What you will see in WATCH

What you will see in WATCH


High-level group of service delivery for the County. Department examples include Budget and Management Services, Community Services, Environmental Services, Human Services and more.



Programs and smaller groups of services within a department.  For example, Libraries are a division of Community Services.  A division director or manager reports to the department director.


Cost Center

A location or service delivery point within a division.  The cost center is the lowest level of organizational classification.


Expenditure Category

A group of similar expenditure line items for a cost center within a division and department.


Expenditure Line Item

A specific expense type.  The expenditure line item is the lowest level of expenditure classification.


Budgeted Amount

The County budgets expenditures at a cost center and line item level.  Not all line items will have a budget.  Budget control is at a department level.  Expenditures may be charged to line items without a budget as long as total actual departmental expenditures do not exceed the total departmental budget.


Actual Amount

This is the money that has been spent on an expenditure line item through the month indicated.

Related Terms:

Adopted Budget - The budget adopted by the Board of Commissioners and used by the County.  It may vary from the recommended budget.  The Board typically adopts the budget for the upcoming fiscal year in June. 

Filter - The ability in the WATCH accountability portal search to specify information by department, expenditure category or vendor.

Fiscal Year (FY) - In Wake County the fiscal year is a 12-month budget cycle that begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.  For example FY20 is from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.  The final accounting for transactions for a fiscal year is typically completed in September.

Redaction - Information that has been edited out to protect a person's identity.

Transaction Date - The transactions date shows all financial items that have been processed through the close of the month listed.  Note that not all County expenses may have been processed and the following month may include adjustments related to a prior month.