Budget Analyst – a must have for the Organisation
To keep the finances on track, a budget analyst is required for any organisation. Developing forecast and preparing budgets based on past expenditures and economic trends are the main focus for the next financial year’s preparation. They play a vital role for an organisation in reaching the financial goals, maintaining profitability and achieving long term growth. Availability and demand for a budget analyst is vast and for any industry, large or small, can set up their platform in government agencies, educational institutions, healthcare providers, financial firms and many more sectors/ industries.
What is budget analysis?
The purpose ofbudget analysis is to understand how an organization's money is being spent andmanaged, and whether the budget meets the group's goals. The organization couldbe a business, a government, a charity or any other entity that draws upbudgets. Budget analysis helps the organisations to systematize their finances.It is used to evaluate the budget proposals and keep a check if theexpenditures are done productively and provide recommendation either toincrease or decrease the funding based on their statistical evaluation. A totalinformation is generated which is further send to senior management forevaluation.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Budget analyst
One of a budgetanalyst’s main duties is developing an organization’s budget. This may involveworking with multiple departments and project managers, as well as otherstakeholders, to determine costs and benefits of various programs. They alsoconduct research, analyze data and review financial records. During theprocess, they typically recommend funding levels and spending cuts. Budgetanalysts are often required to ensure that budgets, book-keeping,and other finances are in compliance with regulations, laws and companystandards. They also make recommendations to management and other stakeholdersregarding efficient use of funds. Additional duties include monitoring spendingfor variations, providing technical analysis, and preparing annual and otherreports.
• Tomonitor and manage the current budget throughout the fiscal year
• ToSuggest budget amendments to department heads and senior management
• Reviewbudget estimates submitted by department heads for accuracy and completeness
• Studyingprevious budgets with focus on variance from budgeted to actual expendituresand revenues
• Projectingthe future financial needs
• Reportpreparation concerning budgetary discrepancies and amendments
· Budget consolidation of all the departments into a singledocument
· Explanation of the recommendations provided
· To come up with alternatives in case of analysis issues
· To keep a track on expenditures to meet the actualallotted budget
Scope of a BudgetAnalyst
Minimum requirementto apply for the post of a budget analyst is graduation, although preferencewill be given to candidates with post graduation. Course work in statistics andaccounting will be beneficial as the work demands strong numerical andanalytical skills.
Prospective budgetanalysts are often required to have some training or experience in the budgetcycle, which typically lasts for one year. Employers also seek strong writtenand verbal communication skills, and attention to detail. Some employers lookfor a candidate with a degree in accounting, business administration,political science, finance or statistics.
The governmentprojects the number of analyst positions to keep growing, but slower than therate of growth for all jobs. However there's a lot of turnover as analystsleave their current jobs for better paying, higher ranked positions. The resultis plenty of openings for beginner budget analysts. Entry-level budgetanalyst jobs provide opportunities for learning and taking on additionalresponsibilities. From there, it may be possible to move to a senior budgetanalyst, finance manager or budget manager position.
A number of militaryjobs encompass skills and knowledge used by budget analysts. For example,Navy business management, purchasing, supply and logistics roles utilizefundamentals of budgeting, analysis and problem solving.
Army financial managementtechnicians perform job duties such as posting documents to budget systems andpreparing financial reports.
Hence, the role of abudget analyst is important and crucial in today's dynamic businessenvironment.