Overview: About the Budgeting Process @ Stanford

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Budgeting Roles & Responsibilities

University Budget Office (UBO)

The University Budget Office is responsible for all the processes, policies and issues related to the University Consolidated Budget. The UBO supports approximately 300 budget officers and financial analysts across 30 business units. This support includes budget planning and forecasting, managing the annual budget process, and managing and supporting the Tidemark budgeting tool, the University's budgeting system. In addition, the Budget Office manages the University Organizational Hierarchy. The basic function of the Hierarchy is to define the parent-child relationships and to group information such as employee data and financial data which affect many aspects of campus reporting. The UBO reports to the Vice Provost for Budget and Auxiliaries Management.

Budget Group

The Budget Group serves as an advisory committee to the Provost, and works to set and/or change policy as appropriate to the financial health of the University. The Budget Group includes members from the Provost and Vice Provost's Office, senior-level faculty and executive staff from various organizations across campus.

Business Units

There are 30 business units across the University, each responsible for planning, managing, and reconciling its local budget. Nearly all of the decision-making for managing Stanford funds is made at the local level, which is consistent with the decentralized and entrepreneurial spirit of the University. Business units vary from small schools and organizations with few departments to large schools and organizations with many departments. Some business units are more reliant than others on general. The size of operating budgets, roles and responsibilities for managing the budget, and budgetary procedures may vary by business unit.

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Consolidated Budget versus Business Unit Operating Budgets

The University's consolidated budget for operations is a compilation of all annual operating and restricted budgets that support teaching, scholarships, and research. This comprises the operational activities of thirty business units, including academic administration, auxiliary entities, and SLAC. Academic units account for the majority of operational activities in support of the University mission. The capital budget and the budget for hospital and clinical services are excluded from the consolidated budget.

Business unit operating budgets are a subset of the consolidated budget and include general and restricted funds (i.e., designated, expendable, and endowment) supporting on-going unit operations and auxiliaries. Operating budgets do not include sponsored funds (e.g., grants and contracts).

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Annual Budget Cycle

Stanford's annual budget cycle commences in November and concludes in October of the following year. This is offset from Stanford's fiscal year which begins in September and ends in August. The budgeting process and related activities include reviewing actuals from the recently closed (i.e., prior) fiscal year, making projections for the current fiscal year, and forecasting/planning for the next fiscal year. To learn more about budget cycle activities and timing during the budget cycle, see Overview: Stanford's Annual Budget Cycle.

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