Budget Office

The primary function of the Budget Office is to assist in the development, monitoring & execution of budgets for various SUNY Oneonta funds. These funds include Oneonta's State Core Operating budget (Rev Offset), the Dormitory Income Fund (DIFR), General Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR), Summer Session, and Tuition Overflow (SUTRA). We also assist with financial data analysis and reporting, for both internal and external purposes. The Budget Office frequently works with SUNY System Administration staff on budget planning and administration.

In addition, the Budget Office provides managerial information, guidance, and review regarding the allocation and use of SUNY Oneonta resources. Under the direction of the VP for Finance, we provide ongoing analysis of SUNY Oneonta's financial status. The Budget Office reviews expenditure patterns, revenue estimates and personnel service funding requirements, as well as approves and processes all allocation transfers. Budget works closely with IFR account managers in developing their program budgets and monitoring operations throughout the year.

The Budget Office strives to offer efficient and effective service to our customers in the SUNY Oneonta Campus community in all of the functions listed above.

Campus Spending Guidelines for Fiscal Year 2022-23

With the start of a new fiscal year on July 1, SUNY Oneonta continues to face budget challenges. SUNY did not incur budget reductions in the NYS Enacted Budget however SUNY Oneonta continues to deal with lower enrollment than we have had in prior years. Given that enrollment is a driver for about 80% of SUNY Oneonta’s operating budget, we must be attentive to our financial resources considering the changing enrollment landscape and outlook.

The Division of Finance and Administration has developed general guidance to fulfill SUNY Oneonta’s operations within a controlled spending environment. These guidelines will help sustain our financial position as we deal with the financial impact (this year and beyond) of lower overall enrollment, efforts to bolster recruitment and retention, and financial pressures including inflation and continued costs related to the general impact of COVID. Finance and Administration will support the 2022-23 spending environment with robust monitoring of account balances, and spending activity and trends.

The spending guidelines outlined here are expected to continue for the duration of fiscal year 2022-23, i.e. through June 30, 2023. Any significant change in internal or external conditions may require a change in guidelines, and any such change will be communicated.

Initial 2022-23 budget allocations (a.k.a. “form 1”) are expected to post to departmental accounts in BI-Finance in the late September timeframe. The Budget Office will provide departments with their preliminary form 1 allocation amounts as soon as the campus’s form 1 is finalized for submission to SUNY in late August. As a reminder, the budget reduction plans implemented last year were permanent reductions. Departments should plan their spending based on these reduced allocation levels going forward.

It is the responsibility of departmental account managers to carefully monitor all expenditures and not exceed their available allocation. Finance and Administration will increase its monitoring of account spending relative to allocation, and account managers will be contacted if there are deficits or spending trends that require attention. These communications will include a cc: to the next-level supervisor. If deficits or other concerns remain unresolved, spending from the account will not be allowed to continue, and the VP will be contacted to assist with a plan for resolution.

Departments can purchase general goods and services within the limits of their account allocations for purchases of up to $10,000, following procurement guidelines for allowable expenses, required price quotes, special purchases, etc. and other applicable policies.

Purchases over $10,000 require pre-approval from the department’s Vice President or executive-level officer using the approval form for spending over $10,000.

A new IT Procurement Policy was approved and implemented in May 2021; the policy can be located here: IT Procurement Policy. This policy requires advance approvals from the CIO, or designee, for most technology purchases including but not limited to hardware, software, printers, and computers.

Cardholders should review charges and move expenditures to intended accounts daily. This will enable account managers to keep a close eye on account balances as they are approving new expenditures. If accounts linked to p-cards are found to have a deficit balance, the associated p-card may be turned off until the deficit issue is resolved.

Training on p-card use and maintenance is available by contacting the Procurement & Travel Office at Kristine.Palmatier@oneonta.edu, x2699.

Approval for travel, both domestic and international, is required at the VP or other executive-officer level. International travel may require additional consideration and approval for countries with level 3 or 4 travel advisories in effect.

For domestic travel, in lieu of a VP or executive officer signature on every travel request application (TRA), departments anticipating significant travel may submit a departmental travel plan to be approved by the respective VP or executive officer. Approved plans must then be shared with Procurement and Travel and the Budget Office. Plans should include a brief explanation of essential nature of travel, expected timeframe involved, list of individuals expected to be traveling, estimated costs, and confirmation that costs are supported by available resources. An example may be a semester plan outlining all anticipated travel for members of the department in that time.

Departments must manage approved travel and travel-related expenses within their budgeted account allocations. In lieu of traveling, consider opportunities for attending conferences, meetings, or other necessary professional development events virtually when possible. Also consider options for limiting the number of people attending the same event, as well as other ways to reduce travel-related expenses where possible.

Adherence to per diem limits will be maintained for approved travel. Travelers may choose lodging that is over per diem rates, however the overage cost may be borne by the traveler. See the Procurement and Travel website for more information regarding per diem limits.

Please be aware that unanticipated events can disrupt travel plans and introduce financial risk to the traveler. For example, if a planned trip includes a flight, and the trip is cancelled but the airline reservation cannot be, the traveler bears that cost. Or, if a traveler is unable to return for a period longer than intended, they may bear additional expense.

Look to the Budget Office and Procurement and Travel departmental web pages for more information, forms, and for developing FAQ’s. Questions related to spending may be directed to Procurement and Travel; questions related to budget allocations may be directed to the Budget Office.

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