As business changes and becomes more complex, financial expertise is increasingly valued by firms across industries and 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 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), budget analysts should be in demand in the coming years, particularly in the public sector, where these professionals will be required to manage rising levels of revenue and spending. The growing complexity of business and the increasing availability of data may also contribute to the need for qualified budget analysts.
Candidates with master’s degrees typically have improved prospects of advancing to senior-level and managerial positions.
Senior Budget Analyst Job Duties
The efficient allocation of financial resources is vital to the health of businesses and organizations. Senior budget analysts help companies and agencies reach objectives by formulating, defining, designing, testing and implementing requirements and upgrades to business processes, policies and information systems.
Typical duties for these accounting and finance professionals may include developing and implementing budgets, and forecasting financial needs, as well as processing and validating data flowing through budget information systems. Other duties might include tracking, monitoring and analyzing data to ensure proper allocation, reviewing use and status of funds, and reconciling and resolving data discrepancies.
Additionally, senior budget analysts may seek ways to improve processes, increase profitability and use resources more efficiently, whether for private, nonprofit or governmental organizations. To achieve this, they 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.
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.
Senior Budget Analyst Salary Potential
The BLS reports that budget analysts nationwide earned an average annual salary of $77,170 as of May 2016. The 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting & Finance reports an annual salary range of $63,000-$82,500 for senior-level budget analysts at small companies, and $81,000-$104,500 for senior-level budget analysts at large companies. Potential salary ranges vary according to numerous factors, including industry type and size, and a candidate’s work experience and educational qualifications.
Recent college graduates will generally start out toward the lower end of the salary range, while top salaries generally go to those with more experience, certifications and specialized education.
Senior Budget Analyst Education and Training Requirements
An undergraduate degree, such as a bachelor’s in accounting, may be the preferred minimum educational requirement for many budget analyst jobs. However, some employers may require candidates with industry experience and/or a graduate degree for these senior-level positions.
Finance and budget professionals who wish to advance into a senior budget analyst position may 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 should expect professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Accounting to be 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
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 abilities in statistics and analysis. Familiarity with financial software programs, and excellent written and verbal communication skills are also common attributes of senior budget analysts.
Individuals with these attributes may also increase their options for career advancement by earning an MBA with a specialization in Accounting.