Beyond Budgeting and Management Control Practices within Small and Medium Enterprises

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Purpose - This paper aims to explore the implementation of Beyond Budgeting in a small and medium size enterprise in the education technology industry. Design/methodology/approach - Based on an exploratory in-depth case study, this paper analyses the impact of Beyond Budgeting on the combination of management control elements through the lenses of the control package literature (see Malmi and Brown, 2008).
Findings – Although proponents of beyond budgeting suggest a complete abandonment of traditional budgets, the findings of this study suggest that an incremental approach is preferred in which various management control elements can replace some functions of budgets, without eliminating budgeting entirely. This paper further discusses the main criticisms of traditional budgeting and the elements facilitating and hindering the implementation of beyond budgeting from a holistic perspective i.e. taking the combination of management control elements into consideration.
Research limitations/implications – The findings of this study suggest that further research is needed on the challenges of implementing beyond budgeting in different organizational settings. Moreover, future research should address the practical adjustments performed on the beyond budgeting principles to reach an alignment with organizational practices and routines. Originality/value – This study contributes to the beyond budgeting and management control literature by illustrating the implementation of beyond budgeting ideas and suggesting the importance of a gradual approach in line with the existing control elements. Moreover, while management accounting literature suggests that beyond budgeting is usually adopted by large companies in their maturity stage, this paper discusses the use of the concept within a small and medium sized enterprise in the initial stages of its life cycle.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Number of pages41
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe 9th Asia-Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference - Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 1 Jul 20193 Jul 2019
Conference number: 9


ConferenceThe 9th Asia-Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference
LocationAuckland University of Technology
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


  • Beyond budgeting
  • Performance measurement systems
  • Management control
  • SMEs
  • Start-ups

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