Agency Funds and Projects
By definition, agency funds account for resources held by the University as custodian or fiscal agent for faculty, staff members, and academic organizations. Examples of what agency funds are used for include:
- Faculty professional organizations - for professors with official positions within a professional organization (e.g. editor of a journal).
- Fraternities & Sororities - NU purchases goods and services for fraternities & sororities and then invoices them for reimbursement.
- Other Affiliated Institutions - for independent organizations, usually on campus, that are closely connected to the University such as alumnae, credit union, and student publishing.
- Fund 710 No overdrafts allowed
- Fund 720 Fraternities and Sororities
- Fund 731 Student Organization Finance Office (SOFO) &Fund 732 Chicago Organizations Finance Office (COFO)
- Fund 740 Agency Invested (Centrally Managed)
In NUFinancials, there are 4 basic types of agency funds:
The typical Fund used is 710, where resources are provided upfront. Individual financial transactions for a specific agency activity are captured with a unique agency Project ChartField.
For more information on these types of funds and the Chart of Accounts, visit http://www.cafe.northwestern.edu/coa/.
A ChartField Request Form, available on the NUPortal Finance & Accounting tab, must be completed and sent to Accounting Services for review. This form must indicate the purpose of the project to be established, the expected expense activity, and a responsible manager. The activity must meet agency fund criteria for approval and set up as an agency project. For more information on requesting a new ChartField, visit ChartField Maintenance section of this website.
Criteria for Approval of Agency Projects
- Consistent with agency funds definition
- Annual expense transaction activity of $25,000 or more
- Summary of Agency Project Cash Balances (GL018)
- Agency Project Detail (GL061)
If proposed agency activity meets the agency definition but has less than $25,000 of transactional activity, Accounting Services will establish designated projects to be managed by the sponsoring unit/department. Multiple programmatic agency activities with individual expense activity less than $25,000, such as work study employer accounts, are allowable if the sponsoring unit/department provides centralized administration and support for account management.
Agency Project Management
Accounting reviews agency projects on a quarterly basis for credit cash balances (these represent overdrafts of available cash). Managers of projects in an overdraft position will be contacted by Accounting. If Accounting is not notified within thirty days by managers of plans to correct the deficit balance, an interest charge may be assessed on the deficit amount at the NU working capital rate (per Treasury Office).
Agency projects’ income and expense activity are removed from the University financial records at year end to exclude non-University transactions for financial reporting purposes (debit to balance sheet 26080 and credit to balance sheet 37000). The agency project ’s surplus, or positive cash position, is carried as a liability on the NU books, that is, as monies that are due to another entity. The prior year activity will be reflected in the beginning available balance the following year. Historical activity can be retrieved using agency reports.
Agency Project Reporting
Reports are available to the account managers for their review and reconciliation of activity through the Cognos tool on the NUPortal. Managers should report discrepancies to Accounting for research and resolution. There are two reports available for Agency Projects:
This report is based on row level security. It returns cash available for all agency projects under your management.
This report details the project balances for each agency project. A project is a self-balancing set of accounts in which transactions are recorded. The report shows beginning cash balance, current activity, and ending available cash balance for the accounting period. It includes all revenue and expense activity.
- NUPortal https://nuportal.northwestern.edu/
- Chart of Accounts information http://www.cafe.northwestern.edu/coa/
Agency Project Reports?
Contact Accounting services at 847-491-5337 or firstname.lastname@example.org