I have been working with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) on improvements to their annual budget planning process. These improvements include the development of a custom budget module within PeopleSoft Financials. With the upgrade to PeopleSoft Financials 9.2 and PeopleTools 8.53, we continue to improve upon the budget planning process—now is in its 3rd year of being utilized by the colleges.
Budget Preparation and Planning
The budget planning process starts by loading last year’s budget as the basis for the planning of the new fiscal year’s budget. This process starts about 4 months prior to the new fiscal year. During the planning process, the colleges have the ability to create multiple budget scenarios. The colleges work with the various scenarios they create and have the ability to generate trial budget reports. At the end of the planning process, they determine and finalize a single scenario. Once all colleges have finalized their budgets, the budget journals are automatically created and loaded.
After the budgets have been finalized and loaded, the budget book is created. By utilizing Query, Connected Query, and BI Publisher, KCTCS is able to generate its budget book directly from PeopleSoft with very little manual intervention. The budget book includes the overall operating budget information from the previous year and the new year for each of the individual colleges along with the overall system budget. This information is presented in both report and pie chart format.
General Funds Distribution and Funding Allocation Model
Along with the budget planning process, the custom budget module includes the ability for the central system office to determine the general funds distribution. This process uses key information about the colleges and their student populations to determine each college’s share of the general funds. There is also a funding allocation model that is used by the colleges in assisting with their budget planning of expenses.
Challenges Overcome
The three biggest challenges that we faced with this project were (1) determining the overall information requirements, (2) determining who was responsible for what, and (3) determining how to communicate and train the colleges. During the initial development of the custom budget module, we took the existing MS Access applications and used them for the basis of the PeopleSoft development. The PeopleSoft module was built by starting with the budget planning portion and, over the year, the additional general funds and funding allocation processes were added. We continue to build the module as needed, including modifying it to include additional information. For example, last year with the implementation of leases, the budget module was modified to include the scheduled lease payments for the colleges automatically.
Each year at the start of the budget planning process, changes and new information must be communicated to the colleges. This starts with an overview presentation of the process and changes to the business offices for the colleges at their annual meeting at the Systems Office, usually at the end of February. Training material is also updated and provided. UPK is used to create the training documents. If necessary, regional training sessions are held. All training documentation is placed on the web for the users.
Working with KCTCS staff on this project—especially Brendan Lehane, Director of Financial Analysis—has been a great experience.
Interested in learning more?
I will be co-presenting a mini-session at Alliance 2015 with Brendan Lehane (Director of Financial Analysis for KCTCS) titled “Homemade Budget Development: Creating a customized budget module” (Session #33062) on Monday, March 16, 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.