Original Issuance Date: March 21, 2022
Last Revised: November 11, 2022

1.     Purpose of Procedures

This procedure outlines the process through which budget transfers are to be processed, reviewed, and reconciled within the system-wide financial system during a fiscal year.

2.     Responsible UW System Officer

Senior Associate Vice President for Finance

3.     Definitions

Annual Operating Budget: The University of Wisconsin System budget is based upon the State’s biennial budget signed by the Governor and annually approved by the Board of Regents.

Block Grants: The consolidation of GPR appropriations into one GPR “block grant” to fund general program operations and one GPR debt service appropriation.

Major Budget Categories: UW budget activity interfaces with and should reconcile to Department of Administration (DOA) budget activity. DOA uses the following major budget categories:

DOA Account DOA Allotment Description Budget System Accounts
A000000 Unallocated Reserve UNALLT
A000001 Permanent/Project Salaries FACSALARY
A000002 LTE/Miscellaneous Salaries LTE_SALRY
A000003 Fringe Benefits FRINGES
A000004 Supplies and Services/ Permanent Property SUPPLIES
A000005 Debt Service DEBTSERV
A000006 Local Assistance/Aids to Indiv and Org FELOSCHOL
A000007 Special Purpose SPECLPURP

While the UW System no longer budgets by major class, all UW accounts, including budget system accounts, are mapped to one of the DOA accounts.

Prior Year Encumbrances: The purchase order carryover encumbrance balance recorded in the systemwide financial system and certified by each institution as part of the prior year end closing.

Program Codes: Administrative Program categories used as the basis for assigning program costs in preparation of the Annual Operating Budget: Student Services, Institutional Support, Instruction, Hospital, Research, Public Service, Academic Support, Physical Plant, Auxiliary Enterprises and Financial Aid & Farm Operation.

Scenario Codes: Pre-defined descriptions as to the reason for the budget transfer.

Systemwide Financial System: Accounting system used by all institutions to account for all transactions including assets, liabilities, fund equity, revenues, expenditures, and budget transfers.

4.     Procedures

A. Frequency of Budget Transfers

Budget transfers may be made as necessary during the fiscal year.

B. Reporting Level of Transfers

The systemwide financial system’s budget ledger is built to accept fund, org, program, class, account, and scenario code level data. The systemwide financial system’s budget ledger also has combination edits requiring specific levels, and types of entry data. Entries with errors will not post until the error has been corrected.

C. Use of Scenario Codes

Scenario Codes are required on all budget transfers based on the Budget Scenario Code.

D. Budget Entry of Annual Operating Budget and Prior Year Encumbrances

At the beginning of each fiscal year, the approved UW System Annual Operating budget is interfaced from the budget system into the systemwide financial system’s budget ledger using the REDBOOK scenario code. Journals from the budget system must be posted as interfaced. If modifications are needed to the REDBOOK journals, budget journals using the RDBOOKADJ scenario code must be completed.  Monthly, budget journals posted in the systemwide financial system’s budget ledger are interfaced back to the budget system. Journals using the REDBOOK scenario code are excluded from this monthly interface as they were previously interfaced from the budget system.

UW System Institutions are responsible for the entry of their approved Prior Year Encumbrances which must agree with the amount certified during the closing process at the end of the previous fiscal year. These amounts should be entered by fund/major class and use the PY_ENC scenario code.

UW System Administration will reconcile the budget ledger for these entries. Once it has been determined that both the Annual Operating Budget and the Prior Year Encumbrances are correctly loaded for each institution, the budget ledger will be closed on a monthly basis for Systemwide reconciliation purposes. Closed prior periods will only be reopened for extenuating circumstances by the UW System Controller’s Office.

E. Budget Supplements and Reductions

The dollar amounts for budget transfers on scenario codes CARRYOVER, REALLOC, SUPPLE and LAPSE will be negotiated between the institutions and UW System Administration. Once determined, UW System Administration will enter the data into the systemwide financial system’s budget ledger, using the institutionally designated clearing account at the appropriation, budget account, and program level. Institutions may redistribute the amounts to departmental accounts via internal budget transfers with the same scenario code.

Increases/decreases for auxiliary operations should be entered by UW System institutions using scenario code AUXILIARY.

PR/SEG Budget increases/decreases may be entered by UW System institutions for PR-CONTINUING, SEG-CONTINUING and PR-FEDERAL-CONTINUING appropriations using scenario code PR_SEG.

Intra-institutional budget reallocations between orgs, programs, and accounts within the same business unit and fund should be entered using the ADJUSTED scenario code on budget transfers for appropriation types. These transfers should not increase/decrease the Annual Operating Budget; these transfers should equal zero.

F. Block Grant Transfers

Transfers between funds within a specific Block grant should be entered using the BLOCKGRANT scenario code.

Budget transfer totals under the BLOCKGRANT scenario should equal zero. However, the total of the specific funds involved will increase or decrease accordingly.

Institutions may not process budget transfers from funds 101, 102, 103, and 104 to fund 131, as 131 funds are in a different block grant. If at any point an institution requires this type of shift, a request should be made to the UW System Controller’s Office. There would also need to be a cash transfer in conjunction with this type of budget transfer.

Institutions are not allowed to move on or off fund 109 during the fiscal year. It will be rebalanced by UW System Administration based on actual expenditures.

G. Budget Transfers Between Institutions

Budget transfers between institutions require UW System Administration approval, which can be obtained by completing the budget transfer request form.

H. Method for Processing Budget Transfers

Budget transfer data may be entered into the systemwide financial system’s budget ledger as either a direct journal entry line or via a journal upload per the SFS Business Process STD BUDGET Ledger Journal Process. The entire process and budget journal upload templates are found under the General Ledger section, see journal creation and processing and budget journal upload templates.

UW System Administration will complete budget transfers directly to the department receiving the funding if the entire funding string is known. If the funding string is unknown, and the receiving institution has not provided a funding string within five days, the budget transfer will post to the institution’s clearing account. All UW System institutions are required to have a designated Budget Ledger Clearing Account where budget transfers processed by System Administration will be entered when the funding string is unknown. This clearing account should be set up to accept all fund, account, program, and scenario entries. Once data is entered, institutions will be notified of the budget transfer.

Budget transfers will include both revenue and expenditure for GPR funds.

I. Numbering of Budget Transfers

All budget transfers in the systemwide financial system’s budget ledger require a journal ID.

Institutions may assign journal IDs or the systemwide financial system will automatically assign a number to the entry. No specific numbering scheme is required by UW System Administration; however, the prefix SW (e.g., SWxxx) is reserved for UW System Administration use only. Institutions may only use SWxxx when transferring a SW budget transfer from the clearing account to keep track of each transfer.

5.     Related Documents

Appropriation by Block/Grant Fund

Budget Scenario Code Listing

Program Code and Definition Listing

UW System Annual Operating Budgets

SYS 308, Budget Transfers

6.     History

Revision 1: November 11, 2022

First approved: March 21, 2022

*Prior to this date, procedures related to budget transfers were included in SYS 308 (formerly F5).