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Become A Fiscal Officer

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Working As A Fiscal Officer

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

  • Repetitive

  • $123,494

    Average Salary

What Does A Fiscal Officer 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 Officer

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 Officer Career Paths

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Fiscal Officer Demographics

Gender

Female

60.5%

Male

37.0%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

63.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

9.0%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.5%

Mandarin

12.5%

Russian

12.5%

Hindi

12.5%
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Fiscal Officer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.5%

Jackson State University

12.4%

University of Guam

6.7%

Northeastern University

6.7%

Mississippi State University

6.7%

Liberty University

4.5%

George Washington University

4.5%

Kent State University

4.5%

University of Connecticut

3.4%

Arizona State University

3.4%

Franklin University

3.4%

Strayer University

3.4%

Siena College

3.4%

Belhaven University

3.4%

University of Southern Mississippi

3.4%

Capital University

3.4%

Baruch College of the City University of New York

3.4%

Walden University

3.4%

Mississippi Valley State University

3.4%

Bowling Green State University

3.4%
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Majors

Accounting

34.5%

Business

33.3%

Finance

5.1%

Public Administration

4.4%

Management

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Law

1.9%

Educational Leadership

1.7%

Political Science

1.5%

Health Care Administration

1.5%

Computer Science

1.2%

Nursing

1.2%

Elementary Education

1.2%

Project Management

1.2%

Psychology

1.2%

Human Resources Management

1.2%

Education

1.0%

Marketing

1.0%

Physician Assistant

0.7%

Business Economics

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.2%

Masters

28.5%

Other

15.6%

Associate

8.7%

Certificate

3.8%

Doctorate

2.4%

License

0.4%

Diploma

0.4%
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Top Skills for A Fiscal Officer

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Payroll
  3. Audit
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Filed quarterly Federal Financial Statements Reports and financial reports for management use and presentations for city council.
  • Supervised personnel responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and subsequent reporting, purchasing and licensing.
  • Received three consecutive perfect scores on commanding general's audit, two at 1st Force Reconnaissance Company and one at TAVSC.
  • Developed overall policies and procedures for cash, credit management, departmental budgeting, financial reporting, and financial management systems.
  • Implemented State Investment Commission Tri-Party Collateral Policy and monitored multiple financial institutions to ensure compliance.

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Top Fiscal Officer Employers

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