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Account Code Guide

Lookup tool: Searchable Account List for Revenues, Expenses, Transfers

A searchable list of revenue, expense values and descriptions, indicating recommended and commonly used values with a short definition, and noting restricted and budgetary only values. This list of commonly used vaules is not all-inclusive; users looking for guidance with sponsored accounts can visit the Office of Sponsored Research account guide.

Download the excel spreadsheet Account Code Guide.

How to Select account Value
  • Determine appropriate type and category of account
    • Actuals activity or budgetary
    • External or internal transaction
  • Choose the account description which most closely reflects the nature of the activity
    • Generic account values can appropriately reflect the nature of the business activity for most business needs
    • Some account values have very specific uses and are restricted from use in certain transaction processes or by business rules
      • Payroll account values (60000's) are used only by FASIS
Type of Account
  • Actuals
    • transaction with an external party
      • Cash coming in (revenue)
      • Cash going out (expense)
    • transaction with an internal party
    • intra-university exchange
      • Purchase (expense)
      • Sale (rdx revenue)
      • Movement of funds (transfers)
  • "Budgetary only" values cannot be used to record financial activity
Choose Account Value

NUFinancials has built-in business rules for basic account type selection: see training guides for portal journals, cash receipt tickets, requisitions, and reimbursements.

Use Chartfield look-up feature in NUFinancials to review valid account values and descriptions:

  • 40000's  Revenues (from external entities)
  • 50000's  Internal revenues (intra-university sales)
  • 70000's  Non-personnel expenses (eg., services and supplies)
  • 80000's  Transfers (intra-university movement of funds)

Using the tool:

Search by account number: enter known account number to retrieve detailed descriptions and roll-up values.

Search/filter by roll-up category:  financial statement categories and brings back commonly used values (see next section for discussion of categories).

Search by term or keyword: searches by term or word in category/account description.  ie. paper, wages, central use only.

Values are added periodically and more rarely inactivated; this list will be updated semi-annually at 9/1 and 3/1. For current valid values use chartfield lookup in NUFinancials.

 

Guidelines for Selecting Account Values in NUFinancials

What is an Account
  • "Account" is a chartfield in NUFinancials.
  • Captures the financial activities of the University for financial reporting
    • External (audited financial statements)
    • Internal (budget statements)
  • Critical to select the account value that best represents the activity for meaningful and accurate financial reporting
Accounts in Financial Statements
  • Accounts are organized into types of finanical activity
    • Revenue (incoming cash/funds)
    • Expense (outgoing cash/funds)
    • Transfer (internal movement of funds)
  • Categories on the financial report broadly describe the type of activity. For example, expense activity may be:
    • Salaries & Benefits
    • Services
    • Supplies
  • Account tree in NUFinancials organizes account values into categories for reporting
  • Account values describe the specific nature of the financial item. For example, a supply expense may be:
    • Paper and Office Supply  (73010)
    • Lab Supplies and Hardware (73475)
    • Serials (73920)
Type of Account
  • Actuals
    • transaction with an external party
      • Cash coming in (revenue)
      • Cash going out (expense)
    • transaction with an internal party
    • Intra-university exchange
      • Purchase (expense)
      • Sale (rdx revenue)
      • Movement of funds (transfers)
  • "Budgetary only" values cannot be used to record financial activity

Portal journal entry pages incorporate basic business rules for these transaction types and allowable accounts, see training guides for portal transactions http://www.cafe.northwestern.edu/training/materials.html

 

Selection

For general business needs there are generic account values that appropriately reflect the nature of the business activity.

  • To best reflect the activity in reports, choose the description which most closely reflects the action: eg., for a seminar receipts, choose Registration Income 40756 rather than Misc Fees 40778. Both are in the category of sales and services revenues, but registration income better describes the source of the fee income.
  • For specific business needs and/or compliance reporting, unique values have been created that are intended for use by only certain units. These are often identifiable by a prefix or unit reference in the account title (eg., 42800 Libr-Inter-Library Loans.) Please consult your senior business administrative office concerning account value requirements for your activities.