What does a Budget Analyst do?
Budget analysts organizes the finances of private and public institutions by monitoring their spending and preparing budget reports. They analyze data to determine the benefits and costs of recommended funding levels and other programs as top executives and elected officials depend on the recommendations on the findings of the budget analysts to make informed decisions.
How to become a Budget Analyst
A budget analyst typically needs a bachelor's degree or in some cases, a master's degree is desired with courses in accounting or statistics. Local, state, and federal governments may have different requirements, however they normally require the applicant to have a bachelor's degree in business, accounting, public administration, finance, statistics, political science, sociology, or economics.
In some cases, a background with work experience in finance-related or budget-related fields may be substituted for formal education. Government budget analysts may receive the Certified Government Financial Manager credential from the Association of Government Accounts, but must have at least a bachelor's degree with 24 hours of study in financial management, along with 2 years of professional-level experience in government financial management, as well as passing a number of exams.
Budget analyists must complete 80 hours of continuing education every 2 years in order to keep the certification.
Job Description of Budget Analysts
Budget analysts typically have the duties of helping public and private institutions organize their finances. They work along-side project and program managers in developing the budget of the organizations while reviewing the proposal, checking for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with regulations and laws.
Budget analysts consolidate the department and program budgets into a organizational budget and check all requests for funding. Analysts present their recommendations for funding requests to those in the public, organization, and legislators.
A budget analysts assists the top manager, chief operations officer, or other agency heads to analyze funding proposals and find alternate solutions if the results are not acceptable. They monitor spending to remain within budget and estimate future spending requirements.
A budget analyst that is employed in government would attend committee hearings to explain their recommendations to legislators. He or she requires skills in math, writing, communication, and analytical abilities. They also need to be detail-oriented.