UNLV Budget 101

About the UNLV Budget

The UNLV budget is made up of state appropriations, student tuition and fees, sales and services, and other sources. This page demystifies different types of accounts, budget processes, and procedures.

Don’t hesitate to contact your Budget Analyst with questions or for assistance navigating the complexities of the university finances.

Budget Sources and Uses

UNLV Budget Sources FY 2020

UNLV Budget Sources FY 2020

UNLV Budget Uses FY2020

UNLV Budget Uses FY2020

Account Types

Within UNLV there are several types of accounts, generally distinguished by their fund. Fund numbers will always start with “FD.” The primary fund types include:

  • FD1XX: State Funds
  • FD2XX: Self-Supporting Funds
  • FD4XX: Gift Funds
  • FD5XX: Grant Funds

State Accounts

State appropriated budgets are set for two years at a time by the Nevada Legislature which meets for 120 days in odd numbered years. UNLV has seven state appropriations:

  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas - FD124
  • Intercollegiate Athletics - FD125
  • Statewide Programs - FD102
  • Business Center South - FD115
  • School of Dental Medicine - FD109
  • Boyd School of Law - FD104
  • Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV - FD126

The expense budget totals are determined by the time the legislative session closes, so the source for a budget increase to a given account over the two year biennium would be:

  1. Reallocation from within the same FD1XX account
    1. Example: from a PGxxxxx within FD124 to another PGxxxxx within FD124, but not from a PGxxxxx within FD124 to a PGxxxxx within FD109, FD115, FD126, etc.
  2. If excess student fees are collected

UNLV, School of Dental Medicine, Boyd School of Law, and Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV are supported by a combination of state general fund revenue and student fees. The remaining appropriations are relatively small and are supported by general fund revenue. State accounts are identified by their fund number, which starts with FD1. Accounts within the UNLV formula budget appropriation begin with FD124.

Expense reassignments cannot be made from self-supporting accounts to state accounts after May 1 of each year. Expense reassignments cannot cross fiscal years when moving from state accounts or between self supporting accounts.

Expenses Not Allowed on State Funds

There is no single exhaustive list of acceptable uses of state funds. Below are examples of items that are not allowed:

  • Bottled water
  • Hosting
  • Prizes and awards
  • New employee moving stipends

Account managers should exercise judgement when using university funds. All university funds are public funds whether they are state appropriated or not.

State Budget Increases

Only the Nevada Legislature can increase state budgets. Funds that are allocated for legislatively approved merit, COLA, or fringe rate changes are added to account budgets each year. If other salary increases, stipends, or special pay are to be allocated, the funds to cover those costs must be identified from within the account with authorization from the divisional budget officer.

Divisions can reallocate funds between state accounts to address program priorities. Distinction must be made between one-time reallocations or permanent reallocations that will carry forward to future years.

Self-Supporting Accounts

A self-supporting account has its own revenue source. Each account must maintain a positive cash balance. Funds remaining at year end will roll forward to the next year. Budget adjustments can only be made within each self supporting account, not from one account to another.

Self-supporting accounts are neither state-appropriated nor grant-funded. Self-supporting accounts typically generate revenue through the sale of goods or the provision of services. Self-supporting accounts are often established for a specific purpose so expenses charged to a self-supporting account must directly relate to the purpose.

Self-supporting accounts may or may not have budgets. The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents policy requires a self-supporting budget to be approved by the board if expenditure activity exceeds $250,000 annually (excluding transfers out and ending balance/reserves).

A self-supporting account has both a revenue budget and an expenditure budget. The revenue and expenditure budgets for self-supporting accounts must always balance. The need to balance the revenue and expenditures for a given account requires careful monitoring of every self-supporting budget. Financial Planning, Budget, and Analysis recommends that account managers review revenue and expenditures at least quarterly to determine if actual experience remains consistent with what was expected when the budget was developed.

Creating New Self-Supporting Accounts

Self supporting accounts can be set up when there is a new program or activity that generates its own revenue with related costs that should be tracked in a separate account.

Not every activity requires a separate account. If an existing account is available and appropriate, it should be used. If it is not clear whether an existing account can be used, contact your area’s budget analyst for assistance.

Follow these steps to setup a new account:

  1. Identify a revenue and expenditure plan.
  2. Submit a budget for the new account .
  3. Complete the New Account Request form available in the Self Supporting Budget section of the Forms page.
  4. Route the form through your divisional budget officer for approval.
  5. Once your divisional budget officer approves, submit to Financial Planning, Budget & Analysis with the approval included.
  6. Complete a Worktag Addition/Change Request form.

** Both forms can be submitted together to UNLVWorktagRequests@UNLV.edu.

If the annual activity is not projected to exceed $250,000 and will not have any FTE salaries, Financial Planning, Budget & Analysis may determine the account to be Balance-Controlled.

Moving Funds from one Self-Supporting Account to Another

The actual transfer of cash is processed by submitting a journal to be approved by the Controller’s Office. The transferring account must have sufficient cash to cover the transfer of funds and not result in the account becoming cash negative.

For budgeted accounts, there should be sufficient budget on the Voluntary Transfer Out (VT Out) account line. If additional funds are needed on the VT Out line, a budget amendment request must be submitted through Workday. Voluntary transfers should not be processed to/from gift accounts or student fee accounts unless there has been a prior approval exception. Contact your budget analyst on how to handle these situations.

Reserves Balance

The reserves balance is built up over a period of time and should be used for one-time items as this is not guaranteed year over year. It cannot be used to create a new position. A position creates an ongoing commitment for salary and fringe and when the reserves balance is exhausted, the account may not have sufficient ongoing revenue to cover the cost.

Gift Accounts

Gifts are donated funds held at the Foundation, that provide a funding source that is either considered unrestricted or restricted.

Unrestricted means not limited to a specific program, college, or department. These gifts are used where most needed throughout the institution, including to recruit top faculty, create scholarship programs and internship opportunities, and enhance academic life.

Restricted gifts are earmarked for specific purposes chosen by the donor, such as an endowed scholarship or professorship, program or building.

Although both unrestricted and restricted gifts are welcome, unrestricted gifts are of critical importance because they allow the university to provide funding in the areas of greatest need to meet unexpected challenges, take advantage of unique opportunities, and meet the many budget challenges of the current higher education environment.

You can add allowable spend types to a gift account by emailing UNLVWorktagRequests@unlv.edu and cc your budget analyst specifying the account number, type of expense, and brief explanation of the new activity. Some accounts have restrictions. If your account has restrictions, the activity must be approved by the UNLV Foundation.

Grant Accounts

The Office of Sponsored Programs handles all aspects of grant accounts. For information regarding grant accounts, visit the Office of Sponsored Programs webpage.

Budgeted vs. Balance Controlled Accounts

Every account is designated as either Budgeted or Balance Controlled. Budgeted accounts limit what can be spent in a particular category based upon the budget created and maintained within Workday. Balance controlled accounts are allowed to spend in any category up to the amount of cash in the account. There are rules regarding what accounts can be balance controlled and which must be budgeted.

An account must be budgeted unless both of the following conditions are met:

  • There is no expected FTE salary expense
  • Annual expenditures are not expected to exceed $250,000

If annual activity on a balance-controlled account increases beyond the $250,000 threshold, it must be converted to a budgeted account during the next annual budget cycle. Exceptions are made for one-time expenditures that result in exceeding $250,000.

Budget Revision

A budget revision increases the total account budget.

This is appropriate when the total projected revenue for an account is higher than the budgeted amount and the additional revenue will be expended in the current fiscal year. If the additional revenue will not be spent in the current fiscal year then a budget revision is not required as it can be budgeted in the next annual cycle.

To increase the expense budget, follow the Budget Revision Procedure.

Expenditures that can post to an account are limited. If additional revenue posts to an account, the budget will need to be increased to allow for expenditures related to the additional revenue. Workday does allow budget overrides for activity such as payroll or purchases made on a Purchasing Card (Pcard) to post. If this results in commitments in excess of budget then a budget revision is needed. If there is insufficient revenue to cover the over-commitment then a reassignment of expenses is necessary, not a budget revision.

Worktag owners or managers at the program, gift, cost center, or unit level can submit budget revisions to their assigned budget analyst or the general Financial Planning, Budget & Analysis email. Owners and managers can authorize other individuals to submit budget revisions. When these individuals submit the request, they should copy the authorizing individual on the email.

Process Definitions

Budget Amendment

A budget amendment moves existing budget allocation within an account. When there is budget allocation available in an account, it can be moved from one ledger to another through a budget amendment.

 You can request a budget amendment two ways:

  1. Send an email to your area’s budget analyst and include the worktag, ledgers, and amounts to transfer from and to, and a brief explanation for the adjustment.
  2. With your divisional budget officer's and Financial Planning, Budget & Analysis approval, attend budget amendment training and learn how to complete a budget amendment in Workday.

See Budget Adjustments Procedures for more detailed instructions.

State Budget Adjustments

Account managers can request to move budget allocations between the wages and operations lines by emailing Kathy Adams and cc-ing Meliscia Gilbert and Erin Messer.

Professional and classified employee salaries and related fringes are managed at the division level. Reallocations to or from those lines must be routed through the Provost or division budget officer.

Expense Reassignments

Expense Reassignments are when costs are moved from one account to another after the initial expense posts to an account. If costs in excess of a budget post to an account due to system overrides, the account should be reviewed to determine if those costs belong on the account or need to be moved to the correct account.

A reassignment to the correct account is also necessary if an expense is charged to the wrong account in error. Reassignments must be processed in Workday in a timely manner to meet certain deadlines. Reassignments cannot be made to state accounts after May 1 of each year and they cannot cross fiscal years when moving from state accounts or between self supporting accounts.

Recharge Activity

When a UNLV department provides a service to another UNLV department, payment is made internally by charging an account number provided. Internal payments post as a credit to the expense recharge line, so it posts as a negative amount, while external payments post to a revenue line. The impact of this is to provide income to the account by reducing expenses.

Large recharge service centers include the mailroom, telecom, and integrated graphics services. These service centers bill UNLV customers by charging the operations line of their accounts. Payments made to the service center post to their accounts as a credit to the recharge line.

Smaller recharge activity includes selling photography or providing lab testing to campus customers. That income should be projected the same as other revenue but shown as a credit to the recharge line rather than a sales revenue.

Position Budgets

UNLV is required to track budgets by position per board of regents policy and a position number with associated budget is required for each full time equivalent. Self supporting position budgets are set annually through the annual budget process.

The total salary budget for the fiscal year includes merit or COLA awarded plus any stipend or special pay related to the employee in the position as well as any approved salary adjustments related to equity or promotion.

Position Budget Adjustments

If there are salary changes after the annual budget has been approved, the position budget should be adjusted. This includes employees receiving base salary increases, a stipend, or to increase the projected salary for a vacant position.

If a position is moved to another account, a budget amendment is required to allocate budget for the new account. Financial Planning, Budget & Analysis reviews budgets for these salary changes by account via Workday.

You can look up position budgets in Workday. You will be able to view position budgets under the worktags that you are authorized for within Workday.

Request a new position number when a new hire has been approved for your area and:

  • There is no vacant position on the account that will fund the position and
  • There is no vacant position that can be moved from another account within your area

Submit the New Position Request form to Financial Planning, Budget & Analysis along with a budget amendment or budget revision, if necessary.

Initiate the “Create New Position” business process in Workday and email the New Position Request form to your budget analyst on the same day. This allows Financial Planning, Budget & Analysis to review the position budget prior to receiving an inbox request, and facilitates a quicker process.

Employer Paid Retirement Contribution (EPC) position

Classified employees eligible for the Public Employees Retirement Plan (PERS) can elect the Employer Paid Retirement Contribution (EPC) option. With this option, the entire retirement contribution is paid by the employer and the employee’s base salary is reduced to offset the higher fringe cost borne by the employer.

Moving Position Numbers Between Accounts

State positions cannot be moved between appropriations or to self supporting accounts.

Self supporting positions can be moved to other self supporting accounts if the employee has a reporting change or if a position is no longer needed for one program. Financial Planning, Budget & Analysis must approve all position changes to update them in Workday. When moving a position to another account, a budget adjustment or budget revision must be submitted for that account.