Higher Education Budgeting – Target Adjustments and Assumptions for Sage Intacct

What are Target Adjustments and Assumptions in a Higher Education Budget Model?

In the realm of higher education budgeting, target adjustments play a pivotal role as templates that guide assumptions. These templates are frequently employed by budget managers to define the proposed financial goals for individual departments as part of the bottom-up budgeting process. The core function of these templates involves inputting suggested annual increases or decreases, which are typically derived from either the prior year’s actual financial results or the previous year’s budget. These figures are then entered as recommended percentage changes for each revenue and expense category in the General Ledger accounts. Below, we provide an example of such an input form.

Purpose of Target Adjustment Templates

Universities and colleges rely on target adjustment templates to swiftly and efficiently construct an initial proposed budget based on preferred or expected targets. When integrated into effective business practices within a Budgeting and Planning department, these templates enhance the planning process and reduce the likelihood of significant deviations from the institution’s set targets during the bottom-up budgeting process.

Benefits to Users

The inclusion of Target Adjustment and Assumption templates within a higher education budget model not only streamlines the budgeting process but also offers substantial benefits to business users. By providing a structured framework for establishing financial targets and assumptions, this model empowers users to make more informed decisions. Budget managers and departmental users can collaborate more effectively, ensuring that proposed budgets align with the institution’s overarching goals and priorities. Moreover, the model enhances efficiency by minimizing the risk of significant deviations from financial targets, ultimately leading to improved financial planning and resource allocation. Consequently, business users can optimize their decision-making processes, contributing to enhanced overall performance and resource utilization within the institution.

Target Adjustment Template Example

Here is an example of a Target Adjustment form for revenues and expenses.

Higher Education Budgeting - Target Adjustments and Assumptions for Sage Intacct

Higher Education Budgeting – Target Adjustments and Assumptions Example from Solver

You can find hundreds of additional examples here.

Who Uses This Type of Form?

The typical users of this type of form are: Budget Officers and Department Managers.

Other Forms Often Used in Conjunction with Target Adjustment Templates

Progressive Budgeting and Planning Departments sometimes use several different Target Adjustment Templates, along with payroll, capex, operating expense and revenue templates, in addition to management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

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