Viewing Budget Performance with Budget Details in NUFinancials


This guide explains how to use the Budget Details Inquiry in NUFinancials to find information about your expense, revenue, or grant budget.


Where can you find your expense, revenue, or grant budget in NUFinancials?

The Budget Details search is helpful for looking up the budget, pre-encumbrances, encumbrances, actual expenses, revenue estimate, and recognized revenue for any budgeted chart string. You may also search using this tool to troubleshoot budget errors.

  • When a budget is prepared for a chart string, any expense account code can be named in the budget. Once an account is named, all account codes become available for spending. This is true for Funds 000-172, 300’s, and 400’s. For example, if you name a non-salary account code that starts with a 7, all account codes open. The Funds 173-199, 500’s, and 700’s are more specialized where an account in the 60000 range needs to be named to open all 60000 accounts and the same for 70000. For fund 800’s, only the 70000 accounts may be opened.
  • Grant project budgets work differently. For grants, Sponsored Research (SR) opens only the budget categories for which spending is allowed. After the category is open, expense account codes that rollup to that budget category are available for spending.
  • The Budget Details search does not have Excel export capability. If you would like to see the budget for more than one chart string, or would like to export your budget data to Excel, use the Budget Overview search.

Budget Inquiry security access and row level security are required to use the inquiry.

Navigate to the NUFinancials Budget Details Inquiry

  • From the NUFinancials Navigator, click Commitment Control > Review Budget Activities > Budget Details

Step 1: Enter criteria and search

This is an example of an expense budget search using the Department, Fund, and Budget Period.

  • Click Clear to erase all criteria entered previously and start anew. You will have to re-enter the Business Unit (NWUNV).
  • Click Save Search Criteria to name and save the search for convenience later. After you save a search, it is available via drop-dfown: select the search by name and click Search to save time.


Budget Details, Find an Existing Value, with sample search criteria

  1. Verify that NWUNV is populated in the Budget Unit field.
  2. Select a Ledger Group.
    • Use the magnifying glass to see a list of Ledger Groups (shown below).
    • Select a value that corresponds to the type of budget (revenue, expense, or grant). Options exist to see account level budgets (detail ledger groups) or summarized budgets (parent ledger groups). In this example, the ledger group KK_DPT_DT "Non Grant Detail Ledgers" is selected to reveal expense budget data.


  1. Enter chart string values.
    • For specificity, enter as many ChartField values as possible and specify the account code.
    • For breadth, enter fund plus department or project without an account code. The result will be all matching account codes.
  2. Enter a budget year (only for non-grant chart strings).
    • Limit the search to the current year, especially if you do not specify an account code.
    • For specific historical research, enter a prior budget year.
    • For broad historical research, do not enter a year. History exists in NUFinancials back to 2009.
  3. Click Search. Result:
    • If you asked for one account code and specified the fiscal year, the Budget Details page appears.
    • If you left account code and/or Budget Period blank, a list of results appears (shown below).

Step 2: Review Search Results

Budget Details Search Results


Budget data cannot be exported from the Budget Details page. To export budget data to Excel, use the Budget Overview search.

Step 3: View Budget Details


Field Definitions

  1. The budget details shown are for this chart string specifically: 110-4023200-73010 in FY2009.
  2. Live running totals are drawn from the four ledgers per your selection of Ledger Group:
    •   Budget = Total budget including original expense budget plus all budget adjustments
    •   Expense = AP vouchers, expense reports, payment requests, and journals that have been budget checked and approved
    •   Encumbrance = Purchase orders, compensation, and travel authorizations
    •   Pre-Encumbrance = Requisitions
  3. Click the Drill to Activity Log icon if you want to view (drill-down) to the detailed transactions that make up this total. Transactions are listed by accounting period according to the budget period you selected in your search criteria.
  4. Associated Revenue. If actual revenue is added to a designated chart string, the expense budget is automatically increased by the amount of the revenue. Designated funds may have revenue budgets, but if not, recognized revenue appears in this field.
  5. Available Budget. Northwestern does not use tolerances for available budget. It is equal to the budget minus expense, encumbrance, and pre-encumbrance plus any associated revenue.

Step 4: View the Financial Activity Log

Purchase Order (PO) amounts in the Activity Log sum to the encumbrance amount shown on the Budget Details page. Some PO amounts are offset by matching negative amounts on the corresponding Vouchers. Vouchers "relieve" the encumbrance, reducing it to zero, and state the amount as an expense in the Expense Ledger.

  • Click the checkbox next to "Display open encumbrances only" to remove encumbrances that converted to expenses.
  • Use the Customize (aka Personalize) feature to add or reorder columns in the log.
  • Use the Find feature to search for entries based on a text string you provide.
  • Use the features View All, First, Previous, Next, and Last to navigate through the log.
  • Click the grid icon next to the words "View All" to export the Activity Log to Excel.
  • Click any column heading to sort the Activity Log by values in the column.


Encumbrance Ledger Activity Log

Step 5: Drill to a source transaction

Source Transaction Line Drill Down screen, part of drilling to a source transaction from the Activity Log


  1. Click the View Related Links icon next to the Source Transaction ID. In the example, the transaction is a Purchase Order, and the transaction ID is PUR0008976.
  2. Click Go to Source Entry. Result: the original transaction appears in a new window.

Step 6: View the source transaction

Refer to transaction documentation for information about the transaction in question.


Purchase order Inquiry, example of a source transaction

View Revenue Budget Details

Budget Details, Find an Existing Value, sample revenue search criteria


  1. Ensure NWUNV is entered in the Business Unit field.
  2. Enter a Revenue Ledger Group. In this example, KK_REV_DT.
  3. Enter a combination of ChartFields. In this example, Fund and Department.
  4. Enter a Budget Period.
  5. Click Search. Search Results are a list of revenue account codes named in the budget or used historically.
  6. Click View Details to see the budget, actuals-to-date, and balance.

Revenue Budget Details Screen


Budget Details, search results, sample revenue chart string 

Field Definitions

  1. The budget details shown are for this revenue chart string.
  2. Live running totals are as follows:
    •   Revenue Estimate = original budget estimate plus any budget adjustments.
    •   Recognized Revenue = actual revenue that has been processed for this chart string.
  3. Click the Drill to Activity Log icon if you want to view (drill down to) the detailed transactions that make up this total. Transactions are listed by accounting period according to the budget period you selected in your search criteria.
  4. Available budget = Revenue estimate minus recognized revenue. This is the difference between the budget and actuals.


  1. Enter criteria and search
    • Select the appropriate Ledger Group
    • Name and save a frequently used search for convenience
  2. Review search result
  3. View Budget Details by account code
    • View budget performance (budget minus actuals)
    • View activity totals associated with the budget, expense, encumbrance, and pre-encumbrance ledgers
    • Find and view a log of financial activity for each ledger
  4. View the financial activity log
  5. Drill to a source transaction
  6. View source transactions

For additional assistance please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) or email



Article ID: 1231
Thu 5/12/22 1:38 PM
Fri 1/13/23 11:35 AM