Manage the General Fund (A0000)
At the beginning of the year, conduct a detailed review of your expense budget to make sure that it is distributed in chartstrings (Departments, Programs, and Accounts) and that the amounts are consistent with the organization’s priorities and goals. If necessary, discuss any required budget reallocations with your analyst in the Budget Office.
Negative Balances on A0000 Fund
If negative balances occur on your General Fund Allocation, contact your Budget Analyst. In some cases, negative balances are acceptable, but they should be discussed with your Budget Analyst. Following are situations when a negative balance on A0000 may be acceptable:
- Certain A0000 authorized expenditures are not budgeted by department and will therefore always show a negative balance at the individual departmental level. Examples are central University fellowships that are approved by the Graduate School office, AR cost-sharing for qualifying sponsored research awards, Learned Society Travel that is compliant with Dean of the Faculty policies, and post-doctoral salary supplements approved by the Dean of the Faculty in order to meet minimum university pay policies.
- A new organization or program is established after completion of the the budget cycle and the Provost’s Office or Budget Office has confirmed that spending can occur in absence of a general fund budget being posted (A0000).
- An unexpected emergency or event causes a variance to the posted General Fund budget. Such occurrences should be communicated to the Provost’s Office and Budget Office.
Manage A0001 Fund
Academic Allowance (A0001) is a departmentally managed fund. The Provost’s Office sends a memo to academic departments in late spring to announce the next fiscal year’s academic administrative allowance. In July, the Budget Office posts the academic allowance as a transfer into the Academic Allowance Fund (A0001), Program GU181. Make fund assignments as necessary to move the lump sum allocation to other departments and programs in your organization to establish the spendable amounts you wish to display on reports.
Manage Departmental Funds
At the beginning of the year, review the carry forward balance from last year and the current year budgets and revenues for accuracy. Make fund assignments where necessary to move spendable balances to departments and programs that you have committed to support for the fiscal year (such as faculty research allocations).
Negative Balances on Departmental Funds
- A unit may opt to consolidate funding in one department-fund-program combination while running other programs on the same department-fund combination with a negative balance. In these instances, managers should monitor the balance in aggregate across the chartstrings which share the particular fund. This is especially true in cases where your organization wants to use programs to track certain types of activity, while not having to make fund assignments to each program. Although negative balances at the Program level are acceptable if the overall fund balance in the department is positive, please note that the Program negative balances will accumulate and roll over into beginning balance for the next fiscal year if no closing assignments are made. If you wish to start each year with no negative beginning balance in each Program, then you should assign more income from the Fund to those Programs before the close of the fiscal year.
- When there is a negative balance in a faculty-specific Program for which the department expects additional funding in a subsequent year. For example, when a faculty member slightly overspends her/his current-year departmental research allocation, and the department intends to make another allocation in the next fiscal year. In such cases, the negative balance will roll over automatically to the next fiscal year, reducing the net available spendable balance.
- In some cases, departments need to charge expense in the current fiscal year to get started on work supported by pledged gifts that are to arrive in the next fiscal year, causing a temporary closing negative balance. For example, when student travel needs to be charged in June, to be supported by a gift that is to be paid in August. If there is lack of clarity on the pledged gift amount or expected timing of payment on term gifts, contact the Development Office or the donor. In any case, the negative balance should not exceed the amount of the pledged, but not fully paid, gift, and it is usually preferable to only spend the paid amount unless there is an overriding need or donor expectation that expenditure commence in advance of payment.
- Sponsored Awards - A sponsored award awaiting its next funding increment.