Following are the primary elements to consider when designing your chart of accounts:
- Charts - refer to the Chart article for more information and recommendations.
- Organizations - identifies the organization that is responsible for a set of accounts - charts must be created before Organizations can be created.
- Accounts - identifies source of funds. Chart and organizations must be created prior to creating accounts.
General Ledger Entries
After the chart, organizations and accounts are set up, you'll work on the other elements of the accounting string - those items that make up your ledger entries that will be used for creating reports.
- Object Codes - describe the type of transaction (income, expense, etc.)
- Object Consolidation are the top of the Object Code hierachy and normally represent the top level grouping of transactions: For example: Compensation, Operations, Travel, Capital, Student Support, Assets, Liabilities, Operating Revenue, Non-Operating Revenue, etc.
- Object Levels are the next level down and group similar object codes together, for example, Student Tuition, Repairs & Maintenance, Travel-Instate, Travel-Out of state, etc.
- And then finally, the Object code which is entered on the Accounting string - and provides details about the transaction - such as Air fare, per diem, summer session, etc.
Other things to consider when creating your chart. The Accounting string also supports sub-accounts, sub-object and project codes.
- Sub-Accounts are associated with accounts and inherit most of their attributes from the account. Sub-accounts allow you to track different things within the same account, for example, allocations to different professors. You can budget at the sub-account level. Sub-Accounts are also used for Cost Share.
- Sub-Object Codes - are associated with an account and an object code and support more granular tracking. Sub-object codes can be set up en masse using a global document.
- Project Code - can be used across accounts to track expenditures related to a project. These are normally non-grant / non-plant related projects, for example, theater productions or a conference that will be funded by multiple accounts. Research and Capital projects should use the Contract Control Account attribute on account to link accounts related accounts together for project reporting.