Controller's Office
Processing Financial Transactions

Interdepartmental Charges

  • Charges for goods or services between departments within Seattle University are called inter-departmental charges. Examples of departments providing goods or services are:

    • Bookstore
    • Reprographic Services
    • Mailroom
    • Safety & Security (e.g., vehicle rental, parking, security services)
    • Plant Services
    • Publications
    • Telecommunications (e.g., phone installation, new lines, etc.)
    • Auxiliary Services (e.g., use of campus facilities)

    Processing Interdepartmental Charges

    Inter-departmental charges are made by a journal entry processed by Accounts Payable, rather than by checks. The journal entry records the charge to the department receiving the goods or services and records the credit to the department providing the goods or services. Some departments have special interdepartmental charge forms for use when purchasing their goods or services.

    In cases where there is no special form to use, the department that provides the goods or services must send a Journal Entry Request form to Accounts Payable. The form must provide the following information in order for the transaction to be processed: (See also Journal Entry Procedures )

    1. Department paying for the goods or services.
    2. Correct budget number, account coding, description and amount to be paid.
    3. Department providing for the goods or services.
    4. Correct budget number, account coding, description and amount to be received.
    5. Reasons for Journal Entry and attach receipts, invoices or appropriate documentation.
    6. Authorized signatures of both departments, date and phone numbers.

    Accounting Terminology

    Debit: Department receiving or paying for the goods or services.

    Credit: Department receiving the credit or payment of providing goods or services.

    Avoid the terms "Transfer to" or "Transfer from." These terms could mean either a debit or a credit and cause unnecessary delays and errors.


    • Review your monthly budget reports to make certain that inter-departmental charges are properly authorized.
    • Use the correct account coding.
    • Communicate any error to the department originating the transaction and request that a Journal Entry be issued to correct the error.
    • Personal purchases must not be handled through the inter-departmental billing process.


    Bookstore, Reprographic Services and Mailing Services require prior approval for chargeback before charge activity can occur. This prior approval procedure exists because some departments either want to limit activity to certain staff, prefer not to use the University's sources or the department does not have a budget, etc. Department budget numbers are not automatically entered into any of these systems unless requested.

    The Bookstore's sales system maintains a list of department budget numbers authorized to charge purchases on account. In addition, the department may complete a form, provided by the bookstore, to limit staff access to purchases.

    Reprographic Services' booking system holds a list of departments authorized to charge printing on account. To be added to the list, a request is made directly to Reprographic.

    Mailing Services maintains a list of departmental users which is updated on an annual basis with the assistance of the Controller's Office.