System Budget Office » Terminology

Terminology

The University of Tennessee System Accounting and Budget Terminology

Budget Entity - the campuses and units of The University of Tennessee System are referred to as budget entities.

Current Funds - funds available to the university for use in achieving any of its authorized institutional purposes. These funds may be either:

  1. Unrestricted - funds which the university retains full control of their use, or
  2. Restricted - funds which are externally restricted and may be used only in accordance with the purposes established by the provider

There are three different categories of current funds used by The University of Tennessee System:

Educational and General - consists of all core functions of the university necessary to support the teaching, research, and public service missions of the university

Auxiliary Enterprises - self-supporting enterprises which furnish services to students, faculty, and staff. Examples include housing, bookstores, food service, and UT Knoxville Men's Athletics.

Hospital - consists of all activities associated with the operations of a hospital

 

Current Fund Revenue Sources:

Tuition and Fees - funds collected from students for educational purposes

Appropriations - primarily funding received from the State of Tennessee to support current operations of the university. Appropriations may also be received from the federal government and from local (city and county) governments.

Grants and Contracts - funds received from governmental (federal, state, local) or non-governmental (private organizations or individuals) entities resulting from grants or contracts entered into to furnish goods or services

Sales and Services of Educational Activities - revenues from the sale of goods or services related to educational activities. Examples include the sale of literary publications, testing services, the sale of agricultural products, and band and sports camps.

Other Revenues - revenues not included in the above classifications. Includes gifts from private organizations or individuals investment income, income from endowments (funds which principal must be maintained inviolate but which interest income may be expended) not dedicated to a specific expenditure, miscellaneous rentals and sales, and conference revenues.

 

Educational and General Expenditures:

I. Functional Expenditure Categories

Instruction includes expenses for all activities that are part of an institution's instruction program.  Expenses for credit and noncredit courses; academic, vocational, and technical instruction; and regular, special, and extension sessions should be included.

Research includes all expenses for activities specifically organized to produce research, whether commissioned by an agency external to the institution or separately budgeted by an organizational unit within the institution.

Public Service includes expenses for activities established primarily to provide non instructional services beneficial to individuals and groups external to the institution.  Such activities include community service programs (excluding instructional activities) and cooperative extension services.

Academic Support includes expenses to provide support for the university's primary mission of instruction, research, and public service; includes libraries, academic computing support, museums, and academic administration.

Student Services includes expenses incurred for offices of admissions and the registrar and activities with the primary purpose of contributing to students' emotional and physical well-being and intellectual, cultural, and social development outside the context of the formal instruction program. It includes expenses for student activities, cultural events, student newspapers, intramural athletics, student organizations, intercollegiate athletics (if the program is not operated as an auxiliary enterprise), counseling and career guidance (excluding informal academic counseling by the faculty), student aid administration, and student health service (if not operated as an auxiliary enterprise).

Institutional Support includes expenses associated with executive management, fiscal operations, legal services, personnel services, administrative computing, and alumni and development.

Operation and Maintenance of Physical Plant includes expenses associated with the operation and maintenance of buildings and grounds, utilities, custodial services, and campus security.

Scholarships and Fellowships includes expenses for aid to students in the form of monetary grants resulting from selection by the institution or from an entitlement program.

 

II. Transfers

Mandatory - transfers from the current fund to another fund group arising from a legal binding agreement. The retirement of debt obligations for buildings is an example.

Non-mandatory - transfers from the current fund to another fund group made at the discretion of the university. An example of a non-mandatory transfer is the set aside of funds for the replacement of equipment.

III. Natural Classifications

Cost objects by expenditure category, e.g. salaries, fringe benefits, scholarships, fellowships, utilities, supplies, other services and depreciation.

 

Unrestricted Net Assets

These funds have been designated or reserved for specific purposes such as working capital, revolving funds, encumbrances, unexpended gifts, and reappropriations. A portion of these funds are maintained as unallocated funds at a level that falls within a certain percent range of total expenditures and transfers.

Working capital - a measurement of liquid assets that includes such items as accounts receivable, petty cash, and inventories.

Encumbrances – the reserving of funds for a specific purpose; most commonly used to set aside funds for purchases made in one fiscal year where the goods and/or services are not received until the next fiscal year.

Revolving funds – a continuous fund used to support self-sustaining activities such as loan or trust funds, or service center activities like a telephone center operation.

Unallocated – unallocated fund balance functions as the university's "rainy day" fund.

Reappropriations – the carry forward of unspent state appropriations from one fiscal year to the next.

Contact

System Budget Office
The University of Tennessee
711 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0174
Tele - 865.974.2243
Fax - 865.974.1324