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

Target Adjustments for Revenues and Expenses are considered assumption templates and are often used by budget managers to set proposed financial targets for the departmental users entering the bottom-up budget. Some of the key functionality in this type of form is that it provides input of proposed annual increases or decreases based on last year’s Actual results or last year’s Budget. Figures are entered as the suggested % change for each revenue and expense General Ledger account. You find an example of this type of input form below.

Purpose of Target Adjustment Templates

Universities and colleges use Target Adjustment Templates to quickly and easily create an initial proposed budget based on desired or likely targets. When used as part of good business practices in a Budgeting and Planning department, an institution can improve its planning process as well as reduce the chances that departmental end users doing the bottom-up budget process miss the institution’s targets by a wide margin.

Target Adjustment Template Example

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

Higher Education Budgeting - Target Adjustments and Assumptions Example

Higher Education Budgeting – Target Adjustments and Assumptions Example

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 and other 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: 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 Intacct, 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