FAQ: Common Operating Fund Initiative (COFI)


  • What is COFI?
  • UC Davis is implementing the Common Operating Fund Initiative (COFI), an effort to reduce the complexity in management of unrestricted campus resources both centrally and in units. COFI is designed to simplify our campus accounting and reporting processes by allocating most Central Campus funding from a single common fund.

    COFI represents a simplification of campus funding streams; it does not result in budget reductions, change budget decisions, or change budget allocation methodologies. COFI does not include funds with externally imposed restrictions, such as contracts and grants, clinical trials, or private gifts and endowment earnings. 
  • How does COFI benefit UC Davis? 
  • By allocating central resources from a single fund, COFI will help simplify campus accounting and reporting processes.

    Benefits include:

    • • Simplicity: Easier to use and transfer funds within and across units (greatly reducing or eliminating the need for fund swaps) 
    • • Strategic spend: Using the "first dollar principle" ensures full expense of General and Tuition funds in support of the academic mission 
    • • Flexible and responsive to external requirements: COFI relieves units of specific fund restrictions; central campus will make fund-specific information at an aggregate level by mapping expenditures back to appropriate fund sources. 

     Additionally, the time and effort invested in COFI will help prepare the campus to transition to a new Chart of Accounts.  
  • What was done to prepare for COFI? 
  • The COFI project team engaged in design and testing activities to understand the technical and business impacts to campus units and central campus, working with units to review how COFI might influence each unit’s account structure and how it fits into the larger Common Chart of Accounts project.  They also coordinated with UCPath, Finance and other stakeholders to minimize disruption to ongoing operations and required reporting activity.

    The conversion of unit accounts and UC Path distributions was completed in three waves from September 2021 until full COFI implementation in December 2021. 
  • Can we still use the Higher Education Function Code (HEFC) to identify AES funds, that are also 19900? 
  • The HEFC did not change and you will still be able to use it to identify AES funds, that are also 19900. 
  • Are self-supporting funds included in COFI? 
  • No, self-supporting funds are not included in the COFI model. 
  • Are campus-based fees included in COFI? 
  • No, campus-based fees have specific restrictions and are not included in the COFI model. 
  • Are Student Services Fees included in COFI? 
  • No, student service fees are not included under COFI.  
  • Some units fund benefits for faculty and staff on 19900 for the academic units, running quarterly reports based on actual expenses and then transferring budget to the academic departments. How does COFI affect this process? 
  • The COFI project team can work with individual units to identify options. 
  • Does this mean we no longer have to track the carryforward funds by dean's office, department and faculty for 19900? 
  • In AggieBudget, units will continue to track carryforward fund balances by Dean’s Office, Department, and Faculty at the fund group level. The former 19900 fund balances will not be reflected under “General State” now, but rather “Common Operating Fund.” 
  • Is funding of academic salary and benefits increases affected by COFI? 
  • The process for funding academic salary and benefits increases is unchanged as that is determined by title and not funding source. 
  • How is the block grant funding for staff salary and benefits increases handled in COFI? 
  • The block grant funding for staff salary increases is based, as it has been the past 2 budget cycles, on the salary increases of core-funded career staff eligible to receive a salary increase through any systemwide salary programs or negotiated agreements. However, as the majority of these core funds have been converted to the COFI model this year, we will base the block grant calculation instead on eligible staff paid on the COFI fund (13U00).

    There are a few more funds included in the COFI model than in our current definition of “core” funds, so it will slightly expand the pool of eligible salaries for some units. Eligible salary and benefits cost increases in funds 19924, 14500 (KFS 20000), 16301 (KFS 75030), and 16303 (KFS 75041), which are not part of the COFI model, will continue to be funded as well. 
  • Did COFI include charts H or L? 
  • No. COFI was limited to Charts 3 and S only. [In Aggie Enterprise, COFI is limited to Entity 3110.]
  • Why isn’t fund xxxxx included in COFI? 
  • The COFI model is limited to funds that are more or less discretionary/unrestricted and centrally managed by campus.

    For that reason, it excludes:

    • • Funds that are neither received in nor allocated by central campus (Finance/BIA) 
    • • Funds with restrictions imposed by entities external to the UC, such as specific state programs, contracts and grants, private gifts, and endowment earnings 
    • • Funds for the UCD medical center, auxiliaries, student fees and self-supporting programs 
  • How do I handle X’ and y funding? 
  • Units with x’ and y salary components will not be prohibited from charging the salary components to the COFI fund, since there are no restrictions. Central campus will use the Earn Code associated with these payments to properly allocate the corresponding expense to the appropriate legacy fund. 
  • How does COFI affect my AggieBudget reports? 
  • Data converted to COFI in the KFS test environment was imported to the AggieBudget test environment to determine how it would impact reporting. No problems or errors were detected, but changes to the reporting format were required. A new fund category for COFI was created “1300 – Common Operating Fund.”

    The COFI fund category is available as a filterable attribute in any report with fund category filters. The S&U reports (1YR,3YR,5YR) have been updated so they will display COFI in its own column (instead of lumping it in with the miscellaneous fund category column). The Carryforward balance report is also being updated to show COFI on its own. AggieBudget always displays past actuals in the current org hierarchy and current account fund assignments. 
  • I get an error message about Account Assessment Types (Self-Support Accounts) when I submit a COFI-related Account doc in KFS. How do I resolve this so I can submit the doc?  [Not applicable to Aggie Enterprise]
  • This error is a function of the COFI fund being in Sub Fund Group Type (SFGT) "M". Even though COFI fund accounts should not post income or recharge, Kuali requires that field for accounts associated with funds in the SFGT. Entering an assessment type NUDZ, CAIZ, or CARZ will allow you to proceed and complete the doc.  
  • When transferring funds to/from another campus that is using a legacy fund (e.g., 19900), what fund should I use on the Intercampus Transfer Form (ITF)? 
  • When transferring to other campuses, units should provide their COFI fund (13U00) and the Campus Budget Office will be able to properly address the funding transfer to the other campus. When receiving a transfer from another campus, provide them with the appropriate Financial Department and Aggie Enterprise legacy fund (e.g., 19900). The Budget Office will be flagged when the ITF is received and will manually process it as COFI.