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Become A Budget/Finance Analyst

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Working As A Budget/Finance Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $58,841

    Average Salary

What Does A Budget/Finance Analyst Do

Budget analysts help public and private institutions organize their finances. They prepare budget reports and monitor institutional spending.

Duties

Budget analysts typically do the following:

  • Work with program and project managers to develop the organization's budget
  • Review managers' budget proposals for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with laws and other regulations
  • Combine all the program and department budgets together into a consolidated organizational budget and review all funding requests for merit
  • Explain their recommendations for funding requests to others in the organization, legislators, and the public
  • Help the chief operations officer, agency head, or other top managers analyze proposed plans 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

Budget analysts advise various institutions—including governments, universities, and businesses—on how to organize their finances. They prepare annual and special reports and evaluate budget proposals. They analyze data to determine the costs and benefits of various programs and recommend funding levels based on their findings. Although elected officials (in government) or top executives (in a private company) usually make the final decision on an organization's budget, they rely on the work of budget analysts to prepare the information for that decision.

Sometimes, budget analysts use cost-benefit analyses to review financial requests, assess program tradeoffs, and explore alternative funding methods. Budget analysts also may examine past budgets and research economic and financial developments that affect the organization's income and expenditures. Budget analysts may recommend program spending cuts or redistributing extra funds.

Throughout the year, budget analysts oversee spending to ensure compliance with the budget and determine whether changes to funding levels are needed for certain programs. Analysts also evaluate programs to determine whether they are producing the desired results.

In addition to providing technical analysis, budget analysts must effectively communicate their recommendations to officials within the organization. For example, if there is a difference between the approved budget and actual spending, budget analysts may write a report explaining the variations and recommend changes to reconcile the differences.

Budget analysts working in government attend committee hearings to explain their recommendations to legislators. Occasionally, budget analysts may evaluate how well a program is doing, provide policy analysis, and draft budget-related legislation.

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How To Become A Budget/Finance Analyst

A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become a budget analyst, although some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

Education

Employers generally require budget analysts to have at least a bachelor's degree. However, some employers may require candidates to have a master’s degree. Because developing a budget requires strong numerical and analytical skills, courses in statistics or accounting are helpful. Federal, state, and local governments have varying requirements, but usually require a bachelor's degree in one of many areas, such as accounting, finance, business, public administration, economics, statistics, political science, or sociology.

Sometimes, budget-related or finance-related work experience can be substituted for formal education.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Government budget analysts may earn the Certified Government Financial Manager credential from the Association of Government Accountants. To earn this certification, candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, 24 credit hours of study in financial management, 2 years of professional-level experience in governmental financial management, and they must pass a series of exams. To keep the certification, budget analysts must take 80 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

Advancement

Entry-level budget analysts begin with limited responsibilities, but advancement is common. As analysts gain experience, they have the opportunity to advance to intermediate and senior budget analyst positions.

Important Qualities

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.

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Budget/Finance Analyst Career Paths

Budget/Finance Analyst
Business Manager Service Manager Finance Manager
Administrative & Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Budget Manager Assistant Controller
Assistant Corporate Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Management Analyst Senior Accountant Senior Finance Analyst
Budget Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Budget Analyst Finance Manager Controller
Controller/Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Manager Accountant-Contractor Senior Accountant
Corporate Accounting Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Manager Senior Finance Analyst
Cost Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Business Manager Controller
Director Of Accounting & Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Controller Accounting Consultant Accounting Manager
Division Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Controller Finance Consultant Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Planning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Management Analyst Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Finance Manager Controller
Finance Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Controller
Interim Controller
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Accountant Senior Finance Analyst
Manager, Finance Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Accountant Accounting Manager
Manager/Finance Accounting
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Controller
Regional Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Budget Analyst Budget Manager Finance Manager
Regional Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Supervisor Operations Manager Operations Project Manager
Senior Operations Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Budget Manager Accounting Manager Plant Controller
Unit Controller
8 Yearsyrs
Business Manager Operations Director Operations Vice President
Vice President, Business Operations
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Budget/Finance Analyst?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Budget Analyst 3.4 years
Finance Analyst 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Budget/Finance Analyst
Accountant 9.8%
Analyst 3.8%
Auditor 2.6%
Internship 2.6%
Top Careers After Budget/Finance Analyst
Controller 5.8%
Owner 3.5%
Consultant 3.5%
Manager 3.2%
Accountant 3.0%

Do you work as a Budget/Finance Analyst?

Budget/Finance Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

50.8%

Female

45.9%

Unknown

3.4%
Ethnicity

White

58.2%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Black or African American

12.4%

Asian

10.9%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

28.9%

French

7.9%

Arabic

7.9%

Cantonese

7.9%

Chinese

5.3%

Amharic

5.3%

Mandarin

5.3%

Hindi

5.3%

Filipino

2.6%

Vietnamese

2.6%

German

2.6%

Italian

2.6%

Bemba

2.6%

Carrier

2.6%

Tagalog

2.6%

Hebrew

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Bengali

2.6%
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Budget/Finance Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.9%

Strayer University

11.9%

George Mason University

10.2%

University of Maryland - University College

6.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

6.8%

George Washington University

5.1%

Troy University

4.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.2%

Boston University

3.4%

New York University

3.4%

University of California - Davis

3.4%

Webster University

3.4%

University of Baltimore

2.5%

University of Nebraska at Omaha

2.5%

Saint Mary's University

2.5%

Temple University

2.5%

Emory University

2.5%

Texas Tech University

2.5%

Community College of the Air Force

2.5%

Santa Clara University

2.5%
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Majors

Business

31.8%

Finance

22.4%

Accounting

21.5%

Management

4.0%

Economics

3.8%

Public Administration

1.9%

Project Management

1.7%

Political Science

1.5%

Human Resources Management

1.5%

International Business

1.1%

Mathematics

1.1%

Information Technology

1.1%

Management Information Systems

0.9%

Health Care Administration

0.9%

Criminal Justice

0.9%

Education

0.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.8%

Communication

0.8%

Computer Information Systems

0.8%

Psychology

0.6%
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Degrees

Masters

41.3%

Bachelors

39.8%

Other

10.5%

Certificate

4.5%

Associate

2.6%

Doctorate

1.1%

Diploma

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Budget/Finance Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Budget & Financial Analyst Vanco Exploration Company Houston, TX Oct 01, 2010 $96,803
Financial & Budget Analyst Blue & White Foods, LLC. Islandia, NY Sep 01, 2011 $95,000
Financial & Budget Analysts Blue & White Foods, LLC Islandia, NY Sep 01, 2010 $95,000
Financial & Budget Analyst Blue & White Foods, Inc. NY Sep 01, 2009 $85,000
Financial & Budget Analyst Blue & White Foods, LLC Islandia, NY Sep 11, 2009 $85,000
Financial & Budget Analyst Blue & White Foods, LLC Islandia, NY Sep 01, 2009 $85,000
Financial Control & Budget Analyst Sumitronics USA, Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 15, 2010 $84,000
Budget Financial Analyst IV Western Digital Technologies, Inc. San Jose, CA Feb 11, 2016 $81,370
Project Budget & Financial Analyst Vanco Exploration Company Houston, TX Jan 25, 2011 $80,434
Financial & Budget Analyst Madel's International Group Inc. Davie, FL Feb 06, 2016 $76,586
Budget/Financial Analyst Cogent Energy Solutions, LLC Houston, TX Apr 14, 2014 $75,000
Financial & Budget Analyst Sherman Equities, Inc. New York, NY May 23, 2016 $70,000
Financial & Budget Analyst Classic Cooking, LLC NY Oct 18, 2010 $70,000 -
$80,000
Financial Analyst III-Budgeting Red Hat, Inc. Raleigh, NC Jan 26, 2011 $70,000 -
$80,000
Financial Analyst, Budgeting & Reporting Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. Boston, MA Jun 02, 2011 $63,648
Budget-Financial Analyst J.T. Posey Company Arcadia, CA Aug 31, 2009 $62,800 -
$85,000
Finance and Budget Analyst Eurasia Foundation Washington, DC Aug 01, 2011 $62,000
Budget Financial Analyst III Western Digital Technologies, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 03, 2010 $61,443 -
$69,293
Budget Financial Analyst III Western Digital Fremont Fremont, CA Oct 01, 2010 $60,254 -
$69,293
Financial Budget Analyst Nimbus Development, Inc. San Mateo, CA Feb 09, 2016 $60,000
Financial Budget Analyst Silicon Valley Innovation Center San Mateo, CA Jul 09, 2016 $60,000
Finance Budget Analyst KPIT Infosystems, Inc. Edison, NJ Sep 10, 2015 $60,000
Financial/Budget Analyst Junior South East World Wide, Ltd. Queensbury, NY Sep 23, 2012 $54,600
Financial Control & Budgeting Analyst Sumitronics USA, Inc. San Diego, CA Dec 10, 2009 $54,000
Financial Control & Budget Analyst Sumitronics USA, Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 01, 2010 $54,000
Financial and Budget Analyst E-Times Corporation Los Angeles, CA Oct 14, 2010 $53,499
Financial Budget Analyst AVI Foodsystems, Inc. Warren, OH Oct 01, 2011 $53,414 -
$55,000
Financial/Budget Analyst Nexsun Corp Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2009 $52,989
Finance/Budget Analyst Q-Eximtrade Inc. Carteret, NJ Sep 03, 2011 $52,738

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Top Skills for A Budget/Finance Analyst

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Variance Analysis
  3. Financial Status
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed and prepared monthly financial statements which provided management with viable information for effectively operating and expanding their line of business.
  • Updated monthly accruals and projections and performed variance analysis to support forecasting accuracy and for preparation of monthly and quarterly reports.
  • Initiated a quarterly forecasting process for subsidiaries that provided Senior Management with updated financial status.
  • Prepared and monitor both the internal and project budgets for the Systems Division.
  • Analyzed trends to determine cost effectiveness of purchased inventory by Theater Commanders.

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Top 10 Best States for Budget/Finance Analysts

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. New York
  4. Maryland
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Connecticut
  8. Alabama
  9. Michigan
  10. New Jersey
  • (366 jobs)
  • (1,103 jobs)
  • (1,224 jobs)
  • (595 jobs)
  • (77 jobs)
  • (735 jobs)
  • (285 jobs)
  • (179 jobs)
  • (414 jobs)
  • (564 jobs)

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