as well as create understanding of how and why the alternative management control systems have been chosen. In addition the study further deepens the insight of management control systems as a package, following the framework introduced by Malmi and Brown (2008).

The study is a qualitative management accounting research conducted as one-case descriptive study. Primary data was collected by semi-structured theme interviews, and is supported with secondary data from extensive observation and public material about the case company. The case company is an entrepreneurial growth company in Finland that operates in e-commerce market. The company has never used budgeting in management control.

The main findings of the study present how the need for budgeting has changed; and its role as a management control tool has significantly lessened; fast changing environment makes traditional budgeting process too rigid for planning and goal setting purposes and the process does not support entrepreneurship or innovation required in the businesses. The study also found that a combination of several other management control systems can be just as effective, and the role of trust has increased in importance. In the case company, the functions of budgeting have not been replaced with any single system, but requires management control systems from all five areas of controls outlined by Malmi and Brown (2008) typology. Nevertheless, management control can be found to be effective without budgeting and the alternative structure supports the culture and need for flexibility in the case company.

As a conclusion, it can be said that the role and need for budgeting has changed dramatically and entrepreneurial growth companies do not see the benefits of traditional processes. Planning is no longer such important part of operations in e-commerce, as the flexibility of resources and speed of acquiring potential new ones limit the need to allocate them early on. This enables each investment to be optimized and analysed separately.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.