A common question received in Financial Services is, “What is my organization’s available balance?” As the graphic above shows, your available balance is simply your budget less YTD expenditures less commitments. In other words, your available balance is the amount available to spend.
Again, the adjusted budget (“budget”) is the amount that the organization is authorized to spend. This is the original budget plus or minus any adjustments.
Year-to-date (YTD) transactions are actual transactions that have taken place. They can include invoice payments, payroll costs, funds deposited with the Cashier, P-Card charges, and back charges. YTD activity reduces the available balance.
Commitments, sometimes called encumbrances, represent a hold on funds in anticipation of expenditures. Commitments can be payroll commitments (which represent the remaining amount employees are to be paid during the rest of the fiscal year), requisitions (items requested), or purchase orders (items on order). Commitments also reduce the available balance.
Once a commitment is paid, the total commitment amount decreases and the YTD amount increases by the payment. It is important to note that direct payments and back charges (such as Windstream and DIS phone charges; postage; printing; and P-Card transactions) may never post to the commitments item before increasing the YTD activity. Please keep these types of charges in mind before spending your entire available balance.
Banner form FGIBAVL (Budget Availability Status) allows you to query a FOAPAL’s available balance. (A FOAPAL is the combination of Fund, Organization, Account, Program, and Activity codes.) To check a FOAPAL’s available balance, enter in the Fund, Organization, Account, and Program codes that you want to query into the the appropriate blanks in the header of the form. The control keys section will show what pool the FOAPAL belongs to and the bottom section will show your available balances.
As always, if you need further assistance feel free to contact Financial Services at 501.569.3318 or visit our website at ualr.edu/financialservices.