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BUDGETING FAQ

This webpage is designed to answer some of the frequently asked questions dealing with budgets and the budget process at BYU.
 

How long is the budget year at BYU?

What do I need to know about the annual strategic planning process?

How are budgets and expenses reported to campus?

How do I make adjustments to my budget?

How do I budget for Research Funding in the General Fund?

What Fund 11 budgets can be carried over from one year to the next?

What happens if I overspend my Fund 11 budget?

How are benefit rates used on campus calculated?

What if I am an Auxiliary controller? What are my responsibilities in the budgeting process?

What if I have questions about my monthly financial reports?

Nothing here has helped, where can I get more information?

 

How long is the Budget Year at BYU?

The budget year for Brigham Young University spans from January 1 through December 31. However, tuition and salaries are on an academic year that goes from September 1 through August 31.

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What do I need to know about the annual strategic planning process?

The annual strategic resource planning process is the method in which the budget for the upcoming year is prepared and presented. The process involves all areas on campus as areas prepare and submit budgets through deans/directors and line vice presidents, eventually coming to President’s Council for review and approval prior to submission to the Commissioner of Education and the Church Budget Office.

The Church is the primary source of funding for the University. During the annual strategic resource planning cycle, the Church provides a guideline increase for each budget category (salaries, supplies, travel, etc.). The guideline identifies the percentage by which the continuation budget will increase for the upcoming year. Funds needed for new or expanded programs or initiatives (i.e. program improvements) must be requested during the strategic resource planning process.

After all units have submitted their budgets to President’s Council for review and approval, the budgets are compiled into a consolidated university budget that is presented and proposed to the Church.

The strategic resource planning process takes place in the spring and summer, with the final draft of the budget being submitted to the Church Budget Office in the fall. In December the University receives notification of the approved budget. Occasionally the budget is not approved as submitted. There have been some budget cuts in the past.

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How are budgets and expenses reported to campus?

Financial reports are distributed monthly to the Manager and Contact for each operating unit on campus. Other campus individuals may also be delegated rights to receive these financial reports as well. The financial reports detail the budgets by category as well as the actual expenditures for the current month and the year. Budget is placed in major categories such as -5100, -5600, -6100, etc. Expenses are reported at the detail level, (-5510, -5610, -6140, etc.). Expenses in each category are summarized and compared to the budget to provide a balance available by category. For example, an expense in -5610 (student employee on a time card) would be summarized with other -56xx expenses and compared to the -5600 budget.

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How do I make adjustments to my budget?

It is sometimes necessary to move budget from one expense category to another or from one operating unit to another during the year. Budget adjustments are made using an electronic budget adjustment form. There are different forms for Fund 11 and for Auxiliary budget adjustments. The forms and instructions are located on the Financial Services web page on the Forms link. Unless noted, these adjustments are considered temporary in that they only affect the current year's budget. The budget adjustment form is submitted to the Budget Office for processing.

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How do I budget for Research Funding in the General Fund?

This section only applies to research funding in the General Fund, or Fund 11. It is not applicable to externally funded research activity that is accounted for in "Rxxxxxxx" operating units.

Fund 11 research allocations coming from the central administration are generally put into 0030 accounts. It is possible that other funding sources (for example, from colleges or departments) could also be put into the fund 11 research accounts. These other funds will go into specific accounts, such as travel, wages or supplies.

Unused balances in the 0030 account in Fund 11 research operating units may be carried forward to the new year (one year only) and will be placed in the 0035 account to identify them as funds that will not carry over for a second year. Please inform the recipients of this University Research or Alcuin funding as to when it will expire. Many faculty members erroneously assume that this funding continues indefinitely and therefore, do not use their funding in a timely manner. This funding will only carry forward over one fiscal year-end regardless of when it was awarded. For example, funding given out in the eleventh month of the year will expire 13 months later, or in the final month of the next fiscal year.

Fund 11 research allocations (0030 or 0035 budgets) that are moved over to Fund 20 operating units are not subject to the one year carryover rule. If moved to a Fund 20 operating unit, the 0030/35 budget will carry over indefinitely.

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What Fund 11 budgets can be carried over from one year to the next?

Equipment (account 1625) and Software (account 6000):

All unused Equipment and Software funds for the college or division will be carried forward to the new year. This carryover applies only to original Equipment and Software funds. Budget transferred to Equipment or Software from Salaries, Supplies, Travel or Annual Flexible Budget will be excluded when calculating the amount carried forward.

Research (account 0030):

Unused balances in the 0030 account will be carried forward to the new year (one year only). All other fund 11 Research budgets will end with the year. Many recipients for University Research or Alcuin funding erroneously assume that this funding continues indefinitely and therefore do not use their funding in a timely manner. The funding in the 0030 account will only carry forward one year-end regardless of when it was awarded. For example, funding given out in the eleventh month of the year will expire thirteen months later - the next year-end.

Access (account 6600):

All unused Access Equipment funds for the college or division will be carried forward to the new year.

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What happens if I overspend my Fund 11 budget?

An over-expenditure reduction is given when the balance available in your operating unit is negative at the end of the fiscal year. This deficit amount is taken out of the budget for next year.

The amount of the over-expenditure reduction is calculated by pooling the expenditure categories as follows:

Pool Accounts
Equipment 1625 and 6250
Software 6000 - 6004
Access Equipment 6600 - 6620
All Other Accounts Salaries, Supplies, Student Aid, Travel, and 0020/30/35

The total budget in the pool is compared to the total expenditures in the pool. If the pool has a positive balance available, then no over-expenditure reduction is given in that pool. If the balance available in the pool is negative, the deficit amount is taken out of the budget for next year.

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How are benefit rates used on campus calculated?

Because of our government research grants, we are required to use a methodology that is acceptable to the government. The method we use is to put similar employees into categories and apply an average to all in the category. Therefore, the fact that an employee may or may not participate in matched savings, or which insurance plan they select, does not result in a different benefit rate for that employee compared to others in the category. What they select affects the average, but we do not apply a different rate.

With input from DMBA, and considering recent historical information, we determine what the proposed rates by category will be and submit a proposal to the federal government. Once approved, these rates apply to all payroll activity on campus. We can’t have one rate for research grants and a different rate for other activity.

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What if I am an Auxiliary controller? What are my responsibilities in the budgeting process?

Please contact Andy Coats in the Budget Office at 422-1292.

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What if I have questions about my monthly financial reports?

If the question relates to budgets, please contact the Budget Office as indicated below.

If the question relates to the report structure, changing report recipients, not getting reports, etc., please contact your University accountant.

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Nothing here has helped, where can I get more information?

If you have any questions, or if we can be of help in any way, please contact Paul Behrmann at 422-6633 or Joel Christensen at 422-3693, or Andy Coats at 422-1292. We are located at D-208 ASB.