FAQ

This set of Frequently Asked Questions is intended to provide a general overview of workflow within the KU Budget Office.

Frequently, the questions which reach the Budget Office are laden with complicated circumstances that are out of the ordinary. This document is not intended to address these complicated situations (because in many cases, the answer is “it depends”) but to focus on the more common transactions / questions.

General

Operations

GTAs

Reporting

GENERAL

What does the Budget Office really do?

Our ongoing responsibilities include:

  • Coordinate preparation of the annual (working) budget for the Lawrence campus
    • Using guidelines provided by the Provost’s Office, gather the information for the upcoming year from the deans and vice provosts
    • Transmit new fiscal year pay rates to HR/Pay (HR/Payroll system)
    • Transmit new fiscal year funding distributions to HR/PAY
    • Provide OAC Financials with opening non-project expense budget
      • Load initial revenue estimates for funds to Financials (FITC) which feeds OAC Financials
  • Process non-project Budget Transfer in Financials (FITC)
    • Assist campus with their entries to modify the current budget
  • Review Cost Center hierarchy requests
  • GTA Tuition Waiver processing
    • Tuition Fee Waiver Authorization
      • As described in the KU Comprehensive Fee Schedule, waiver percentages associated with GTA appointments includes:
      • GTA appointments of 40% or more carry a 100% fee waiver
      • GTA appointments of 30-39% or more carry a 75% fee waiver
      • GTA appointments of 20-29% or more carry a 50% fee waiver
      • GTA appointments of 10-19% or more carry a 25% fee waiver
  • Cash management
    • Work with the Financial Reporting Services to assure that expenditure levels at year-end meet the desired goals for each fund.
  • Monitor Tuition Collections and Revise Revenue Estimate as needed
    • Analyze patterns of total assessments, waivers, and net assessments
  • Develop and implement analyses to facilitate budgetary management
  • Prepare the Annual Budget Request to the legislature – due in September
  • of each year
  • Process HR/Pay Funding Set Up non-project related
  • Administer the Administrative Overhead Process

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How would I see a copy of the University’s Annual Operating Budget?

 

Each year a copy of the university’s operating budget is sent to University Archives where it is available to the public at the Spencer Research Library. Inquire at the front desk on the third floor.

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What is the budget cycle?

The university’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

Each September the university submits an annual budget request to the legislature. When the legislature convenes in January, the Governor makes his/her budgetary recommendations for the fiscal year beginning in July. Throughout the spring, the legislature debates various plans and funding needs. The legislative portion is typically completed in May. Of key interest to the university are the amounts included in the appropriations bill for the University of Kansas and the Kansas Board of Regents.

During late spring, the university prepares its recommended tuition rates for the upcoming academic year. These recommendations are taken to the Board of Regents for “first reading” in May and for final approval at the June board meeting.

With the expectation that tuition rates will be approved as proposed, the Budget Office works with the appropriate offices within the university community to create a budget for the upcoming year. Certain incremental pieces are associated with the tuition increases and the budget recommendations are collected in such a way that these components can be removed in the event the approved tuition rates differ from that which was proposed.

Information is taken from the budget file(s) and integrated into the Human Resources / Payroll system – the critical pieces of information are 1) funding distribution of payroll costs for positions and pools and 2) pay-rates for faculty and unclassified staff [and university support staff should the legislature authorize the university to be removed from the civil service].

Funding distribution is loaded into the payroll system mid-June. Information on pay rates is not loaded until the Board of Regents has approved the tuition increases and officially set the block-grant transfer.

The budget file is also the source of information for the opening expense budgets displayed in the OAC Financial Dashboards – the information for revenue estimates is loaded into Financials (FITC) which updates the OAC Financial Dashboards.

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How is the university’s budget determined?

 

Beginning with Fiscal Year 2002, the universities under the governance of the Kansas Board of Regents have operated under a “block-grant” funding model.

Under the block-grant, the Board of Regents is appropriated an amount of money which is subsequently transferred to each of the schools – with the Board of Regents determining the amount of each school’s transfer.

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What is the difference between General Use and Restricted Use funds?

General Use – Includes both state tax dollars and revenue generated by tuition. Units with allocations of these funds are not responsible for generating the associated revenue. However, in the case of a budgetary rescission (of State General Fund monies), university practice has been to spread the necessary reduction to those units funded from the General Use monies shown immediately below:

  • Appropriations from the State General Fund (KU Funds 003 and 033);
  • State Water Plan Fund (KU 034);
  • Interest on Endowment (KU 540); and
  • All funding sources derived from tuition such as
    • 099 – General Fees (base tuition)
    • 088 – KU Technology Fund (from Tuition Enhancement)
  • Other Funds that are included under the General Use label, BUT the units spending these funds are also responsible for generating the associated revenue, are:
    • 087,089, 090 – 098 – School-specific course fee (differential) tuition
  • Restricted Use – Includes all funding types in which the revenue source is neither state appropriations nor tuition funds. Restricted Use monies include the flow-through of federal funds for Student Financial Aid and work-study, but the most common type of restricted fee funded units is those responsible for generating their own revenue.
    • Auxiliary Enterprises – provide services to the KU Community – faculty, staff, and/or student
      • Student Health Center (510)
      • Student Housing (555)
      • Parking Services (590)
    • Service Clearing Units– generate revenue by providing (selling) services to other campus departments
      • Service Clearing (580) such as Facilities Operations Vehicle Rental
    • Income generated by providing services to the public including:
      • Lied Center Concert Fees (766)
      • University Press (778)
    • Grants
    • Miscellaneous
      • KUEA Reimbursable Salaries (725)
    • Student Fees – Required Campus fees – in addition to tuition, amounts paid by students as a condition of enrollment
      • Student Health Fee (510)
      • Student Health Maintenance (512)
      • Student Union Renovation Fee (514)
      • Student Union (520)
      • Student Recreation Center (626)
      • Sexual Assault and Prevention Center (740)
      • Saferide (742)
      • Student Union Activities Fee (743)
      • Legal Services for Students Fee (745)
      • Campus Environmental Fee (746)
      • Student Media Fee (752)
      • Educational Opportunity Fee (755)
      • Campus Lighting (757)
      • Student Senate Activity Fee (758)
      • Newspaper Readership Fee (759)
      • Recreation Center Expansion (761)
      • Multicultural Resource Center (767)
      • Hilltop (769)
      • Student Involvement and Leadership (770)
      • Emily Taylor Center (771)
      • Student Money Management (772)
      • KU Transit System (790)

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OPERATIONS

 

Budget Transfers

How do I amend my current year budget? Units may modify their current year budgets by submitting a Budget Transfer Form (BTF). See Resources > Forms on the budget office website.

All Budget Transfers are processed by the Budget Office Submit the BTF form to the appropriate zone email. The transfer will be processed in FITC and reflected in the adjusted column on the OAC financial dashboards. NOTE: Transfers that are submitted to transfer monies from one fund to another fund will not be processed.

 

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GTAS

Please explain how the GTA tuition waiver process works

 

The Budget Office queries HR/Pay appointment tables to determine who is actively appointed as a GTA for the semester. Based on the HR/Pay information the tuition waiver percentage is determined. The tuition waiver percentage is submitted to SAS to load into the student system which will result in the waiver being applied.

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REPORTING

 

What is Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) Financial reporting?

 

Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) is the reporting tool for KU Lawrence. Financials at a Glance dashboard provides a budget summary to reflect budgets, budget adjustments, revenue, expenses, encumbrances and forecasts to reflect a projected ending balance. Salary expenditures include the most recent pay period that has posted and the salary forecast includes the estimate of the salary expenses projected for the remaining pay periods in the fiscal year based on current HR appointment information.


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