What does a Budget Analyst do?

Dee Saale
Dee Saale
Dee Saale
Dee Saale
Budget analysts must be able to logically organize financial data for departmental or organizational budgets.
Budget analysts must be able to logically organize financial data for departmental or organizational budgets.

One of the largest challenges in most corporations, agencies, or organizations is to distribute limited finances effectively. In most cases, the task of dividing up limited resources would be practically impossible if it were not for the budget analyst. The budget analyst develops, critiques, analyzes, and implements budgets. She must use the financial resources that are available and also estimate future budgetary needs.

Budget analysts might monitor online statements to make sure spending is on track.
Budget analysts might monitor online statements to make sure spending is on track.

A budget analyst can work in a wide variety of places, from the private sector to the public sector or even non-profit organizations. If she works in the private sector, her main duty will be to analyze the budget of that corporation and determine new ways to make the company more efficient; thereby raising the profits of the company. In the public sector and in non-profit organizations, profits are often less of a concern. In those cases, a budget analyst must try to find the best way to disperse money and other resources throughout the agency or the various segments of the organization.

The U.S. Congress has analysts who advise the government on federal budget matters.
The U.S. Congress has analysts who advise the government on federal budget matters.

As funding has become scarcer, there have been bold moves to downsize, restructure, and stop needless spending. Consequently, budget analysts have become important people in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, alike. Besides managing and implementing the budget, she also works to evaluate the performance of various programs or departments. If a program or department seems wasteful, she may encourage corporate or agency leaders to end, trim, or streamline that program or department. Drafting legislation related to a balanced budget and conducting training sessions on how to approach a new budget may also be among her job duties.

Each time a new budget cycle approaches, leaders and managers give the budget analyst proposals to review. The proposals indicate all aspects of the program or department in question. They will detail each program, how much money it will take the program to run, and they may even propose ways to fund the program and increase financial resources.

Estimating a budget and analyzing a proposal for accuracy and completeness are among the many responsibilities of a budget analyst. In addition, she must be aware of the procedures that are in effect, the regulations that are implemented by law, and the objectives of the organization or department. She must also use a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the cost of the program or department is worth the benefit it serves to the community or the corporation. Occasionally, she will need to find alternative ways to fund a particular program or department, so thinking outside the box is an important skill.

Budget summaries and financial software are quite popular for the budget analyst. The summaries will directly state whether a program or department should receive funding. They are usually read by top corporate leaders or elected officials. Although the advice of the budget analyst does not have to be followed, it is the best way to ensure the longevity of a corporation, agency, or organization.

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to wiseGEEK.

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to wiseGEEK.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

Chmander

One thing I've learned over the past few years is how to balance my money. I started my first job at the age of 17, and whenever I got my paycheck, I would always use it at movie theaters, restaurants, and when I was out shopping. However, not only did I realize that I was spending my cash way too fast, but I also realized that I needed to have a plan. I still spend my money on accessories, but I've made sure to save the "fun" things for last. I now spend my money on what actually matters. In fact, I've been saving up for a car.

Viranty

As the article (indirectly) states, having a budget is all about working around limitations. You have to know how to distribute money evenly, among each task and/or item. Right now, I'm planning an event for my school, and it's definitely not easy. The event is known as OPUS. Between the food, games, prizes, movies, and instruments, I am being very careful. I know that if I spend too much money on instruments or food, I won't have enough money for games and/or prizes.

RoyalSpyder

@Chmander - You make some excellent points, especially in reference to the media. Speaking of which, one movie that comes to my mind is called Joseph King of Dreams. Though it's a sequel to Prince of Egypt, there are a lot of differences. Compared the Prince of Egypt, the quality of the movie is generally lower. The songs are more kid-friendly and repetitive, the animation is downgraded, and the voice acting is sub-par. Obviously, all this is due to the movie's budget. It was released on video and not in theaters, and due to this, it has a lower budget than a lot of other movies. Overall, I enjoyed Joseph King of Dreams, but the movie as a whole really emphasizes the article's main points.

Chmander

From movies, video games, TV shows, and numerous projects, it's essential to take a budget into consideration. As the article states, it's one of the largest challenges in corporations, agencies, and organizations. In my opinion, sometimes, when a viewer is watching entertainment (such as a form of media), though its purpose is to entertain, I feel that some fail to realize that a budget has been taken into consideration. This especially applies to people who critique a movie for lousy animation. They don't realize how much hard work was put into the piece, despite the limitations.

Axeleye

What majors are appropriate for work as a budget analyst; do any business majors suffice? Does the job require additional schooling, such as a master's degree?

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Budget analysts must be able to logically organize financial data for departmental or organizational budgets.
      Budget analysts must be able to logically organize financial data for departmental or organizational budgets.
    • Budget analysts might monitor online statements to make sure spending is on track.
      Budget analysts might monitor online statements to make sure spending is on track.
    • The U.S. Congress has analysts who advise the government on federal budget matters.
      The U.S. Congress has analysts who advise the government on federal budget matters.