The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago

Local Business Center, Division of the Physical Sciences

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Budgeting Accounts

A financial administrator will typically enter budgets for award accounts only. Department and recharge accounts are usually entered by the Dean's Office, endowed gifts are managed by the Development Office, and 2-ledgers for research incentive accounts are typically not budgeted at all.

To create a budget, take the following steps:

  1. Go to and select the "Account Create" module.
  2. Enter your CNET id and password.
  3. Go to the budget tab and click on the "New Budget" button at the bottom.
  4. Select original or revised budget. An original budget is the first budget entered for an award while a revised budget is any subsequent budget entry changing the cumulative budget amount or modifiying the subaccount allocations. The revised budget should equal $0 when you are only changing the allocations and not changing the overall budget amount.
  5. Enter the account number, the amount to be budgeted in this action (NOT a cumulative budget), and select whether it should be a "debit" or "credit" entry. Use "debit" when the budget is accounting for future debits/charges to the account (e.g. increasing the spending limit on an award). Use "credit" when the budget is accounting for future credits/income to the account or to offset a debit budget entry as in the case of a cost sharing budget or when making budget corrections. Most of the budgets you create will be debit budgets.
  6. Allocate NAA screen: if the account number is part of a master/associate account group, then you will need to enter how the budget will be distributed among the accounts (using credit and debit as described in Step 5). Do so by clicking on the appropriate account, entering the amount for that specific account in the "amount to be budgeted" field, selecting debit/credit as appropriate, and clicking the "update" button. Repeat as needed for each account until the total budget amount is allocated (the "amount remaining" field must equal $0.00). If there are no associate accounts, complete this step for the one account listed.
  7. When Step 6 is complete, select the account you wish to begin budgeting and click the "budget" button. Now you need to enter the subaccount distributions. To do so, enter the subaccount, the subaccount name, debit/credit, the amount, and click the "add" button. For a previously budgeted account, make sure your line item descriptions match the subaccount names already in use. Repeat for all appropriate subaccounts until the "amount remaining" field equals $0. To make corrections, click on a budget entry in the top frame, change the data in the "enter budget line item" frame, click the "update" button. To remove a budget entry, click on it and click the "delete" button. When done, select an appropriate explanation from the list provided and click the "save" button. When entering the line item budgets by account, the "remaining budget" field must equal $0 before you can save the budget and return to the "Allocate NAA" screen. Likewise, the "remaining budget" field must equal $0 on the "Allocate NAA" screen before you can submit the budget.
  8. Repeat Step 7 as needed until all accounts have been line item budgeted. Click on "save all" in you plan to exit and finish later. Click "submit all" to submit the final budget to FAS for processing.
  9. Your budget will be assigned a BExxxxx budget entry number. You can check on the status of the budget entry from the "Budget" tab in the Account Create module.

Subaward Budgeting

Subaccount series 86xx is reserved for out-going subawards. However, you cannot enter a budget for subaccount 86xx until a fully executed agreement is in place. Instead, budget the subaward funds in subaccount 9200 and rebudget later when the subawards have been fully executed.

User Defined Subaccounts

You can you can use the last two digits of many subaccount series (with a few exceptions like 5550, 6230, as well as the 83xx and 94xx series) to track certain expenses in greater detail. So, 3010 could be for coffee service, 5530 printer supplies, 7120 for graduate student conference travel reimbursements, and so on. Many departments have established their own codes. It is required on awards if multiple pieces of constructed equipment (62xx) or multiple subcontracts (86xx) are involved, but it is a good idea even if only one is involved. You should keep these simple and to a manageable number so that all account users understand the distinctions and to avoid the need to constantly correct paperwork or initiate transfers. You should submit a completed Form 84 request to the Financial Services contact for the account to which you want to add your user generated subaccount names. All user generated names must be consistent with the general cost category (e.g. subaccount 5570 cannot be for travel expenses and so on).

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