Budget officers are very important people in an institution. The budget officer is important since institutions always have the abundant information needed to make and manage a budget. However, the budget-making process might differ from organization to organization (Pfeffer, 2014). Thus, institutions need to know the right questions to ask when making a budget. The budget officer is important since he will know the proper questions, and also use reliable forecasting to support the budget-making process (Jeffrey, 2010). The following essay will discuss what it takes to be an effective budget officer in a post-secondary institution.
Requirements for a Budget Officer
The first and most obvious requirement for one to make a proper budget officer is education. Most institutions will prefer someone with a minimum of a bachelor's degree in any related field such as; financial management and economics. The degree should always be from an accredited institution. However, some firms hold experience more valuable than education (Pfeffer, 2014). Hence, a person might be chosen for the position of the budget officer based on the amount of experience the person has. Nonetheless, it takes more than just education to make a good budget officer. One has to acquire all the necessary skills and knowledge needed in the profession.
One such skill is the ability to create and maintain a complex budget. Post-secondary institutions will definitely have a complex budget because of the multi-faceted nature. Such institutions have to allocate money for different causes such as energy, healthcare, food, staff motivation, and development as well as for maintenance of facilities and technological development. Prioritizing between such needs can be a challenging task hence budget officers need the skill to create and maintain such complex budgets in multifaceted institutions (Jeffrey, 2010). The budget officer also needs excellent communication skills to pass messages regarding the budget-making process to other stakeholders. Strong interpersonal skills can be used to complement the communication skills. Interpersonal skills will enable the officer to work well with others during the budget-making process (Elbanna, 2016). Strong interpersonal skills will also help the officer manage well in a diverse working environment.
Another crucial requirement to make an excellent budget officer is the ability to gather data, analyze it and write comprehensive reports that will help in budget planning. The compilation of information is an essential step in the development and consolidation of the budget (Pfeffer, 2014). Hence data should be gathered and analyzed comprehensively to come up with a proper budget, especially for multi-faceted institutions. The officer should also be conversant with the budget legislation. Such knowledge will help prepare a budget that works within the boundaries of the law.
Above all, the budget officer should have great monitoring skills to help determine if the expenditures are in line with the approved budget. So, the officer will need the capability to interpret financial data and prepare reports that show the use of expenses and whether it concurs with the budgetary projections (Elbanna, 2016). Therefore, budget officers need the ability to make an evaluative judgment on whether finances are being used according to the budget.
Other than that, great budget officers need proper knowledge regarding the structure of the organization as well as the workflow and the operating procedures that the institution follows (Pfeffer, 2014). Such experience will help the officer to prioritize projects during the making of the budget. Such knowledge will assist the officer advise the company on the impact a budget can potentially have on the institution. Other necessary skills include the ability to foster a cooperative working environment as well as the ability to perform a cost analysis. When such skills are combined, one will easily become an excellent budget officer for any institution (Jeffrey, 2010).
Biblical principles guiding the Budget officer Profession
There are several verses in the bible that the budget officer can use to guide his practice. One such verse is Luke chapter fourteen verse twenty-eight. In the verse, Jesus taught the Pharisee's about money management. The lesson was in the form of a parable where Jesus used the building of a house to illustrate how money should be managed. The parable said and I quote "do not begin building a house until you calculate the cost. Who would start building without first counting the cost to determine if he has enough to finish building? If one builds without counting the cost, he might find that he doesn't have enough money even to lay a foundation. In the end, people will mock him saying 'there is the person who started building but could not afford it (Luke 14:28).
Every budget officer should know the verse above since it vividly dictates how money should be managed. The budget officer should use the verse as a reference point when making the budget for any project the institution might want to start. The officer must be sure the company has enough to sustain the project as well as other activities that are important to the institution (Pfeffer, 2014).
Another important verse for Christian budget officers is Proverbs chapter fifteen verse twenty-two and 1st Corinthians chapter four verse two. Provers 15: 22 says, and I quote, "Without counsel, a plan will fail. But with advisers, the plan will succeed" (Proverbs 15:22). 1st Corinthians 4:2 says that the stewards need to be trustworthy (1 Corinthians 4:2). Both verses can be used by the budget officer to guide his practice. 1st Corinthians 4:2 speaks of the biblical principle of being trustworthy. The budget officer needs to be trustworthy. Institutions rely heavily on the abilities of the budget officer; hence, the officer needs to be trustworthy since the institution is counting on him to help prepare an efficient budget. Provers 15: 22, on the other hand, instructs the budget officer to seek counsel when preparing the budget. With great counsel, the budget is highly likely to succeed. Hence, budget officers should consult with other stakeholders during the budget-making process (Elbanna, 2016).
In conclusion, it takes various competencies to make an effective budget officer. Such competencies include great financial skills, excellent communication, and interpersonal skills. Other additional competencies include data collection and analysis skills and the ability to monitor finances to ensure they are used according to the approved budget. Having such skills will definitely make one a great budget officer. Other than that, the budget officer can also rely on biblical principles to enhance his practice. There are several bible verses that the budget officer can rely on to help in his profession. Such bible verses teach of principles such as trustworthiness which can greatly help grow one professionally as a budget officer.
Jeffrey, B. (2010). The parliamentary budget officer two years later: A progress report. Canadian Parliamentary Review, 33(4), 37-45.
Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. R. (2014). Organizational decision making as a political process: The case of a university budget. Administrative Science Quarterly, 135-151.
Elbanna, S. (2016). Strategic decisionmaking: Process perspectives. International Journal of Management Reviews, 8(1), 1-20.
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