Assess a company's budget to see if it's being spent wisely.
What does a Budget Analyst do?
Just as an unexamined life is not worth living, an unexamined budget is not worth having. Budget analysts look at a company’s budget to make sure funds are being used in the most productive way, money is being saved, and everything possible is being done to increase profits.
The flow of a budget analyst’s work goes in cycles—some periods of the year are brimming with activity while others are slightly less busy. The cycle you follow as a budget analyst is dictated by the yearly budget. All organizations—whether nonprofit, government, or for-profit—make a budget that outlines how they’ll spend their money for the rest of the year. During this period of budget creation, you work with project managers and department heads to get an idea of how much they want to spend and on what.
You look at the suggested programs and run the numbers to see how they can fit in the budget. You keep in mind things like funding sources, outside influences that can affect the program, and the possible success of the proposed project. You also research past budgets to compare how company money was spent before and look for alternatives if you decide the funding option won’t work.
When you’re not actively creating the company’s annual budget, you spend your time keeping track of it. You watch the way money is spent to make sure it’s used as it should be and watch for budget failings. When you find a program losing more money than it brings in, you work with business managers to identify ways to stop the loss.