Inter-Office Charges

Charges for goods or services between reporting units within Seattle University are called inter-office charges. Examples of reporting units 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 Inter-Office Charges

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

In cases where there is no special form to use, the reporting unit 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. Reporting unit paying for the goods or services.
  2. Correct account code, account coding, description and amount to be paid.
  3. Reporting unit providing for the goods or services.
  4. Correct account code, 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 reporting units, date and phone numbers.

Accounting Terminology

Debit: Reporting unit receiving or paying for the goods or services.

Credit: Reporting unit 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-office charges are properly authorized.
  • Use the correct account coding.
  • Communicate any error to the reporting unit originating the transaction and request that a Journal Entry be issued to correct the error.
  • Personal purchases must not be handled through the inter-office billing process.


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

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

Reprographic Services' booking system holds a list of reporting units 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 reporting unit users which is updated on an annual basis with the assistance of the Controller's Office.