Organizational- and departmental-level budgeting suffer from various shortcomings, such as asymmetric ratcheting. In this regard, we theorize, and propose, budgeting at the transaction-cycle level for effective budget designs. The transaction-cycle level budget requires management justification for resource assignment to business processes, often spanning multiple departments. The transaction-cycle typology consists of five cycles: production, expenditure, financial, revenue, and human-resources. In order to distinguish among transaction cycles, we use their relative positions within the value chain and technology content in their business processes. As a proof-of-concept, we develop theoretical arguments for asymmetric ratcheting in operating budgets at the transaction-cycle level in hospitals, and empirically examine this phenomenon using longitudinal archival data. Our hypotheses examine budgetary responses to overspending and underspending variances in operating budgets for fixed and variable costs. Our findings suggest that a transaction cycle's position in the value chain and its technology content play a role in determining asymmetric ratcheting during budgeting. We discuss our contributions from the perspectives of theory and practice of accounting, budgeting, and accounting information systems.

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