FAQ: Preparing a Budget in Oracle Planning and Budgeting
Q: What are the correct links to access both the EPBCS Production environment and the EPBCS Training Environment?
Q: What is the Target Budget and how is it calculated on Task 4.2 Review and Realign Core Recurring Budget?
A: The Target Budget is a guideline or reference point for a budget preparer to ensure they are budgeting within the current planning year’s Core Recurring Budget amount.
For example, in the FY24 planning year the Target Budget is calculated as:
- FY23 Final Core Recurring Base Budget +
- FY23 Actual Compensation Increase Adjustments +
- FY23 Recurring Commitments +
- FY24 Program Increase Assumptions
Q: How do I move Core Recurring Budget between different Financial Units on Task 4.2 Review and Realign Core Recurring Budget?
A: If you have a Target Budget in one Financial Unit – Fund – Function – Project (F-F-F-P) combination but wish to budget those dollars on another Financial Unit, you may leave the budget blank in the first F-F-F-P combination (i.e. you’ll be under-target) and then include the budget on the new combination (i.e. this F-F-F-P will be over-target).
Q: I went over the Target Budget on Task 4.2 - what does this mean and what should I do?
A: There are several reasons this may occur:
- It may mean that your Financial Unit did not have an accurate Target budget to start with e.g. a brand new Financial Unit would see a $0 target
- In addition, if you moved budget between Financial Units or between functions, you may be over target in one and under target in another
Q: I am trying to Add a Core Account on Task 4.2 but the account I want to add is not available to select. Why?
A: There are several reasons this may occur:
- Form 4.2 restricts any account code that appears in the Salary and Benefits account hierarchy (50000A, 50500A, 50600A and 50700A) range to ensure all labor-related data flows directly from the detailed staff and faculty planning work done in Tasks 1 and 2
- Form 4.2 does not allow External Revenue accounts (4xxxxx) and most resource transfer accounts (7xxxxx)
- If the POV has had prior Budget or Actual activity, then the account is generally available to budget but not every account from the Chart of Accounts is automatically added as an available option as the form utilizes hardcoded inclusion rules
- Recommended guidance is to utilize general Budget accounts ending in xxxx99 such as 522099 Budget Supplies and Materials, 539999 Budget Other Operating Expense, 511999 Budget Student Support, etc.
Q: How can I add a new Project # to Task 4.2, 5.1 or 5.2? It has never had prior activity because it is new but I want to budget on it for next year.
- By right-clicking and accessing the Add Account feature from the Action Menu, a user can also use the same window to search for and add a new Project # to budget on
- Remember to confirm that the Financial Unit, Fund and Function selected also correspond to the Project # and update if needed
Q: Can I budget for Contracts & Grants in EPBCS?
- For the FY23 budget planning year, the tool does not support contract & grant budgeting (i.e. sponsored awards from NIH, NSF, DOD, etc.)
- Employee rosters in Tasks 1.1 and 2.1 will display employees who are paid on those funding sources/projects but the distribution lines will not flow to Tasks 1.2 and 2.2 and forms to budget non-compensation expenses on sponsored funds are not available
Q: Why is Task List 3 "Review and Manage Project Budgets" listed as Not In Use?
- For the FY23 budget planning year, budgeting to the PPM Task level was removed from annual EPBCS budgeting to reduce complexity for users
- Budget preparers need flexibility to update PPM Budgets down to the Task level regularly throughout the fiscal year so the process did not fit well with the timeline of the annual budget process which would capture just one static budget figure for an entire fiscal year
Q: Can I add notes or comments to the budget figures that I enter on a form?
- Yes, right click on any editable cell, and navigate to Comments
- After entering and posting a Comment dialog box, note that the cell with the Comment appears with a blue-shaded border to signify the Comment
Q: What types of funds can I budget in Task 5.1 Enter Unrestricted Funds Budget by Financial Unit?
- These are non-core, non-SOFI funds that often generate their own revenue and are considered self-supporting
- For example, Recharge Funds, Auxiliary Funds, Surplus Sales, Conference Revenue Funds, etc. Gifts and Sponsored Funds are not budgeted on Task List 5.1
Q: I am responsible for budgeting a Vice Chancellor office, Division office and/or Dean’s office in my area. Why do I see two Financial Units – one that includes the word “Office” and one that doesn’t when making a selection for Financial Unit in the Point of View?
- The Financial Unit with the title that included Office is meant to represent the operations of that Office and where expenses for staff, supplies, travel, etc. should be posted
- The Financial Unit without Office in the line is referred to as a “top-line concept” which represents Financial Units at Campus, VC and Divisional levels where there is resource management responsibility for funds and commitments to be subsequently allocated to Departments for operations/spending
- Only funding transfers in/out will occur in these “top-line” units and no expense activity as that should happen at operating department/cost center level
Q: Where can I see my carryforward in EPBCS? How do I budget against prior year carryforward balances since these balances represent an important source of funding for my Financial Unit's expenses next year?
- There are no balances pulled into or displayed within the budgeting tool, balances are seen in OFC
- To plan against your carryforward balance, you can budget the expenses in EPBCS and it will appear that you are going over-budget
- Then in OFC when you begin spending in the next fiscal year, you will dip into your balance
- It is not a new resource to be budgeted for in an annual operating plan
- Note - for expenses being budgeted against Core fund carryforward such as SOFI 13991, use Core One-Time Form 4.3
Q: When budgeting revenue or internal resources on these Forms: Core One-Time Form 4.3, Unrestricted Funds Form 5.1 or Gifts Funds Form 5.2, should I enter figures as a positive or negative number?
Q: What do the different colored cells mean on a form?
Q: What do the different icons represent on a form?