Univ. Accounting Terms

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Asset Key Flexfield - This flexfield stores historical buying account information. It consists of 10 segments.

  • Segments 1-7 - These segments store AIS buying account information, such as the fund, unit, or budget purpose.
  • Segment 8 - This segment stores a state transaction code that is used in recording journal entries into the General Ledger.
  • Segment 9 - This segment stores the FAS buying account information for assets converted from the legacy system, or which are not currently purchased through AIS, such as grant or P-card purchases.
  • Segment 10 - This segment is not used in Carbondale.

Asset Number - Unique identifying number assigned to an asset by the AIS system. It appears on reports, but is not physically located on the equipment. This number is often used as a reference column to link Fixed Asset Tables.

Asset Type - The AIS system considers an asset to be either “Capitalized” or “Expensed”.

Assignments - This is one of the Fixed Asset alternate regions. The 2 primary sources of information are the Expense Account and the Location Flexfield.

Budget Purpose - A unique six digit assigned number that identifies a specific budgeted program or activity within a unit.

Cannibalize - To use a part(s) from one piece of equipment to repair another piece(s) of equipment.  If you mark the box to cannibalize equipment, the Equipment Deletion Request form is NOT forwarded to Surplus Property for equipment pick-up.

Category Descriptive Flexfield - A descriptive flexfield is an optional field in which to store information. It consists of 5 segments.

  • Segment 1 - Stores the old tag number if an asset has been retagged.
  • Segment 2 - Stores the tagging certification date for Springfield. It’s not currently being used in Carbondale.
  • Segment 3 - Set up to store the tagger’s initials. It’s not currently being used in Carbondale.
  • Segment 4 - Stores the last date the item was verified by Fixed Asset (formerly Property Control staff). It’s not being widely used yet, but in the future we hope to incorporate this with a bar code inventory interface.
  • Segment 5 - Stores comments. It’s not widely used yet, but we can record additional information such as “looks like…” or “stored in ….”

Category Flexfield - The asset category provides more descriptive information about the asset. It consists of 4 segments.

  • Segment 1 - Provides ownership (leased vs. owned) & asset type (capitalized vs. expensed) information, as well as information about the type (land, building, equipment, etc.) of asset.
  • Segment 2 - Provides the SAMS (CUSAS) code.
  • Segment 3 - Provides a brief verbal description of the SAMS code.
  • Segment 4 - It may break down the SAMS classification into smaller groupings. However, it’s not used for every SAMS code.

Capitalized - Equipment that has an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more is recorded as equipment in the University financial statements. Depreciation will be calculated and recorded in the financial statements as well.

Note: An asset is not dropped from inventory once it is fully depreciated. The Illinois Department of Central Management Services requires us to report based on the historic cost of an asset, not its current book value.

Close Out - The act of completing all internal and sponsor requirements and procedures to terminate a sponsored project.

Commodities - A budget category that includes miscellaneous expendable materials and supplies, such as paper, printer cartridges, etc. Much equipment on federal grants also falls into this budget category. Note that computer software is considered contractual services, not commodities.

Equipment - Tangible, non-expendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of more than $5,000 per unit on federal grants. The acquisition cost to be defined as equipment is $100 or more on nonfederal grants where the agency does not specify a threshold.

Expense - A decrease in net assets caused by the revenue-producing activities during a specific period.

Expense Account - This is the account to which depreciation expense would be charged if an asset is depreciated. It is a required field even if the asset is expensed. The Unit Segment (Segment 2) identifies the department that is responsible for a particular asset. The entire flexfield drives many of the fixed asset reports and journal entries into the General Ledger.

Expensed - Equipment is still tracked in the inventory system, but no depreciation is calculated or recorded in the financial statements of the University.

Fiscal Year (FY) - Any 12-month annual accounting period, functioning independent of calendar years, and designated by the calendar year in which it ends. SIU's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

Function - A two digit number that that identifies budget and expenditures by NACUBO classifications. (Example: Instruction, research)

Fund - A unique seven digit number that identifies a fiscal entity segregated for carrying on specific activities.

General Ledger - The systems in which the balance sheet accounts (assets, liabilities, and fund balances) along the summaries of revenues and expenses for the entire University are maintained. 
Assets = Liabilities + Fund Balances.

Location Flexfield - Segments of the location flexfield store the building and room to which an asset has been assigned.

Natural Account - A five digit number used to designate the classification as an asset (1XXXX); liability (2XXXX); fund balance (3XXXX); revenue (4XXXX); or expense (5XXXX - 6XXXX).

Object - A four digit number that designates the type of expenditure.

Tag Number - Identifying number physically placed on equipment for inventory purposes. In most cases, the number is on a numeric bar code decal. However, older equipment may have the tag number on a metal tag. The tag number is also usually written on the equipment item by the tagger.

Unit - A unique five digit identification number assigned to each academic or administrative unit within SIU.

Unit Officer - As a general rule, this will be the department head. This is the person who should sign Fixed Asset forms, such as the Change of Status or Inventory Verification.