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PPR apartments, Ground Floor

Why Budget?

Swarthmore’s operating budget is a reflection of the College’s revenue and expenditure priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget represents many things to the Community, including:

  • A roadmap for spending.
  • An indicator of internal financial control.
  • An estimate of the financial picture for a specific period.

The Operating Budget identifies revenues and other resources to support the College’s core mission and auxiliary activities. Operating revenues finance day-to-day expenses and/or contribute to institutional reserves.

What is Swarthmore's annual operating budget?

The FY 2023-24 Operating Budget for the College totals $208.8 million. 

I am a new financial manager. What do I need to know?

If you are a new financial manager, make sure you have filled out the Financial Manager Form (the pdf document can be found here [pdf]). The form will provide you access to the Finance module in mySwarthmore for you to create and monitor your budget. Authorization should be available within 48 hours following form submission.

Once you have received authorization, you can access the mySwarthmore portal to review your budget (organization) code and develop your budget. A link to the mySwarthmore can be accessed from the Budget Office homepage.

Also, familiarize yourself with Swarthmore's accounting structure, known by the acronym FOAPAL. The abbreviation, which stands for Fund-Organization-Account-Program-Activity-Location is an accounting string to record budget and financial activity for classification and reporting purposes.

Segment (COA)



Fund Funding Source 11000 Current Unrestricted Fund
Organization (Org) Unit or department responsible for financial activity 5110 Business Office
Account Type of financial activity 7201 Transportation
Program (Prog) Purpose for the financial activity 41 Institutional Support
Activity Track specific projects or special events (Not used for Budgeting; optional for Financials) 134 Banner
Location Identify capital equipment or physical structures (Not used for Budgeting or Financials) N/A

Click this link [pdf] to find more information about the College's chart of accounts.  

Are there instructions or training to help me complete my budget?

Yes. The Budget Office homepage has a training section, which provides instructions on how to use mySwarthmore to track your expenses as well as input your budget. Additionally, at the beginning of each budget cycle there will be hands-on training sessions to guide users through the process.

How do I request a new position or a modify an existing position?

A department's financial manager will discuss with their respective President’s Staff member any additions or changes to positions, including any needs for office or campus space to fulfill the position's job responsibilities. All new position requests and position adjustments must receive initial approval from the department's President's Staff member. Once approved the financial manager will contact the Director of Compensation in Human Resources to receive access to the online position request form. Justification for the new position or position modification is required. HR will provide the compensation and benefits information. All request approved by their President's Staff member are to be submitted to HR by late January.

How do I make a capital budget request?

Please complete a capital project request form, which can be found on the Forms section of the Budget Office website. Financial managers should discuss their capital needs with their President’s Staff member prior to submission. A capital project should advance departmental, divisional, and institutional goals. Capital budget items include, among others: 1.) Building renovations or structural changes; 2.) Major building repairs or replacements (e.g. a new roof); 3.) Fixed equipment purchases; and, 4.) Computer hardware and software systems.

Questions regarding capital budget requests should be directed to Jan Semler (for facilities, space, or major equipment) or Jason Parkhill (for technology). 

Can I transfer salary savings to the non-personnel budget and vice versa? If so, how?

Departments are not allowed to move salary savings into the non-personnel budget without the approval of the VP for Finance and Administration. A written explanation must be sent to the VP for Finance and Administration, Assistant VP for Finance, and the Budget Director.