Financial Services Manual (FIN)

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Effective: 1/15/1990

Revised: 11/1/2013

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FIN 102–01: Appropriation Budget Changes

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To control and provide a mechanism for making appropriated budget changes

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Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 3–405; 3–407
University policy

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All university agency/orgs, other than agency units (agency/orgs whose third digit of the agency code ends with a 7), cash basis agency/orgs, and the Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration (ORSPA) units (agency/orgs whose agency code consists of three alpha characters)

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Appropriation changes and transfers are processed and reported to the Board of Regents semiannually.

Local Agency/Org Appropriation Budget Changes

Appropriation budget changes to local agency/orgs resulting in an overall change in funding sources or uses for the budgetary unit require approval by the appropriate provost/vice provost/vice president. Once appropriate approvals have been obtained, Financial Services will process the applicable appropriation (budget) changes.

Local agency/org appropriation changes generally result from the need to spend beyond the original appropriation budget with such spending being funded from higher revenues and/or a previously uncommitted carryforward fund balance. Appropriation budget changes can also result from lower-than-anticipated revenues, which may result in the need to decrease both the current revenues and expenses budgets.

Departments with revenues and/or expenses anticipated to be the greater of five percent or $50,000 over or under budget should process the appropriate budget changes as soon as possible. The current budget should represent at all times the best estimate of where the unit will stand financially at the end of the fiscal year. This communication is accomplished by the processing of appropriation changes as revenues and expenses fluctuate. The processing of timely appropriation changes communicates the current financial health of the budgetary unit. Units may need to revise budgets more than once during the fiscal year. Various university reporting requirements have resulted in the need for the university’s departments to maintain budgets that are as accurate as possible during the course of the fiscal year.

Academic Unit Agency/Orgs

For academic units, the approval of the appropriate dean’s office should be obtained before the request is forwarded to the office of the respective provost for approval.

General University Funded Agency/Orgs

Local agency/org appropriation changes resulting in an increase to the overall current year spending authority on agency/orgs deriving part or all of their funding from general university sources, e.g., local collections and investment income, require the approval of the appropriate provost/vice provost/vice president as well as university approval, which is obtained by submitting the request to the Office of Planning and Budget.

Agency/Org Appropriation Budget Transfers

A budgeted appropriation may be moved or transferred from one state agency/org to another or from one state or local appropriation category to another. Financial Services’ approval is required for all appropriation budget transfers. Appropriation transfers can be processed only within like units on a campus. For example, one cannot transfer an appropriation from a state agency/org to a local gift agency/org, or from a Tempe campus state agency/org to a West campus state agency/org.

One can transfer State Personal Services vacancy savings to State All Other Operating expenditures within the same agency/org. Net appropriation increases must equal net appropriation decreases.

State Agency/Orgs

Office of Planning and Budget approval is required for state operating appropriation transfers from the All Other Operating Category to the Personal Services category. Transfers from the All Other Operating category to the Personal Services category should rarely occur.

If a state appropriation transfer is processed between accounts, those accounts must reside at the same campus and be part of the same state budget. This refers to both personal services and operations transfers. Each campus (Tempe, West, Polytechnic, and Downtown Phoenix) has its own state budget, which cannot be increased or decreased by any unit other than the Financial Services office at the Tempe campus.

Board of Regents’ approval is required for individual state operating budget appropriation transfers of more than $1 million.

Local Agency/Orgs

Local budgeted agency/org appropriations may be transferred from one appropriation unit to another within the same agency/org appropriation, e.g. from the Personal Services category to the All Other Operating category. Appropriation transfers from one agency/org to another agency/org are not permitted on local budgeted agency/orgs.

Board of Regents’ approval is required for any unrestricted local appropriation transfer to fund a new activity that costs more than $250,000.

Transferring Expenditures Between Agency/Orgs

A department desiring to transfer actual expenditures, rather than appropriation budget amounts, from one agency/org to another, should input an Expense Transfer (IX) or Journal Voucher (J1) and approve the online document.

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Establishing a New Appropriation Budget for an Agency/Org

The Office of Planning and Budget:

  1. prepares an annual budget book for use in establishing budgets in non-sponsored projects agency/orgs
  2. inputs data into the Office of Planning and Budget System for interfacing into the Advantage accounting system (generally during the first few months of the new fiscal year) if the budget is to be established for a state agency/org

    Note: For information on the establishment of new agency/orgs, refer to the Financial Services Forms Web page, Advantage Forms, New Account Application Form, Form Instructions.


  3. prepares the local budget book for distribution to Financial Services if the budget is to be established for non-sponsored projects local agency/orgs.

Financial Services processes an Appropriation Input Form (A1) to set up the new budget.

Transferring Appropriation Amounts within an Agency/Org or from One or More Agency/Orgs to Other Agency/Orgs

The university department processes an online Appropriation Input Form (A1) and applies a level 1 approval.

Note: When processing transfers related to a personal services budget line, list the position line number, employee ID number, and modification date respectively in the “Pay Lin,” “Emp ID,” and “MOD DTE” fields on the A1.

If additional documentation is needed by Financial Services, the university department attaches it to a screen print of the A1 and delivers both to Financial Services so that the university can report these budget transfers to the Board of Regents semiannually.

Financial Services reviews and approves properly completed A1 transactions. If appropriation transfers cannot be approved, the university department must be notified so that the A1 document can either be corrected or deleted.

Revising an Established Appropriation Budget for an Agency/Org (Not a Budget Transfer)

The university end-user or administrator:

  1. delivers the budget change request to Financial Services via memo or e-mail


  2. attaches complete documentation to support the budget change, including any necessary appropriate approvals, so that the university can report these budget changes to the Board of Regents semiannually.

Financial Services processes the Appropriation Input Form (A1) to revise the local non-sponsored projects agency/org budget based upon approved requests received either from end-users or university administration.

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For information relating to internal planning budgets, refer to FIN 102–02, “Internal Planning Budgets.”

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