Budget Builder V11 Requirements
Budget Builder is supported in 32 bit Windows XP and 32 and 64 bit Windows 7.
Budget Builder software is only licensed to reside on individual PCs. There is not a server version at present. Budget Builder requires 20MB of memory and about 30MB of local hard drive disk space.
User data can be located on a local hard drive or on a server drive. Users may easily merge separate files from subordinates or other users by tagging and clicking Merge. Budget Builder users can share data files by email or on a common drive. Budget Builder is a single user application meaning different users cannot access the same file at the same time.
Budget Builder reports may be printed or output to the Windows clipboard for quick pasting into Excel, Word, emails, etc. All Budget Builder data may be easily exported to Excel, Word, email, or other programs using special Clipboard commands within Budget Builder.
Budget Builder does not dial. Budget Builder for Civilian Personnel DCPS data is downloaded from DFAS using local procedures. DCPDS data normally arrives from a personnel office as a text email attachment.
Duty Status Codes
Duty status codes are assigned by personnel and are contained in Budget Builder DCPDS_02 personnel files. Duty status 00 employees are employees in a normal pay status. When an organization has several employees not in duty status 00 (such as mobilized employees) duty status codes are useful to identify these employees. Typically these codes explain why employees may appear in a personnel file and not in payroll file on the same date.
|00||No Action Pending|
|10||CAO PCS Reassignment|
|11||Separation (With Obligation)|
|21||Furlough-Non-Military Over 30 Days|
|22||Furlough-Non-Military 30 Days or Less|
|23||Suspension Over 30 Days|
|24||Suspension 30 Days or Less|
|25||LWOP and Drawing Injury Compensation From OWCP|
|30||LWOP Over 30 Days (Except When Drawing Injury Comp)|
|31||LWOP 30 Days or Less (Except When Drawing Injury Comp)|
|32||Detail With Same CCPO|
|33||Detail To Another CCPO, Agency Etc|
|34||Pay-Status/Non-Duty Status (Interim)|
|89||Leave With Pay Pending Disability Retirement|
|99||SES/Faculty Sabbatical (Non-Duty Status With Pay)|
Pay System Codes and Pay Plan Codes
Personnel data uses Pay Plan codes. Payroll data uses Pay System codes instead of Pay Plan codes. The Pay System Code is a code describing the various categories of personnel for accounting purposes. Pay System Codes are generally collection of Pay Plans. Technically Pay System Codes are derived from the Pay Plan Code, Special Program Indicator, and Employee Type Code. The Pay System Codes workbook has a tab with Pay System Codes and Pay Plans and a tab showing Pay System Codes only. Pay_System_Codes.xls
DCPS Type Hour Codes and Budget Builder Payroll Accounts
Budget Builder uses the DCPS type hour code to assign costs to a payroll account. Payroll accounts are used to collect the 200+ type hour codes into 19 significant budget categories. The Type Hour – Account worksheet shows the Budget Builder payroll account assigned to each DCPS type hour code. DCPS_Type_Hour_Code_Listing.xls
Payroll Forecast Notes (Version 9)
In Budget Builder for Civilian Personnel Version 9 an accurate payroll forecast does not result in these two cases.
- an imported pay period was incorrectly named
- the filter and forecast buttons are used together in one report
An imported pay period was incorrectly named
If a payroll file is totaled by pay period and two pay periods have exactly identical dollar amounts to the penny this indicates the same payroll has been imported twice under different names. The solution is to delete the incorrectly named payroll batch and import it again correctly.
The reason an incorrectly named pay period prevents a forecast is because Budget Builder correctly excludes retroactive payments in the last pay period when forecasting. Retroactive payments are payments reported in one period but earned in previous period.
Example – Suppose the payroll ending 5/13/06 is incorrectly named and imported as 5/27/06. Although the file is said to be for PPE 5/27 Budget Builder sees payments as earned in pay period 5/13 because payroll files internally contain the date payments were actually earned. Therefore no costs are actually earned in PPE 5/27 and the forecasts using the last pay period amounts are missing or widely inaccurate.
Filter and forecast buttons used together in one report
Budget Builder does not prepare a payroll forecast when a report filter is used. For example, in a Super Payroll Report, if the Filter button is used (i.e. it is not Off) and the Forecast button is used (i.e. “Include recommended forecast” is chosen) the resulting report will not include a forecast. This limitation is not stated in the Budget Builder User Guide.
At present there are two workarounds:
- For small and medium size payroll files. Run a forecast using the desired filter as a sort sequence. For example if a UIC filter was desired, run a report that uses UIC as the first sort sequence. The resulting report will include the desired UIC forecast.
- For large payroll files (over 200,000 records). Create a new file with only the desired records to forecast. For example if a UIC filter was desired, then copy payroll records in that UIC to a new file and forecast using the new file. A new file can be created by using Count to set a filter then using Copy to create the new file.
Invalid Calculator Combinations
There have been two reports of users being unable to use the calculator after entering invalid combinations.
Calculator costs are updated after every change entered in the calculator. If invalid combinations are entered by a user (such as pay plan=GS and grade=19) an “invalid combinations” message is displayed which says:
“Note: Pay=0 with current calculator settings. This is often due to an invalid combination of pay table, plan, grade, and step. Use the Pay button to avoid invalid combinations.”
- Normally this is not an issue. Users simply correct the incompatible values and get correct results.
- In two reported cases users were unable to use the calculator just by choosing valid combinations. In this case to get the calculator working again a user can:
- exit Budget Builder
- using My Computer delete file BBCALC.MEM in the Budget Builder directory.
"Overseas" Costing in Budget Builder
Hawaii, Alaska, and other COLA areas
Hawaii and Alaska are not truly “overseas” areas although sometimes they included in that term. Employees in Hawaii and Alaska and some other locations receive COLA (Cost of Living Allowance). Budget Builder for Civilian Personnel calculates COLA when applicable. DCPDS provides the COLA percentage for each employee. Using this data Budget Builder calculates COLA
Naples, Iwakuni, and other overseas areas
Naples, Iwakuni, and other such areas are true overseas areas in that they receive LQA, post allowance, SMA, and/or TQS. Budget Builder can accurately forecast costs in these areas using Payroll Projection.
|YE||Living Quarters Allowance (LQA)|
|YF||Post Allowance (foreign)|
|YH||Separate Maintenance Allowance (SMA)|
|YJ||Temporary Quarters Subsistence (TQS)|
Personnel data does not have the data needed to calculate these costs.
General Schedule Construction
The construction of the general schedule has varied over the years. The method currently in use is described in this document. This describes the process used by the Office of Personnel Management to calculate a new General Schedule when an across-the- board pay increase goes into effect. The process is based on the desire to maintain equal within-grade amounts and has been followed for many years. Note that the resulting dollar values vary slightly from those that would occur if all rates of the previous schedule were simply increased by the amount of the pay raise.
- Increase the step 1 rates from the previous schedule by the amount of the pay raise, i.e., x 1.02 for 1995, and round the resulting salary to the nearest dollar.
- Divide the step 1 rate by 30 and round the result to the nearest dollar to calculate the within-grade dollar amount (3.33%).
- Calculate step 2 rates by adding one within-grade amount to the step 1 rate, step 3 rates by adding one within-grade amount to step 2 rates, etc.
Rates for GS-1, steps 1 through 9, and GS-2, steps 1 through 4, are out of alignment with the rest of the schedule because wage and price policy in 1979 resulted in higher increases for these steps than granted to the rest of the pay schedule. These steps at grades 1 and 2 are derived by increasing the previous rate by the amount of the pay raise, i.e., times 1.02 for 1995. GS-1, step 10, and GS-2, steps 5 through 10 , are derived in the normal fashion using step 1 rates that would be in effect if the 1979 adjustments had been uniform. Pay rates for GS-1, step 1, and GS-2, step 1 used for this process for the 1995 schedule are $11,682 and $13,214, respectively. The within-grade amounts for GS-1, step 10, and GS-2, steps 5 through 10, are derived from these amounts, not from the actual step 1 schedule rates.
This information was provided December 15, 1994.
Air Force Overhire Reporting in Budget Builder
Budget Builder can be used to closely manage Air Force overhire costs. The following provides a short summary of the basic procedure followed by a detailed step by step description.
Overhire Reporting – Summary of Basic Procedure
To report overhire costs:
Step 1. Name a Budget Builder local field to contain overhire information
Step 2. Create a SSN file to identify the SSNs and Org codes of overhires
Step 3. Use Assign Budget Codes to insert overhire codes into the payroll file from the SSN file
Result: Now you can report overhire using any payroll report by sorting and/or filtering on the overhire field.
Overhire Reporting – Detailed Procedures
Step 1. Name a local field for overhire information
On the main screen click Name Local Codes and enter a name in one of the local fields to designate that field for overhire data. In this example we choose to use local field 1for overhires and enter “OvHire” as the name for local field 1. Local field names are limited to six characters.
Step 2. Create a SSN file to identify overhires by name, SSN, and organization
- On the main screen click SSN Files Menu, choose Open SSN Files Dialog, then click New and a new SSN file will appear.
- Rename the new file as desired. OH_SSNS.DBF for overhire SSNs would be a good name.
- Enter the name, SSN and organization of each overhire in the new SSN file. Since new files already have one record click Edit to enter data for the first overhire, then click New to create a new record for each additional overhire SSN. Organization codes may be up to 8 characters. We recommend organization codes preceded with uniform characters like “OH-” or “O-“.
This coding allows filtering overhires separately from other positions by using wildcard filters in reports.
Step 3. Insert overhire data into the active payroll file from the SSN file
- Insure the desired payroll and SSN files are active (i.e., shown on the main screen)
- On the main screen click Assign Budget Codes, then specify these options and click OK.
- Assign To – Payroll File
- Codes – Local codes only
- From – SSN File
- Action – Normal
When finished the number of successful assignments (payroll records with matched SSNs) will be shown.
The payroll file now has all overhire costs identified. Any standard Budget Builder payroll report may be used to report overhire costs in by Org, Name, PEC, RCCC, BA, etc (as well as other normal reporting options)
To interactively view, sort, count or total overhire costs in payroll:
- open the payroll file
- choose a view containing the OvHire field (e.g. Local 1-5) or use Show Column from the View menu to add the OvHire column to the desired view
- use the Sort, Count, Total, and other view function as desired