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About Simplified Operating Funds Initiative (SOFI)

Learn how the campus made 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 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.

Prior to Fiscal Year 2016/2017, these resources were managed across more than 60 different funds and represent approximately $1Billion of the unrestricted resources on campus.

Scope of SOFI

SOFI pools 60+ funds into 2 central funds: the University Core Fund (13991) and the Campus Core Fund (13992). The campus is able to more easily manage expenditures by freeing staff of the time and effort it takes to administer multiple colors of money.

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.

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.

Benefits to Departments

The Simplified Operating Funds Initiative is a UC San Diego effort to make expenditure accounting and fund management of non-restricted “core” resources easier and more efficient for business officers, resource managers, and faculty.

Business administration efficiencies gained from SOFI will contribute to the bottom line and the long-term financial sustainability of the campus. Consolidation of 60 funds to 2 funds will save time and increase financial flexibility through simplified fund management, expenditure transacting, and reporting processes.

SOFI streamlines financial management – for example

  • Each department receives 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
  • Constraints tied to specific sources are not applicable to the new core fund numbers as fund restrictions / constraints are managed centrally with the use of account codes and other tools.

Implementation timeline

SOFI was implemented for fiscal year 2016/2017. Most VC offices receive recurring resource allocations (formerly known as 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 was implemented in two phases.

Phase 1 – between March and June of 2016, indexes, personnel, and permanent budgets were mapped to the new fund numbers so that expenditure management going forward will be seamless. 

Phase 2 – departments were given 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
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