FAQ's

FAQ’s Regarding the Budget and the Budget Process

Questions List

  1. What exactly is the fiscal year and what impact does it have on me managing the budget?
  2. What are the various types of budgets at the college?
  3. How are department budget allocations determined?
  4. When could I expect my department allocation to be made available for use and how will it be communicated?
  5. Am I allowed to make adjustments to my budget during the year and what is the process to make it happen?
  6. Is there a system in place where I can view my budget and the encumbrances against it?
  7. What happens to the unexpended portion of a departmental budget at the end of the year? Can those funds be rolled over and made available for use in the next fiscal year?
  8. If I receive a University funded grant/award, how do that funds get allocated to my department and when can I start spending those funds?
  9. What do I do if the budget allocated to my department is insufficient to manage the office affairs?

Questions & Answers


What exactly is the fiscal year and what impact does it have on me managing the budget?

The fiscal year is the 12 month period that the University operates and reports its financial activities which does not fall in line with the calendar year. The fiscal year starts July 1st of one calendar year and ends on June 30th of the next calendar year. We illustrate this accounting period as FY for the Fiscal Year and the last two digits of the year the fiscal Year ends (e.g., Fiscal Year 2014-2015 is displayed as FY15 and is for the period July 1, 2014 thru June 30, 2015).


What are the various types of budgets at the college?

The College receives funding from the University called “Tax Levy Funds,” which is a combination of monies from the State of New York and the tuition that his collected by the college. We also receive funds from entities such as the York Association, Auxiliary, Foundation as well as FDA rental fees (Please see the VP and/or Business Manager regarding access to these non-tax levy funds).


How are department budget allocations determined?

Department allocations are derived using the prior year expenditures at a point in time as the base allocation.  Revisions to the budget can be made based on the demonstration of additional need or as directed by the Office of the President.  Additionally,  program funding levels may change from year-to-year and VP’s and Deans have the authority to adjust departmental allocations as they see fit within the overall Division allocations.


When could I expect my department allocation to be made available for use and how will it be communicated?

Initial College departmental budget allocations will be loaded by the University in all financial management systems on or around July 1st of each year. This will be a preliminary figure until the budget allocations are fully determined and will be sent to the VP’s and Dean’s for review. Once these budgets are approved by these administrators, the financial systems will be updated and the departments will be informed by the Budget Office. However, you can go into these financial systems and check your budget at any point throughout the fiscal year using a budget query (see budget query instructions).


Am I allowed to make adjustments to my budget during the year and what is the process to make it happen?

Yes, budgets can be adjusted during the year.  Transfers between budget accounts can be done via the Budget Transfer Authorization Form.


Is there a system in place where I can view my budget and the encumbrances against it?

Yes, departmental OTPS budget allocations and encumbrances can be viewed using a query in CUNYfirst (Instructions to Query Budget, Encumbrance & Expenditure Info)

Additionally, budget and encumbrance information related to Adjuncts can be viewed on-line via the Adjunct Employee Management System (AEMS). This system houses information for Adjunct, Continuing Education Teachers (CET’s), College Lab Techs (CLT’s) and Non-Teaching Adjuncts (NTA’s) appointments. Other hourly appointments such as College Assistants (CA’s), Custodial hourly, College Security Assistant hourly (CSA’s), IT hourly and Nurse hourly titles can also be found on-line via the PR Assist System.  Both of these systems can be found on the Human Resource website. 


What happens to the unexpended portion of a departmental budget at the end of the year? Can those funds be rolled over and made available for use in the next fiscal year?

Any unexpended Tax Levy Funds are used to either offset any deficits the College may have incurred during the fiscal year or it will go into the CUTRA account used to help offset deficits in upcoming fiscal years. Those funds are not typically rolled over but some accommodations may be made for specially funded programs and initiatives (contract the Budget Office for details).

Please be sure to make all purchases in accordance with College and Business Office deadlines to ensure purchases are completed.  Also note, that all purchases made within a fiscal year must be delivered by June 30th.


If I receive a University funded grant/award, how do that funds get allocated to my department and when can I start spending those funds?

If you receive a University funded grant/award, the first thing that you should do is inform the Budget Office and provide us with a copy of the award letter and a spending plan so the budget can be allocated appropriately upon funding.  Funding generally occurs via University Certification or "Cert" (see the University Cert schedule).

The ability to spend your awarded funds is dependent on the timing of when the award is actually funded and how soon the spending plan is sent to the Budget Office.


What do I do if the budget allocated to my department is insufficient to manage the office affairs?

If you feel that your budget allocation is insufficient, consult with your Dean or Division Head to see if there is an opportunity to supplement your budget allocation.  Please be prepared with data to support your position.