Budget Analyst Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a budget analyst. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a budget analyst.
Who is a Budget Analyst?
Budget analysts are professionals who have been trained to meet such expectations. Budget analysts provide financial advice to a variety of institutions, including governments, commercial enterprises, and colleges. They write yearly and special reports, as well as assess budget proposals. They examine data to assess the costs and advantages of different programs and then make financial recommendations based on their findings. Although government officials or senior executives in private companies often make budget decisions, they rely on the work of budget analysts to gather the data needed to make such decisions.
Budgeting, according to Dave Ramsey, is simply instructing your money where to go rather than wondering where it went. This quotation eloquently conveys the importance of budgeting to individuals, families, and organizations.
Budget analysts may utilize cost-benefit analyses to evaluate budgetary demands, evaluate program trade-offs, and look into other funding options. Budget analysts may also look at previous budgets and investigate economic and financial trends that affect the organization’s revenue and expenses. Budget analysts may suggest reducing spending on specific programs or reallocating such funds.
Budget analysts monitor expenditures throughout the year to verify that organizations stick to the budget and to decide whether certain programs require funding adjustments. Budget analysts also assess programs to see if they are achieving the anticipated outcomes.
Budget analysts must convey their ideas effectively inside the organization in addition to delivering technical analyses. Budget analysts may create a report outlining the disparities and recommend modifications to reconcile them, for example, if there is a gap between the approved budget and actual spending. Government budget experts may testify before committees to clarify their recommendations to legislators. Budget analysts are occasionally called upon to examine the effectiveness of a program, review policies, and create budget-related legislation.
Budget analysis, in a nutshell, entails scrutinizing the specifics of a financial budget. Budget analysis is used to learn about and improve how money is spent and handled. This form of examination guarantees that organizations make the most efficient use of all available funds in order to achieve their overall objectives. The following are some of the specific advantages of budget analysis:
- Through their services risk of insufficient funds for future projects is reduced.
- Assuring interdepartmental cooperation in pursuit of a common goal.
- Regular, objective evaluations of actual performance are provided by budget analysts
- Achieving a balance between lofty financial expectations and realistic figures.
- Identifying money that has been allocated in an inequitable or inappropriate manner.
- Encouraging the organization’s continuing growth and prosperity.
Budget Analyst Job Description
Below are the budget analyst job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. The employer can use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The job of budget analysts involves all of the following:
- Develop the organization’s budget in collaboration with program and project managers.
- Examine managers’ budget ideas and financing requests for accuracy, completeness, and conformity with applicable laws and regulations.
- Create a unified organizational budget by combining program and department budgets.
- Explain funding demands to other employees, legislators, and the general public.
- Assist top managers in analyzing proposed plans and identifying alternatives if the expected results are inadequate
- Maintain a close eye on the organization’s spending to ensure that it stays under budget.
- Inform program administrators of the status of funds and their availability.
- Calculate the firm’s future financial requirements.
- Budget ideas and financing requests are assessed by budget analysts
- Develop budget in collaboration with project management.
- Assist in cost-benefit assessments in other to determine value.
- Accept or reject proposals for funding.
- Check to see if budget plans adhere to rules.
- Work with management to develop a final budget agreement.
- Maintain a close eye on spending to ensure that the project stays on track.
- Calculate and anticipate future financial requirements.
- Examine proposed budgets and financing requests.
- Carry out cost-benefit and other types of analysis.
- Submit budget proposals for funding requests acceptance or rejection.
- Explain and defend recommendations to management and stakeholders.
- Develop a final consolidated budget in collaboration with managers.
- Ascertain that the organization’s budget complies with legal requirements.
- Keep track of spending and look for patterns.
- Make budget projections for the future.
- Make suggestions for ways to boost profits (e.g. spending cuts).
- Prepare regular and special reports on a regular basis.
Qualifications of a Budget Analyst
To be qualified as a budget analyst for organizations such as governments, commercial enterprises, and institutions, you must meet the following requirements:
- First and foremost you must have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, public administration, accounting, or a similar discipline from a recognized college.
- Also, it is preferred that you have at least 2-3 years of relevant job experience.
- Superior analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to prioritize work autonomously while paying close attention to detail, is highly welcomed for this role.
- Ability to collaborate with ancillary teams, departments, investigators, research personnel, administrative support, and sponsors or funding organizations.
- Experience compiling and presenting oral and written financial reports in a clear and simple way.
- Proven experience interpreting federal and state laws and regulations and applying that knowledge to a variety of situations.
They are some skill sets that are a necessity for you to thrive in this role and they include the following:
Budget analysts must be able to process a wide range of data, evaluate costs and benefits, and solve complex problems.
- Budget analysts must be able to explain and defend their findings and recommendations in meetings and hearings before legislative committees.
- Detail-oriented: as a budget analyst part of your job is creating an efficient budget and as such it necessitates meticulous analysis of each budget item.
- Budget analysts must have mathematical skills as well as the ability to handle financial management tools and applications.
- Budget analysts must be able to deliver written technical information in a way that the intended audience can understand.
- Knowledge of organizational budgetary and cost methods, practices, procedures, regulations, policies, and processes for formulating, justifying, and executing budgets.
- Ability to use tools and procedures to study and evaluate the consequences of changes in program goals and funding (e.g., cost-benefit analysis, ZBB, amortization, depreciation, and pro-rating revenues and costs among customers).
- Ability to collect, organize, and evaluate data in order to generate budget estimates, develop alternatives, and offer recommendations for resolving budget and financial issues.
- Ability to justify, defend, convey, and advise on budgeting procedures and actions through good oral and written communication.
- Understanding of security practices for guaranteeing the security of classified information.
Steps to becoming a Budget Analyst
In virtually all disciplines there are steps you need to undergo before being certified for it, the role of a budget analyst is no exception, steps to take in other to be considered for this role includes the following:
Budget analysts are typically required by employers to have a bachelor’s degree in an area such as business, finance, or public administration. Because budgeting necessitates numeracy and analytical skills, accounting, economics, and statistics education is beneficial. Work experience in budgeting or finance can sometimes be used to replace formal schooling.
Registrations, certifications, and licenses
The Association of Government Accountants offers the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) certificate to budget analysts working in federal, state, or municipal government (AGA). Candidates for the CGFM must have a bachelor’s degree, follow the AGA’s Code of Ethics, pass exams, and complete a specified length of professional-level experience in governmental finance management. CGFMs must do continuing education to keep their certification. Although the CGFM isn’t necessary, possessing the qualification can help you grow in your profession.
Where to Work
Every profession has a market for its services. This is also true for budget analysts; the following are the largest employers of budget analysts:
Budget analysts typically work in a pleasant office environment. Their schedules change during the budget cycle, and many are forced to work extra hours during budget formulation, mid-year reviews, and final reviews. Deadlines and tight work schedules can be a source of stress for budget analysts they may need to travel to gather first-hand budget information or to double-check funding allocations.
The federal government, educational services (state, local, and private), state government, professional, scientific, and technical services, and local government all employ budget analysts.
The following is a list of places where their services are required:
- Federal government
- Educational services; state, local, and private
- Professional, scientific, and technical services
- Local government
- State government
Budget Analyst Salary Scale
In the United Kingdom, the average compensation for a budget analyst is £44,404 per year. In May 2020, the median yearly wage for budget analysts in the United States was $78,970. In a given occupation, half of the workers earned more than that, while the other half earned less. The lowest 10% of earners took home less than $51,220, while the highest 10% took home more than $121,360. Budget analysts in the United States earned the following median annual wages in the main sectors where they worked in May 2020:
|Professional, scientific, and technical services||$84,050|
|Local government, excluding education and hospitals||$74,870|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||$70,650|
|Educational services; state, local, and private||$67,800|