Budget analyst

A Budget analyst

Description

A budget analyst is a financial professional who plays a pivotal role in helping organizations manage their finances effectively by developing, analyzing, and monitoring budgets. These experts ensure that financial resources are allocated efficiently to achieve organizational goals while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Budget analysts provide critical insights that guide decision-making and contribute to an organization’s financial health.

The duties of a budget analyst typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing budget proposals and funding requests.
  • Collaborating with project managers to develop budgets.
  • Conducting cost-benefit analyses to determine value.
  • Approving or rejecting funding requests.
  • Ensuring compliance with regulations.
  • Defending budget recommendations against management.
  • Developing reports and forecasts for future financial requirements

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to budget analyst:

budget and policy analyst
budget officer
budget accountant
cost and planning analyst

Working conditions

Budget analysts typically work in office environments, often as part of finance departments or budgeting units within organizations. The role involves working closely with finance teams, department managers, and senior leadership to ensure accurate budget planning and execution. Attention to detail, strong analytical skills, and effective communication are essential.

Minimum qualifications

Most budget analysts hold a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or a related field. Advanced degrees or certifications, such as a master’s in business administration (MBA) or Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) designation, can enhance career prospects. Relevant work experience in finance, accounting, or budgeting is important for developing the necessary skills in financial analysis and budget management.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Budget analyst is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Budget analyst career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to budget analyst.

budget manager
cost analyst
financial controller
public finance accountant
investment analyst

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of budget analyst.

  • Financial department processes: The different processes, duties, jargon, role in an organisation, and other specificities of the financial department within an organisation. Understanding of financial statements, investments, disclosing policies, etc.
  • Budgetary principles: Principles of estimating and planning of forecasts for business activity, compile regular budget and reports.
  • Company policies: The set of rules that govern the activity of a company.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of budget analyst.

  • Support development of annual budget: Support the development of the annual budget by producing base data as defined by the operations budget process.
  • Develop financial statistics reports: Create financial and statistical reports based on collected data which are to be presented to managing bodies of an organisation.
  • Evaluate budgets: Read budget plans, analyse the expenditures and incomes planned during certain period, and provide judgement on their abidance to the general plans of the company or organism.
  • Use office systems: Make appropriate and timely use of office systems used in business facilities depending on the aim, whether for the collection of messages, client information storage, or agenda scheduling. It includes administration of systems such as customer relationship management, vendor management, storage, and voicemail systems.
  • Analyse financial performance of a company: Based on accounts, records, financial statements and external information of the market, analyse the performance of the company in financial matters in order to identify improvement actions that could increase profit.
  • Exert expenditure control: Analyse expenditure accounts against the income and usages of different company units, companies, or organisms at large. Recommend usage of financial resources in efficient manners.
  • Assess financial viability: Revise and analyse financial information and requirements of projects such as their budget appraisal, expected turnover, and risk assessment for determining the benefits and costs of the project. Assess if the agreement or project will redeem its investment, and whether the potential profit is worth the financial risk.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of budget analyst. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Funding methods: The financial possibilities for funding projects such as the traditional ones, namely loans, venture capital, public or private grants up to alternative methods such as crowdfunding.
  • Public finance: The economic influence of the government, and the workings of government revenue and expenditures.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of budget analyst. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Inspect government expenditures: Inspect the financial procedures of a government organisation which deals with budget and resource allocation and spending to ensure that no faults are being made and no suspicious activity occurs in the handling of financial accounts, and that the expenditures are compliant with financial needs and forecasts.
  • Manage budgets: Plan, monitor and report on the budget.
  • Review investment portfolios: Meet with clients to review or update an investment portfolio and provide financial advice on investments.
  • Synthesise financial information: Collect, revise and put together financial information coming from different sources or departments in order to create a document with unified financial accounts or plans.
  • Create annual marketing budget: Make the calculation of both the income and expenditures that are expected to be paid over the coming year concerning the marketing related activities such as advertising, selling and delivering products to people.
  • Advise on public finance: Advise public organisations such as governmental organisations on their financial operations and procedures, to ensure optimal efficiency.
  • Explain accounting records: Provide additional explanation and disclosure to staff, vendors, auditors, and to any other instance about the way accounts were recorded and treated in the financial records.
  • Consider economic criteria in decision making: Develop proposals and take appropriate decisions taking into account economic criteria.
  • Budget for financial needs: Observe the status and availability of funds for the smooth running of projects or operations in order to foresee and estimate the quantity of future financial resources.
  • Revise drafts made by managers: Revise drafts made by managers in order to check completeness, accuracy, and formatting.

ISCO group and title

2411 – Accountants


References
  1. Budget analyst – ESCO
  2. Budget Analysts : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. What Is a Budget Analyst? | Indeed.com
  4. Budget Analyst Job Description – Workable
  5. Featured image: By DPLA identifier: d9b358af7a6884075d9553592ed8fb83, National Archives Identifier: 81234735, Public Domain
Last updated on August 28, 2023