University Budget System


Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) was looking for a centralized, position control budget system to support a web-based submission and approval process that communicated with the University’s data warehouse. HKS evaluated several off-the-shelf budget systems, but were unable to find one that satisfied their needs. Then HKS learned about MIT’s custom budget system built by D. Lawton Associates and decided to create a custom budget system.

Our Solution

We built a combination web and desktop-based budget system to the specifications we prepared with key staff. Personnel responsible for budgets use the web-based front end to see past and current year budgets and transactions, and to submit next year’s proposed budget. Three budget officers use a desktop client to import actual data, run other batch functions and administrative maintenance.

Key Features

  • Budget individual accounts or entire departmental budget groups based on prior year values.
  • Create multiple versions of budgets and different scenarios.
  • Import of operating budgets and budget upload to data warehouse.
  • Special budgeting for faculty members and aggregation of budget groups for combined reporting and analysis.
  • Download budget data into Excel for customized analysis.
  • A Budget Administration Utility to allows administrators to monitor imports, run yearly set-up procedures and maintain complex Faculty Budgets.

Results for HKS

  • Less time to prepare and aggregate budgets.
  • All budget updates are immediately reflected to the entire department.
  • Easy to integrate budget data from the data warehouse.
  • Fewer errors due to standardized calculations for all budget groups.
  • User administration enables controlled access to budget groups and salaries.
  • Customized reports show budget vs. actuals by date, or department.