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Frequently Asked Questions

For assistance with issues not covered here, please call (514) 398-5652 or (514) 398-6993.

How do I know who my budget office administrator is?

Your budget administrator is indicated on your New Fund Memo, as well in the INB (Banner) form FTMFUND, under the McGill Fund Options tab.

Do I need Budget Module training/access?

If you manage or administer an Operating - university allocation fund (1A) or an Operating – self-financing fund (1B) and you are involved with budgeting, then you need access to the Budget Module.

Please refer to the Budget Module training & access page

What is my fund's budget for this fiscal year?

The Opening Budget Reports are available on Minerva in June* of each fiscal year. You can retrieve them under the Finance Administration tab by logging into Minerva.

You can retrieve your monthly Minerva Financial Statements under the Finance Administration tab by logging into Minerva.

For other tools and reports, please refer to: www.mcgill.ca/budget/operating/tools/

* Effective fiscal year 2011-12, the fiscal year will commence in May.

Why can’t I run a Crystal Report?

Crystal report templates are only available to individuals with a Banner Userid and the authorization to use the Banner Financial Information System. To use the Office of the Budget templates, you need to be a Budget Module user, in addition to having Financial Information System access.

For information on Financial Information System access, please go to: McGill Financial Services knowledge base article #3883

For information on Budget Module access, please go to: www.mcgill.ca/budget/operating/module/

Why can’t I access the Minerva Reports?

Minerva reports are only available to individuals with a Banner Userid and the authorization to use the Banner Financial Information System. To retrieve the Opening Budget Reports, you need to be a Budget Module user, in addition to having Financial Information System access.

For information on Financial Information System access, please go to: McGill Financial Services Knowledge base article #3883

For information on Budget Module access, please go to: www.mcgill.ca/budget/operating/module/

Do I need to submit a budget for my fund/unit?

Operating – self-financing funds (1B) are required to submit a formal budget annually.

The required training course for obtaining access to the Budget Development Module is FIS320. Please refer to: www.mcgill.ca/budget/operating/module/

Why can’t I decrease the budget for photocopier, telecom equipment, data jacks, insurance account codes and the benefits account codes?

[Account codes 700015, 700016, 700050, 700051, 700052, 700053, 700054, 700055 and 700549 are deemed restricted account codes. As of FY11, account code 600125 is also deemed restricted for 1A fund types]

The budget for restricted account codes is adjusted by the Office of the Budget in June*, once the opening budgets have been posted. The budget represents the amount that is estimated to be expensed by your fund, based on the services that you are currently subscribed to. Unless you unsubscribe to these services, your fund will continue to be charged.

The permanent budget in the benefits account code 600125 of 1A funds is adjusted weekly to match actual benefits costs, as of June 1, 2010.

*Effective fiscal year 2011-12, the fiscal year will commence in May.

How can I adjust the budget for photocopier, telecom equipment, data jacks and insurance account codes?

[Account codes 700015, 700016, 700050, 700051, 700052, 700053, 700054, 700055 and 700549 are deemed restricted account codes. As of FY11, account code 600125 is also deemed restricted for 1A fund types]

You must first contact the service provider (Ancillary Services, Network and Communication Services or Risk Management and Insurance) and either provide them with a new FOAPAL for the charges, or inform them of the specific service/equipment that is no longer needed. Once you have received confirmation of the change, then you will be able to adjust the budget in the corresponding restricted account code.

The permanent benefits budget in account code 600125 is automatically adjusted weekly to match the actual benefits costs in your fund.

It’s June 25th and I don’t see my carry-forward. Did someone take it away?

Carry-forward budgets for the new fiscal year can only be determined once the prior fiscal year closes. The prior fiscal year close generally occurs the 1st or 2nd week of July*. The amount determined is posted as a budget at that time.

Operating – self-financing funds (1B) do not have carry-forward budgets. To view the balance of a 1B fund, use form FGITBSR in INB (Banner).

Please consult the recent changes on 1A carry forward budgets here.

*Effective fiscal year 2010-11, as the fiscal year will end on April 30th, the year end close will occur in June.

What is the difference between a permanent budget, a temporary budget and a total budget?

Permanent budget is an ongoing operating budget.

Temporary budget is a one-time reallocation of budget, affecting only the current fiscal year.

Total budget is the sum of the permanent budget and the temporary budget in a given fiscal year. This is the budget that you see on the FGIBDST form in INB (Banner), in the MINERVA Organization Budget Status Report by Account, and on the MINERVA Financial Statements.

Why has my budget changed since the opening budget?

During the course of the fiscal year, there are a number of budget adjustments that can occur. Some examples are:

  • Tenure track academic salary budget adjustments
  • Salary policy budget allocations
  • Permanent budget allocations and adjustments for benefits
  • Compact allocations
  • Priority pool allocations
  • Budget reallocations or reductions

What happened to all the merit budgets?

As of March 1, 2010, the concepts of “merit budget” and the “merit budget pool” are no longer relevant to operating budgets (both 1A and 1B funds). As a result, all merit budgets were converted to and combined with a position’s basic budget and as of June 1, 2010 there is only one salary budget amount. This budget, however, may be permanent or temporary in nature.

The most noticeable change has been the elimination of the “budget data grid” from all the on-line Budget Module Maintenance forms; it has been replaced by a single row of three fields (total, permanent and temporary). The look and feel of the forms has not been modified. [Note: The grid continues to exist for historical data prior to May 31, 2010.]

All other form functionality remains the same, with the exception of the “who is the incumbent” rules and the associated color coded legend, which used to rely on the merit budget. This functionality has been disabled, both retroactively and prospectively on all Budget Module forms (Maintenance and Development). As of June 1, 2010, the incumbent will always be the individual appointed to the position (HR incumbent).

Refer to the message from the Provost: Salaries - Merit and Base to be Combined Effective 1 March 2010

Why is my fiscal 2010-11 budget less than it was on May 31, 2010?

FY2010-11 will be a short fiscal year in order to transition the University to the new fiscal year end of April 30th.

In the case of Operating – University Allocation (1A) funds, all FY2010-11 permanent budgets that were rolled over from May 31, 2010, at the FOAPAL and position detail level, have been reduced by 1/12th, on a one-time (temporary) basis.

In order to easily identify these adjustments they have been assigned unique identifiers (transaction types) of “TMPN – 10-11 Bgt decr. (non-sal) “ and “TMPS - 10-11 Bgt decrease (sal) “.

Click here to find out more: Change in Fiscal Year End

Who pays for my fund's benefit expenses?

Each fund incurs the costs of payroll deductions and other benefit expenses related to salary expenditures.

There are several processes in place to ensure that Operating – University Allocation (1A) funds receive adequate budget to offset these expenses:

  • at the start of the fiscal year, an estimate of expected benefit expenses is made and a permanent budget is allocated to each fund (account code = 600125). This allocation may be identified by the unique identifier (transaction type) associated to the transaction of “APRB – Opening Budget (benefits) ”.
  • on a weekly basis, or at any time that a Payroll feed is transferred to the Banner Finance system, an adjusting budget entry is posted (identified as “BENA – Benefits Bgt Adjustment”) to account for any overage or shortfall of budget when comparing budget to actual benefit costs incurred and outstanding encumbrance of benefit expenses. These adjusting entries are also posted to account code 600125.
  • at year end, as part of the carry forward calculations, any residual variances in benefit account codes is eliminated. The adjusting budget entry is posted to account code 700421.

Operating - Self-financing (1B) funds, on the other hand, must earn sufficient revenues on an annual basis, to offset these expenses.

Whey were some July 2010 documents posted to period 02 instead of period 03?

We’ve encountered a problem with the July 2010 (period 03) Finance data warehouse views. If you create your own Crystal Report templates, have requested templates tailor made to your purposes, use the Finance data warehouse to extract budget data to another reporting tool, or you have downloaded the Crystal Report template “Monthly Fund Summary by account (perm and temp)” from our website, this e-mail is important for you.

Due to the FY11 changes, many documents processed in July and intended for fiscal period 03, were assigned a fiscal period of 02. Specifically, the system assigned the incorrect fiscal period to the following fields: “adopted budget”, “adjusted budget”, “temporary budget” and “transaction amount” (for budget amounts only). These fields were posted to fiscal period 02, whereas the “accounted budget” field, a cumulative or summary budget field, was assigned a period of 03, for the same transactions. Anytime you use a formula field with “accounted budget” along with any one of the other fields indicated above, you will get erroneous results from the cumulative views (these that have the word “balances” in the title of the view). Additionally, if you use a “transaction” view, period 03 will have incomplete budget data.

The problem described above is isolated to the month of July 2010 and is specific to the breakdown between permanent budget and temporary budget amounts, however, it does not impact the Budget data warehouse views, because there is no concept of fiscal period in the Budget Module. Additionally, most finance-centric reports built by central Finance, that present a single budget column are not affected by this issue as they use the accounted budget column only, as a result, templates on the Financial Services web site are not affected by this issue.

What can you do?

  •  If you have downloaded the “Monthly Fund Summary by account (perm and temp)” template from our website, please refresh your version with the one currently on our website (http://www.mcgill.ca/financialservices/reporting/ >> Budget Reports for 1A and 1B funds >> Integrated Budget & Finance >> ), it has been modified to correct for the above problem.
  • If you create your own templates or extracts using the “balances” views, you can redirect your reports to use a “transaction” view. In this case, you must also query for fiscal periods up to and including the period you want (i.e. fiscal period <= 03 (July)), instead of querying on just the period you want (i.e. fiscal period = 03 (July).
  • If you have previously requested templates tailor made to your purposes, please contact the originator of your template(s) so it may be updated to correct for this problem.