The annual budget process commences with a request from the provincial government for an estimate our budgetary requirements for the upcoming fiscal year. The communication typically arrives in June and the submission is due early September. The University’s estimates are based on planning assumptions provided in the request.
A consultation meeting is held with the deputy minister and staff from the Advanced Learning Division of Manitoba Education and Training to review the impact of the assumptions and the university’s overall financial plan. We discuss the specific pressure points within our institution and provide information on our accomplishments and the initiatives our organization is pursuing. The most current estimates submission can be found on Documents and Resources.
Strategic Resource Planning
Resource allocation is among our most important annual initiatives. It is a process that allows us to operationalize our strategic priorities and ensure that we are appropriately supporting student success, research and scholarly work and our academic mandate overall.
In planning for 2017/18, the process started with meetings between the office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and each of the Deans and heads of the administrative units. Those meetings were an opportunity to discuss recent and upcoming challenges and priorities. Next, the Deans and administrative heads submit a written summary of their priorities, aligned with the priorities in Taking Our Place, along with the related activities that require strategic investment. The submissions are reviewed by representatives from the Provost’s Office, the Financial Planning Office, Campus Planning, Information Services and Technology and others as needed. Further information is gathered through email and meetings between November and January and recommendations for strategic resource allocation are prepared between February and March.
Operating Budget Development
Historically and for the 2017/18 fiscal year, the unrestricted operating budget preparation follows an incremental budget model. The current year baseline budget is the starting point. Changes are then made to the following revenues and expenses based on informed assumptions and/or on specific information provided by subject matter experts:
• Base operating grant
• Tuition revenue
• Investment income
• Salaries and benefits
• Utilities & Insurance
In an effort to balance the budget, broader changes can also be made as a result of reallocations to strategic priorities and baseline reductions.
Included in the unrestricted operating budget are several operating reserves for specific obligations and initiatives and to ensure funds are available for unforeseen expenses.
The restricted operating budget is prepared using a zero based budget model. While prior year actual financial information is provided for reference, the revenues and expenses are budgeted based on thoughtful consideration of past experience and realistic expectations of future results. These budgets are prepared on spreadsheets distributed to faculties and administrative units responsible and then balanced, reviewed and loaded into the budget system. The restricted operating budget deals with revenues that are either internally or externally restricted. Some examples include:
• Targeted federal, provincial or industry funded projects
• Conferences and student funded initiatives
Restricted and Endowment Fund Annual Plans
The financial plans for restricted and endowment funds are submitted along with the operating budget to the Board of Governors each spring for approval.
After the budget has been approved, faculties and units may prepare adjustments to transfer budget among the funds, organizational units and accounts under their control to more accurately reflect their planned spending.
In addition, the Board of Governors receives a report of actual results and a year-end projection at the end of the first, second and third quarters. The University of Manitoba is also required to provide the provincial government with quarterly updates on actual results and projections for the year. These reports to the board and to the government are prepared by Financial Reporting.
For more information about budget maintenance at the University of Manitoba, refer to Budget Accounting Services.