Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are education and general fund budgets and how can they be used?

A. Education and general fund budgets begin with a ‘1’ and are used for the institution’s general operations and educational objectives. The funds supports the basic functions of instruction, research, academic support, student services, institutional support, operation of plant and maintenance and scholarships. Funds can be used for salaries, benefits, communications, travel, contractual services, supplies, equipment, scholarships, etc.  The funds cannot be used for gifts, food and entertainment. Revenue sources for education and general fund budgets are primarily derived from state appropriations and tuition and fee payments.

Q. What is the difference between State accounts and non-state accounts?

State and non-state accounts can be unrestricted (not subject to specific external guidelines or regulations) or restricted accounts depending on the funding source. State appropriations are unrestricted funds whereas a state funded grant would be considered restricted funds.  Non-state accounts funded by auxiliary fees and services are unrestricted funds and sponsored programs (external funding such as grants and contracts) are considered to be restricted in nature.

Q. What is auxiliary revenue?

A. Auxiliary revenue is generated by non-academic departments for goods and services furnished to students, faculty or staff. Examples of auxiliary revenue include athletics, dining services, residential life, bookstore operations, etc. Auxiliary services are managed as self-supporting operations. Therefore, charges should be at a level high enough to cover operational expenditures.  

Q. Who has the authority to expend funds?

A. The fiscal officer has the authority to expend funds. The fiscal officer can be the project manager or department head or chair.

Q. Why is an object code required for all financial transactions?

A. Object codes are a useful management tool. They categorize expenses to help you determine where the institution’s money was spent. When expenses are coded correctly, you will know by looking at your KFS reports and screens how much was expended in specific categories such as office supplies, computers, etc.

Q. What is the difference between an operating and capital budget?

A. An operating budget is a detailed projection of all estimated income and expenses for one fiscal year.  A capital budget is a proposed outlay of long term investments in buildings (construction and renovation) and equipment as well as the means of financing them. 

Q. As a director/department chair, how may I obtain a copy of the operating budget for my department?

A. Operating budgets can be obtained via KFS or your vice president. However, it is recommended that copies be obtained via KFS so you can track your year-to-date spending compared to budget.  

Q. What creates shortfalls in the university’s budget?

A. There are several reasons shortfalls may occur in the budget.

a.      Revenues expected are not met

b.      Budgets are not adjusted per enrollment projections

c.      Expenditures are over budget

d.      Projected enrollment not met 

e.      Mandatory expenditures, i.e. health insurance, fringe benefits

Q. How can I see a copy of the University’s annual operating budget?

A. The university’s annual operating budget is available on the UMES web site. (

Q. How do I obtain access to KFS?

A. Access to KFS for authorized personnel is obtained through the comptroller’s office. Access must be approved by the project manager or department head or chair.

Q. What is an FTE?

A. One FTE equals one full-time position or two half-time positions, etc.  The FTE representation is used during the budget process and manpower analysis. It is also a means for expressing students.  The formula is generally based on credit hours.

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