Budget Interview

  1. What is the most common budget constraint you frequently run into and how can it be fixed?

The most common budget constraint is restrictions on how many people you can hire. How can it be fixed? Have infinite money of course! (haha I wish). No but in all seriousness, you can make a proposal about hiring someone and explain why it will help to accomplish projects that need to get done. For example, at one point, I knew that we were going to need more software testers to get this big project done. It took a lot of work and convincing to get more testers hired. You have to anticipate, plan, propose, and then convince those who are above you for approval. It’s hard work.. you have to prove and help others understand why the budget restraint is hurting the company.

What is your favorite thing about budgeting at your company? What I like about budgeting is that I am able to help the company improve by budgeting efficiently. 

What is your least favorite thing about budgeting? One thing I don’t like about budgeting, is that it’s usually only reviewed annually, and therefore budget planning gets misaligned with actual priorities. If there are changes in the middle of the year it usually is hard to fix right away.

What do you find to be the most difficult about planning your budget? What I find most difficult is that it’s really hard to know and anticipate the needs and resources we will have to have to complete projects. You usually don’t exactly know until you start the project (and then the budget might be too low or too high).

How does budgeting affect your employees & customers? Budgeting affects employees because it allows you to hire people, and it affects the whole team if you don’t hire the right people or enough people. In some cases, it might mean letting some employees go, which could affect the company (for worse or for better). Budgeting affects costumers indirectly because it can change the quality of service they receive.

What is the main cause for being over budget? The main cause of being over budget is probably underestimation.. For example, if you underestimate how much a project will cost and then it ends up taking 6 more months to finish, this means the company will have to spend money they didn’t anticipate using. This is often how companies end up going over budget. 

What is the main cause for being under budget? The main cause for being under budget would be employees quitting. Another common reason would be deciding not to hire more people.

Who helps oversee the budget for the company? The boss or manager of the company, along with other financial advisors and other employees who know what resources the company needs.

How often do you make changes to your budget? In my company, we make the biggest changes annually. However, if there is a need for a change in the budget throughout the year then we will look at it more often and implement 

How often do you fire employees as a way of decreasing your budget? In my company we honestly don’t fire employees to decrease the budget that often. We need employees to keep up with our work load!

 

This interview was interesting because I learned that budgeting really takes a lot more effort than I expected it would. You have to learn to anticipate needs of the company so that the whole team will benefit. This takes practice and skill of paying close attention to detail! In my own personal life, I need to take time to go over my budget so that I can save more money. I also agree with the person I interviewed that having infinite money would solve all budgeting needs ;). 

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