The budget planning process at Penn consists of two major components:
Annual Budget Review Meeting
Schools and Centers submit current year forecasts and a five-year budget plan that includes an initial budget submission for the upcoming year. The submission must be accompanied by a budget cover memo and updated input assumptions.
The submission is reviewed in discussions with senior management during the fall (Nov/Dec) for schools and during the winter (Feb/March) for resource centers and administrative centers.
Guarantee Letter and Final Budget Submission
In the spring (late March), Schools and Centers receive a guarantee letter that documents the agreed-upon plan and associated guarantees, parameters, and other guidelines for the upcoming year budget. Schools and Centers then submit a revised current year forecast and a final budget for the upcoming year.
This final budget submission is reviewed by the Budget Office for consistency with the guarantee letters and for variances versus the initial Annual Budget Review Meeting submission. Significant variances versus the initial submission must be explained in a memo to senior management, with a copy to the Budget Office.
Once the final budget for a School or Center is approved, it is consolidated with the other School and Center submissions for approval by the Board of Trustees (June). The final budget is loaded into the general ledger in June in preparation for the upcoming fiscal year.