What do we mean when we say “budget”?

UBC’s annual budget process is underway and in the VPFO that means we’re working on the portfolio financial plan that will feed into the university-wide budget proposal, as well as overseeing the university-wide process. At the same time, we’re also leading a wider strategic budget review across the university. With so much going on, what does each stream of budget work mean for us in the VPFO?


  • Annual budget process for UBC
    In each year’s budget we allocate the university’s anticipated revenues against our expenses for the next fiscal year. Each faculty and administrative unit creates a local budget and our Comptroller’s team, working with the provost and executive, consolidates the local budgets into a university-wide consolidated budget.

    A key change this year, as cost pressures and committed resources are limiting the availability of funding, is that budget “asks” for the coming year are limited to a narrow process focused on risk. It’s also notable that our VPFO Project Management Office has stepped up to manage the university-wide process for UBC.


  • VPFO budget process
    As I mentioned, each faculty and VP portfolio submits a local budget to the university budget process. This year, the VPFO is taking a fresh look at our portfolio budget using zero-based budgeting. Our financial plan will develop around the value we deliver to the university, rather than basing it on previous years. This will help us better manage our workload by focusing on our highest-value tasks for the university. We’ll be sharing more about zero-based budgeting and our process in the coming weeks.


  • Reimagining UBC’s Budget
    The third stream of budget work at UBC is a strategic multi-year initiative designed to examine and improve UBC’s entire budgeting process, from planning and forecasting through to funding and reporting. Most of the effects of this project will be felt in future years.


Thank you to all involved for the hard work and commitment being delivered across all three streams of budget work — it’s going to help us focus our efforts and resources both in the short term and well into the future.


Frank Laezza
Vice-President Finance & Operations