If you have strong numerical and analytical skills, interest in finances and its allocation then Budget Analysts as career could be right fit for you. These Analysts find the most efficient way to distribute funds and other resources among various departments and programs; they also seek new ways to improve efficiency and increase profits in the government organizations or in private firms.
In today’s scenario the role of Budget analysts have broadened as limited funding has led to downsizing and restructuring throughout private industry and government. They are now involved in policies governing the formulation and maintenance of the budget, but they also measure organizational performance, assess the effects of various programs and policies on the budget, and help draft budget-related legislation besides developing guidelines. Budget analysts work for government agencies, nonprofit charities, and private businesses.
Role of Budget Analysts
- Provide advice and technical assistance in the preparation of annual budgets
- Develop the organization's budget
- Review managers' budget proposals for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with laws and other regulations
- Explain their recommendations for funding requests to others in the organization, legislators, and the public
- Help the chief operation officer, agency head, or other top managers analyze the proposed plan and find alternatives if the projected results are unsatisfactory
- Monitor organizational spending to ensure that it is within budget
- Inform program managers of the status and availability of funds
- Estimate future financial needs
Skills of Budget Analysts
Analytical skills: Budget analysts must be able to process a variety of information, evaluate costs and benefits, and solve complex problems.
Communication skills: Budget analysts need strong communication skills because they often have to explain and defend their analyses and recommendations in meetings and legislative committee hearings.
Detail oriented: Creating an efficient budget requires careful analysis of each budget item.
Math skills: Most budget analysts need math skills and should be able to use certain software, including spreadsheets, database functions, and financial analysis programs.
Writing skills: Budget analysts must present technical information in writing that is understandable for the intended audience.
Budget analysts usually work in a comfortable office setting. Long hours are common among these workers, especially during the initial development and midyear and final reviews of budgets. The pressures of deadlines and tight work schedules during these periods can be stressful, and analysts usually are required to work more than the routine 40 hours a week.
Sample of Some job titles:
Budget Analyst, Budget Officer, Budget and Policy Analyst, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Cost Accountant, Staff Analyst, Accounting Supervisor, Budget Coordinator