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Campus Budget and Finances - How to Guide


The purpose of this "How to" section is to answer questions regarding budgeting, planning, procedures, policies, financial and reporting systems, and other relevant topics. Please click one of the buttons below to view specific topics.


A to ZFrequently Asked QuestionsFinancial Reports and Lookups

    Budget and planning parameters

  • Q: How does the fringe benefit rate work?
    A: All salary dollars expensed will have the appropriate benefit rate applied. One of the purposes of the fringe benefit rate is to smooth out the benefits costs over time. The rate is adjusted annually and takes into account one-time fluctuations and anticipated expense impacts. This flow chart provides an overview of fringe benefits.

  • Q: Where can I find this year's fringe benefit rate?
    A: Benefit rates are posted on the Accounting and Business Support (ABS) website and on PBA's website under Planning Parameters and Management Information.


  • Q: What is in the fringe benefit rate?
    A: The employee fringe benefit rate is a flat rate that varies depending on employee classification. These rates include health, dental, basic life insurance (HLD), disability, social security and Medicare, University Retirement plans or Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), workers' compensation insurance, unemployment compensation claim, annuitant insurance (for retirees), and termination vacation & sick leave. Please refer to PBA's website for current and historical rates.


  • Q: How do I determine what part of my general fund budget is continuing vs. temporary?
    A: Select reports in PSLite and the Reporting System will show the breakdown between continuing and temporary budget.


  • Q: Where can I find the campus budget?
    A: The campus budget is posted on PBA's website.


  • Q: What are this year's planning assumptions?
    A: The Budget Office will post planning assumptions and parameters for the upcoming fiscal year on its website.


  • Q: What is the difference between budget based funds and cash based funds?
    A: Funds 10, 30 and 31 are based on budget funds. The other funds are cash based. Please click here for more details.


  • Q: When and how do I budget benefits in the general fund?
    A: If there is movement of continuing budget into and/or out of the salary budget pool resulting from an on-going, systemic operating change, such as eliminating or adding a permanent position, then you need to prepare the benefit continuing budget journals to fund the proportional share of benefits at the current benefit rate. For more details on the campus General Fund benefits policy, click here. For a step by step guide on how to do a budget journal entry, click here.


  • Q: When and how do I budget for ID revenue in the general fund?
    A: Budgeting ID revenue in the General Fund is not required but you may do so if it helps you manage your finances. For a step by step guide on how to do a budget ID revenues, click here.

  • Q: Where can I find my unit's DAICR allocation?
    A: The DAICR allocation is reflected in account code 960001. For more details, click here.


  • Q: How do I find the current F&A rates?
    A: The Facilities & Administrative (F&A) rate is charged on research grants and varies depending on the type of research grant and the unit it belongs to. The links below provide information on current and historical F&A rates:

  • Q: Where can I find this year's GAIR rate?
    A: GAIR rates are available on PBA's website under Planning Parameters and Management Information, and on ABS' website. Additional information is also available PBA's web page on cost allocations.

  • Q: What is cash carry forward?
    A: The General Fund cash carryforward (CCF) is the budget balance available at the end of a fiscal year that is carried forward to the next fiscal year. For more detail, click here.


    Financial reports and systems

  • Q: What is the finance system and what reporting tools are available?
    A: PeopleSoft is the university's main financial system. It is used to record financial transactions in the general ledger and run select reports. In addition to PeoplesSoft, there are a few other reporting tools available. The preferred reporting system is Cognos, which provides a selection of pre-formated reports. Units may also chose to use PSLite, Access, or Hyperion for ad hoc reporting.


  • Q: How to get access to the finance system (PeopleSoft)?
    A: Finance system users need to submit a written/electronic request to gain access to PeopleSoft.


  • Q: How to get access to reporting tools such as Cognos and PSLite?
    A: Access to Cognos is automatically granted to all employees with a fiscal role. PSLite, Access and Hyperion require access to the Central Information Warehouse (CIW). For access to CIW, please fill out this form.


  • Q: How do I run a balance sheet report?
    A: Balance sheet reports are available in the Finance System (PeopleSoft), Reporting System (Cognos), and PSLite.


  • Q: Where can I get help on reading/understanding a balance sheet?
    A: The Guide provides a detailed description of the balance sheet.  For a synopsis on the balance sheet and how the balance sheet can be used for determining fund balance (for funds other than the general fund), click here.


  • Q: How can I check the balance at the org or Bnode level?
    A: For fund 10 orgs, a revenue and expense report at the org level or at the Bnode level is the best way to determine fund balance. For other funds, a balance sheet report is a more useful tool in determining fund balance. Please also see the balance sheet questions above for additional information regarding balance sheet reports.


  • Q: Where can I find information on my fiscal role?
    A: Fiscal roles can be looked up in PSLite and the Finance System. For a description of employee fiscal roles, please visit ABS' (Accounting and Business Support) website.


  • Q: How can I determine my department's general fund roll forward budget?
    A: If you have a roll forward budget, it will show up in a detail report under account code 460000 (click here for a sample report from the Reporting System).


  • Q: How do I budget a cash transfer in?
    A: Budgeting General Fund cash transfers is not required but you may find it useful in managing your finances (click here for a step by step guide on how to budget a cash transfer).


  • Q: How do I get access to the Central Information Warehouse (CIW)?
    A: To gain access to CIW, you will need to fill out this form: CIW-Access-Request-Form.pdf


  • Q: Where can I download Financial Statements (SNP and SRECNP)?
    A: The SNP and the SRECNP are available on ABS' website.


  • Q: How do I download a financial statement into Excel?
    A: Both the Reporting System and PSLite offer the option to download financial statements in Excel.


  • Q: How can I determine my department's General Fund fee revenue?
    A: A Revenue/Expense report for org 10562, 10563, or 10565 will show fee revenues.


  • Q: How do I make a Budget Journal Entry?
    A: For a step by step guide on how to do make a budget journal entry, click here.


  • Q: How do I do a cash transfer in the finance system?
    A: For a step by step guide on how to do make a cash transfer journal entry, click here.


  • Q: How do I find how much was paid by a department for a particular item?
    A: A financial report at the detailed level usually has enough information to answer this question. You may also find it useful to look at information at the journal entry level. Such detailed reports are available from the Finance System, Reporting System, and PSLite.


  • Q: How do I look up a posted journal entry?
    A: Posted journal entries can be looked up in the Finance System or PSLite.


  • Q: How do I research the source of a transaction in my speedtype?
    A: Source codes for journal entries can be looked up with a detailed report or by looking up specific journal entries. For a listing of journal source code contacts, click here


  • Q: How do I reverse a cash transfer?
    A: To reverse a cash transfer, follow the same steps needed to make a cash transfer, but reverse the signs for the amounts (i.e., enter a negative number in account 997100 and a positive number in 995100, assuming a positive and a negative number was entered into those accounts in the entry you want to reverse)).


    Org tree and chart of accounts

  • Q: How do I look up attributes for speedtypes, programs, projects, and orgs (including fiscal roles)?
    A: Attributes can be looked up in PSLite or the Finance System.


  • Q: How do I look up my fiscal role?
    A: Fiscal roles can be looked up in the Finance System and PSLite.


  • Q: How do I look up where my unit is located on the campus org tree?
    A: The org tree lists all university orgs.


  • Q: How do I Search account codes by description for use in journal entries?
    A: The chart of account lists all university account codes.


    Policies and procedures

    Research grants

  • Q: Where can I find information about a particular research grant start/end dates, ICR rates, PI, etc)?
    A: Information about research grants can be obtained by contacting the Office of Sponsored Projects Accounting. For instructions on how to look up research grant information on PSLite, click here.

    Tuitions and fees

  • Q: Where can I find the procedures to propose fee changes?
    A: Student fees at CU Boulder are governed by the Institutional Plan for Student Fees. Reviews of fees are conducted by the Fee Advisory Board, the Provost's Office, and the Student Government (for certain fees) before submission for approval by the Board of Regents. Information on the procedure for fee submittal, timeline and fee request for can be found on PBA's website.


  • Q: Where can I find tuition and fee information?
    A: All current tuition and fee rates can be found at the Bursar's Office website. Historical tuition and fee information can be found at the PBA tuition and fee webpage.


  • Q: How can I determine my department's General Fund fee revenue?
    A: This Revenue/Expense report for org 10562, 10563, or 10565 will show fee revenues. 


  • Q: How are general fund fee department resources managed?
    A: Student bills are updated throughout the year and include the three main billing periods (August, December, and April) that correspond with the three academic year terms. Departments will receive the exact revenue earned from their fee. Since the fee revenue fluctuates during the fiscal year, periodic continuing budget adjustments will be made by the Budget Office for the unitÂ’s corresponding budgeted (spending) authority to match the estimated full fiscal year revenues. This document provides more detail on general fund resources.

    Gift funds

  • Q: How can I find out how much gift funds my unit has in the Foundation?
    A: The Finance System and PSLite provide reports that can be used to look up gift fund amounts.

    Enrollment, degrees, courses, faculty, employee count and other institutional information

  • Q: Where can I find information on student enrollment, courses, employee counts, academic department review profiles, degrees, financial aid, and campus surveys?
    A: Information on student enrollment, degrees, courses, faculty, employee count and other institutional statistics on Institutional Analysis' website.

   

Last revision 12/12/14


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