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Library Liaison Toolkit

Budget Allocations

The Libraries' materials budget receives funds from the general budget, gifts, and endowments. Some academic departments also contribute funds to pay for specific resources.

The materials budget has traditionally been divided between non-subject specific areas, such as the large package deals, the approval plan, and other miscellaneous funds on the one hand, and subject-specific allocations on the other. While funds expended for approval, demand-driven acquisitions, and some serials have been fund-coded so that we could track expenditures by subject area, there has not been a set allocation to these areas. Although selectors have been able to make adjustments among the funds under their specific jurisdiction, there has not been an overall adjustment to fund allocations in many years. The Collection Steering Committee has responsibility for the materials budget as a whole and is currently considering revisions to the allocation of funds. 

The folder Budget Projections and Reports on Sharepoint contains a variety of spreadsheets and data on the budget over the fiscal years such as:

  • Budget Archive: contains the Budget Model for FY2008 to FY2015 as well as the Payment History Files for FY2011 to FY2015
  • Final Expenditures: contains the MERLIN reports for the fiscal years FY2008 to FY2015
  • Firm Order Appropriations: contains the appropriations provided for funds for FY2010 to FY2015
  • FY17 Budget Planning: contains materials such as the Cut Target list, the calendar, titles being cut, etc. pertaining to the FY2017 Budget reduction

Payment History Files & Fund Reports

The Payment History File, or Payment History reports, is a listing of all the transactions made against a fund.  These transactions include:

  • Appropriations: a portion of the budget set aside as the purchasing limit for a particular fund code
  • Encumberances:  represents a firm order that has been placed with the vendor, but has not been received or bill yet
  • Expenditures: shows the actual amount paid to the vendor for materials received
  • Cash Balance: equals appropriations minus (encumberances + expenditures) ; i.e. the amount of money still available to spend

On Sharepoint, the Powerpoint How to Use Payment History Reports will take you through the reports and how to read them.  Each selector will receive a weekly report (usually run on Fridays) associated with their funds outlining the transactions against that fund for the week.

The cumulative Payment History File for all of a fiscal year, for all funds, is available on Sharepoint and updated weekly.  This report is distributed in an Excel format.

In Sierra, the Funds Function shows the appropriation, expenditure, encumbrance, free balance (that is appropriation minus expenditure and encumbrance), and cash balance (appropriation minus expenditure only) for each fund. It is usually updated Friday mornings, but more frequently near the end of the fiscal year.

Access to Sierra is via a desktop app. Password and login are available from Corrie Hutchinson. Fund reports are available from a drop-down menu in the upper right of the main screen.

Fund Naming

The budget is divided into categories for distribution: books, serials, tools, etc.  Each category is then assigned a fund and a selector.  Each fund name is an abbreviation of the subject or discipline it supports along with a number indicating the type of purchases supported by that fund.  For example, biol3 is the fund for biological materials that are print serials.  The numbers used in the fund codes are defined:

Ends with Definition
1        Books or DVD orders (firm order physical materials)
2 Books approvals (in any format)
3 Continuing orders (print or print + online)
4 Continuing monographic sets
5 eBooks (firm orders)
6 Gifts (physical materials firm ordered with gift money)
7 Online continuing orders
9 Online-only gifts (one-time purchases)
0 Online-only continuing orders purchased with gift funds
none non-collection materials