Q: What is the difference between the terms "budget", "funding", and "spending authority"?
The terms are interchangeable. Because the term “funding” may be confused with “fund” in higher education accounting, the terms “budget” or “spending authority” are preferred. The budget or spending authority identifies the maximum amount of resources that may be used for a category or type of expenditure (personnel, travel, supplies, etc.) within a specific time period. Spending authority is further segregated by source of funds (state, tuition, fees, etc.)
Q: What is a Chart String?
The Chart String is the coding structure used for charging expenditures or depositing revenue in the PeopleSoft Financial system. It is used for actual accounting transactions as well as budgeting. It consists of the following:
- Fund Code – 5 digit code identifying the source of funding for the transaction
- Department ID – 7 digit code identifying the budget number
- Program Code – 5 digit code identifying the major functional area of activity
- Class Code – 5 digit code tied to the fund code
In addition to the chart string information above, every document requesting payment of an invoice, ordering an item, or depositing money must also include the account code identifying the type of expenditure or revenue.
Q: Where can I find Chart String Information?
Chart String information may be found on Budget Services website at:
Account Code information may be found on the Controller’s website at:
Q: How do I run a report to view the status of my budget?
Budget reports may be run through the PeopleSoft Financial system. Access to run budget reports is granted upon completion of training. Please contact the University Training Coordinator at 678-839-6392 for training.
The “Budget Management Tools” section of Budget Services website provides information on running the reports after you’ve attended training located at:
Q: When do I need to complete a budget amendment?
You need to complete a budget amendment whenever you need to:
- Transfer spending authority from one account code to another such as from travel to operating expenses OR from one personal service line to another (e.g. full-time faculty to part-time faculty).
- Change spending authority for a position due to a new hire or reclassification.
- Change spending authority to recognize a change in revenue earned.
Q: Where do I find the budget amendment form?
Budget Amendment Forms may be found on the “Forms” section of the Budget Services website at: http://www.westga.edu/administration/business-and-finance/budget/budget-forms.php
Instructions for completing form are found at the same location.
Q: What do I do if I need to increase the total spending authority for my budget?
Spending authority is set at the beginning of each year during the budget development process. If additional spending authority is needed, please contact your immediate supervisor or your college or divisional budget manager.
Q: Who do I call if I need help reconciling my budget?
If you have not attended the Budget Reconciliation training class, please watch the Daily Report for scheduled times or call the University Training Coordinator at 678-839-6392 for training.
If you’ve attended training and are running into a difficult issue, please contact your college or divisional budget manager or call Budget Services at ext. 9-6406.
Q: What if something was charged incorrectly to my budget?
You’ll need to process an expenditure transfer moving the charge out of your budget or moving the charge to the correct chart string within your budget. You may find the form on the Controller’s website at: http://www.westga.edu/controller/
If you have additional questions, please contact the Controller’s Office at extension 9-6390.
Q: Can I move money from one fund code to another?
No, you cannot transfer money from one fund code to another. For additional information, please contact your college or division budget manager.
Q: Can budgeted revenue exceed budgeted spending?
Budgeted revenue must equal budgeted expenditures.
Q: When can I get access to my miscellaneous fee (fund 10600) or Departmental Sales & Service (fund 14000) money?
In the initial budget some spending authority will be provided based on past revenue collections. If this is a new fee, there will likely not be any spending authority approved before revenue is earned.
Three times a year (October, March, and May) Budget Services will update spending authority in fund 10600 and 14000 based on earned revenue. A department may request an increase in spending authority anytime during the year when more revenue is earned than what is currently budgeted. Please review the budget amendment instructions for documentation required. The instructions may be found at: http://www.westga.edu/administration/business-and-finance/budget/budget-forms.php
Q: How do I verify revenue earned for my department?
In PeopleSoft Financial you may run a Revenue Summary Report OR look at the REVEST ledger or DETAIL ledger on the Budget Overview screen. Please refer to the Budget Management Tools section of Budget Services website for instructions on running these reports.
Q: How do I change the “authorized approver” for a department?
The form to change the authorized approver is found on the Controller’s website at:
Q: How can I access balances remaining from last to spend this year?
Any unspent balances remaining from prior years need to be confirmed by the Controller’s Office. Only balances in funds 12xxx, 13000, 14000, and 16000 may be carried forward from one year to the next.
Once the balance has been confirmed you will need to submit a budget amendment increasing both the budgeted revenue and the budgeted expenditures. Please be sure to include documentation that the balance is approved by the Controller’s Office.
Q: How do I request a new department ID?
To set up a new department (budget) in PeopleSoft, please complete the new department request form on Budget Services website at: http://www.westga.edu/administration/business-and-finance/budget/budget-forms.php
You will also find the set of instructions for completing the form.