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Become A Fiscal Analyst

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Working As A Fiscal Analyst

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

  • Repetitive

  • $71,590

    Average Salary

What Does A Fiscal 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 Fiscal 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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Fiscal Analyst jobs

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Fiscal Analyst Demographics

Gender

Female

57.4%

Male

40.3%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

81.8%

Hispanic or Latino

9.2%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

1.2%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.4%

Russian

7.1%

German

7.1%

Arabic

7.1%

Ukrainian

7.1%
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Fiscal Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.1%

University of Washington

11.6%

Washington State University

5.8%

Liberty University

5.8%

New Mexico State University

5.8%

Evergreen State College

4.7%

Strayer University

4.7%

Capella University

4.7%

Central Washington University

3.5%

Eastern Washington University

3.5%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.5%

Oregon State University

3.5%

Winthrop University

3.5%

Southern Wesleyan University

3.5%

South Puget Sound Community College

3.5%

American University

3.5%

Flagler College

3.5%

Texas A&M University

3.5%

Clemson University

3.5%

Washburn University of Topeka

3.5%
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Majors

Business

31.9%

Accounting

26.5%

Finance

8.4%

Public Administration

5.7%

Management

4.7%

Economics

3.4%

Law

2.3%

Political Science

2.0%

Psychology

1.7%

Health Care Administration

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Computer Information Systems

1.3%

Human Resources Management

1.3%

Information Technology

1.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.0%

Biology

1.0%

Computer Science

1.0%

History

1.0%

Educational Leadership

1.0%

Public Policy Analysis

1.0%
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Degrees

Masters

43.4%

Bachelors

35.5%

Other

8.7%

Certificate

4.8%

Associate

4.5%

Doctorate

3.1%
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Real Fiscal Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SAP Nota Fiscal Analyst Paccar Inc. Renton, WA Mar 06, 2016 $118,706
Associate Health Care Fiscal Analyst State of New York, Department of Health Albany, NY Feb 14, 2012 $66,375
Associate Health Care Fiscal Analyst State of New York, Department of Health Albany, NY Feb 14, 2011 $66,375
Senior Health Care Fiscal Analyst State of New York, Department of Health Albany, NY Feb 14, 2011 $56,550
Fiscal Analyst The University of Kansas Lawrence, KS Apr 13, 2014 $52,000
Senior Health Care Fiscal Analyst State of New York, Department of Health Albany, NY Feb 13, 2011 $50,986
Fiscal Analyst/Project Manager Pursuit of Purpose Inc., D/B/A M.H.M. & Associates Riverside, CA Mar 01, 2012 $47,382
Fiscal Analyst I Milwaukee Board of School Directors Milwaukee, WI Sep 16, 2016 $47,174 -
$63,604
Fiscal Analyst Community Healthcare Network, Inc. New York, NY Sep 11, 2014 $45,900
Fiscal Analyst South Carolina State University Orangeburg, SC Jun 15, 2011 $45,500 -
$48,500
Fiscal Analyst The University of Kansas Lawrence, KS Jan 17, 2013 $45,000

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Top Skills for A Fiscal Analyst

PayrollDeductionsFinancialPoliciesInternalAuditPersonnelStateAgenciesGeneralLedgerJournalEntriesMedicaidMonthlyFinancialStatementsAnnualBudgetFiscalAnalysisPurchaseOrdersFinancialDataMonthlyBasisCustomerServiceJournalVouchersFinancialInformationSupervisePrinciplesResource

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Top Fiscal Analyst Skills

  1. Payroll Deductions
  2. Financial Policies
  3. Internal Audit
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created MS Access Database to key and upload Payroll Deductions and Time Sheets to Mainframe.
  • Assured that Core Providers complied with all financial policies and directives.
  • Initiated and completed an internal audit to ensure document accountability and integrity.
  • Communicated with agency personnel and outside contractors to resolve payment issues of Federal and State construction estimates.
  • Prepared fiscal impact statements and annual reports for 20 Alabama State agencies with budgets totaling in excess of $20 million.

Top Fiscal Analyst Employers