Accountability for Operating Funds

This section is applicable to central institutional (F100), operating (F210) and ancillary (F310) funds.

Budget units are required to monitor their operating fund revenues/expenditures variance on an ongoing basis, and to adhere to their approved integrated business plans and respective annual budgets. Budget units do not have the authority to overspend budget so as to cause an unfavorable variance between budget and actual. Budget variances (both favorable and unfavorable) are carried forward to the next fiscal year. Action plans for the carry forward amounts deemed significant are to be developed and approved by the applicable Vice-President.

Year-end budget variances for all budget units are calculated by Financial Services and the Office of Resource Planning following the completion of the annual external audit.

In managing their operating budgets, units may make permanent or temporary adjustments to budget. Refer to Budget Journal for further information.



Budget Variance Accountability Policy

Budget Variance Accountability Procedure


Budget Journal

This section is applicable to Central Institutional (Fund 100), Operating (Fund 210) and Ancillary (Fund 310).

The Budget Journal is a mechanism for making revisions to operating budget. Budget entries must be balanced (i.e. with no resulting net change) and are therefore limited to the following types:

  • transfer of a revenue or expenditure budget
  • an increase or decrease in an expenditure budget line with an offsetting change in another expenditure budget line
  • an increase or decrease in an expenditure budget with an offsetting change in a revenue budget

Resource Planning processes all budget changes related to continuing staff positions and all budget changes related to continuing and temporary staff benefits. Contact Resource Planning (Budget Administration) regarding position changes to ensure the unit understands the position budgeting guidelines that will be applied.


In this section:

When to use the Budget Journal

Completing the Budget Journal 

Approval and Processing of the Budget Journal 


When to use the Budget Journal

The Budget Journal is used to make changes to budgeted COA:

  • within F210, within F100, within F310
  • between F210 and F100

The Budget Journal is not used for the following:

  • changes to the following salary and benefit budgets (only Resource Planning may make these changes):
    • continuing staff salary budgets (units may change temporary staff salary budgets)
    • continuing and temporary staff benefit budgets
  • increases or decreases to the unit’s total operating budget. Net budget changes must total zero on the Budget Journal. For example, if an expenditure budget must be increased, an offsetting decrease in another expenditure budget or an increase in a revenue budget must be made.
  • changes that must be made using the Operating Fund Transfer (Budget) – Request for GLJE – Online. This includes:
    • changes to non-budgeted COA:
      • class or project level The budget system (ABBA) cannot accommodate these chartfields.
      • program level where the unit has chosen not to set up a budget in ABBA (generally when an ad hoc or one-time transfer)
      • changes between F210 or F100 and F310


Completing the Budget Journal

Completion of a Budget Journal is generally appropriate when:

  • a new budget is to be set up to provide spending authority to a new operating unit (deptID) or program that has been initiated during the year
  • the unit has projected that it will have excess expenditure budget available to move to another expenditure budget line
  • contingent funding is being allocated (e.g. from the Dean’s operating budget to a unit within the faculty)
  • actual revenue (e.g. in revenue-generating unit) is expected to fall short of or exceed the level that had been budgeted


Permanent Budget Changes
Permanent budget changes are those that are made to the current year’s operating budget and to future years’ base budget. These changes must be requested between April 1 and mid-September of each fiscal year. Units are advised in advance of the annual final cut-off date via FS-Bulletin.

Temporary Budget Changes

Temporary budget changes are those made only to the current year’s operating budget such as an ad hoc or one-time adjustment. These changes can be made up to the year-end deadline indicated in the Year-end Schedule (approximately last week of March).

Making changes to match budget to actual revenues or to actual expenditures in order to eliminate or reduce a budget variance is not appropriate and is discouraged.


Approval and Processing of the Budget Journal



The Budget Journal requires the approval of the budget owner and the Senior Financial Officer (SFO).


The approved Budget Journal form is sent to Resource Planning – Budget Administration for processing, preferably by mail to:

Resource Planning, 1204 College Plaza

In cases of time constraint (e.g. month-end) the approved Budget Journal may be e-mailed to a Budget Administrator. See Resource Planning`s website for contact information.

Budget Administration will process the Budget Journal within the month.

Note: The budget system (ABBA) is unable to accommodate the use of speed codes.


Explanation and Supporting Documentation

An explanation as to the purpose of the budget change (i.e. what the Budget Journal intends to accomplish) must be provided.

Other than the approval and explanation, there may be no further support for the Budget Journal; however, where the unit has additional support, this information is only retained in the unit. It is at the unit’s discretion as to how long it will retain the Budget Journal, as there is no audit or CRA requirement to retain budget-related documents.



Resource Planning


Resource Planning Forms Cabinet (Budget Journal)

Last updated: November 2015