Senior Budget Analyst Career and Salary Profile
As business changes and becomes more complex, financial expertise is increasingly valued by firms in every industry, around the globe. Senior budget analysts monitor and analyze an organization’s financial data and statistics to spot trends that can affect profitability. Launching a rewarding senior budget analyst career can begin with enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Accounting.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth for budget analysts is projected to grow strongly in coming years. The growing complexity of business and increase in availability of data will contribute to the demand for qualified senior budget analysts. Candidates with master’s degrees should have the best job prospects.
Senior Budget Analyst Job Duties
Allocating financial resources is vital to the health of every business. Senior budget analysts help them reach objectives by formulating, defining, designing, testing and implementing requirements and changes to business processes, policies and information systems. Duties often include developing and implementing budgets and forecasting financial needs, as well as processing, loading and validating data flowing thorough budget information systems. Other duties might include tracking, monitoring and analyzing data to ensure proper allocation, use and status of funds, and reconciling and resolving data discrepancies.
Additionally, senior budget analysts will seek ways to improve processes and increase profitability in private firms, or to use resources efficiently in nonprofit and governmental organizations. To achieve this, they will often conduct research and analyses, formulate recommendations and follow through with execution. Identifying issues through regular review of statistics, budgets and financial statements, and then providing solutions are vital activities of senior budget analysts.
In performing analytical duties, the senior budget analyst may be required to provide additional support, including identifying application system incidents, analyzing impact, and planning upgrades, enhancements and patches to meet business requirements.
Senior budget analysts are typically required to prepare routine correspondence, reports and briefings and use specialized software applications and computer systems to extract and analyze data, solve problems and present results to management.
These financial professionals usually work in comfortable office environments. A 40-hour week is standard. Depending on the employer, travel may be required.
BLS data for May 2009 indicate the average annual salary for all budget analysts was $69,240, while the middle 50% earned between $53,460 and $83,100. The highest 10% earned approximately $100,880. The higher salaries are generally earned by those who have earned senior-level titles through advanced education and experience.
According to national data from PayScale.com in January 2011, the average total annual pay for senior financial analysts, an alternative job title for senior budget analysts, was $74,730.
Additional data on PayScale.com show that earnings potential can be significantly enhanced by earning a master’s degree. Based on 75th percentile salary figures, senior financial analysts with an MBA earned approximately $83,204 per year, while those with a BS in Finance earned $75,072 per year – a differential of nearly 11%.
Additional experience can lead to roles with increasing responsibility, resulting in higher potential salaries. A sampling of financial salaries on PayScale.com in January 2011 showed that financial controllers and finance managers in the 75th percentile of earners brought in approximately $99,848 and $105,043 per year, respectively.
The data shows that the top salaries generally go to those with solid experience and the advanced education employers need to remain competitive.
Senior Budget Analyst Education and Training Requirements
A bachelor’s degree is the widely preferred education level for most senior budget analyst jobs. Many employers prefer to hire candidates with experience or an MBA for these senior-level positions.
Finance and budget professionals who wish to advance into a senior budget analyst position can enhance their credentials by enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Accounting. Coursework typically includes strategic cost management, financial management, managerial accounting, and advanced problems and current topics.
Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Accounting are able to:
- Compare and contrast financial reporting using current data mining processes.
- Analyze data to create sound solutions to real-world business problems.
- Develop organization-appropriate financial reporting systems.
- Perform budget analysis for maximum growth and profitability.
- Leverage advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as a senior budget analyst.
Is a Senior Budget Analyst Career a Good Fit For You?
The nature of a senior budget analyst’s work requires high standards of integrity and confidentiality, in addition to strong math and statistics abilities. Familiarity with financial software packages and excellent written and verbal communication skills are also essential to success in a senior budget analyst career. With these attributes, plus the knowledge and respect you’ll gain from earning an MBA with a specialization in Accounting, you’ll be well-positioned to compete for the best senior budget analyst jobs!