Budget Availability Checking (BAVL)

Budget Availability Checking (BAVL)

Budget availability checking, abbreviated to BAVL, is a system feature to ensure that an adequate balance exists on a fund charged at the time a transaction is originated online. An online transaction (specifically purchasing requisitions, inter-departmental charges, journals and manual encumbrances) will be rejected by the system if it will create or contribute to an overspent fund.

Budget availability checking allows the system to contribute to the successful administration of university funds, but it is not a replacement for regular fund monitoring and the review of monthly financial statements. This measure is simply added protection for those with fund responsibility, to reduce the number of inadvertent over-expenditures and the effort required by all parties to rectify these situations.      

How 'budget availability' is calculated for a fund

The value of each transaction is compared with the overall status of the fund(s) being charged. The system will not reject a transaction based on insufficient balances at the level of account code.

When the system is determining a fund's budget availability, the starting point is your fund's posted balance (budget less actuals/encumbrances/reservations) for account codes starting with 6 (salaries), 7 (non-salary expenditures), and 8 (inter-fund transfers). This is the same result as you would find using the Minerva Budget Queries or INB forms FGIBDST or FRIGITD.

Budget availability checking goes one step farther by also taking into consideration documents in the pipeline – those completed but not yet approved, as well as those disapproved pending action. This provides the added control of your balance being reduced with every intended transaction, even when many are processed in a short time frame.

FUNDS which are exempt from 'budget availability checking'

For the majority of funds, budget availability checking will have a severity of ERROR which will result in the automatic rejection of transactions that will create an over-expenditure.

Certain funds are exempt from this process, and will therefore be assigned a severity of WARNING. The originator is notified of a possible over-expenditure but is not prevented from posting their transaction. Exempt funds include 1A operating funds, restricted cost center funds and US dollar research contracts.

TRANSACTIONS subject to 'budget availability checking'

 A rule of thumb is that transactions originated online using Minerva or Banner forms shall be subject to budget availability checking

  • For purchase requisitions and change orders created using the McGill MarketPlace (MMP) or Banner INB, BAVL will take the gross amount of the total purchase requisition or change order (including taxes and additional amounts) into consideration. Tax rebates are not considered in the calculation.

Note: For any material tax rebate amounts that may result in long term over-expenditures until the invoice (and thus rebate credits) are processed, contact your Fund Administrator. A compensating adjustment may be possible.

  • Journal document types – Journal entries which include JE15/JE16, ME15/ME16 transaction types, Manual Encumbrances, Interdepartmental Charges.

Note: BAVL takes the FOAPAL sequence amount into consideration and not the document total. As a result, Intra-Fund (JE15) journal entries on over-expended funds may only be originated by Financial Services with NSF override capabilities.

Pending Documents Status impacting budget availability checking:


Status Code Explanation
APP Document completed but still pending approval.

Document approved but still pending posting.


Document completed then subsequently disapproved. These documents must either be deleted from the system (and the related value is restored to your balance) or fixed/resubmitted.


Document started but not completed.

TRANSACTIONS not subject to 'budget availability checking'

For now, there are some transactions that are NOT subject to budget availability checking because they are processed as feeds from other applications. Exempt transactions include:

  • Feeds, including from Payroll
  • Invoices and Payment Requests
  • Advances and Expense Reports
  • MOPS: PCard Transactions

Note: These transactions are never included in 'pending' documents, and will therefore only affect your available balance once they have been posted to your fund(s).      

Special arrangements for authorized over-expenditures     

The University recognizes that occasionally there may be circumstances which will justify a temporary over-expenditure (e.g. the result of a timing lag in new or renewal funding). Interim budgets designed to permit activities to continue in anticipation of new sources of funds may be provided in situations deemed appropriate by the Department or Faculty using a Letter of Guarantee.

For budget availability checking to recognize these special arrangements and allow further transaction processing, the value of a Letter of Guarantee shall be posted as a temporary budget in account code 700679. For more information, please refer to the Over-Expenditures in Research Funds Policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question Answer

What balance does Budget Availability (BAVL) Checking use?

Budget Availability Checking (BAVL) ensures that an adequate balance exists on funds while processing a transaction.

BAVL = Budget - Actuals - Encumbrances - Reservations

BAVL Considers:

  • Posted Documents
  • Completed-but-not-yet-posted documents
  • Once completed but disapproved documents

My document is unexpectedly being rejected by BAVL. Why?

There are several possibilities:

  • Re-enter the transaction date:

For a document left 'in process' awaiting a BAVL change to a fund, the transaction date must be reentered and all sequences must be tabbed through for BAVL to be recalculated. This is because Banner stores transactions by the hour-minute-second. A document transaction date must be later than the Fund slice for any BAVL changes to be applied. 

  • Order of document sequences

BAVL doesn't evaluate the entire document at once, but rather recognizes/builds on one sequence at a time. It is important to do the 'positive' action (increase available balance) before the 'negative' action (decrease available balance).
Example: THE BAVL balance of Fund A is $1,000. A JE15 needs to be processed.
Sequence 1. Debit $2,000: Fund A, account 700012 
Sequence 2. Credit $2,000: Fund A, account 700010
 With the sequences in the above order, BAVL would reject the document.
In order for the document to be accepted, the first sequence would need to be a credit, and the second sequence a debit. Once the sequence order is changed and all fields are tabbed through for BAVL to be re-calculated, the document could be submitted.


How do I know if my document is rejected by BAVL?

For funds set to ERROR, any attempt to process an on-line document that will create or increase an over-expenditures will result in an 'automatic disapproval' by the system. The originator of the document will receive an email notification, which will highlight which fund(s) have an insufficient balance. Here is a sample of the email:

Subject: Disapproval - Insufficient Funds
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2007 15:51:16
Document R0139768 is disapproved due to insufficient funds on the fund(s) charged:
100111 - Mini-Sample School Fund


How can I avoid systematic rejections of my documents due to BAVL?

  • Anticipate over-expenditures and, where appropriate, have Letters of Guarantee in place before your fund is officially overspent. This will ensure no interruption in transaction processing.
  • If you have funds which bill for goods or services (to internal or external customers), ensure all billings are up-to-date. On 1C Special Purpose/Self-Financing funds, this will allow your spending power to be appropriately increased.
  • Handle disapproved documents on a timely basis so that your balance used for budget availability checking is not reduced by transactions you don't intend to re-submit.

Now that the system is preventing over-expenditures, do I still need to check my monthly statements?

We emphasize that budget availability checking is not meant to replace regular fund monitoring and the review of monthly financial statements. This measure is simply added protection for those with fund responsibility, to reduce the number of inadvertent over-expenditures and the effort required by all parties to rectify these situations.

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