Skip to content

What is Management by Exception?

Written by

Last editedJan 20212 min read

Management by exception is an excellent idea for any business venture. Managers use it to focus on business performance instead of the whole business unit. The best strategy is to look at business areas with large variances and compare them to the budgeted projections.

The variances could be good or bad, but the standard goals can be ignored by management when there is a smooth process. Management by exception involves looking at different projects to understand the variances and know the different ways to minimize them. This principle can be linked to an accounting system to print automatic reports at set intervals that contain predetermined exception levels.

What is Management by Exception?

Management by exception means looking at the financial and operations result of any business enterprise. The aim is to point out the significant differences between the expected and budgeted amounts. It happens when the company controller alerts the management of expenses that are beyond the desired amounts. It helps to differentiate the roles of the lower-level manager from the senior ones.

Company managers use budget reports, production schedules, and revenue reports to know about performance and meet their goals. Some of the goals could be to complete production in a shorter period or produce different products with no added expenses. It is the kind of information managers use to manage the company.

Example of Management by Exception Scenario

Manage by exception principle indicates that managers need to look for effective strategies to save time and run their business. It becomes more useful when they can control the business plans and operations and especially the problem areas. It will help to change the entire business processes and improve the company’s growth and performance.

How does Management by Exception Work

Management by exception occurs in four steps:

  1. You need to come up with objectives and define the way the business should work.

  2. Performance assessment is crucial to know the strength, weaknesses, and keep the performance on track.

  3. Analyze the entire work and records to have an idea where the performance will deviate from the objectives.

  4. The last step is to investigate and solve all the exceptions; it may sound easy but need a strategy to execute the plan.

Components of Management by Exception

Below are the six components that make up for management by exception principle:

  1. Measurement: It involves knowing the value of past and present performances to recognize any exception.

  2. Projection: You will need to forecast the relevant business processes and ensure that they meet the organization’s objectives. It is a strategy to know about future expectations.

  3. Selection: They are the parameters that the management uses to know about the company’s objectives.

  4. Observation: Helps in measuring all the business performances to know about all the organization's operations.

  5. Comparison: This concept is used in management by exception to know about the actual and planned performances. It offers managers the exceptions to take action and report any variances.

  6. Decision-making: A decision is made to ensure that all the action taken helps with business performance. With adjustments to the expectations, it will represent changes in business conditions.  

The management by exception principle needs to comply with delegation and authority. It means that there should be some level of delegation in the organization to execute this principle. This principle dictates that any non-recurring or unusual nature should be reported to the senior managers. It helps the tier executives and top managers to make decisions.

Management by exception helps managers step in when the company’s employees have failed to meet the organization's standard performance. In case you need any assistance, GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

Get StartedLearn More
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Contact sales

Try a better way to collect payments, with GoCardless. It's free to get started.

Try a better way to collect payments

Learn moreSign up