Frequently Asked Questions
When is it appropriate to complete a DEC versus a budget transfer?
When a transaction is entered against an incorrect FOAP, it is always best to correct it with a DEC, especially if it has happened within the current year. The length of time varies depending on the type of funds involved, but the general rule is 90 days from the time of the incorrect transaction. There are exceptions for contract/grant funds, but generally, once a fiscal year has been completed, all transactions to incorrect FOAP's should be corrected using a budget transfer. If there is a question about completing a DEC (through the new e-journal voucher system), please contact Financial Reporting.
Why was my budget transfer denied?
When disapproving documents, we always include a reason. In Banner messages, the previous approver of the document is the person who receives the reason for the document being disapproved. If you are not the previous approver, you can always contact Budget Services and we can let you know our reasoning. If you do not notice that a document has been denied until the following month or subsequent months, the information for the transfer is deleted as a part of the monthly processing performed by the system. Unless you have the original document, we cannot tell you the reason. Some of the most common reasons for us disapproving transfers are: use of five digit account codes, use of revenue codes, or incomplete or inaccurate description data.
Where can I find a copy of Auburn University's budget on the web?
We keep both the current and archived budget summaries on the Budget Services website at: www.auburn.edu/budget/archive.html.
How can I change my position budgets to match the salaries of the persons in the positions?
All changes to position budgets have to be made by the budget office on the NBAPBUD screen. We send out balancing files approximately every 6 weeks from October 1st through the middle of May. If you notice a position or FOAP on the position that needs to be changed, please contact LaRae Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org) for all changes that need to be made. All changes must be made prior to the budget freeze date for consideration for permanent allocations.
How does Auburn develop its budget every year?
Decisions about allocations are based on projected available funding for the following fiscal year. The process is very inclusive, with input sought from different campus constituencies through the Budget Advisory Committee, an advisory board to the President of Auburn University. After decisions are made about allocations and the budget guidelines are adopted, each area begins work on completing its salary recommendation sheets, updating changes to Salary Planner (a direct interface with Banner), and ultimately completing the budget development through Stripes, Auburn's home-grown budget development tool. All budgets approved by the Board of Trustees are implemented at the start of each fiscal year, October 1st.
How can I request funding for my department?
The Budget Services website has two forms, one for permanent increases and one for one-time requests. The policies and procedures for these two forms are found at the bottom of the Budget Services home page. To be considered for permanent funding in the next fiscal year, the request must be submitted by the end of February to the Provost or to the Executive Vice President. One-time funding requests do not have a deadline and can be made throughout the year through the appropriate channels.
Why does Auburn University negotiate its fringe rate with the federal government?
As a way to be more competitive in the awarding of contracts and grants, Auburn switched to a negotiated fringe rate for the FY10 year and will continue to negotiate a rate with the Department of Health and Human Services every year. In addition to the competition edge with contracts and grants, it gives Auburn a more precise method to allocate benefits during the budget process instead of calculating an average rate over all employee groups.
With the change to the negotiated fringe rate, how are base-budgeted benefit dollars treated?
Each division may have its own separate rules for budgeting and carryover of benefits. For Division 1 (AU Main Campus), benefits will be loaded at the negotiated fringe rate. Should positions become vacant during the fiscal year, there will be some savings of benefits. If benefits charged exceed the original budget, it is possible that your area has persons who have been paid overtime or have other out-of-class job assignments that are not budgeted. Those overages on your employee benefits are your department's responsibility. Unlike the old carryover rules, we will not sweep all employee benefit budgets and costs into a central pool. We do however pull back employee benefits on positions that are vacant on October 1st. As those positions become filled during the year, the department/college can request a prorated portion of benefits on the position for the remainder of the fiscal year. As stated above, the rules vary by division and administration at each has the final say-so as to how their base-budgeted benefits are treated.
What is the fringe rate for the current year?
For FY13, the rate for full-time employees (this includes summer faculty) is 27.9%. For part-time employees (including employees of Temporary Employment Services), the rate is 12.0%. For graduate student employees, the rate is 2.1%. There is no benefit rate for regular student employees.
Who do I contact about specific business office functions?
It is our goal to be able to answer any questions you may ask. Our expertise is mostly related to budget matters, so we might not be able to fully answer your questions, but we will do everything we can to get you the right answer or point you in the right direction. If you have questions about any of the following, contact someone at the numbers below.
- Contracts/Grants - 844-4847
- Encumbrances/Requisitions - 844-7771
- Vendor Payments/Travel Vouchers - 844-7771
- Collection Reports - 844-4634
- Tuition/Billing - 844-4634
- Journal Entries/E-JV System/New accounts - 844-3600
- Payroll - 844-4183
- Technical Questions on E-systems and Banner - 844-5661