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Budget Basics

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How to process a budget transfer

What accounts are used for budgets (budget translation tree)?

How to process an expense transfer

How to manage salary budgets

How to hire an undergraduate or graduate student

Budget Terminology

Definitions of Operating Funds




   A budget transfer is uniquely a mechanism for moving dollars within or between departmental budgets. Budgets are identified by a chartstring; a chartstring is made up of chartfield values. The chartfield values in a chartstring identify Budget Period, Department, Fund Code, Fund Source, Program, Function, Property and Account.

Department administrators with P1 or P2a system authorization may process budget transfers online in the PeopleSoft Financials system. Only P1's and P2a's with salary authorization may request changes to salary budgets. Budget amounts may be transferred within the department budgets to which the system user has access. Some budget transfers need to be routed through online workflow for additional approvals. For instructions please refer to the document, Budget Transfer - Step by Step

To request a budget transfer between departments where the processor does not have authorization to the destination department or between chartstrings which have different fund codes, please complete the form, Budget Transfer Request. Send the completed form to Jennifer Parsons .

   An expense transfer is a mechanism to move charges which have occurred against the wrong budget or to move partial charges in the case of cost sharing. An expense transfer is not used to move budget amounts; it is meant only to realign charges which have already occurred. The General Accounting department processes these types of transfers. Requests should be sent to

   Salary budgets are either related by employee to positions or to a pooled position. The budget of a pooled position may fund more than one person. Generally, salary funds are not available for transfer to non-salary budgets, such as to general operating expenses or tuition remission. If it is necessary to hire someone from the Temporary Office Pool to fill an open weekly or monthly position for period of time, then funds may be transferred from the open position budget for this purpose. The requests are considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to the approval of the Budget Office and Human Resource Service Center (HRSC).

Department administrators with salary budget authorization may view and request changes to salary budgets. Transfers may be processed between certain graduate student budgets, such as from Teaching Fellows to Teaching Assistants. Budget transfers involving controlled employee position budgets will be routed to an HRSC administrator for approval and processing. For information about salary budget transfers please refer to the Budget Transfer Workflow Scenarios in the document, Budget Transfer - Step by Step.

   Budget Terminology

Custom BC Queries found under Reporting Tools > Query > Query Viewer. Two versions of the query exist, one with and one without position salary budgets. Respectively, complete query names are BC_GL_ACR_ALL_SLRY and BC_GL_ACR_STDNT_SLRY. The queries present a high level view of budgeted and accounted information for a department. The data presented by the query is updated approximately every 2 hours between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The data may be downloaded into an Excel file.

A PeopleSoft chartfield for the purpose of tracking Revenues, Expenses, Assets, Liabilities, and Net Assets.

Actuals Ledger
The ledger in which expense charges and revenue receipts are recorded.

Allocation/Reimbursement Budget
Refers to expense account codes, 67010 to 67111, and 70000 to 70151, which are used to track services one department provides for another (i.e. security, facility services).

Associated Budgets
Associated budgets may be set up for programs which have a revenue component such as volunteer service trips. As revenue is recognized, the expense budget for the program automatically increases, saving administrative effort. Associated budgets are currently for temporarily funded programs only.

An income producing area of the University, usually an independent operation performing functions in support of the school with the goal of being self-supporting, e.g. Residential Life, Dining, Bookstore, Athletics.

   Budget Checking
Process by which the system verifies that funding is available to allow a given transaction to be completed - e.g. budget transfer, encumbrance, pre-encumbrance, expense or revenue actual. Can be done at control or track levels.

Budget Control
Process in commitment control by which transactions are approved and posted only if sufficient funding is available.

Budget Details Inquiry
Online screen delivered by PeopleSoft and available via the menu path, Commitment Control > Review Budget Activities > Budget Inquiry > Budget Details. Provides simple view of pre-encumbrances, encumbrances, expenses and available balance in real time.

Budget Only Accounts (or Rollups)
Account where funding is budgeted for a group of related expense/revenue accounts - e.g. "Travel" is the Budget Only designation for several types of travel accounts (consulting, domestic, foreign) that will actually record expenditures.

Budget TrackingProcess in commitment control by which transactions are approved and posted after verification of a valid chartstring value and regardless of budget balance available.

Business Unit
A Business Unit is an entity that maintains it own set of transactions. The Business Unit for operating funds is EAGLE.

Budget Year
A twelve-month period which coincides with a Fiscal Year, spanning between June 1st and May 31st.

The values which make up a chartstring and uniquely combine to identify budget and actual transactions. Operating chartfields are Budget Period, Department, Fund Code, Fund Source, Program, Function, Property, and Account. If a chartfield does not have a specific value, then zeros are used to for the purpose of processing transactions.

Combination of chartfields and the level at which accounting charges/credits are applied.

Child Account
Chart of account value where actuals are expensed or deposited.

Commitment Control
Module of PS that controls various financial activities based on available budget or other budget rulesets, often referred to as KK.

Commitment Control Ledger
The commitment Control Ledger consists of Expense Budgets, Revenue Budgets, Expense Actuals, and Revenue Actuals and enables you to control expenditures against predefined budgets.

Data table established to facilitate department and account (sub-code) conversion between FAS and PeopleSoft Financials. Transactions created in one system are translated to the corresponding chartstring in the other system.

Crystal Reports
A report development program from Seagate Software. PeopleSoft packages crystal reports with its software as one of its primary reporting tools.

   DeptID (Department)
A PeopleSoft Chartfield that tracks academic or administrative units within BC's organizational hierarchy. A DeptID must have an ongoing business purpose, positioned employees, a permanent budget and an assigned physical space.

Drill Down
Return to original source of transaction through various hyperlinks on PeopleSoft screens.

The amount of money set aside towards the purchase/payment of goods, services or salaries, which reduces partially or completely as payment occurs, can be viewed in various inquiries, queries, and reports in column titled encumbrances.

A PeopleSoft Chartfield that tracks the functional purpose and activity of expenses and revenues.

A PeopleSoft Chartfield that tracks the global classification of funding source.

Fund Source
A PeopleSoft Chartfield that tracks specific sources from operations, sponsors, donors.

   General Ledger
The General Ledger of the BC is the official record of the College's budgeting and financial transactions. The General Ledger includes budget transactions, revenue and expense transactions, encumbrances, assets, liabilities and fund balances.

General Ledger Group
Ledger group to which a journal will post (Actuals). A ledger stores the posted net activity for a set of ChartField values by accounting period and fiscal year.

   HR Account Code
25 digit code used on all PeopleSoft HR system transactions to indicate where accounting charges should be made. Translates to full 32 or 39 digit PeopleSoft Financials chartstring.

Delivered on-line browse.

The final book of record in business transactions, in which all debits and credits from the journal, etc., are placed under appropriate heads.

   Non-Positioned (Pooled) Salaries
Those salaries in the university that are budgetarily controlled on a group or pooled level (e.g., students, graduate students, part-time faculty, temp pool.)

PeopleSoft's financial reporting tool. It brings together the power of the PeopleSoft Financials database and the flexibility and familiarity of Microsoft Excel.

   Operating Lines
Usually refers budgets or chartstrings which include expense account in the range, 64000 to 80100.

   P1 User
The principal user for each organizational unit at Boston College.

P2 User
Department Managers and Staff.

Parent Account
Chart of Account value where the budget resides. Child accounts roll up to the Parent Account.

Permanent Transfer
Permanent realignment of budgetary funds - included in Plan Base for the development of the next fiscal year's budget.

Plan Base Budget
The total of your original budget plus or minus any permanent changes that have taken place in that fiscal year; used as the basis for budget development.

Positioned Salaries
Those salaries in the University that are budgetarily controlled on an individual, one-for-one basis through position system administration (e.g., faculty, admin, support staff, unions.)

Holds funding in a requisition state.

A PeopleSoft chartfield that tracks formal (named) and informal activities.

A PeopleSoft application for graphically looking up financial information. Queries produce raw data results that can be downloaded into Excel and manipulated using sorting, filtering, and Pivot Tables. Queries can be found under the navigation path Reporting Tools > Query > Query Viewer.

   Revised Budget
The total of your original budget plus or minus any permanent and/or temporary changes that have taken place in that fiscal year; used as the basis for determining if expenses exceed budget.

   Salary Budget
Refers to account codes 50000 to 56150.

   TDI (Transaction Detail Inquiry)
Custom BC Inquiry found under Main Menu > BC Reports > Commitment Control > TDI. Allows you to view budget and transaction details. Similar to Commitment Control > Budget Details, but displays transactions on the main page. Updated once a day (yesterday’s data.)

Temporary Transfer
Realignment of funds for current fiscal year only - has no impact on next fiscal year budget.

Tracking with Budget
Budgets have been established, but only for tracking and reporting purposes, not control.

The graphical hierarchy in PeopleSoft systems displaying the relationship between all accounting units and determining roll-up hierarchies.

   VP/Extraordinary Requests
Requests submitted in July/August of each fiscal year by each VP area to ask for funding for the next fiscal year's budget outside the anticipated increases; for needs that cannot be covered through discretionary means.

A PeopleTools application used to define roles, responsibilities and processes that automate the flow of work and/or information within an organization.

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