Budget Transfers

Budget Transfers


Budget transfers are used to move available budget dollars within an index or to a different index-account combination.


Budget transfers should be submitted in anticipation of incurred or upcoming commitments or expenditures so that the budget actually reflects the plans and spending of the department.


There are two ways to submit a budget transfer:

  1. Online Budget Transfer platform. This new application enables users to submit, review, and approve OTPS budget transfers amongst indices that they have access and/or approving authority. A quick guide on how to access and navigate the system can be found at Budget Transfer Request Quick Reference Guide.
  2. All other transfers, such as salary (6xxx) and scholarship or financial aid (78xx) accounts, must use the excel-based Budget Transfer Form and email the completed form to budget@tc.columbia.edu
    • When transferring funds out of an index/account, please ensure that there is sufficient budget remaining to cover existing and anticipated expenditures and encumbrances
    • All transfers are assumed as temporary unless clearly specified as permanent on the top right corner of the transfer form
    • The Explanation/Comments section is required to be completed and must adequately explain the nature/intent of the transfer.
    • The transfer request must be approved by the index Responsible Person (RP) or Budget Administrator (BA) from where budgeted funds are being moved out of.

If a budget transfer requires clarification, the Office of Budget and Planning will reach out for additional information.

Please expect the excel-based Budget Transfer Form to be processed within 72 hours of receipt.

For the transfer of actual revenue or expenses, please use the Revenue/Expense Transfer Form.

Any questions relating to 5xxxxx indices should be directed to the Office of Grants and Contracts.

Office of budget and planning budget transfer process flow chart
  1. The following list of Full Time and Part Time salary accounts require a fringe benefit allocation on account 6891.

    6111 - Salaries - Professorial

    6119 - Summer Salaries - Professorial

    6121 - FT Instructors Exempt

    6161 - Salaries - FT Lecturer

    6169 - Summer Salaries-FT Lecturer


    6122 - PT Instructors Exempt

    6129 - Summer Salaries - Instructors

    6132 - PT Adjunct Professor Exempt

    6139 - Summer Salaries Visit. & Adj. Profs.

    6142 - Community Teacher

    6149 - Summer Salaries Community Teacher

    6152 - PT Fee Based Instructor Exempt

    6159 - Summer Salaries – Instr Fee Based


    6211 - FT Professional Exempt

    6213 - FT Professional Non-Exempt

    6216 - FT Prof Non-Exempt Overtime

    6311 - FT Secretarial & Clerical Services

    6321 - FT Custodial (707) Salaries

    6326 - FT Custodial (707) Overtime

    6331 - FT Security Salaries

    6341 - FT Custodial Salaries (32BJ)

    6346 - FT Custodial (32BJ) Overtime


    6242 - Part Time Professional Exempt

    6244 - PT Professional Non-Exempt

    6252 - Temporary Professional Exempt

    6254 - Temporary Professional Non-Exempt

    6312 - PT Secretarial & Clerical Services

    6316 - Secretarial (2110) Overtime

    6336 - Security (707) Overtime


    6412 - Administrative Fellows Part-Time

    6419 - Administrative Fellows – Summer

    6422 - TA/RA - Part-Time

    6429 - TA/RA - Summer

    6432 - PT Professional Students

    6442 - Doctoral Research Fellow-Part-Time

    6462 - Course Assistants - P/T Exempt

    6469 - Course Assistants - Summer


    6521 - Discretionary Allowance

    6531 - Resident Assistants

    6541 - Housing Allowances

    6551 - Cell Phone Supplement

    6571 - One Time Payment

    9113 - Summer Budget Pool

    PL6000 - FT Salary Budget Pool

    Please refer to the E-Class chart for more detailed Employee Class and Account information.
  2. Fringe Benefits are charged to account 6891 and should always be included when submitting transfers related to salaries.
  1. Any transfer of instructional salary savings to non-instructional salary accounts require approval of the Office of the Provost.
  2. Any transfer of non-instructional salary savings to other non-instructional salary accounts are reviewed by the Office of Budget and Planning on a case by case basis.
  3. Any transfer from a 6xxx account to a 7xxx (See Salary Savings)
  1. Budget transfers from an operating index (1xxxxx) to a designated (2xxxxx) or restricted (6xxxxx) index are not permissible.
  2. Transfers from a 78xx (Scholarship and Financial Aid) account to a non-78xx account are not permissible.
  3. Each department is provided with an operating budget at the start of the fiscal year in accordance with what was approved by the Board of Trustees. Any requests for additional funding with the Academic Departments or Academic Affairs Administration should be routed directly to the Office of the Provost. Revenue collected should not be transferred to expense lines to cover additional expenditures, except in rare, unique circumstances.
  4. Budgeted funds allocated to a course fee index cannot be transferred to any other type of index. In the event a transfer of this nature goes through, the Office of Budget and Planning will reverse it once it has been made aware. If this results in a year-end NSF situation, the subsequent fiscal year will be charged.
  5. Allocations made within a course fee index may be changed, even if it does not align with the processes listed above. Course fee indices utilize temporary funding and allocations can be adjusted as the needed usage of funds comes to light.

NSF occurs when there are not enough funds in the OTPS account pool to cover a purchase requisition or check request submitted for processing. The Office of Budget and Planning will notify departments when an NSF situation occurs. 

A budget transfer must be submitted to transfer funds, as appropriate.

As part of the College’s year-end process, NSFs are checked regularly and departments are promptly notified of the need to submit a budget transfer. Given the quick turnaround of our closing process, budget transfers will need to be submitted expeditiously as outlined by our communication (generally within 24 hours). Any NSF not resolved in that time frame will be charged against the subsequent fiscal year’s budget.

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