Discuss the behavioural issues that may emerge as a result of the current budgetary reporting system. (1,500 words)


COLLEGE: Social Science

SCHOOL: Lincoln Business School

MODULE: Management Finance
Management Finance (A)



CO-ORDINATOR: Jane Nellist

HAND-IN DATE: Thursday 17th December 2015

This assignment accounts for 100% of the module marks for students on FIN2137M (who do not study Management Finance during Term 2). For students on FIN2037M, this Term 1 assessment accounts for 50% of their total module marks.

Learning outcomes assessed: 1 and 2


Your assignment should:

i) Make reference to appropriate theory, including journal articles and professional and regulatory body reports;

ii) Include detailed references to a variety of literature sources;

iii) Include a wide-ranging bibliography, including details of any published financial statements you have used in your research;

iv) Be submitted via Blackboard, using Turnitin.


Case Study

Coffee People Ltd is a company that provides personnel for catering operations within a number of national retail outlets. The team make drinks and serve cold food, keep the café tables clear and wash dishes. The supervisor also orders food and drinks and manages the other staff. You are the operational manager for the Midlands area and are required to manage the contract. You have 30 sites to manage.

Budgets are set at the start of the year, based on an average staff cost of £8 per hour and the average number of hours specified in the contract, which is currently set at 10 hours per day Monday to Saturday and 5 hours on Sundays. Opening hours of the café can, however, vary as they are based on the opening hours of the outlet. Opening hours are increased at certain times throughout the year, such as Christmas. Each shift must have one supervisor (who is paid at £10 per hour) plus a variable number of other staff (who are paid at the minimum wage rate). Sole working is not allowed. All new staff are placed on zero hours contracts, although some older members of staff are currently on fixed hours contracts of 30 hours per week. Cover must be provided throughout the day to ensure customers are not kept waiting more than 5 minutes for service.

You have been set a performance target to achieve a profit on sales of 65% based on staff costs. On average, sales for each retail outlet are £10,000 per week, although this varies on a seasonal basis and between sites.

For the past 6 months you have failed to reach your profit target and a number of complaints have been made regarding service levels in your cafes. You have recently been called in to discuss your performance with your regional manager.


a) Discuss the behavioural issues that may emerge as a result of the current budgetary reporting system.
(1,500 words)

a) Prepare a briefing note for your meeting with your regional manager. Within this you should consider how effective variance analysis may be used to aid organisational control.

(1,000 words)

The required word count for the assignment is 2,500 words in total. This represents 1,500 equivalent words in total for part a) and 1,000 equivalent words for part b).

Your performance in assignments

Your performance will be graded on a continuous numerical scale which ranges from 0 to 100 and is expressed in percentage terms (%). You will see below the division of the scale into the classifications used within the University of Lincoln together with an indication of the standard required to achieve each classification.

>79-100%: (exceptionally strong pass – first class honours standard) a range of marks which are consistent with a first where the work is of outstandingly high quality.
>69-79 %:( excellent pass – first class honours standard) a range of marks consistent with a first. Work which shows excellent content, organisation and presentation, reasoning and originality; evidence of independent reading and thinking and a clear and authoritative grasp of theoretical positions; ability to sustain an argument, to think analytically and/or critically and to synthesise material effectively.
>59-69% (strong pass – upper second class honours standard) a range of marks consistent with an upper second. Well-organised and lucid coverage of the main points in an answer; intelligent interpretation and confident use of evidence, examples and references; clear evidence of critical judgement in selecting, ordering and analysing content; demonstrates some ability to synthesise material and to construct responses, which reveal insight and may offer some originality.
>49-59% (sound pass – lower second class honours standard) a range of marks consistent with a lower second; shows a grasp of the main issues and uses relevant materials in a generally business-like approach, restricted evidence of additional reading; possible unevenness in structure of answers and failure to understand the more subtle points: some critical analysis and a modest degree of insight should be present.
> 39-49%: (basic pass – third class honours standard) a range of marks which is consistent with third class; demonstrates limited understanding with no enrichment of the basic course material presented in classes; superficial lines of argument and muddled presentation; little or no attempt to relate issues to a broader framework; lower end of the range equates to a minimum or threshold pass.
>34-39%: (marginal fail) achieves most of the learning outcomes required for a mark of 40% but falls short in one or more areas; not a pass grade but sufficient to warrant compensation.
>29-34% (clear fail) a fail; may achieve some learning outcomes but falls short in most areas; shows considerable lack of understanding of basic course material and little evidence of research.
0-29%: (weak fail) a fail; basic factual errors of considerable magnitude showing little understanding of basic course material; falls substantially short of the learning outcomes for compensation.
Source: University Marking and Grading Policy: (available on University Portal under University Registry / Secretariat and Legal Services / Academic Policies)

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