JDS Uniphase explains in its Guidelines For Professional Service Providers that Its Legal Department creates an Annual Operating Plan. The plan tracks “well over 200 separate line items and forecasts spending on them each quarter.” That budget is immensely detailed, since two that I have written about had only 40-50 line items (See my post of Sept. 9, 2008: internal budgets with 27 references; and Sept. 12, 2008: internal budgets with 25 references.).
On top of that, the legal department updates its expense forecasts at least three times per quarter, with each forecast covering 12-18 month rolling periods (See my post of Jan. 13, 2008: rolling budgets.). Taken together, these steps indicate a significant commitment to budget detail, analysis and reporting.