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About Simplified Operating Funds Initiative (SOFI)

Learn how the campus is making it easier to manage budgets and expenditures for core operations.

About SOFI

The Simplified Operating Funds Initiative (SOFI) is an effort to reduce complexity in the financial management of unrestricted campus resources. It is an implementing strategy supporting Goal 5 of the campus Strategic Plan: “Creating an agile, sustainable, and supportive infrastructure by ensuring a dedication to service, people, and financial stewardship.” The current focus of the SOFI is on campus resources that support the core academic investment and general institutional operations. The sources of this funding fall into two categories:

  1. UC System-wide funding: includes State general funds, system-wide tuition and fees, and University general funds.
  2. UC San Diego-generated unrestricted funding: includes non-State research and administrative overhead, unobligated patent income, and investment income.

Currently, these resources are managed across more than 60 different funds and represent approximately $1Billion of the unrestricted resources on campus.

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Scope of SOFI

SOFI pools these 60+ funds into 2 central funds, the University Core Fund and the San Diego Campus Core Fund. The campus will be able to more easily manage expenditures by freeing staff of the time and effort it takes to administer the multiple colors of money departments have currently.

Exclusions to SOFI

SOFI does not include funds with externally imposed restrictions such as contracts and grants, clinical trials, private gifts, and endowment earnings. Also excluded are the Health System, auxiliaries, and self-supporting programs.

SOFI is simply a pooling of funds that are similar. It does not result in budget reductions, change budget decisions, or change budget allocation methodologies.

Benefits to departments

SOFI will streamline financial management – for example

  • Each department will receive one core fund
  • Sharing the same core fund eases transfers between departments and across VC units
  • One fund eliminates juggling of personnel among funds to manage compensation inflation

SOFI will simplify fund accounting and department transacting – for example

  • Fewer indexes will be needed
  • Constraints tied to specific sources are not applicable to the new core fund numbers
  • Express card transactions now only have to be classified for cost type instead of type and fund
  • Expenditure transfers are replaced with budget transfers to balance organization budgets
  • NGN redirects are reduced or eliminated for personnel budgeted on core funds

Implementation timeline

SOFI will be implemented for fiscal year 2016/2017. Most VC offices will receive recurring allocations (permanent budget) for core funds in the University Core Fund instead of in the previous 60 different fund colors. VC for Advancement will receive the Campus Core Fund.

SOFI will be implemented in two phases.

Phase 1 – between March and June of 2016, indexes, personnel, and permanent budgets will be mapped to the new fund numbers so that expenditure management going forward will be seamless. See SOFI important dates for more details.

Phase 2 – departments will have one year for transitional activities such as:

  • spending down legacy fund balances
  • exchanging re-appropriation balances of source funds
  • replacing default indexes for Express cards, Travel cards, Marketplace purchases, etc.
  • changing appointments on one-time funds; and so on.

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