Budget Management Guidelines

Good Budget Management Practices for Academic Chairs
Get to know your Key Budget Contact(KBC) - Each school has at least one KBC. This is the person in your school who is the expert on money matters. Don't hesitate to call your KBC with questions.

Complete a Signature Authorization Form -- As soon as a new chair takes responsibility for the department, he/she should complete a signature authorization form to establish signature authority in the department.

Learn to use the TRAX system -- The system Baylor uses for tracking budget funds is called TRAX. The chair and anyone else in the department who will be helping to manage the budget will need a TRAX ID and TRAX training. For more information about how to get started with TRAX, click here: Getting Started.

Get a complete list of the budgets for which you are responsible -- Within the TRAX system, each separate budget fund is considered a "department" and each department is given a unique "department I.D." Thus, the chair may be responsible for several TRAX "departments." For example, in addition to the main departmental budget, the chair may also be responsible for excellence funds, endowed scholarship funds, start-up funds for particular professors, etc., each with its own TRAX I.D. number. There should be departmental records regarding these funds, and the Chair should meet with his/her KBC to make sure he/she has the complete list of funds.

Get familiar with the accounts within your budget - Each main category in your budget is designated by a set of account numbers. The main categories with which the chair should be familiar are listed below. Click on each one to learn more about how to manage that type of account.

Check your departmental accounts regularly -- Use TRAX Reporting to check the balances in your departmental accounts at least once a month and whenever you are approving major purchases. These two TRAX reports will help you:

  • The Budget Summary Report -- provides an up-to-date summary of your departmental accounts at a glance. It also allows you to "drill down" into a particular account to see the transactions that have occurred on that account.
  • The Budget Detail Statement -- can show you all activity for a particular Department I.D. for a particular month. This is especially useful for keeping track of restricted funds and other funds outside of your regular department budget.

Use Phase II of budget prep as an opportunity to redistribute funds among accounts if needed.-- If every year you find yourself overspending in some accounts and underspending others, you may need to re-allocate the amounts you have budgeted for each account, or even ask for more money for certain accounts. Phase II of budget prep is the best time to make these kinds of changes. If the changes you want to make do not affect the total amount in your budget, you can make your reallocations through the KLX system. If you need to ask for more money in a certain account, talk to your dean or KBC.

Stay ahead of end-of-the-fiscal-year issues -- The fiscal year ends May 31. During the weeks leading up to that day there are several important financial deadlines. By staying aware of these deadlines you can avoid charging your expenses to the wrong fiscal year. Check here for important deadlines: End of Fiscal Year Procedures.