Zero-Base Budgeting System

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Accounting



Committee Member

Robert McDonald


Cuttington University College, Zero-base budgeting, Universities and colleges--Business management

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 .N29 Acc. 1989 no.2


This thesis is designed to present a theoretical basis for the desired transformation of the budgeting process of Cuttington University College in Liberia, West Africa. The thrust is to gradually move away from the traditional line-item to the zero-based budgeting system.

The decision that led to this understanding could well be attributed to three major factors.

Firstly, I received my undergraduate degree in Accounting from Cuttington University College. During the four year period of my study at this College, I came to grips with the financial and economic problems the College was experiencing. I had since been thinking about what alternative management strategy could be invoked to quell the financial and economic plight.

Secondly, upon my graduation, I was privileged to have served both as Accountant and later as Comptroller of Cuttington University College, my alma mater, for ten consecutive years. During these years, I was able to look into the root causes of the economic problems and to draw some conclusions about their causes.

Thirdly, financial support, especially from foreign sources, has, over the year, been curtailed. More pathetically, financial support from major local sources, particularly, from the Government of Liberia, has often been reduced quite drastically. The Government's financial problems are conditioned by domestic and international financial and economic problems.

In the face of these financial and economic uncertainties, the need to adopt the ZBB becomes quite obvious. The rationale is intended to afford the administration an opportunity to address some of the crucial decision issues in the interest of efficiency and effectiveness.

The administration of the College recognizes the need for a change in its budgeting process. Several committees at the institutional level have, in recent years, concerned themselves with the business of recasting the budget to provide for only the "bare-bones" needs of the College. This practical approach had only been attempted at the institutional level. A full scale theoretical approach embracing both the internal and external environment of the College becomes quite obvious.

This work does not pretend to force a radical change, nor does it attempt to alter overnight deeply held corporate cultural values. Rather, it attempts to give glimpses into the struggle for budget innovation and reform in order to enable the College to adopt a comprehensive concept of budgeting.