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Budget Analysts

The Job

Every company, nonprofit organization, and government agency needs to understand how much money it will generate (from sales, taxation, financial donations, or other revenue streams) and have available to spend in a given amount of time. To do so, they create a budget, which is simply a formalized financial plan based on expected income and expenses. Budget analysts are financial experts who help their employers prepare annual budgets and special financial reports. Their duties include assessing data to determine the costs and benefits of various programs or operational expenses, combining program and department budgets into an organizational budget, performing cost-benefit analyses to review financial requests, recommending spending reductions for particular programs and/or the redistribution of funds, and working with managers to analyze various budgetary components and finding alternative financial approaches, if asked.

Once a budget is approved by the organization’s executives, budget analysts monitor organizational spending to ensure that it is within the budget. If there is a difference between the approved budget and actual spending, analysts notify executives regarding the issue and recommend changes to address the disparity. They prepare special budget reports that summarize the status of revenue and expenditures, or reports that examine long-term issues that may affect future budgets. Some analysts are tasked with identifying new ways to improve efficiency and increase profits.

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