Managing the Budget

Monitoring Budget Balances

The TEA Financial Accountability System Resource Guide (FASRG) stipulates that the Principal or Director has the responsibility: 1) to prepare the budget for their jurisdiction, 2) to review and revise the unit budget as necessary, 3) to control expenditures within authorized limits, 4) to review and analyze budget status reports and related comments in order to ascertain the progress toward meeting planned objectives, and 5) to submit a report for variances when requested by proper authority.

An important tool that may be utilized for monitoring the current status of your budget is the Finance Functions Section of the Office Management System. Various reports are available and can be printed directly from the General Ledger. For example, ZG298 and ZG299 are reports that can effectively be used for daily monitoring of funds.

It is the responsibility of the principal/director to ensure that postings are correct. The campus should work with the business office in reconciling Budget Balances. If there is an error on the reports, contact the appropriate business office to determine the steps needed to correct the error. If you have requested a budget amendment, check to ensure that BOTH SIDES of the amendment were posted correctly. If there is anything on the reports that you don’t understand, please call to get an explanation.

Budget Amendments are required before encumbrances or expenditures are made that will exceed the available balance of the budget code. Budget transfers between functional categories are reviewed by the Board of Trustees at their regularly scheduled monthly meetings. Funds may be transferred from ‘regular’ program (PRM code 011) to a ‘special’ program (Bilingual 025, Comp. Ed. 024, etc.) as necessary. However, special attention will be made to decreases to ‘special’ program budgets to ensure that adequate spending of State categorical funds is maintained. Managing the budget is a continuing process. Therefore, when amending your budget try to anticipate future needs in order to minimize budget transfers during the year. All budget amendments must be submitted by August 1.

After completing the following information on the budget amendment form, email the signed document to [email protected] for approval.

Budget Amendment Request Form

  1. Issuing School/Dept – Name of school or department initiating budget amendment request.
  1. Date – Current date (month, day, year)
  1. Fund Amended – Name of Fund (#199 = Local Maintenance, etc.)
  1. Fund Code – Detail three digit code for applicable fund.
  2.  List only one fund per form. (Ex. #199, 2XX, 411, 461, etc.)
  3.  Account Code – Detail codes for each applicable budget code.
  4.  Amounts – Decrease and Increase budget appropriations.  Round to whole dollars only.
  5.  Description of Reason – Provide sufficient explanations for budget amendments.  Avoid using general statements such as: ‘to cover budget deficits’ or ‘As needed’. 
  6.  Signatures – Obtain signatures of the Principal/Director and Associate Superintendent, if required before forwarding budget amendment to the Budget Director. 

The Budget Amendment form can be found on the Download Forms page.

Coordination of Funds

The principal should coordinate all funds at his/her disposal to accomplish the mission of the campus. This includes activity/agency funds. These funds include two types of resources - the principal’s ACTIVITY accounts and the AGENCY funds held in trust for the benefit of particular student groups, over which the students retain control under the guidance of the campus administration. The activity funds are in fact an extension of the general funds under the control of the principal, and are subject to the same rules as the general fund. There are restrictions on the use of these activity funds for certain items. Refer to the Purchasing guidelines section of the Business Office Procedures Manual for guidance on those restricted items.

Other funds available to the principal are the various categorical funds that come from state, federal, and private sources. By all means, if you have a need for funds in order to serve a special population, contact the coordinator of that group’s program or your Associate Superintendent for Campus Development and see if there are funds available for that need. The coordinators will have limited coordination authority over these funds, and are primarily charged to assist the campus as a technical advisor in the administration of the special program.

Accessing New Year Budget

Obtaining items that may be needed for the start of the next school year may cause current encumbrances and/or expenditures to exceed your total budget. Principals have the discretion to get an advance of the following year's budget and should direct requests for an advance of budget funds to the appropriate Associate Superintendent for Campus Development. After it is approved, the ASCD will forward it to the Budget Department for posting. In order to prevent showing a deficit budget, you will need to submit a budget amendment through your Associate Superintendent by June 1st to cover any expected overages. The Budget Department will then settle up the budget money the following September 1 and your budget may be reduced as a result of "settle up" for any overage.