Budget FAQs

Q: What is the difference between a budget revision and a budget adjustment? 
A: While each of these affects the budget, they are different.

  • Budget revisions simply shift how the current budget is utilized, without changing the overall net position of the university or do not rise to the level of materiality of a budget adjustment that must be approved by the UA system president outlined in Board Policy 370.1. Instructions on how to complete a budget revision are included in the UALR Budget Policy located on the budget office website.
  • Budget adjustments either change the net position of the university (the residual of the revenues less the expenditures) or meet the materiality standards outlined in Board Policy 370.1. Budget adjustments require the chancellor’s approval at a minimum and may require the UA system president’s approval if material per policy.

Q: In the budget build-up process, will we be allowed to redistribute the budget from one pooled labor spend category to another, or one supplies spend category and/or account to another, or one cost center to another?  
A: Yes, as long as it is in the same fund group and you are not transferring between supplies and compensation categories.

Q: Departments frequently will transfer funds to ITS for equipment or software purchases. Will we still be able to do that and, if so, how?  
A: Yes, cost centers will still be able to do this. Transfer of such from the E&G fund will not “require”  specific information in your budget since this will be a maintenance-to-maintenance transfer in the same fund group. You must budget this if the transfer is coming from any other fund group and the university will have to have the transfer recorded in both the E&G fund and the cost center’s fund, which normally will be a designated or plant fund.

Q: Should we include total expected transfers from other cost centers?  
A: Yes.

Q: What happens to the balance of designated funds that are budgeted but not spent by year-end?
A: Only the “actual” revenues and expenditures in your designated funds are accounted for when the university closes its books. Unspent funds automatically close out to the fund’s fund balance.

Q: Do I have to budget for career service bonus payments for a designated fund?  
A: Yes. You should budget career service bonus payments for every fund group for which you have employees in your cost center (as cost center expenditures may cross fund groups).

Q: If I have a grant in ORSP, do I only budget for my indirect cost revenue?  
A: No. You should build the total budget for restricted funds with information and advice from ORSP.

Q: What is the process if I receive revenue that is already budgeted? Do I need to send through a request for a new budget?  
A: Once revenue is budgeted, departments only need to properly and timely deposit the funds. No additional action will be needed.

Q: What if I bring in more or less revenue than budgeted?  
A: You must monitor the “Actual” activity in your designated funds to ensure actual expenditures are not greater than actual revenues and transfer in. Should you over-project your revenues and they come in less than budgeted, it will be your responsibility to reduce planned expenditures by the same amount. If this is a material amount causing your fund to generate a deficit, you should inform your Dean or Vice Chancellor and the  Budget Office immediately.