Nearly every organization needs someone charged with budgeting their finances and resources if not a department. Budget management is a key aspect in the success of an organization, or not facing a downfall if we’re being specific.
A good budget manager keeps the business afloat both in good and tough times. Let’s take a look at what budget management is.
Budget Management Explained
Budgetary management is the process of managing and tracking income and expenses. In most cases, companies have budgets for individual departments as well as an overall company budget. Departmental managers are often charged with managing their department’s budget.
Budgets are usually comprised of the following aspects:
- Revenue: Revenue is income from sales, investments or other sources. All income should be recorded in the budget.
- Operating expenses: Operating expenses are the costs associated with running the department or business like machinery upkeep, rent and utilities.
- Capital expenses: Capital expenses are investments in the department or business. Capital expenses can take many forms such as a new building or a patent on a product.
- Employee expenses: Employee expenses include any costs related to staffing such as wages and healthcare.
While we shall look at more of these, later on, there are two main responsibilities for successful budgetary management. One is budget preparation and the other is budget tracking.
- Budget preparation: Preparing a budget includes determining expenses, setting spending limits and creating a tracking system.
- Budget tracking: Budget tracking includes keeping a running list of all expenses and income to balance the department’s actual money against costs.
How Is Budget Management Done?
Budgetary management can be done through cash accounting or accrual accounting.
- Cash accounting: Cash accounting records revenue when it appears in the bank account and expenses when they are paid and the money has left the bank account.
- Accrual accounting: Accrual accounting records revenue when it is earned but before it is transferred to the bank account and expenses when they are billed but before the money exits the bank account.
Selecting the appropriate style of accounting will depend on factors like company size, budgetary management experience, and the items on the budget. Smaller companies often apply cash accounting as opposed to accrual accounting which is mainly used by larger-sized organizations.
What Necessary Skills For Managing A Budget Do I Need?
Managing a budget can sometimes be quite challenging. It often requires these skills for you to carry it out successfully;
Preparing a budget for the coming year is a vital skill for managers. When preparing your annual budget, consider things like business objectives and departmental goals.
Begin by identifying overhead costs that must be paid for the department to function. Then you can consider capital investments that could improve the department.
Taking the time to prepare a detailed and functional budget will make its management much simpler.
Managers must understand how to analyze the financial health of their department, and possibly the entire organization. Profits and losses will impact the annual budget.
An excellent budgetary manager can review financial statements and make informed decisions for their budget based on the information they find.
Financial forecasting is the process of determining how a business or department will perform at a predetermined future time. Budgetary management must include financial forecasting.
Great managers use financial forecasting to determine where they should invest money and where they should expect additional costs.
This will help them maintain a balanced budget for the year.
What Responsibilities Are Budget Managers Charged With?
The different organizations may require you to take on different tasks, however, there are common responsibilities that cut across all companies.
These responsibilities include;
- Determining organizational finance capacities, calculating financial constraints, and approving budget strategies.
- Establishing standards and procedures to guide the administration of organizational budgeting.
- Creating strategies to optimize our organization’s budgets and spending.
- Monitoring spending patterns and implementing measures to promote adherence to budgets.
- Implementing and maintaining accounting best practices to ensure the financial good standing of the organization.
- Providing financial analysis and strategic input to facilitate high-level decision-making by management.
- Formulating and developing departmental and organizational budgets with relevant people and organizations.
- Analyze company’s financial information (such as cash management٫ expenditures٫ and revenues) making sure that company’s financial operations do not exceed budget limits
- Review budget suggestions, requests and completed budgets for compliance with legal regulations
- Compare company’s estimated financial results with the actual ones at the end of each reporting period and analyze the differences
- Make forecasts about budget needs for future accounting periods.
What Is Required Of Me To Be Hired As A Budget Manager?
To be a budget manager, companies will require you to possess the following;
- A bachelor’s in accounting, business management, finance, or similar. A master’s degree is an added advantage.
- At least 5 years of experience as a budget analyst, financial analyst, business accountant, or similar
- A demonstrable record of promoting organizational growth through effective budget planning.
- Thorough knowledge of legal frameworks and business accounting procedures
- Experience with accounting software (QuickBooks, Sage X3, etc.)
- Good knowledge of MS Excel including advanced tools and formulas٫ complex tables and charts
- Profound experience of using forecasting and data analytics methods
- Familiarity with best practices and regulations in accounting and financial areas
- Ability to present budget and fiscal data in clear and comprehensive manner
- Exceptional leadership skills and the ability to delegate appropriately
Top Budget Manager Jobs You Should Consider In 2021
#1. Program Budget Manager, Mental Health Program – HCA
Salary: $68,304.00 – $95,616.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Olympia, WA
The Program Budget Manager, Mental Health Program provides advanced level technical analysis, advice, and recommendations to management decision-makers, including the HCA Chief Financial Officer and agency executive management.
The incumbent’s work directly affects the management of the HCA Medicaid budget of over $16 billion per biennium.
You will be responsible for developing and monitoring key components of the Medicaid budget, mental health budget, administrative budget, agency budget requests, allotment processes, fiscal notes, and financial analyses in a manner that ensures the process undertaken and content of all deliverables meet the HCA and Office of Financial Management (OFM) requirements and guidelines.
This position requires in-depth knowledge of and skill with the technical methods and tasks that are assigned, and the context in which they are applied; this includes a thorough understanding of the Medicaid program (federal and state regulations and responsibilities).
The Program Budget Manager must be able to manage multiple high-priority assignments and resources concurrently, taking the initiative to resolve problems or recommend alternative approaches when appropriate.
Financial Management, Fiscal Impact, and Decision Support
Budget and Financial Management
- Contribute to the development of the Medicaid per capita forecast; confirm accuracy of forecast output.
- Oversee any necessary adjustments, specialty payments, and journal vouchers (JVs) for Medicaid services.
- Master’s degree in Public Administration or related field and two years of professional experience working with large, complex financial systems/information is required. Experience within the State or other government entity is strongly preferred.
- Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration or related field and three years of professional experience working with large, complex financial systems/information is required. Experience within the State or other government entity is strongly preferred.
- Four years of professional experience in the financial, analytical, or accounting fields are equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree.
#2. Budget Manager (Manager 2) – Thr Seattle Department of Transport
Salary: $44.71 – $67.09 Hourly
Location: Seattle, WA
Under the direction of the SDOT’s Finance Manager, the Budget Manager (Manager 2) will coordinate the development of SDOT’s over $700 million annual budget; monitor and evaluate financial performance; provide advice and counsel to SDOT divisions on budgetary matters; establish budget processes, and manage budget systems.
This position will work with various City departments, SDOT division directors, managers, and staff at all levels to resolve financial and budget issues, highlighting areas of opportunity and risk to various stakeholders.
The Budget Manager will also work collaboratively with the Capital Improvement Program Manager, the Project Portfolio Management Team Manager, the Accounting Manager, and Strategic Advisors within the SDOT Finance team.
In addition, this position is one of the SDOT’s primary liaisons with the City Budget Office and regularly briefs City Council staff on SDOT’s budget and finances.
You will be expected to:
- Lead the preparation of SDOT’s Operating budgets. Develop, evaluate, analyze, and implement annual budgets and financial plans.
- Provide supervision of the team responsible for monitoring and analyzing departmental performance against budget, identifying risks and opportunities related to revenue, expenditures and other financial issues and prepare monthly management briefs.
- Design, develop, evaluate, and document budget and rate policies and procedures, and identify and recommend process improvements.
- Develop related long-term strategic financial policies and make recommendations to SDOT management, the City Budget Office, the Mayor’s Office, and the City Council. Drive departmental trend and forecast analysis of resources to support managerial decision-makers.
- Develop, implement, and improve tools for accurate financial forecast projections and business planning exercises. Identify emerging issues and make recommendations on corrective action.
- Coordinate preparation, presentation and distribution of ad hoc and ongoing financial reports needed by SDOT management, City Budget Office, City Council, or granting agencies.
- Provide financial management of multiple federal, state, and local funding sources.
- Assure regulatory compliance with outside funding agencies.
- A bachelor’s degree in Finance, Business Administration, Accounting, or related field that includes formal coursework in accounting and finance fundamentals.
- Minimum of 5 years of experience in developing budgets, financial and strategic plans, with at least 2 of those years in a supervisory capacity.
- MBA, MPA, or CPA is desirable.
- At least 7 years of professional finance/budget experience as described above with 5 years of supervisory/management experience.
#3. Budget Manager (Mgr. 3) – Seattle Public Utilities
Salary: $48.93 – $73.38 Hourly
Location: Seattle, WA
This position manages a team of nine (9) finance analysts, helping to shape policies and programs through cross-collaboration with SPU lines of business, thorough analysis, and problem-solving.
This position works in conjunction with the Rates and Accounting Teams in developing proposal strategies that help shape significant SPU policies and programs influencing the growth of the utility and its mission.
The Budget Manager also represents the Finance Division in strategic arenas, supporting the work driven by community and stakeholder feedback and monitoring program budgets and resources with other SPU staff to ensure success.
The position requires expertise in budget, finance, project management, program development and evaluation, contract negotiation, inclusive management, and oversight of federal and local funding requirements.
- Develop, implement, and monitor the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and Operating and Maintenance (O&M) budgets for four (4) Lines of Business, with a racial equity lens.
- Monitor, analyze and report out expenditure levels to the Finance Director, Department Director, and senior utility management; make recommendations to align SPU budget with City Budget Office (CBO) and Mayor’s Office priorities and objectives.
- Advise Finance Director, Branch Deputy Director, and senior utility management of budget decisions, finance policies, legislation, and other financial matters.
- Develop and recommend policies related to utility budget and investments that support a community utility vision, including supporting the Finance Director on utility policy development to managing SPU’s involvement in Citywide projects; the SPU Budget Manager will serve as a subject matter expert in identifying and exploring budget and financial issues for the department.
- Create and maintain good working relationships with SPU management, staff, and external stakeholders: in addition to providing technical assistance to individual lines of business, provide proactive communication to managers and directors to assess and address the utility’s budget needs and concerns.
- Manage the solid waste, water, and drainage & wastewater funding sources, monitor and forecast expenditures.
- Lead a team of nine (9) professional finance analysts involved in the development and production of the City budget. Provide leadership, coaching, mentoring, and development of staff.
- Five (5) years of direct budget development and financial monitoring experience; experience in inclusive management of staff or managing processes having to deal with large numbers of diverse stakeholders.
- Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration, or related field OR two (2) additional years of relevant experience.
#4. Capital Budget Manager – PACCAR Inc.
Salary: $115,467 to $144,333 annually
Location: Bellevue, WA
The Capital Budget Manager reports directly to the Vice President of Manufacturing.
In this role, you will lead the corporate-wide administration of all aspects of the capital budgeting process, surplus asset management, and facilitator for coordinating manufacturing methods’ improvements among various PACCAR operating entities.
You also perform special projects as required in support of executive management.
- Ensure adherence to planning cycle & timeline of the capital budget process
- Timely issuance of the Initial Capital Budget Requests (issue “Blue Book”)
- Issuance of the final capital budget (issue “Yellow Book”)
- Issue monthly summary for
- Discretionary budget summary (plan vs actual)
- Capital Budget Board approved vs current actual spend
- Commit and Forecast summary for each PACCAR division
- Manage status and tracking of All discretionary, approved capital and substitute capital budget requests (ongoing through the year)
- Performs analysis and project management functions for reengineering the capital budgeting and fixed asset management process.
- Design and implement new templates, databases and reports.
- Implement a Business Intelligence (BI) tool dashboard that provides real time, continuous updates to the Capital Budget
- Provides manufacturing and tooling liaison duties for PACCAR senior management as requested.
- Monthly and quarterly review and approval of Grey Book entries and capital carryover requests
- Control and approval of approved capital request for rolling stock, tooling, and corporate controlled accounts for all divisions.
- Manage and update capital budget and compliance systems
- Support PACCAR Long Term Manufacturing Strategy.
- Five (5) years’ experience in the areas of manufacturing, operations, project management, information and decision support systems.
- Bachelor’s Degree in engineering or related required. Master’s Degree Preferred.
- Knowledge of engineering, finance and operations, including working knowledge and / or graduate level instruction of industrial and manufacturing engineering, information systems and capital budgeting.
- Exhibit high degree of integrity, professional behaviour at all times, and respect for others
- Effective negotiation skills related to capital budget reviews and priorities
#5. Financial Analyst/Budget Manager – Corban University
Location: Corban University Salem, Oregon
The Financial Analyst operates under the direction of the VP for Business. This position is responsible for managing budget implementation, budget cycle, budget training, and forecasting while developing cost-cutting strategies with staff and faculty.
This position assists with financial software administration and feature implementation and acts as a liaison with IT support in this regard.
This position is also responsible for developing clear, concise financial reports for effective decision-making, and performing daily, monthly, and quarterly accounting responsibilities.
- Manage and monitor administration of the institution’s annual and capital budgets.
- Review monthly financial reports for spend management and budget variances and contact budget managers for resolution of issues.
- Respond to management inquiries of financial data through research, specialized reports, and training.
- Manage requests for budget, revenue, or expense transfers between accounts, cost centers, and/or restricted/designated funds.
- Prepare workbook templates for budget managers and import approved budgets and budget transfers into the financial software.
- Review all personnel action changes against budget availability and resolve issues with stakeholders.
- Train budget managers on financial software and monthly monitoring processes.
- Develop best practices and policy around restricted funds, cash flow and spending plans.
- Assist with revisions to Financial Handbook.
- Lead the Financial Stewardship Committee.
Financial Systems Management
- Coordinate and monitor chart of accounts in the financial software with Director of Accounting.
- Identify and implement improvements to financial software functionality.
- Provide system administration of user profiles and permissions.
- Provide back-up assistance for online processing of financial activity.
- Financial Reporting
- Create, improve, and distribute regular financial reports by deadlines to stakeholders including budget managers, VP for Business, and Cabinet.
- Assist with development of reports for the Board Finance Committee and the Board of Trustees.
- Inform organizational decision-making with the use of relevant, value-added metrics and analysis.
- Prepare presentations to the Board and Cabinet as requested.
Other duties and accounting responsibilities as assigned, including but not limited to:
- Daily cash management
- Review of monthly reconciliations
- Journal entries
- Assist with audit preparation
- A Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is preferred.
- 3-5 years accounting experience with a financial reporting emphasis required.
- Must have a proven record of leading change and process improvement.
- Must have a strong technical accounting background.
- Must have an Evangelical Christian commitment and lifestyle consistent with the University’s mission as described in our Statement of Faith.
A career in budget management is a great choice for anyone in finance. While it may require you to have notable level experience in the field to be hired in an amazing organization, the efforts to get there pay off pretty well. Share with us your thoughts on this in the comments.
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