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Campus Budget Development & Management


Learn how to development and manage their departmental budgets for all funds. 

Procedure Information


Procedure Owner: Budget and Financial Reporting

  • 7.0 Process

    NYS Budget Process

    During September/October of each year, the New York State Division of the Budget (DOB) issues a “Budget Call Letter” requiring each state agency to estimate their spending needs for the upcoming fiscal year. SUNY System Administration submits this information based in part on the enrollment and tuition data received from the campuses. The DOB develops budget recommendations for the governor’s review and creates the Executive Budget for the governor’s submission in January. There is a 30-day amendment period in which the legislature may not act on the executive budget until after this amendment period ends. The amendments typically only reflect technical changes and corrections to the executive budget. The legislature negotiates changes to the executive budget. The Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees are responsible for coordinating the legislature’s review, involving public hearings and testimony, and Joint Conference Committee meetings as needed. The Senate and the House can make only three specific types of changes to the governor’s executive budget:

    1. Strike (delete) an appropriation
    2. Reduce the amount of an appropriation
    3. Add new separate items that increase the amount of or add an appropriation

    Once the Senate and Assembly agree to the changes made to the Executive Budget and vote to approve, it officially becomes the Enacted Budget. The Governor has the right to veto any funds added by the legislature however, this veto may be overridden by the legislature with a two-thirds majority in each house. The Enacted Budget’s deadline is April 1; however, in past years this deadline has not been met and the budget was passed late.

    SUNY Budget Process

    SUNY System Administration’s role during the NYS budget process is to interact and advocate with the Governor’s Office, Senate and Assembly on behalf of SUNY. Once the enacted budget is passed, Senior SUNY System Administration officials make final recommendations regarding funding distributions and special initiatives within the SUNY system. In May, SUNY approves the campus revenue projections and finalizes the SUNY Financial Plan. In June, The Board of Trustees Finance and Administration Committee meets to discuss the Financial Plan and then the full SUNY Board of Trustees adopts the Financial Plan. The SUNY Board of Trustees also adopts tuition rates and there is a 45 day period for public comment that ends in September.

    During July the SUNY Budget Office issues a call letter to campuses requesting their Form 1 and Financial Management Strategy (FMS) submissions. These submissions are due in August and include the campus’s request for allocation or authority to spend within each fund. Once the SUNY Budget Office reviews and approves the campus’s submission then allocation is distributed to the campus’s accounts in the Business Intelligence (BI) System.

    Campus Budget & Development Process

    During fiscal year 2017/18, the campus developed a Financial Stability Plan to create a road map on how the college would achieve financial stability over a rolling five-year period. Each year, campus constituents submit their departmental budgets to the Budget and Financial Reporting Office. The budget submissions include permanent expenditure reductions, reallocations, and funding proposals for new initiatives. The budget submissions are reviewed holistically by President’s Cabinet to ensure the campus’s funds are allocated appropriately to achieve financial stability and to support the college’s mission.

    SUNY Plattsburgh develops and manages budgets for four unique funds each with their own sources of revenue. All financial resources managed by the college are subject to NYS fiscal and operating rules and regulations. The fiscal year for each fund is July 1 through June 30. Each fund is defined as follows:

    State Operating (Revenue Offset)

    The State Operating Fund is the college’s core operating budget. Revenue sources consist of tuition, state support, interest, and the college fee.

    Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR)

    The IFR is a self-supporting fund that supports activities related to the college’s mission. IFR accounts are deemed self-sufficient when they operate on a break-even or better basis including the costs of assessed overhead expenses.

    State University Tuition Reimbursement Account (SUTRA)

    The SUTRA fund is dedicated to campus operations and is funded from tuition revenue collected from summer session, contract courses, overseas academic programs and excess tuition revenue from the core operations budget when applicable.

    Dormitory Income Fund Reimbursable (DIFR)

    The DIFR Fund is a self-supported fund dedicated to residence hall operations and funded from room rental fees and charges.

    State Operating Budget

    The state operating budget is funded from state appropriations directly derived from tax income and income generated by the college including tuition and the college fee. The state support portion of the operating budget continues to remain flat. Campus budget allocations change based on tuition changes only. During the spring term the college is required to submit to SUNY an estimate of the upcoming fiscal year’s enrollment and associated tuition revenue. The Enrollment Health Committee works collectively with representatives from each division to develop enrollment targets for the upcoming fiscal year. President’s Cabinet reviews and approves the targets. After enrollment targets are approved, the Budget and Financial Reporting Office populates the revenue projections and submits the projections to SUNY System Administration. Once SUNY reviews and approves the projections, they become part of the SUNY Financial Plan for the new fiscal year.

    The Budget and Financial Reporting Office issues a call letter in December to campus requesting that representatives from each division attend a training session on how to complete the upcoming fiscal year’s budget templates. Once the training session is completed by the division they will receive the templates to complete. The salary templates will be due back to the Budget and Financial Reporting Office by mid-February. The Budget and Financial Reporting Office will populate the salary information in the State Fund Spending Plan template and send the populated templates to campus representatives to complete by the end of February. The completed spending plan templates are due back to the Budget and Financial Reporting Office by mid-March. In each template, the campus representative is reviewing the budget information for accuracy and making any reductions, reallocations or changes as needed. Additionally, campus representatives can submit proposals for additional funding for an initiative that supports the campus’s mission to be reviewed by President’s Cabinet.

    University Wide Budget

    The annual NYS budget separately identifies amounts for a number of university-wide programs. These amounts are for specific programs or initiatives at SUNY. Campus allocations for the U-wide programs are disbursed separately from the campus amounts in the Financial Plan. Campuses receive U-wide allocations in early Fall however, it can be as late as January. Examples of U-wide programs include: Academic Equipment Replacement (AER), EOP, Child Care, Teacher Education and Support, and Services to Students with Disabilities. SUNY determines the allocation levels each campus receives for each U-wide program.

    IFR & SUTRA Budgets

    IFR accounts generate revenue related to self-supporting services and activities beyond those funded in the core operating budget (State Operating Fund). IFR accounts are to be self-sufficient and operate on a break-even or better basis including the costs of assessed indirect overhead expenses. IFR accounts have clear and defined income/expense relationships. Each IFR must generate revenue sufficient to cover costs incurred and be managed to a positive cash position. The IFR Fund creates a mechanism for the campus to operate and administer educationally related activities according to the following objectives:

    1. To receive and expend external funds, other than those external funds which would normally be received by the Research Foundation, the Plattsburgh Foundation, and College Auxiliary Services, on behalf of the campus.
    2. To conduct activities or provide services to students, employees, or others who will be charged fees for such service, the sum of which is intended to be approximately equal to the direct and indirect expenses of providing such activities and/or services.
    3. To recover costs from agencies or organizations using campus property or services.
    4. To conduct activities under contract with a third party providing services to the campus. 

    Revenue

    IFR accounts are funded from revenue generated for services provided by the campus such as student fees, conferences, facility rentals, and other sources of income outside of tuition and the college fee. SUTRA accounts receive revenue from summer session tuition, overseas academic programs, contract courses, and if applicable, excess tuition revenue from the core operating budget. Account managers must manage these funds in accordance with NYS laws and rules and must ensure that sufficient revenue is generated to support the commitments of the direct and indirect expenditures.

    Fringe Benefit Assessment

    Fringe benefit expenses are assessed on all salary expenditures excluding student employees in IFR accounts. In SUTRA accounts, fringe benefit expenses are assessed on all salary expenditures excluding student employees except for the summer session accounts. In the summer session accounts, fringe benefits are assessed on revenue received in the account. Fringe benefit rates are established each year and provided to the campuses by SUNY System Administration.

    Administrative & Maintenance Overhead Assessments

    IFR and SUTRA accounts are assessed administrative and maintenance overhead in accordance with SUNY Policy MTP99-1. Currently, most IFR accounts are assessed a 5.6% administrative rate and an 8.7% maintenance overhead rate on revenue. Campuses are authorized to develop campus specific indirect cost waiver categories. Each campus can determine whether a particular IFR program should receive an exemption (waiver) from the indirect cost assessment. Requests for waiver can be sent to the Budget and Financial Reporting Office to be reviewed.

    IFR & SUTRA Budget Allocation

    SUNY determines the campus IFR and SUTRA financial plan fund level allocation amounts based on the average expenditures for the past three years. As part of the Budget and Financial Reporting Office December call letter to the campus, each division with IFR and SUTRA accounts will be required to submit a spending plan for each account. The spending plan requires an estimated beginning cash balance as of July 1st of the upcoming fiscal year as well as the estimated revenue to be collected, the overhead assessments, expenditures, cash transfers, and estimated ending cash balance. Training on how to complete the spending plan will be delivered to the campus in January. Once the training session is completed by the division, the division representatives will be required to schedule an appointment with the Budget and Financial Reporting Office to complete their Spending Plan.

    IFR and SUTRA allocations should be viewed as budgetary guides only. IFR and SUTRA cash balances determine operational spending limits. For example, if during the fiscal year an IFR account is not expected to receive the revenue it estimated in its’ spending plan than the account manager will need to reduce their planned expenditures to ensure their spending does not exceed the total revenue received during the fiscal year. Alternatively, if an IFR account receives more revenue during the fiscal year than originally estimated in the spending plan, the account manager can submit a revised spending plan with supporting justification to request additional allocation from the Budget and Financial Reporting Office.

    IFR Deficits

    IFR accounts should maintain a positive cash balance. The expenses charged to an IFR account should be covered by the revenue in which that account takes in. IFR accounts that develop cash deficits as of 6/30 will have two years to eliminate that deficit. A two-year IFR Spending Plan along with a narrative must be submitted to the Budget and Financial Reporting Office addressing how the deficit will be resolved within the two-year time frame.

    The Budget and Financial Reporting Office will monitor progress toward deficit elimination. If a fiscal year-end target is not attained, the vice president will be notified and given the opportunity to take immediate corrective action. If the deficit elimination plan is not brought into balance by September 1 the Budget and Financial Reporting Office will fund the deficit from another departmental IFR account or the Budget and Financial Reporting Office may reduce the VP’s area state allocation.

    DIFR Budgets

    DIFR is a special revenue fund which is financed through revenue generated by room rent and fees for campus housing. The DIFR fund must be self-supporting. As per SUNY policy, all residence hall income must be used only for residence hall capital and operating costs and residence life expenses. The DIFR Committee, made up of members from residential life, facilities, director of Budget and Financial Reporting and the vice presidents of Administration and Finance and Enrollment and Student Success are charged with the responsibility of overseeing DIFR operations. During the spring term, the Budget and Financial Reporting Office receives two requests from SUNY 1) the Residence Halls Multi-Year Capital Plan 2) the DIFR Financial Plan.

    The residence halls’ multi-year capital plan is a 10-year plan outlining the expected capital projects than will need funding either from DASNY Bond dollars or from a SUNY Revolving Loan and the related debt service expenditures by year. The plan also outlines the expected revenue and expenditures and cash balances of the fund over the upcoming 10 fiscal years. The fund must demonstrate positive cash balances to support its’ operational costs as well as its’ capital projects including meeting debt service coverage ratios. This plan is due to SUNY in May.

    The DIFR Financial Plan requires the campus to submit total budgeted revenue and expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year as well as occupancy headcounts and bed rental rates for each room type. This plan is due to SUNY in May.

    Along with the above two mentioned plans, the campus is also required to submit to SUNY Form 1 and a FMS document for the DIFR Fund. As such, the Budget and Financial Reporting Office will issue a call letter in December to campus requesting that representatives from each division with DIFR accounts attend a training session on how to complete the upcoming fiscal year’s budget templates. Once the training session is completed by the division they will receive the templates to complete. The salary templates will be due back to the Budget and Financial Reporting Office mid-January. The Budget and Financial Reporting Office will populate the salary information in the DIFR Fund Spending Plan template and send the populated templates to campus representatives to complete by the end of January. The completed Spending Plan templates are due back to the Budget and Financial Reporting Office by the beginning of February. In each template, the campus representative is reviewing the budget information for accuracy and making any reductions, reallocations or changes as needed. Additionally, campus representatives can submit proposals for additional funding for an initiative that supports the campus’s mission to be reviewed by the DIFR Committee.

    Transfers

    At any time during the fiscal year, a department can request an allocation transfer to move allocation within the same fund between accounts and/or object codes. A Budget Allocation Transfer Form would need to be completed and submitted to the Budget and Financial Reporting Office.

    Across the board contractual salary increases are budgeted centrally. Once the fiscal year commences and the across the board salary increases take effect, the Budget and Financial Reporting Office will transfer allocation to the departmental accounts to cover these salary increases.

For additional information about this policy, please contact the policy owner listed above.

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