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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Office of Finance & Administration
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Budget Journals

Most chart strings are budgeted in NUPlans during the budgeting period of April to July each year. Outside of that, there are only a few reasons that you should ever change your budget:

 You are opening a new chart string and need to establish a budget.

If this chart string was anticipated but not open during the budgeting period, you may have budgeted on an existing chart string. If this is the case, you just need to move the budget via online budget journal once the new chart string is open.

If this chart string was not budgeted for on another string, you should include a budget template with your chart string request form.

 You received unplanned revenue.

This is not necessarily a reason to change your budget. If you have correctly budgeted all of your expenses, you may not need this revenue in the current year. It can remain unbudgeted if that is the case.

You can use this new revenue instead of using reserves (carry-forward). If this is the case, then you can just do an online budget journal to decrease the use of carry-forward (account 88992) and increase the account that represents the source of this new revenue.

This new revenue allows you to make an expenditure that you otherwise would have put off until a future year (e.g., buying a new piece of equipment). In this case, you would do an online budget journal to increase both revenue and expense.

 A new faculty member is starting.

If a new faculty member is starting that you didn’t anticipate during the budgeting period, they may need a PI string. These should be set up with a budget.

If the faculty was anticipated, you may just need to move the budget over from where you originally budgeted it once the chart string is set up via online budget journal.

 The original budget was incorrect.

If you didn’t anticipate all expenses or revenues during the budget period, the budget may need to be changed via online budget journal during the year. You will need to justify the change and have the revenue to support it.

You may have budgeted more carry-forward than you end up having. If this is the case, we ask you to reduce the budgeted carry-forward.


For help, see the journals section of the Financial Operations site for the university.

Download the Budget Journal Template when opening a new chart string. Within the template, fill out the reason for change section, the fund, department ID, project (may be TBD), account and increase/(decrease) amount columns for each line of the budget. The revised budgets populates automatically.

To initiate a budget journal, you must have the correct access in NUFinancials. Because budget journals don’t get approved by your department, access to entering budget journals is more restricted than actual journals.

Remember to always attach any available back-up to your budget journals.

Please enter all budgets as recurring. If they are entered as non-recurring, they complicate comparisons in NUPlans Budget.

NUPlans Budget plugs any expense > revenue as 88992 – planned use of reserves & any revenue > expense is plugged as 88991 – planned build-up of reserves. If the budget on 88992 is greater than your actual carry-forward (the budget on 79999), we ask you to reduce 88992 on that chart string (and corresponding expense budget).

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