In Fiscal Year 2017, Salisbury University initiated a decentralized budget process. This initial year, a budget was required to be submitted for each and every department code as we wanted to ensure budget administrators took their auxiliary department codes into consideration when preparing their budgets. Beginning with FY18, you are only required to submit a Budget Submission Template for your control budgeted department codes. We highly recommend that you complete a budget (whether using this same template or another you have created) for all non-control budget codes, however; it is not required to be submitted to the Budget Office for review and approval. Your Vice President or Dean could require a template still be submitted to their office, so please confirm individually.
Budget Administrators are expected to be realistic when completing their budget submissions, yet demonstrating the cost to “operate” within their budget request. We realize this is still a relatively new process, and some additional “right sizing” of your budgets will need to be done. However; as a division or school in total, we don’t expect there to be much change. Keep in mind, our goal is to determine a true “cost of each department to operate” and record only those annual normal operating costs expected in your budgets. Any increases you are requesting for program changes, new employees, new software, etc. must go through the enhancement process we have established.
The Budget Submission Template is an excel file with multiple tabs. The first tab in the document contains the instructions for completing the template itself. When saving the file, please enter the 6 digit PS number at the beginning of the file name. This file has not changed since the prior year, so you may use the one you prepared and submitted last year as your starting point for the current year.
Annually, during the months of April and May, the Budget Office will analyze each submission and discuss any concerns and questions with the BA of that department. These submissions will be summarized at the school and division level and discussed in detail with each Dean and Vice President. In addition, the entire campus’ projected spending allocations will be combined to analyze our expenditures in its entirety.
In May, the combined university budgets will be presented for discussion to the Executive Staff members periodically as it progresses.
In June, the “control” budgets will be uploaded to PeopleSoft at the rolled up category as noted in the budget template.
By June 15th, after final approvals, the beginning budget entries will be recorded in PeopleSoft Financials. The PIN 01 budget data will be updated in each template and the Budget Officer will send back each completed final template to the respective Dean or Vice President for dissemination within their area.
Once the final budget is approved and the actual Fiscal Year begins, the Budget Office monitors the spending of all departments within. If one department overspends, in reality, it is taking away spending authority from another, causing a ripple effect that could harm the university’s financial integrity. Communication between each Budget Administrator and the Budget Office is critical. Unfortunately, unanticipated expenditures occur and a call to action may be needed at times. “Communication” is a key component to the financial success of the university.
An enhancement request is an official request for additional funding over and above the general operating funds assigned to a department. This request for supplementary funds may be for an increase to the annual operating budget, a “one-time” only request, or a combination of both.
By completing a one page request, the Executive Staff of the University and the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee have the information needed to prioritize and fund initiatives that support and advance the university’s Strategic goals. Enhancement requests should first consider the question – “Is this something that can be funded or supported through the management and/or reallocation of current operating budget?” Once operating budgets are properly right-sized, departments have the discretion to manage, direct and apply budgets as they have been allocated (within the fiduciary restrictions applied to each budget and account code; funds are not fungible across budget pools).
As departments consider formal enhancement requests, there are some considerations as to how those requests should be proposed. Some guidance for requests is offered below:
“New” - a new addition to or an enhancement of an existing program, service or resource (including labor/personnel) that is not built into the current operating budget.
“Replacement” - requesting funds to replace existing equipment and/or a renewal of an existing service that is already an integral part of the department or university’s facilities, services, and/or amenities, but was not previously built into the operating budget.
“Equipment” - items which are NOT included in the already-established regular 03 operating budget (03 should already include: office/instructional/housekeeping supplies, equipment repairs/maintenance, software maintenance, association dues, subscriptions, licenses for software or other, travel, office phones, cell phones, postage, motor pool, etc.). Requests for “new or replacement equipment” are typically more expensive purchases which require planning and advanced resource allocation. Examples include scientific equipment, heavy machinery, advanced or sophisticated instruments, advanced computer equipment, gear for programs or people, tools, vehicles, etc.
“Replacement” of existing equipment used in computer labs, academic classrooms, administrative offices, etc. should have been originally addressed through the annual operating budget requests. Departments must have a deliberate plan as to how on-going equipment replacement and/or repair needs will be addressed within the department. Departments should be collaborating with campus partners (Dean’s Offices, OIT, Facilities, etc.) to develop these plans.
Requests for replacement projections beyond operating budgets will be collected and evaluated for (1) inclusion in the regular operating budget for the department, AND/OR (2) included in an overall campus replacement expenditure plan. The campus replacement plan will be budgeted in advance for the next 3 to 5 years (or longer as appropriate) to assist with larger resource and/or infrequently replaced items.
“Additional, NEW” equipment are requests which are additions or newly purchased amenities/services to what departments or the campus already offers and are to be submitted as a formal Enhancement Request.
If a department is re-hiring for a position that has previously been budgeted in the department, then there is no need to submit an enhancement. This is considered a “one-for-one” replacement of an existing resource that is already budgeted.
If a department wishes to hire a “new employee” into a “newly created position,” the department must prepare and submit an enhancement request as this would be an expansion of the existing operating budget, and requires more resources to be allocated to the budget. Newly created positions include: PIN positions, additional student employees, FTNTT, contractual (CI and CII), or Graduate students.
If a department reallocates, reorganizes and/or manages funds within the current operating 01/02 budget, so as to allow funds for hiring of a Contingent 1 or student employee, this does not require an enhancement request.
NOTE: Operating funds which are allocated to 01 and 02 continue to be “right-sized.” This includes health and retirement benefits which accompany PIN and contingent employment. Departments are not be permitted to re-allocate these unused funds to other positions or account codes, as they are projected expenditures which are initially allocated based on anticipated labor costs. Unused or idle benefits costs are reverted back to the general campus budget for other expenditures.
Renewals of existing contractual services expected to continue annually should have already been included in your general operating request.
Contracting with a third party for consulting or other services that is not currently encumbered or included in the department’s annual operating budget requires pre-approval either from the Executive staff or to be submitted through the Enhancement Request process.
Typical software now being utilized is cloud based and likely requires both an initial start-up fee along with an annual maintenance fee, and should have already been included in your general operating request.
Enhancement Requests are required for any new agreement and must be coordinated with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) to ensure it meets all the security and audit requirements before submitting the request, as well as to explore strategic applicability for campus constituents.
As previously described, departments are afforded the flexibility to “move funds around” within the current budget pool to focus on and fund internal priorities without going through the enhancement process. However, funds are not fungible across budget pools.
Each year the campus will evaluate the capacity to allocate as much Enhancement Funds as the current and projected revenue and expenditure expectations support. As the Strategic Planning and Budgeting Committee and the Executive Staff review these enhancements, prior years’ actual spending and use of funds (versus budgeted dollars) will be evaluated to determine if departments have exhibited good stewardship, prudence and diligence in using the limited resources available to the campus. It is expected that this qualitative assessment will support the evaluation of requests. As this process evolves over the coming budget cycles, historical data will continue to be compiled and reviewed for these purposes. It is anticipated that departments which demonstrate a strategic and judicious use of funds in support of Strategic goals will be appropriately recognized for their efforts and contributions to campus success.
To submit formal Enhancement Requests, the approval and submission process is as follows:
In order to evaluate the long-term enhancement requests that departments are proposing, we must have a good handle on a 3-5 year large expenditure budget plan. This would involve large equipment replacements – such as an art kiln, science lab equipment, replacement of an entire lab of microscopes or room of athletic equipment, computer lab replacements, etc. In addition, expenses such as software renewals that may not be annual but once every so many years, school or department accreditations, Middle States and any other expenses that are needed on a non-annual basis should be included. This process helps to plan for the long term and set aside funds each year with knowing these upcoming expenditures. Annually each division will be asked to re-evaluate their 5 year large expenditures spreadsheet to submit to Administration and Finance.
As discussed in the Expenditure Account Codes section of this guide, the budgets are recorded and “controlled” in the PeopleSoft Financial System at the budget category level for ease of summarizing the types of groupings to not have to manage overages and keep the amount of budget flexibility at a higher level. The Rollup budget categories are as follows:
010001 - Salaries and Wages (PIN/Regular Salaries and Benefits)
020001 - Technical and Special Fees (All Contractual Salaries and Benefits are included)
030001 - Operating Expenditures (Objects 03 – 13)
140001 - Land & Structures (Only Physical Plant, Auxiliary and Plant Fund Depts.)
For each transaction processed throughout the fiscal year, PeopleSoft performs an automatic budget checking process.
In general, most transactions should not fail the budget checking process, especially at the beginning of the fiscal year. By combining rollup level groupings, the likelihood that a transaction will fail budget checking is mitigated. As the fiscal year-end approaches, departments will have to be extremely cognizant of the remaining budget balances available. Departments have the ability to inquire online and run monthly reports to ascertain the status of their budgets.
If a transaction does lead to an overspending of one of these rollup levels, then an error is generated and processing cannot be done without the override and approval from the University Budget Office. The Budget Office will review the transaction and your department balances and contact the appropriate Budget Administrator to discuss how to proceed.
Budgets are estimates created at the beginning of a fiscal year, with no crystal ball to determine the end results 100%. Based on the controlled budget feature in PeopleSoft, a more formalized process is needed when budgets need to be revised.
The majority of the budget revisions should be handled through the Enhancement Proposal process. However; there are times when an increase or decrease is needed to make corrections and right size budgets, transfer between rollup categories within the budget, transfer budget funds from one department code to another, or just a complete emergency and must do.
Budget Adjustments can come in two forms; a base adjustment or a one-time adjustment. A base adjustment is a permanent increase done to your original budget, as the reasoning is that of an on-going need year after year. An example of this could be an increase in the salary of a new employee from that budgeted originally. A one-time adjustment is a temporary adjustment just for the current fiscal year, and this could be generated from situations such as an encumbrance rollover or professional development funds rollover.
Budget adjustments are only to be used to transfer spending authority. They should not be used to move expenses that have posted from one department to another. If an expense belongs to a specific department, but another department is funding it, or part of it, a budget transfer should be made, and the expense should stay in the appropriate department.
If a budget adjustment is needed, written documentation (can be email or memo format) that all budget administrators affected are in agreement with the requested change to their budget balances (whether base or one-time) during the fiscal year is required.
NOTE: Budget transfers are not done to move an actual expense. Expenses should always stay in the department with which they belong. If an expense in incorrectly recorded, then follow the journal entry section below.
Written documentation is not required if a department needs to move funds from one "operating" budget category to another (i.e., from contractual services to travel to fund an unexpected trip) within the same budget department code.
Timing differences can be a challenge when it is near the end of the fiscal year. You may place an order for products in May and the bill for those items may not arrive until after July, which means the billing gets posted into the next fiscal year. To help offset this, the Finance & Admin office reviews all of the purchase orders that the Procurement Office rolls over into the following year. If the department code that the PO is charged to had a balance available at the end of the fiscal year to account for the expense, then the amount needed for the purchase order will be added into your budget as a “Budget Adjustment” for just the current fiscal year.
Journal Entries can be posted to your department code for multiple reasons, some of you which you specifically request, such as Departmental Transfers and Expenditure Transfer Reclassifications discussed below. Some journal entries are posted to your account for various Internal Service Department billings, such as duplications, publications, motor pool, telecom, post office, etc. These will be discussed in another section.
A request to transfer funds from one code to another can be requested in a couple of ways:
In either of these documents above, the following information is needed for entry and audit purposes and may be sent to Deborah Kinnamon in General Ledger for processing:
At times, one department will need to reimburse or pay funds from themselves to another department. Examples include: placing ads in the flyer or attending a seminar hosted by another department on campus.
Expenditure Transaction Reclassification
In reviewing your monthly transactions, you may come across an expense that should not be posted to your department or one that is charged to an incorrect account code within your department.
Payroll related journal entries are made to correct actual payroll transactions coded to an incorrect department. This could occur for multiple reasons, for example payroll contracts completed with an incorrect department code to charge, individual who will be split between departments and have already incurred payroll transactions prior to the correction being made in the PS System.
For any payroll related corrections that need to be made, please send an email with the following information to Charlotte Rayne in the Payroll Office: