Reminder: A change in the timing of budget-checking on vouchers and purchase requisitions is coming Thursday, February 1. We’ve received some questions about this change. Here are the answers.
About the Transition to the New Timing
The changes will be in effect starting the morning of Thursday, February 1. This means that vouchers and purchase requisitions created on February 1 or after won’t show as expenses in the Commitment Control ledgers (and won’t show in InfoPorte) until they’re fully approved. Vouchers and requisitions created before February 1, 2018 will continue on the same path they’re on and will remain in the Commitment Control ledgers the way they do today.
Why are we changing the timing of budget checking?
The current practice of budget-checking vouchers and requisitions before they are approved reserves funds at the time of creation. This causes several problems:
- When approvals are delayed and completed in a different month, transactions in Commitment Control and the General Ledger get out of synch, causing confusion.
- When vouchers or requisitions are denied, the budget is not always released automatically and sometimes requires time-consuming manual intervention to fix.
- When the release of funds is delayed, they are not available for other purposes.
Changing budget checking to after approval ensures the transaction updates both the Commitment Control ledgers and the General Ledger in the same month, reduces the need for manual error correction, and ensures the available budget is more accurate. Budget and GL entries are in the same month and the claim on the budget is more accurate.
How do I know if I have budget errors?
ConnectCarolina has multiple alerts that are emailed directly to you if your approved purchase requisition or voucher has a budget error.
Is there a query that lets me see vouchers or purchase reqs that haven’t been budget checked?
These queries let you see purchase requisitions or vouchers that haven’t budget checked:
These queries won’t give you a total, but you can download the results to Excel to get a total amount of outstanding purchase requisitions and vouchers.
What happens if I submit a transaction for a project before the end date but the budget check happens after the end date?
If a project’s end date has passed, a transaction against that project will fail budget check. To help you get transactions through before projects end, ConnectCarolina has alerts for both submitters and approvers that notify you of impending project end dates. If the project is within 2 weeks of the end date, you, as the submitter will receive an alert like this one:
The approvers on the route will receive an alert like this one to notify them of the deadline:
It’s important that submitters and approvers work together to ensure that transactions are processed and approved in a timely manner, especially when they are being charged to a project that has an approaching end date.
Is there a way to get budget balances for grants?
Just like today, you can use the OSR Ledger rollups and Grant Profile reports in InfoPorte to see budget balances for your grants. As a reminder, however, you won’t see any vouchers or purchase requisitions that haven’t received their approvals and are ‘in the pipeline.’ Though it is a change in the process that will take some getting used to, the plus side of this change is that the system isn’t holding those funds before the transaction is approved. Your budget balance will be more accurate since only transactions that have been approved show up in InfoPorte.
When will the webinar be online and available?
The webinar we held last week has been posted to CCinfo.unc.edu and can be found on the Budgets page under Finance.
All resources that discuss budget checking are being updated on CCinfo.unc.edu and in the ConnectCarolina online help to reflect the new timing of when vouchers and purchase requisitions are budget checked.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions,