Annual Budgets

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 basic spreadsheet below.

Basic Budget Spreadsheet

STEP 2: Plan your Budget for Next Year

Before you hop into OrgSync 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.

Planning your Budget, Questions to Consider

STEP 3: Build your Budget Request on WaveSync
  1. Log into WaveSync
  2. Go to your organization’s page, click on “Treasury” in the options bar (this section may be under “More”), and then “Manage Budgets”. Make sure the dropdown reads “2019-2020 USG Annual Budgets”, and then click on the green button that says “New Budget”
  3. For Budget Title, type in your organization’s name, the year, and your 6-digit account number (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). The Budget Period should automatically read “2019-2020 USG Annual Budgets”
  4. 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

Only use each Category and Line Item once! If you want Food for various events, your “Food” request should be a total number. You can break down the events you have estimated costs for in the Summary section of that Line Item.

When you put the line items together, please be very clear in the Item Title and Description. The Summary 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 Jewelry Making Club” could bring to be reviewed:

 

 

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 15, 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 at 7 PM on April 23, 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 an Annual Budget, the Finance Committee CANNOT, according to its bylaws, fund:

  • Food for closed 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?
Questions? Contact your Finance Committee Liaison!
If your organization has additional questions, please reach out to your Finance Committee Liaison. Liaisons for the 2019 Budget Season are:

Academic Council, APX – Engineers without Borders: Hannah Ellis, hellis@tulane.edu

Academic Council, German Club – Pre-Med Society: Raj Maity, amaity@tulane.edu

Academic Council, Public Health Society – YMAA: Luca Busalacchi, lbusalacchi@tulane.edu

Club Sports: Please reach out to your ACS Board or VPF Maggie Palys (usgvpf@tulane.edu)

GSAC: Paige Montfort, pmontfort@tulane.edu

Interest Council: Olivia Johnson, ojohnson1@tulane.edu

Media Board: Danielle Berman, dberman2@tulane.edu

Multicultural Council: Chandler Johnson, cjohnson2@tulane.edu

Performance Council, Cat Mafia Comedy – POCapella: Simran Jain, sjain5@tulane.edu

Performance Council, Shockwave – Unscripted: Catherine McNeel, cmcneel@tulane.edu

Political Council: Max Cooper, mcooper7@tulane.edu

Programming Council: Erin Kelly, ekelly6@tulane.edu

Religious Council: Paige Montfort, pmontfort@tulane.edu

Service/CACTUS Council, ACEing Autism – FRN Tulane: Lily Gravitz, lgravitz@tulane.edu

Service/CACTUS Council, Global Brigades – SAPHE: Austin Streaty, astreaty@tulane.edu

Service/CACTUS Council, SOAR – TUSTEP: Charlie Klein, cklein1@tulane.edu

Student Governance: Miguel Solis, msolis@tulane.edu

First-Time Budgets (all Councils): Daniel Levin, dlevin4@tulane.edu

Late Budgets

If your organization missed the Annual Budget Period, you can submit through the Late Budget Period between the start of the school year and October 1st. Please note that in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, Late Budgets are scrutinized more than regular budgets, by nature of being late.

The process for late budgets is below:

  1. Submit a budget request through WaveSync, in the Late Budgets Budget Period (see Annual Budgets STEP 3 and NOTE 1 for Tips)
  2. Your advisor must approve your request
  3. You will receive an email from the VPF scheduling a 10 minute hearing at the next regular Finance meeting. Dress is casual.
  4. The Finance Committee will hear your request (see Annual Budgets NOTE 2 for Tips) and recommend a number for approval at the next regular Senate session.
  5. The funding will become available after approval by the Senate

New Budgets

If your organization becomes active after February 15, has never received a budget, or has not received a budget in the past 3 years, you can request funding through the First-Time Budgets Budget Period. First-time budgets can be submitted at any time before February 1 of the budget year, and will be heard at Finance Committee throughout the year. Note: If you are requesting a new budget for next year through the regular annual process, this does not apply to you. You should use the Annual Budget Period just like every other club.

The process for new budgets (outside of the annual period) is below:

  1. Submit a budget request through WaveSync, in the First-Time Budgets Budget Period (see Annual Budgets STEP 3 and NOTE 1 for Tips)
  2. Your advisor must approve your request
  3. You will receive an email from the VPF scheduling a 10 minute hearing at the next regular Finance meeting. Dress is casual.
  4. The Finance Committee will hear your request (see Annual Budgets NOTE 2 for Tips) and recommend a number for approval at the next regular Senate session.
  5. The funding will become available after approval by the Senate