Chart of Accounts

As the University has grown in size and complexity, a new 17 digit chart of accounts has been created to replace the 20-year-old 13 digit chart of accounts. While these changes will result in some additional complexity, they will provide greater flexibility moving forward as well as improved reporting capabilities and insights into how the university spends its budget dollars. The following downloadable tools, videos, and account coding explanations are designed to help improve understanding and make this transition easier.

 

Chart of Accounts Guide Chart of Accounts Translator

The Chart of Accounts Guide provides an introduction to

  • how the accounts are built,
  • new and commonly used object code descriptions, and
  • translation tools.  

For users that work with a variety of accounts regularly, this tool will help efficiently translate general ledger (GL) codes during the transition. As Seattle University continues to adopt more of the new chart of account's capabilities, it will not be sufficient to simply translate accounts because

  • some old accounts will be discontinued or consolidated,
  • many new accounts have been added, and
  • the new accounts are more complex to facilitate improved reporting.

   

 

Object Code Quick Guide: A printable guide to the most frequently used object codes

Finance Module Quick Guide: A printable guide to the new chart of accounts, organizational hierarchy, and InformSU financial reports

Account Coding Structure

The full account coding structure is a seventeen-digit number set composed of five subsets called FUND, LOCATION, FUNCTION, ACTIVITY, and OBJECT.
Example: 11-0-1-42XXXX-5303524

FUND LOCATION FUNCTION ACTIVITY OBJECT
Where the funds are from Place Why Who What
11 0 1 42xxxx 5303524
Operating Non-Law Seattle/ Main Campus Instruction MFA in Arts Leadership Print/Copy–Off Campus

Definitions

Fund

The fund code consists of two digits, which identify a fund, grant, or project. Examples of these funds are Current Funds, Loan Funds, Auxiliary Enterprises Funds, Endowment Funds, Plant Funds, and Restricted Gift Funds. Below are examples of these funds:

FUND CODE DESCRIPTION FUND CODE DESCRIPTION
11 Operating Non-Law 1x Current Funds
18 Law General Activities 2x Grants & Sponsored Projects
21 Grants - Federal 3x Gift Funds
31 Gift Funds – Donor Restricted 4x Plant Funds
43 Plant- Construction 5x Loan Funds
    6x Pooled Investments Endowments
    7x Non-Pooled Invests Endowments
    8x Agency Funds
    9x Year-End Closing Adjustments

Location

The location code consists of one digit. It identifies which Seattle University location the entry pertains to.  Although additional locations may be incorporated in the future, the university is currently using only one location: 

0 Seattle/Main Campus

Function

The function code consists of one digit. It identifies how the funds are used at the university.

If you determine that, based on these descriptions, you’d like to adjust how you are capturing expenses, please contact the controller’s office before changing how you record expenses.  

Code Description Summary
0 General This function is used for assets, liabilities, net assets, revenues, and transfers - not expenses.
1 Instruction Expenses that are direct to the institution’s instructional program, including certificate programs and continuing education. This function also includes research.
2 Academic Support Expenses that support the institution’s instructional program, such as libraries and academic administration.
3 Student Services Expenses that facilitate student participation in the university’s instructional program, such as admissions and enrollment. Also, this function includes expenses whose purpose is to contribute to the student’s well-being and to his or her intellectual, cultural, and social development outside the context of the formal instructional program.
4 Institutional Support Expenses for central executive-level activities concerned with management and long-range planning of the entire institution; fiscal operations; information technology services; human resources; and activities concerned with fundraising, alumni, and community relations.
5 Auxiliary Services Expenses for activities that furnish goods or services to students, faculty, or staff, in exchange for fees that contribute directly to the support of those activities, such as residence halls.
6 Operation & Maint of Plant Expenses that support the operation and maintenance of the institution’s physical plant, such as buildings, grounds, and equipment.
7 Student Aid Expenses for scholarships, grants, fellowships, and other aid to facilitate student participation in the institution’s academic program.

Activity

The activity code consists of six digits. An activity rolls up as a part of a reporting unit. As a result, an activity could refer to reporting units such as: Office of the President, Mailing Services, Controller's Office, Bookstore, School of Education, Mechanical Engineering Department, Provost, Human Resources, Math Department, Philosophy Club, Minority Student Affairs, etc.

Below is a sample list of these organizations:

Code Description
000000 General
021010 Office of the President
181010 Facilities Administration

Object

The object code consists of seven digits which identify what money was spent on. The object code indicates how expenses from your reporting unit, represented by an activity code, were used. This includes items such as salary, travel expense, office supplies, printing expense, rent, telephone expense, equipment, etc. Revenues received can be classified as gift revenue, rental revenue, revenue from the sale of books, tuition revenue, lab fees income, etc. An object code could be used by any reporting unit.  In practice, what makes sense for a reporting unit will vary. 

The most commonly used object codes can be found in the GL Chart of Accounts Guide on the second tab.

Examples of Journal Entries

Journal Entry Example 1: Expense Classification Correction

Donor Relations accidentally attributed expenses related to lighting to the wrong object code.  They had selected 5300525 for Prof Services–Other.  Recognizing this error, they corrected the expense to be 5700420 for Equipment- Lease/Rental.  To do this, they completed a Journal Entry Request Form for $180.02.  The reason provided was “Expense classification corrections”. The following information illustrates some of the key information to capture:

Debit:
FUND LOCATION FUNCTION ACTIVITY OBJECT
11 0 4 26xxxx 5700420
Operating Non-Law Seattle Location Academic Support Donor Relations Equipment-Lease/Rental
Credit:
FUND LOCATION FUNCTION ACTIVITY OBJECT
11 0 4 26xxxx 500525
Operating Non-Law Seattle Location Academic Support Donor Relations Prof Srvs-Other

Journal Entry Example 2: Activity Classification Correction

For the annual gala, a photographer was hired. This expense was accidentally attributed to the wrong reporting unit because of the activity code selected. The activity code selected was 266010 for Donor Relations. The activity code selected should have been 266020 for Gala. To correct this, they used a Journal Entry Request Form. The reason provided was, “Reclassify photographer for Costco Breakfast from Donor Relations to Gala.” The following information illustrates some of the key information in this journal entry example:

Debit:
FUND LOCATION FUNCTION ACTIVITY OBJECT
11 0 4 26xxxx 5300525
Operating Non-Law Seattle Location Academic Support GALA Prof Srvs-Other
Credit:
FUND LOCATION FUNCTION ACTIVITY OBJECT
11 0 4 26xxxx 5300525
Operating Non-Law Seattle Location Academic Support Donor Relations Prof Srvs-Other 

Examples of Account Coding

Account Coding Example 1: Purchase Requisition

A purchase requisition is a document expressing the need to purchase items. Creating a requisition will be handled in ProcureSU. Once a shopper submits a requisition, a requisitioner must approve and attribute the correct GL code to the item. For the hypothetical example below, Human Resources has selected an approved vendor from the ProcureSU catalog to place an online advertisement for a new position.  When submitted through ProcureSU, the requisition will automatically be routed through the appropriate approvals and will generate a PO once complete. In this instance, the requisitioner will be responsible for entering the correct GL code:

FUND LOCATION FUNCTION ACTIVITY OBJECT
11 0 4 22xxxx 5304020
Operating Non-Law Seattle Location Institutional Support Office of Human Resources Marketing-Online

If you determine that, based on these descriptions, you’d like to adjust how you are capturing expenses, please contact the controller’s office before changing how you record. 

Account Coding Example 2: Reimbursement Form for Travel

A faculty member has been approved to travel to a relevant conference in San Francisco. For reimbursement after their trip, in ProcureSU, the user will select the Reimbursement form and fill in the necessary fields. The requisitioner will then enter the correct coding for the travel expenses. In this instance, the trip was funded by federal grants. The faculty member works in the Seattle location and the function selected for this trip was instruction because it was a research-related trip.  The faculty member is a part of the College of Education and is seeking reimbursement for Airfare.  The coding for this check request will be 21-0-1-46XXXX-5301005.  The expense is charged to:

FUND LOCATION FUNCTION ACTIVITY OBJECT
21 0 1 46xxxx 5301005
Grants -  Federal Seattle Location Instruction College of Education: Educ GR - General Travel Airfare

If you determine that, based on these descriptions, you’d like to adjust how you are capturing expenses, please contact the controller’s office before changing how you record. 

Account Coding Example 3: Reimbursement Form for Non-Travel Food

A staff member has worked with Career Services at Seattle University for 20 years. To celebrate this anniversary, their reporting unit goes out to lunch. For reimbursement, in ProcureSU, the user will select the Reimbursement Form. Once submitted, the requisitioner will be responsible for attributing the correct GL codes. In this example, the fund to use is Non-Law, General Activity. It is for the Seattle location and its function is Academic Support because they help students find jobs. The full GL code for this expense is:     

FUND LOCATION FUNCTION ACTIVITY OBJECT
11 0 2 32xxxx 5302020
Operating Non-Law Seattle Location Academic Support Career Services Meals Non-Travel

If you determine that, based on these descriptions, you’d like to adjust how you are capturing expenses, please contact the controller’s office before changing how you record. 

Examples of Cash Receipts Coding

Generally, all funds received by the university are credited to a revenue account. Revenues can be in the form of gifts, grants, tuition, fees, rentals, bookstore sales, etc. All revenues must be assigned a seventeen digit account code for proper accounting. Funds received as gifts must be forwarded to the University Advancement Office for processing. Funds received from grant agencies must be forwarded to Controller's Office for processing. Funds other than gifts and grants are processed by the department or reporting unit. The department, reporting unit or activity manager must assign a seventeen-digit code to these receipts and forward them to the Controller's Office for further processing.

Cash Receipt Example 1

The School of Business received a check for $2,000.00 from a donor as a gift for the Accounting Department. Since this is a gift, the activity manager must forward the check to the University Advancement Office for account coding and depositing.

Cash Receipt Example 2

The Department of Physics received a check for $3,500.00 as a grant from a government agency. Since this is a grant, the activity manager must forward the check to Controller's Office for account coding and depositing.

Cash Receipt Example 3

The Lemieux Library and Law Library may occasionally receives monies (e.g., library fees) for certain types of services provided to the users. The library will provide the seventeen-digit code on the cash receipt form and bring them to the Controller's Office for deposit. In this instance, the coding should be 11-0-0-30XXXX-4302030.  Note that because this is a revenue, the Function should always be “0”.

FUND LOCATION FUNCTION ACTIVITY OBJECT
11 0 0 30xxxx 4302030
Operating Non-Law Seattle Location General Lemieux Library Library Fee Income

If you determine that, based on these descriptions, you’d like to adjust how you are capturing expenses, please contact the controller’s office before changing how your record.  

Cash Receipt Example 4

The School of Education conducts a free workshop called Literacy for Adults. The participants voluntarily give $450.00 to help defray the printing expenses. The amount is not revenue but an offset against printing expenses. The coding for this is 11-0-0-46XXXX-5303503 and write a short description of defrayment for printing expenses. Note that because this is a revenue, the function should always be “0”.

FUND LOCATION FUNCTION ACTIVITY OBJECT
11 0 0 46xxxx 5303503
Operating Non-Law Seattle Location General College of Education Print/Copy-On-Campus

If you determine that, based on these descriptions, you’d like to adjust how you are capturing expenses, please contact the controller’s office before changing how your record.