The Department Head is responsible for the development and prudent fiscal management of his or her department’s budget, including the operating budget, grant funds received and expended, capital budget, use of self-funded accounts (designated income) and Foundation accounts. The Head should also ensure that the budget is not exceeded (overspent.)
Through accounting and oversight from Financial Services, University’s general ledger tracks actual revenues and expenditures for comparison to budget. The general ledger is the official financial record of the University’s detailed transactions and is subject to audit. By comparing budgeted to actual activity, variances can be analyzed to assist management in better utilization of financial resources. Financial reports, such as the “Summary of Expenditures” reflect both approved budget and actual transactions. Other key responsibilities:
- Reconciling your operating budget– Each operating budget account should be reconciled monthly to the actual expenditures, including salaries, purchases, P-Card transactions, budget transfers, cash expenditures, expense report reimbursements, bookstore charges, phone, maintenance charges, etc., to ensure that all expenses booked are authorized, and all activity has been recorded accurately and timely. Your budget officer should be able to assist you in questions regarding your account.
- Use of self funded / designated Income Accounts – These require the same level of oversight. All activity reported within the account should agree with the detailed transactions and receipts. In this case, there will be “B” accounts which represent Income accounts (previously referred to as 1016 and 1017 accounts within Phoenix.) It is important to reconcile the income from cash receipts (see also section referring to Cash Receipts), and cash disbursements/ expenses within the account. Self-designated accounts are expected to not incur a deficit balance, and are generally utilized to account for a specific educational service(s) or sponsored contract, and may be terminated when the life of the activity or contract is terminated.
- Budget transfers– Transfers are common, and will be ongoing. The goal is that the need for a transfer is identified and performed timely.
- Budget transfers that may be made without support from Financial Services:
- Departments may share the cost of a purchase of goods or services (cost is to be split)
- Help fund an expense incurred by another unit to “pay” for the expense
- Transfers resulting from internal billings, if applicable
- Correction of a misposting to your account or another account
- Move amount from one budget line to another within a unit (expense transfers)
- Budget transfers that require Financial Services Approval:
- Reserved personnel services
- Graduate assistants who require Graduate School approval
- Carryover of budget
- Transfers between different funds
- Requesting a new account – A request should be made to Financial Services (or through your budget officer,) and a Banner form must be completed: “FOPAL Authorization Form”.
Where can my department receive Banner Training?
Banner Finance module includes the following functions:
- General Ledger
- Fixed Assets
- Purchasing and Receiving
- Cost Accounting
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- Stores Inventory
- Budget Development and Position Control
- Research Accounting
- Endowment Management
- Finance Self Service
Most of the Department Head’s functions within Banner will be within the finance self-Service function. Online training and resources are described below. If you exhaust these resources, contact Pam Morrissey or Clement Balasundaram within Financial Services.
What does the Academic Department Head Manual say about my BUDGET responsibilities?
See the Op3.11 Department Head Manual.
As defined within the Department Head Manual, the Department Head is responsible for the following Budgetary Responsibilities: (1) Planning the Department Budget; (2) Acquiring External Funds; and (3) Monitoring and Assessing the Budget:
Planning the departmental budget
The Head works closely with the Dean in developing a comprehensive and coordinated budget plan. Effective budget planning requires:
- Understanding all department accounts, including their history, current status, appropriate use, and relationship to other accounts;
- Recognizing University and College budget priorities and supporting rationales;
- Overseeing budget operations, meeting deadlines, and maintaining records;
- Establishing and serving as a strong advocate for departmental budget priorities in collaboration with the Dean and in consultation with faculty and staff;
- Organizing specific procedures for monitoring the department budget on a continuous basis;
- Communicating plans, potential reallocations, progress, problems, needs, and related issues to the Dean and faculty/staff as appropriate; and
- Monitoring the program budgets in the department.
Acquiring external funds
- Heads must be proactive leaders in acquiring necessary funds to execute the Department’s Mission.
- Many Department Heads cannot rely entirely on the annual and supplementary allocations received from the Dean.
- The Department Head should work with the Director of Development and faculty members to develop successful strategies to acquire external funds from alumni, external grants, and public and private foundations.
- Department Heads can successfully promote appropriate fund raising activities and can acquire funds from sources such as support systems within the university (faculty development programs, international travel funds, mission enhancement program money, and other campus based programs.)
Monitoring and assessing the budget
- Department Heads should ensure a precise and timely record-keeping process at the department level.
- Administrative assistants and other staff should be thoroughly trained and carefully supervised by the Department Head, and contingency plans must be developed to maintain smooth operations during times when the primary budget person is away from the Department. Department Heads should involve faculty during the budgeting and monitoring process.
Considerations for the Department Head in the budgeting process
- How much of the departmental annual budget should be held in reserve?
- Which monies in the budget can be reallocated and/or shifted to other accounts, along with carrying over funds from one fiscal year to the next?
- How can I plan for reallocation of funding in budgetary categories as department needs change from one fiscal year to the next?
How do I know expenditures and revenues processed late in the year will be captured in the fiscal year?
Many accounting activities require specific cut-offs in order to meet the Financial Services timelines, system timelines, and the required timeline of the financial statements/regulatory reports. It’s important to plan for the Fiscal Year Deadlines in place for various documents or forms.
- Requisitions, including those with bidding requirements and significant lead times
- Payment of Invoices
- P-Card Transactions
- Payment Requests
- Travel Reimbursements
- Budget Transfers
- Grants and Contracts
- Time and Effort Reporting
- Other Requirements
Important: Please see the processing guidelines.
Copy of the recent budget book.
Again, your Budget Officer can support you in working with
- Budget Development
- Internal Billings and Transfers
- Fiscal policy and contact with Financial Services
- Business processes and Policy compliance
On a practical basis – what should I do?
- Know your budget – the types of costs and expenditures incurred in the past – the nature and timing of the expenditures.
- Use your budget officer to assist with planning the accounting for recurring as well as new types of transactions to occur within your department.
- Remember – posting errors can happen! Ensure that someone in your department is reconciling all expenses that have entered your accounts to the source (p-card, procurement requisition, employee expense report, approved payroll, etc.)
- Do the same for income. Make sure you have sound controls over receipt of funds from all sources. It is good to trust your assistant, but it is important to also protect him/her from any suspicion. Review periodically the income per Banner to the source document of cash receipts.
- Prepare a format/process with your assistant or someone in your department that confirms all expenditures to their source and ensures their validity. Identify corrections quickly.
- For designated (income) accounts that are self-funding, ensure that your activities are fully accounted for in terms of both revenue and expenditures, and track against your expected ‘budget’ for the account. Don’t let the designated account grow into a large deficit over time.
- Most importantly- remember the money we are spending is not our own – but the University’s. Every transaction is subject to audit scrutiny and public interest.
What if I have questions?
Contact your budget officer, or Financial Services: Tina McManus, Director Accounting and Budgeting, Financial Services
Banner Account Information (Funds and Chart of Accounts)