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. This includes budget planning and forecasting, managing the annual budget process, and managing and supporting Hyperion Planning and Reports, the University budget system. In addition, the Budget Office manages the University Administration Organizational Hierarchy. The basic function of the hierarchy is to define the parent-child relationships and group information such as employees and financial data which affects many aspects of campus reporting. The UBO reports to the Vice Provost for Budget and Auxiliaries Management.

University Budget Group (UBG)

The University Budget Group (UBG) 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 UBG includes members from the Provost and Vice Provost's Office, senior-level faculty and executive staff from various organizations across campus.

Business Units

The University Budget Office supports thirty budget units and approximately 200 Budget Officers/Representatives at Stanford responsible for planning, managing, and reconciling their local budgets. 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 with few departments to large schools with many departments. Some schools are more reliant on general funds than others. The size of operating budgets, roles and responsibilities for managing the budget, procedures, and the use of tools vary by business unit. Available funding is the primary budgetary control for local business units at Stanford which manage roughly 30,000 expendable and 6,000 endowment funds.

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Consolidated versus Operating Budget

The University's consolidated budget for operations is a compilation of all annual operating and restricted budgets that support teaching, scholarships, and research. This represents the operational activities of thirty budget units, including academic administration (approx. 21%), auxiliary entities (approx. 8%), and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (approx. 10%). Academic units account for the majority of operational activities (approx. 61%) in support of the University mission. The School of Medicine is the largest academic unit representing approximately 48% of the academic operating budget. The capital budget and the budget for hospital and clinical services are excluded from the consolidated budget.

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

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Annual Budget Cycle

Stanford's annual budget cycle runs approximately twelve months, "officially" commencing in November and concluding in October of the following calendar year. Overlapping fiscal year boundaries, the process and related activities include reviewing actuals from the recently closed (i.e. prior) fiscal year, identifying projections for the current fiscal year, and forecasting/planning for the next fiscal year. To learn more about the timing of activities during the budget cycle, see Overview: Annual Budget Cycle.

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Budget Tools and Resources

A variety of tools and resources are available to help plan and manage budgets. The University Budget Office allows business units flexibility and freedom in how they run their businesses. Therefore, usage of these tools may vary by business unit.


iBudgets:  Stanford's custom built iBudgets application extends budget management capability through budget modification and expense/revenue control. Authorized budget officers can use the application to create new budgets and/or modify / reallocate existing budgets, to effect budgetary changes without impacting the original 9/1 budget "snapshot". iBudget journals are reflected as changes to Expense Control columns in expenditure reports.

Learn more about the iBudgets module of Oracle Financials.

iJournals:  The iBudgets module launches requests for certain award types, to create corresponding funds transfers in iJournals. If approved, iJournals posts the transfers in the General Ledger. The results of these transactions display in Funds Statements.

Learn more about the iJournals module of Oracle Fiinancials.

Reporting Tools

Hyperion Planning and Reports:  Hyperion Planning and Reports is the master database for the University Consolidated Budget. Hyperion is pre-populated with data from core Oracle Financials and PeopleSoft HRMS applications.

Decision Support Services (DSS):  Decision Support Systems (DSS) is a reporting data base used to manage and reconcile budgets. DSS provides ad hoc capability for extracting budget-related data, access to historical (Legacy and Oracle Financials systems) and current actuals.

Oracle Financials:  Budget data from Hyperion is loaded into the Oracle Financials system. Oracle Financials is the system of record for actual balance sheet accounts, revenue, and expenditures. The Oracle Financials Reporting data base is ReportMart3.

Microsoft Excel:  Microsoft Excel is used extensively for financial analysis, budget planning and tracking. Business units use Excel for detailed tracking of expenditures, commitments, and reallocations. Excel is the expected medium for submitting budget data to the University Budget Office for upload to Hyperion Planning. Additionally, users export data from various DSS and ReportMart3 reports to Excel for further analysis.

Learn more about financial reporting tools at Stanford.

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