Budget Settings

This article describes the Budget Settings—these settings affect the budget as a whole.  The Worksheet Settings article describes the settings that only affect a particular worksheet.

On the lower section of the left navigation menu, select the gear icon or “Budget Settings” to display the settings page.

There are five subsections for settings. Each section can be expanded or collapsed by selecting the section name and description. Once expanded, you will see a Close link in the lower left. Also a Previous Section and/or Next Section link will display in the lower right.

The following image shows the Budget Settings with all sections collapsed.

budget settings sections

The sections are:

Budget Title & Periods

The Budget Title defaults to “New Budget” when you create a budget. You can then edit the title, entering up to a maximum of 300 characters. A Budget Title is required. Below the Budget Title you will see a hint that shows the number of characters used, for example, 10/300, as shown in the following image.

budget title field showing character count

Based on the width of your computer screen, the full Budget Title may not show in the header, but instead display with an ellipsis (…); you can see the full title by hovering over it, as shown in the following image.

budget title with ellipsis


This section establishes the start and end dates for each budget period. You need to have at least a Budget Start Date before adding any costs.

There are two period options: Equal Length Periods and Varied Length Periods. By default, the Equal Length option initially displays. To select the Varied Length option, select it from its tab.

Note: when you create a new budget, it will open to this section so that you can add your Budget Start Date.

Equal Length Periods

The following image shows equal length periods:

equal length budget periods

Use this choice to easily set up a number of periods of the same length. Add a date in the Budget Start Date field. By default, the Total Number of Periods value is set to one (1), and the Length of Each Period (Months) is set to 12.

Once you add a start date, a list of periods will appear below the period length field. It displays the period description and its start and end dates. As you change any of the variables, the list will automatically update to reflect your changes.

To change the Total Number of Periods, use its drop-down menu. It contains the values one through ten, and a Custom option. For example, if you select five periods, the system will generate the start and end dates for all of the periods, based on the Budget Start Date you entered and the period length.

Use the Length of Each Period (Months) field to change the value from the default of 12. Once you click out of the field, the system will update the period dates to adjust for the new period length. The period length is in months and therefore must be an integer number.

Note: The date ranges for periods must be contiguous; no gaps in time between periods are allowed. The system will enforce this.

The default Descriptions for the periods are Period 1, Period 2, and so forth. You can edit a description, entering up to 100 characters. A value is required for every period description.

Varied Length

Choose this option if you know your budget has periods of unequal length.

The following image shows this option.

period budget setting with varying lengths

The first editable field is the Description. The default Descriptions are Period 1, Period 2, and so forth. You can edit a description, entering up to 100 characters. A value is required for every period description.

Enter a Start Date for the first period. By default, the system will add an End Date to make the period 12 months in length.  Edit the End Date as needed. The system will recalculate the length in months.

Use the Add Period link below the Period Description field to generate another period with the same length as the prior one.

As needed, adjust the End Dates of existing periods, and use the Add Period link to define all of your budget’s periods.

For periods other than the first one, you can only change the end date values. The system will ensure that each End Date is greater than its period Start Date. As you change end dates, the system will adjust the dates for any future periods already created.

Switching Between Period Options

If you have set a start date and added periods using either the equal or varied length option, and then switch to the other option, the system will use the start date, the number of periods, and the length of the first period to calculate new end dates as needed.

Deleting Periods

You have the option to delete either the first or last period from a budget. When you delete the first period, the new budget start date will be that of the original period 2.  If you delete the last period, then the final budget end date will be that of the now last period.

Note: When you delete periods, the remaining period descriptions are not changed.

Spending Targets

This section allows you to set a spending target for each period and select the value you want to target.

Click on the toggle switch to Enable Targets and Limits. You will then see additional fields for setting up your targets.

You have two options for setting your target amounts: Equal Spending Targets and Varied Spending Targets. With equal targets, the same amount is applied to every period. With varied targets, you can apply different amounts to individual periods.

The following image shows the default Equal Spending Targets option:

equal spending targets

Select the varied tab to change options.

  • For Equal Spending Targets, enter your dollar amount in the Spending Target Amount (Per Period) field.
  • For Varied Spending Targets, enter a dollar amount in the field for each period.

The following image shows an example of Varied Spending Targets.

varied spending target values

Next select which budget total you want to target. The choices are:

  • Total Direct Costs
  • Total Direct Costs less Subrecipient F&A
  • Total Project Costs

The corresponding total in the Budget Header will display an arrow following its value. The arrow will be black and pointing down if your total is below the target. The arrow will be red and pointing up if your total exceeds the target. You can select the value in the header to see period details, and optionally, edit the spending target values.

The following image shows the period details.

budget heading spending target dialog

Salary Cap

This section allows you to set a maximum annual salary cap when your sponsor requires one. By default, this option is not selected.

Click on the toggle switch to Enable Salary Cap. You will then see additional fields.

For the Salary Cap Amount field, enter the value your sponsor requires. By default, the initial value is zero.

The Salary Cap Note is optional. If you enter a note, you will see it on some exports of your budget.

The following image shows this section.

budget settings salary cap example

On your budget worksheets, you will see a “cap” indicator following the name of any personnel whose salary is capped. When you hover over the indicator, you will see the text “This salary is calculated using the annual salary cap of $###,###.”

When you select the person’s dollar amount for any period, you will see the details in the side panel. Both their total pre-capped salary and the total capped salary display. The total capped salary for a period is the cap amount times the person’s percent effort.

The current NIH salary cap can be found here.

Data & Calculations

This section allows you to set choices for benefit rates, salaries, rounding, cascading, and inflation rates. The following image shows the benefit, salary, and rounding areas in this section.

budget settings data calculations

Benefit Rates

You have a choice of using preliminary benefit rates for the next fiscal year when they are available, or of always using only the current rates.  By default, the Preliminary option is selected. Note that some sponsors will only accept current, published benefit rates.

Preliminary benefit rates are the anticipated values for the coming fiscal year. They are generally available in SAGE Budget in late spring for future budgeting. The system uses preliminary benefit rates in a budget period only if that period starts on or after July 1. That is, the period’s start date must be in the same fiscal year as that of the preliminary benefit rates, or in a future fiscal year.

Note: Benefit rates used for any individual are editable.

Refresh Benefit Rates and Refresh Salary

You have the option to refresh the benefit rate and/or salary amount for all UW Personnel on your worksheets, other than subawards.

Doing a refresh will replace the benefit rate and/or salary amount, including any customized values, with current values from Workday.

When you select refresh, you will see a confirmation dialog. You can cancel or continue with the refresh.

Round Currency Expenses

There are three options for rounding currency (dollar) amounts for display: To Whole Dollar, To Cents, and Do Not Round. By default, the To Whole Dollar option is selected.

If you select either To Whole Dollar or To Cents, the period amount for each cost is rounded as are the totals for each period and the All Periods amounts. The Price amount for entries in the Other Cost section is never rounded.

For the To Whole Dollar choice, no decimal places display. For the To Cents choice, two decimal places display.

When you select Do Not Round, the Decimal Display for Dollar Amounts field appears. Edit the number of decimal places you want to see displayed. Note that if the previous selection was To Whole Dollar, the default value will be zero (0); if To Cents, the default value will be two (2).

Cascade Other Cost Entries

The following image shows the Cascade Other Cost Entries and the Inflation Rate areas in this section.

budget settings date and calculations section part 2

Click on the toggle switch to enable the Cascade Other Cost Entries option for the entire budget. You can override this setting for any specific worksheet or individual cost. By default, this option is not selected.

Inflation Rates

There are three inflation rates used in your budget: Salary, Tuition, and General. The default values are 2% for Salary, 3% for Tuition, and 0% for all other costs. You can edit these rates for the whole budget, a specific worksheet, or an individual cost.

Access & Roles

The Access & Roles section allows you to manage who has access to your budget, and what level of access. The following image shows this section with some example data:

Budget settings access roles

The first three rows of the access table are for the Award Preparer, Budget Preparer, and Pre-Award Budget Contact. The Budget Preparer is auto-populated with the name of the person who created the budget. Providing the Pre-Award Budget Contact and Administrative Contact is optional, but it is strongly encouraged you do so.

To add a contact, start typing in the Contact column of the table to search by name or NetID. When you select a person, their organization, email and phone information will display.

To provide others access to your budget, use the Add General Collaborator link, above the table. Selecting the link will add a General Collaborator row to the table. Start typing in the first column to search for the person by name or NetID. Then use the drop-down menu in the Permissions column to give them View Only or Can Edit access. You can change the access permission at any time.

To change or remove contacts or collaborators, select the “more options” menu icon to the far right (three vertical blue dots).

  • The Admin and Budget Contacts can be demoted to a General Collaborator with edit permission or removed from the budget entirely.
  • General Collaborators can be promoted to be the Preparer or a Contact, or removed from the budget entirely.
    • If the contact role is empty, the collaborator is automatically promoted to the contact role.
    • If the contact role is not empty, or the change is to the Preparer, a confirmation dialog appears to confirm the replacement. The person being replaced is demoted to a General Collaborator with edit permission.
  • If you try to add an already-listed person directly, their name will appear grayed out in the search results.

The following images show the “more options” menus for both contacts and collaborators.

budget settings contacts menus

budget settings collaborators menu
Permissions on a Copied Budget

If the person who is making the copy is not the Budget Preparer on the original budget, then they will become the Budget Preparer (owner) on the new budget, and the original preparer will become a General Collaborator with Can Edit access.

Permissions on Budgets Connected to eGC1s, Advance Budget Requests, and Award Setup Requests

When your budget is connected to an eGC1, you will also see the eGC1 Preparer and the eGC1’s PI listed as owners. If the eGC1 has a related Advance Budget Request or Award Setup Request, you will also see the Advance Preparer(s) or Award Preparer and others with access to the Advance or Award. See the article about Connected SAGE Budgets and eGC1s for full details.