A budget specialist, also called a budget analyst, is an individual who has extensive knowledge and experience working and developing budgets for businesses, whether large or small. Budget specialists are hired to identify issues with a budget, offer consulting services in terms of budget development and implementation and perform maintenance tasks on newly implemented budgets. A budget specialist is often hired on an as-needed basis.
A budget specialist may be responsible for analyzing existing budgets and pinpointing issues or problems that are causing an unstable budget. The budget specialist will outline the changes that need to be made to the budget in order to make it stable and, eventually, profitable. During this process, the budget specialist is responsible for keeping track of financial data and records owned by the business. The budget specialist will also provide additional support, follow annual budget instructions and follow department worksheet guidelines to respect and follow company regulations.
Budget specialists often have an extensive background in accounting or business administration. To be a budget specialist, an individual does not have to have an academic degree in accounting, but companies prefer to see some accounting experience. For example, a person with a degree in business administration with extensive practical work experience in budget and budget analysis may be the ideal choice for a budget specialist, even though this person does not have an academic background in accounting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's is usually required, but some employers may prefer a master's degree.
A budget specialist must have a strong understanding of how budgets and basic accounting work. Furthermore, the budget specialist must be able to manually prepare financial statements, analyze financial data, understand and work with complex systems in accounting and maintain professional working relationships with other employees, despite only working with them for a period of time.
Since the job of a budget specialist involves preparing, developing and implementing budgets for businesses, budget specialists are often hired on an as-needed basis. A company may need a budget specialist to repair the company’s budget, but not have a full-time position waiting for the budget specialist when the budget has been repaired and is functioning effectively. Budget specialists can work as freelancers and offer services for various companies at once. Companies may contact the budget specialist again, if the budget is not functioning well, needs minor changes or if the business owner let the company’s budget get out of control.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a budget specialist can make anywhere between $50,000 to $80,000 per year. The same website suggests that the median annual wage for a budget specialist in May 2008 was about $65,320. The highest 10 percent of budget specialists earned more than $100,360 per year. The top industries for budget specialists include aerospace products and parts manufacturing, federal executive branches and management of companies and enterprises.