Annual Budgets

Annual Budget Guidelines

Potential Budget Increases (dependent upon projected 90% of previous year’s budget spent)

Budget Range

1-99

100-999

1000-9999

10000-24999

25000-49999

50000-74999

75000-99999

100000+

Potential Increase Percentage

400%

200%

100%

50%

25%

12.5%

6.25%

3.125%

Potential Budget Decreases (Less than 90% of the previous year’s budget spent)

= Previous year budget – (0.5 * Amount of budget unspent)

STEP 1: Keep Spending Records

Over the course of the year, your organization should focus on spending the allocated funds from the Finance Committee. This is an important step since your organizational spending is an important consideration of the Finance Committee when we look at your budget proposal for the following year. Official budget statements are available monthly through your advisor. If your advisor needs assistance or access to your organization’s budget, have them contact Jane Rushing, LBC Associate Director of Administration and Finance, at rushing@tulane.edu. Make sure you include your natural account numbers in your records, so it will be easier to submit Requests for Payment or Reimbursement. All organizations keep their budgets differently, but if you need help getting started, you can use the USG Budget as an example. Example Budget: USG Budget Spreadsheet

STEP 2: Plan your Budget for Next Year

Before you hop into WaveSync to start building your budget, really think about what you need for next year. Talk to your advisor throughout the process, and keep them updated on your thoughts for the coming year. Build your budget based on what your organization really wants to do next year. The more prudent and specific you are, the more likely you are to receive the budget you are requesting.

STEP 3: Build your Budget Request on WaveSync
  1. Log into WaveSync
  2. In the top right-hand corner click on the nine-dot square and go to “Manage”
  3. Go to your organization’s page. This pulls up the management features of your organization (the backend of your organizations portal)
  4. click on the three horizontal stacked lines by your organization’s name in the upper left to open the “Organization Tools” sidebar
  5. Then click on Finance in the “Organization Tools” sidebar
  6. On the Finance Page you will see “Budget Requests”, “Purchase Requests”, “Funding Requests”, and “Accounts”
  7. Go to “Create New Request” in the upper right and select “Create Budget Request”
  8. From here utilize the budget form titled “2019-2020 USG Annual Budgets”
  9. For Budget Title, type in your organization’s name, the year, and your 6-digit account number  EX: Undergraduate Student Government – 2019-2020 – 2xxxxx (this number starts with a 2 and is available from your advisor or Associate Director of the LBC Jane Rushing if you are confused. Organizations that have not received a budget before will not have a 2-account number and can skip this step)
  10. Build your Budget!

You should use appropriate Line Items. You can see potential uses for each line item option in the resource below.

Line Items

The more specific you can be in your request, the better! If you want Food for various events, your “Food” request should be broken down into each one of those events (i.e. 4 events, 4 Food line item requests. You can elaborate further about the need for each line item in the “Description” field.

When you put the line items into the request, please be very clear in the Item Title and Description (Ex: YELLBC -Fall semester – Food). The Description section is your opportunity to provide as much detail as you possibly can. You should include estimates and where you got them from, exactly what the money will be used for, any details about the applicable event (have you had it for a while? What is the event?), and any additional information.

Budget items should be detailed enough that you feel confident that someone reading your budget would understand what you want to do with the money even if you were not in the room. Below is an example of a properly formatted budget request that “The Undergraduate Student Government” could bring to be reviewed:

Line Item Request Example:

Budget in Full Example:

STEP 4: Review and Submit your Budget Request

Make sure your budget is exactly what you want it to be before you submit it, because you cannot change it once you submit.

When you submit your budget, it will go to your advisor for approval. Make sure that your advisor approves your budget as soon as possible. You should be working with your advisor through the whole process, so this should not be a problem.

The due date to submit your budget this year is February 14, 2019 by 11:59 PM.

STEP 5: Prepare for and Complete Budget Defense

There are 3 types of budget defense:

  1. No Hearing: if your organization has a current year budget under $1000 or a request under $1000, you may elect to waive your hearing completely. With this option, you allow the finance committee to determine funding based on your budget request and your spending from this year. Waiving your hearing does not guarantee your request will be fully funded; the Finance Committee maintains the same right to evaluate and adjust your request. This option is recommended for organizations with regular spending patterns and budgets that have remained stagnant, or organizations with very small budgets.
  2. Small Hearing: if your organization has a current year budget under $1000 and a request under $3000, you may elect to have a small hearing. This is an informal meeting between up to three organization officers, the VPF, your council chair, and your Finance Committee liaison. You will discuss your budget, and these three people will compile a budget recommendation for the Finance Committee.
  3. Full Hearing: every organization has the right to a regular 10 minute budget hearing with the Finance Committee (Exceptions may be made for longer hearings as appropriate). This hearing will be 5 minutes of budget presentation followed by 5 minutes of committee questions. You will receive an email from the VPF with the date and time of your hearing. Dress is casual. Finance Committee consists of 15 voting members plus the VPF and the Associate Director of the LBC.

See Note 2: Common Hearing Questions to help prepare your officers for this process.

Note: If your council is opting for a Consolidated Hearing process, you will be handling budget presentations within your Council and your Council Chair will present your budget request on your behalf. Councils opting into a Consolidated Hearing process during the 2019 budget season are Club Sports and GSAC.

STEP 6: Receive your Allocation

You will receive your allocation via email in early April. At this time, you have the option to submit questions about the budget process or your individual budget. All submitted questions will be answered in discussion format at the Budget Review. This year’s Budget Review will take place in Qatar Ballroom from 4 PM to 6 PM on April 22, 2019.

After Budget Review, the Budget will be taken to Senate for approval. Upon Senate approval, your budget will be approved for the following year. You will have access to the funding beginning on July 1. Please note that this is the beginning of the new fiscal year, so any leftover funding from the previous year will roll into the reserve at this time.

NOTE 1: What NOT to Request

In a Budget, the Finance Committee CANNOT, according to its bylaws, fund:

  • Food for general meetings
  • Anything for events not registered 3 weeks in advance on WaveSync
  • Travel that occurs after October 1st (only trips before October 1st are included in the Annual Budget. Please see the Travel Request page for information on funding for trips after this date)
  • Awards
  • Charitable donations
  • Fundraising activities
  • Recruitment activities
  • Study breaks
  • T-shirts or apparel for personal use
  • Alcohol
NOTE 2: Common Hearing Questions

Whether you elect a small or full hearing, the following are common questions the committee will ask in hearings. Please prepare to answer these questions, if applicable, through the hearing process:

  • How many students regularly attend your meetings?
  • What is event attendance like for various events?
  • If the Committee cannot fund all of your request, what are your priority line items? Which items are your lowest priority?
  • If you did not spend your entire budget this year, what happened? Is there a plan in place to make sure that the money gets spent next year?
  • Can you walk through how you reached your request estimates?