Initiating Budget Adjustments in NUFinancials

This guide explains how and when to initiate adjustments to revenue and expense budgets.

How do you adjust the base budgets with a budget journal? Before each new budget period (fiscal year), your chart strings base budgets are uploaded into NUFinancials. The base budget contains expense amounts and revenue targets, if applicable, at the account level. As the year progresses, you can adjust your base budgets up or down, at the account level. There are several reasons you may need to use the budget journal: (1) formally recognize a change in plans, (2) introduce changes into the historical record, and/or (3) enable actual transactions to proceed that would otherwise be prevented by budgetary controls in NUFinancials.

The security role General Ledger Access, Budget Journal Entry, is required to create budget journals. Find security access forms at the Northwestern Information Technology website.

For policy related to budget adjustments, refer to the Office of Budget and Planning.

Navigate to the Budget Journals

Navigation: Login to NUFinancials > Navigator > NU Budget Journal > Add/Update Budget Journal 

Create Budget Journals

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Options

  • Budget Period equates to fiscal year. The period can be forward dated if next year's period is open.
  • Budget Entry Type
    • Recurring a change considered permanent
    • Non-Recurring a change considered one time
  • What are you adjusting?
    • Revenue a revenue budget (an estimate of anticipated revenue for the fiscal year)
    • Expense the expense budget (an estimate of spending for the fiscal year)
    • Both Revenue and Expense increase or decrease the total budget

Scenario 1: Adjust an Expense Budget

The Dean's Office in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS) wants to support a faculty member's purchase of computer equipment (77570 Computers Capital). The Dean's Office (4001210) creates an expense budget journal that moves $10,000 from the Dean's office expense budget to the faculty member's designated project expense budget.

About Expense Adjustments

Only expense account codes and transfer account codes that are for expenses may be used. Account codes must start with 6, 7, or 8. An expense budget confers "spending authority" on the chart string within NUFinancials.

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Step 1: Create the journal

The Budget Period defaults as the current fiscal year. 

  1. Select Non-recurring.
  2. Select Expense.
  3. Click Next.
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Step 2: Enter Description and Lines

  1. Enter a description.
  2. Enter chart strings and amounts.
  • Positive amounts increase.
  • Negative amounts decrease.
  1. Enter the first chart string and amount in line 1.
  2. Click Insert Line.
  3. Enter the second chart string and amount in line 2.
  4. Verify total debits equal total credits.
  1. Click Save & Edit. Results: The Journal ID is assigned. The Status appears.
  • If valid, proceed to step 4
  • If not valid, correct errors and repeat step
  1. Refer to the troubleshooting guide for assistance, if necessary
  2. Click Save & Submit. Results: Workflow Status is Pending Approval and the journal is routed to approver(s).

Scenario 2: Adjust a Revenue Budget

$2500 for copier reimbursement (40722) was mistakenly added to the Anthropology revenue budget instead of to the History department revenue budget. To correct this budget error, Dean's Office in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS) decreases the amount budgeted for Anthropology (4023200) and increases the amount budgeted for History (4023600).

About Revenue Adjustments

Revenue budget journals may only use revenue account codes (starting with 4 or 5) and transfer account codes (starting with 8) that are for revenue.

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Step 1: Create the journal.

The Budget Period defaults as the current fiscal year. 

  1. Select Non-recurring.
  2. Select Revenue.
  3. Click Next. The Create Budget Journal page appears.
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Step 2: Enter Description and Lines

  1. Enter a description.
  2. Enter chart strings and amounts.
  • Positive amounts increase.
  • Negative amounts decrease.
  1. Enter the first chart string and amount in line 1.
  2. Click Insert Line.
  3. Enter the second chart string and amount in line 2.
  4. Verify total debits equal total credits.
  1. Click Save & Edit. Results: The Journal ID is assigned. The Status appears.
  • If valid, proceed to step 4.
  • If not valid, correct errors and repeat step 3. Refer to the troubleshooting guide for assistance, if necessary.
  1. Click Save & Submit. Results: Workflow Status is Pending Approval and the journal is routed to approver(s).

Scenario 3: Adjust a Revenue & Expense Budget

Over the last three years, Kellogg Merchandising (5600120) has steadily increased its recharge revenue. Management decides to adjust the budget to provide a more realistic picture of the increased activity. A budget journal increases the revenue budget for RDX Misc Sales & Services (50699) and increases the expense budget for Merchandise Resale (78610).

About Revenue and Expense Budget Adjustments

Use this journal when you want to increase or decrease the budget total. The fund number must match for all revenue and expense journal lines. You cannot move an amount between two different gift or endowment projects. Instead, use the actuals transfer journal to move amounts between different fund numbers.

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Step 1: Create the journal

The Budget Period defaults as the current fiscal year. 

  1. Select Recurring.
  2. Select Both Revenue and Expense.
  3. Click The Budget Journal page appears.
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Step 2: Enter Description and Lines

  1. Enter a description.
  2. Enter chart strings and amounts.
  • Positive amounts increase.
  • Negative amounts decrease.
  1. Enter the first chart string and amount in line 1.
  2. Click Insert Line.
  3. Enter the second chart string and amount in line 2.
  4. Verify total debits equal total credits.
  1. Click Save & Results: The Journal ID is assigned. The Status appears.
  • If valid, proceed to step 4.
  • If not valid, correct errors and repeat step Refer to the troubleshooting guide for assistance, if necessary.
  1. Click Save & Results: Workflow Status is Pending Approval and the journal is routed to approver(s).

Summary

Step 1: Create the budget journal

Step 2: Enter a description and lines 

  • Use Insert Line to add a line for each additional chart string.
  • After entering amounts, verify that net is zero (Total Debits = Total Credits).
  • Click Save & Edit first to validate the journal.
  • Click Save & Submit to send the journal into workflow.

Definitions

  • The Description that you provide identifies the transaction for approvers, researchers, and readers of Cognos The first 30 characters of the description appear on the GL008 Revenue and Expense Activity Report.
  • Click Close to exit the journal without saving. You will lose your work.

Journal Status

Description

Incomplete

Saved but not edited or submitted to workflow

Edit Error

Saved and edited. NUFinancials found an error explained for you in message text.

Valid

Successfully edited and ready for workflow

In Workflow

Submitted to workflow

Waiting to Post

Approved and is queued to post

Posted

The journal posted to a budget ledger. Results appear in Cognos reports the next business day.

  • Click Save to save the journal and exit without validating. You may continue your work later.
  • Use Select checkboxes to delete lines.

Appendix: Journal Statuses and Workflow Statuses 

Workflow Status

Description

Not Submitted

Not submitted to workflow

Pending Approval

Submitted to workflow but waiting for approvals

Approved to Post

All approvers approved and the journal is queued to post

On Hold

An approver placed the journal on hold

Pending Deletion

An approver requested journal deletion

Sent Back

An approver sent the journal back to the journal creator for correction



For additional assistance please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) option 7, or consultant@northwestern.edu.




Keywords:expense revenue journals budgets "budget adjustment"   Doc ID:111209
Owner:ESAF GL Team .Group:Northwestern
Created:2021-06-04 12:51 CSTUpdated:2021-08-06 14:38 CST
Sites:Northwestern
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