College of Liberal Arts

Reading and Creating Budgets

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What We Budget:
A budget is a record of permanent or time-limited commitments.  Generally, we budget all endowment accounts (30), any accounts funding faculty or staff salaries, and anything that was budgeted the previous year.

How We Budget:
No non-faculty funds will be budgeted until documentation of a permanent or time-limited commitment has been sent to Emily Bailey.  This can be in the form of e-mail from the dean forwarded or copied to Emily.  The Dean’s Office will then decide what types of funds to use to support the budget item.

If necessary, the Dean’s Office will communicate with the Office of Accounting to get a new account number and the department will then use this to create a new budget document.  If the Dean’s Office decides to commit endowment funds the budget document will be created in the Dean’s Office.

How it Works

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Budgets are dynamic. When creating and submitting a budget, you are taking a picture in time of those commitments on a particular day. The process outlined below will help you creat a budget that is as close to perfect at the time of submission as you can possibly get it. For additional help working with the electronic budget document consult the Budget Office’s preparation guide (PDF).
  1. Start with last year’s budget. Go to BHG in *DEFINE and enter your unit code. The accounts with an asterisk are those that were budgeted in the previous year. These accounts will definitely need to be budgeted this year, too.
  2. Update prior budget documents. Go to BDL in *DEFINE. One by one, enter each account number that was asterisked on the BHG screen. Enter “NEW” for the “Action.” This will pull up a record based on last year’s budget for this account. This is where you will make updates and corrections for the current budget.
    NOTE: Making corrections to your budget in *DEFINE is not simple. All changes that are made after the budget is created will involve transfers, even if you are just correcting a mistake in data entry. For this reason, it is best to be sure about your updates before you make any changes to the electronic document.
    Instead of working directly in *DEFINE, print a copy of each BDL document (type “PRT” in “Action”). Make notes on these printed copies about changes in people, amounts, and line items for the current budget. Review these changes with your chair or someone else in your department. If possible, put these updated documents aside for a few days and then re-check them. If you have questions about the budget—for example, about commitments you do not see represented—ask Dean’s Office staff for help.
  3. Enter updates in *DEFINE. Once all your printed BDL documents have been printed and reviewed, it is time to edit the electronic document. For help making changes to line items, use *DEFINE help (type a “?” in the field in question) and/or ask Dean’s Office staff.
  4. Submit the new budget. Submit your completed budget by the budget deadline set by the Dean’s Office. In legislative years, you will submit the budget in two rounds. The first submission is a “zero line budget.” This simply brings everything up to date as discussed above. Later, you will be asked to make changes to this budget in light of any new legislation and regulation. In non-legislative years, you will submit the updated budget only once.

    Once the budget receives departmental approval, it routes to the Dean’s Office. The dean’s staff will review and then submit all the College’s budgets to the budget office.


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Note: PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.


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Please direct comments on the Procedures Guide to

Tips or FAQs

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  • Budgeting 14 and 20 Accounts: Unlike budgets for other types of accounts, budgets for state funds need to be reconciled--i.e., you will have to verify that there is money in the account for each line item.

    To do this: From the BDL screen for each 14 or 20 account, go to the Reconciliation screen (section 8). Here, use the moreable to see last year’s commitments. Add or subtract new/cancelled commitments, and you will see how much is available in the account. If this does not reconcile, you will probably need to consult with the Dean's Office or enter a reconciling entry as described below.

    If you are unable to reconcile an account that you think should be reconcilable, you can force the reconciliation in *DEFINE. Enter the sub-account number, type “Dean’s Office to reconcile” under “Adjustment Description,” and enter the amount in question. This will allow you to submit the budget but will flag the problem for dean’s office staff.

  • If funding for a program has ended, it still has to be budgeted (showing a commitment of $0) for two more years before the budget office will delete the account group from the budget.

Last Modified: 18 October 2017