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Tidemark Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This resource page, provided by the University Budget Office (UBO), contains answers to frequently asked questions from Tidemark budgeting system users. 

Tidemark uses a single hierarchy for expenditure types and object codes, referred to simply as the object code hierarchy. This hierarchy includes all expenditure and object codes from Oracle, as well as “B” codes used specifically for budgeting. “B” codes are set up as parent codes with groups of Oracle codes for a category rolling up to each “B” code. This allows actuals to be “pooled” to the “B” code level and used for seeding budgets at that level.

The Tidemark hierarchy has many levels of aggregation, which roll up to categories meaningful for budget review.

To see the full hierarchy, go to the 03.Reporting process, and open 201. Con Bud report. There is a filter to change your object code view from Summary to Detail or All.

The Object Code Hierarchy is also available in excel format. 

Tidemark calculates several object codes used for budgeting. To run this calculation, look for the action called Calculate All Indirect Costs. This action is available on multiple panels.

Running this action will calculate indirect costs for all PAs (Project-Award) and PTAs (Project-Task-Award) in your organization (based on the slice on your page). This will apply to your entire budget, not just the data visible on the panel you are on. Once the calculation is complete, you will be able to refresh your page and immediately see the calculated values.

The UBO will run this calculation for the entire university every 2 hours during the day to ensure that data is updated frequently.
The full list of calculated object codes is:

Calculation Object Code Description
Fringe for Contingent Employees 51760 FRINGE BENEFITS CONTNGT
Fringe for Overseas Employees 51815 TAXES BNFTS OVERSEAS ONLY
Fringe for PostDocs 51755 FRINGE BENEFITS POST DOC
Fringe for Students 51765 FRINGE BENEFITS ZERO
Fringe for TAs and RAs 51775 FRINGE BENEFITS GRAD
Grad Stipend Health Surcharge 57640 GS HEALTH INS RECOVERY
Tuition Grant Program (TGP) 51770 FRINGE BENEFITS TGP
ISC for Transfers 49710 ISC ON TRANSFERS
IDC (Indirect Cost for Sponsored Research) 56910 FACILITIES AND ADMIN CHARGE
ITCC (Converged Communications) 58290 INTERDEPT CONV COMM/TECHNOLOGY
Sponsored Revenue 4100B BDGT SPONSORED REV

You will not be able to manually budget to these codes. They will always be calculated by the system.

The rate for these calculations is available in the 02. Setup and Fund Management process in the Departmental Assumptions page. Unlike other types of assumptions, the rates for these calculations are set by the UBO, and may not be edited.

In general, the amount budgeted for related expenses is multiplied by the rate to determine the calculated cost. For example:

$ budgeted for RBE salaries * RBE Fringe Rate = 51750

Some calculated codes have additional restrictions based on specific PTAs or Award types. For more detailed information, refer to the Indirect Cost Calculation Matrix. If you have questions, contact the UBO for assistance.

Tidemark brings in all PTAs (Project-Task-Award) and PAs (Project-Award) from Oracle every night. This includes both active and inactive accounts. If one or more of the segments are closed, INACTIVE will appear in the description of the PTA. All PTAs and PAs are available to see prior history, and for current budgeting. PAs and PTAs that are inactive should be reactivated in Oracle if they are to be used for budgeting, otherwise, the budget data will be rejected when it is loaded to Oracle.

All expenses in Tidemark are planned based on PTAs, and roll up based on the Task Owning Org (TOO). You will be able to see a PTA if you have access to the Task Owning Org (TOO).

All revenue is planned on PAs, and rollup based on the Award Owning Org (AOO). You will be able to see a PA if you have access to the Award Owning Org (AOO).

Transfers are planned as going from a PA to a PTA. These rollup by AOO and TOO respectively.

If you are looking for a specific PA (Project-Award) or PTA (Project-Task-Award) in an entry panel, check to see if the PA/PTA shows up in the Organization page edge filter. If it does, then set the filter to that PA/PTA and select Apply. The grid should be filtered to display that PA/PTA. If no data is displayed, then the rows are likely being suppressed because there is no current data or history on the PA/PTA. This is typical for new PA/PTAs.

To unhide the empty grid rows, select the Gear icon in the lower left gray area of the panel. This will open the “Customize View” screen. Set the Hide Empty Grid Rows option to Off and close the Customize View screen. The missing PTA/PA rows should now be displayed.

If the PA/PTA is not searchable/filterable in the Organization filter page edge, check to make sure the slice and organization filter are set to an org to which the PTA Task Owning Org (TOO) or PA Award Owning Org (AOO) belongs and unhide empty grid rows. Also check that the other page edge filters such as Award Type are not set to filter it out.

If the above remedies do not help, contact the UBO for assistance by submitting a Support Request. If the PTA is recently set up in Oracle it should load to Tidemark by the next day.

Anywhere PTAs (Project-Task-Award) or PAs (Project-Awards)are displayed, they are sorted by Org, then by Award, then by Project and then by Task. You may want to use the Organization page edge to limit your list to the lowest level Org which owns the PTA and then scroll to find it.

Most panels in the Position Planning path are organized based on the org which owns the position in Peoplesoft. If you don't have access to the position which owns the person you would like to budget, you have two options:

  1. Communicate with the department who owns the position you'd like to budget. Ask if they are planning to budget this position in Tidemark. If they are, they will be able to allocate the employee's salary to any PTA (Project-Task-Award) in the university, including yours. Once they budget the salary and assign the Labor Distribution (LD) for the position you're working on, you will be able to see the LD allocation on the Approve charges for Positions in another department panel. Here you can enter a 1 in the Labor Distribution PTA Approved Indicator column. This will approve the salary to be added to your PTA. If you do not want to coordinate with the position owning department, or that department is not doing position planning in Tidemark, use the second option.
  2. Budget your expense as a salary reserve. Go to the Monthly Reserve Adjustment panel in Compensation planning. Select the itemization icon on the left side of the screen then select the New button in the lower left corner to create a new itemization. Double-click in each itemization field to select values. In the description or notes field, enter information about the position you are budgeting. You can enter separate itemizations for each position you would like to budget. These will be aggregated and included in your budget as soon as you select Apply.

Budgeting Salaries using Position Based Budgeting has two components: budgeting the annual salary for all positions and budgeting the Labor Distribution PTA (Project-Task-Award) allocation for all positions. If either one of these components is missing it will cause salary expenses to be understated.

Also, when positions are budgeted to PTAs where the Position Owning Org (POO) is different from the PTA Task Owning Org (TOO), those need to be approved via the Approve Labor Distribution Charges from Other Orgs panel in the 01. Booked Budget: Expense and Revenue process. This approval is required even when both the POO and TOO roll up to your own authority. This step is often overlooked and causes salary expense to be understated.

When changes are made to the Labor Distribution, those changed lines may also need to be re-approved.

There is no way to undo a seeding action to revert back to a prior saved version of your budget. However, if you run another seeding action, it will first clear the results of any prior seeding action, then it will populate based on the criteria of the action selected. There is also an action available on most panels to clear seeding. Be careful when using these actions because they will run based on the current slice and page edges so you may either be seeding or clearing for a larger or smaller population than was intended.

The Transfer “Source” is the PA (Project-Award) that is providing funding (where the funds come from). The Transfer “Destination” is the PTA (Project-Task-Award) receiving funding (where the funds go to).

In the 02.Booked Budget: Setup and Fund Management process, on the Funding the Budget Matrix panel, the sources are listed as rows while the destinations are columns.

Transfers can be entered into your booked budget three different ways:

  1. Funding the Budget Matrix panel: This panel allows you to enter intra-unit transfers, or transfers where you control both the source and destination. The most common example of this is transferring designated and restricted funds to cover expenses on Operating Budgets.
  2. External Transfers panel: This panel allows you to enter inter-unit transfers, or transfers where you control either the source or destination but not both. Label the side you do not own as “External” to say that it is not a PA/PTA that you own.
  3. Transfer Administration System (TAS): This system allows the creation of two-sided transfers for both budgeting and future creation in Oracle. Both sides must approve TAS transfers. They are loaded to Tidemark towards the beginning of the booked budget process, and can be adjusted in Tidemark using the External Transfers panel if needed.

It is possible for the UBO to upload your data to Tidemark. The upload process is managed via the budget officer so that uploads can be consolidated in the templates for a more efficient process. Please contact your budget officer to find out if they are allowing your school or department to submit upload files. If so, please refer to the upload templates for detailed instructions on how to format and validate your data prior to upload submission. Submit your completed Upload Excel Data to Tidemark Support Request to UBO.









If the Ending Fund Balance doesn’t look correct or reasonable, be sure to check that the Beginning Balance was budgeted correctly, then Expenses, Revenues and Transfers.

Budget planning is first done at an annual level. Your Annual Adjusted Amount will be spread to the months in the year according to your historical actuals. If there is no history available, your annual adjusted amount will be spread evenly.

You can go to the Monthly Adjustment panel to see and adjust this spread.

Certain panels allow for itemized entries, often using a unit x rate calculation to provide supporting detail. An example is the monthly adjustment panel. In this panel you can select the itemization icon to open the itemization entry panel at the bottom half of the panel. Multiple rows can be entered using itemizations. The total amount for each PTA (Project-Task-Award), PA (Project-Award) and object code will be automatically rolled up in the top half of the monthly panel. Notes/explanations entered in itemizations will be retained for future review in the itemization panel only.

For step-by-step instructions for entering itemizations including screen captures, refer to User Guides for each process.

Many panels in Tidemark give you the ability to make a percent or dollar adjustment to values in the rows. When you manually type in an adjustment and select Save, you should see your result automatically calculated. If you've saved a percent adjustment, and are not seeing the result, try the following:

  1. Review the column to the left of the Adjustment % column. On most panels, this column is titled Baseline Amount and represents your starting amount for a percentage increase or decrease.
  2. If your Baseline Amount is blank, that means that you haven't run an action to “seed” a starting point for your budget. Applying a percent adjustment will not have an effect, as there is no starting point for adjustment.
  3. Remove your annual adjustment percent, and use the Annual Adjustment Amount to enter the full dollar amount you are trying to budget.

This report, and a few others, use YTD (year-to-date) time members for selection, where a selection represents the time period starting at the beginning of the financial year (Sep) through the month designated. So, “2019 May YTD” represents the period spanning Sep 2018 through May 2019.

YTD reports will generally open initially at the YTD month with the most recent actuals. In the case of the 231 report, which also includes 5 years of actuals, each of those years will also reflect the same YTD month for that year; the default YTD month will result in “missing” history as a result.

To overcome this and see all of history, change the time page edge to the entire year, e.g. FY 2019, and the prior years of history will each show the entire year.

Tidemark Variance reports are included in Tidemark 03. Reporting process. There are five reports we suggest to analyze year-end variances and a few additional reports useful for longer trends and detailed analysis. For more information, refer to Variance Reporting Job Aid. Full descriptions of the reports can be found in the Report Finder Tool.

•204 – Variance by Object Code

•205 – Variance by Award Type and Object Code

•304 – Variance by Org Tree

•305 – Variance by Award Type and Org Tree

•231 – 5 Year History with Variances

•331 – Org Tree 5 Year History

•515 – All PTA Detail and Object Code Detail by Month

The Dropzone tool is a utility which was created by UBO in 2017 to mitigate some of Tidemark’s shortcomings in exported grids, especially the loss of indentation and number formatting. Since then, Tidemark has made enhancements to exported grids by offering the “Export with Formats” option, which preserves most formatting. As a result, the tool is no longer necessary except for certain reports such as the Appendix A report in the Budget Plan process. Also, because of the recent redesign of many reports, especially in the “03. Reporting” process, the Dropzone tool is no longer compatible.

Printing functionality in Tidemark has also improved. Whenever possible, you should simply rely on using the “Export with Formats” option. You’ll get the best printing results if you select Landscape, Fit to Width, Legal and Repeat Row and Column Headers.

In order to capture all PAs (Project-Award) and PTAs (Project-Task-Award) in the mapping rule, the Award Purpose should be set to All Awards. If Budget Pool is chosen, it will only map Pool PA/PTAs, not all PTAs that match the criteria selected.

Yes. Sponsored research (Federal G&C, Non-Federal G&C and University Research) are already summarized to “summary members” in Tidemark. The “summary members” have names like QAUF-Federal G&C and summarize all activity in the Org and Award Type. But these summary members are not real PTAs (Project-Task-Award) in Oracle so they need to be mapped to Budget Pool PTAs.

Awards for ISC (infrastructure charge) allocation (BYxxx) should not be mapped, so that ISC can be properly recorded. The UBO has entered rules to prevent these from being mapped.

Beyond these rules, it is up to you (or your budget officer) to determine how pooling is used.

Yes. Pooling rules can be changed at any time and the results of changes in the rules will be reflected in Tidemark the next day. However, once you start budgeting, be careful making changes where budgets have already been entered. Pay special attention to changing rules that involve PTAs (Project-Task-Award) used for Labor Distribution or Transfers, as this may impact work that has already been done in your budget.

The consolidated budget is set up in the concept of a profit and loss (P&L) income statement.

It includes revenues, transfers and expenses. The bottom line of the consolidated budget is the surplus or deficit that is generated after subtracting Expenses from Revenues and Transfers.

If you are dealing with a single PTA (Project-Task-Award) such as an Operating Budget (which, by definition, only has expenses), its bottom line will be in a negative or deficit balance. It requires a transfer of funds to cover the deficit and balance the bottom line to $0.

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2020


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