Account Numbers


Go Right to the Full List of Account Numbers (Expense/Income numbers)

Go Right to List of Most Frequently Used Account Numbers and Explanation of Use


Expense Account Number Use and Budget Concerns

Expenses should be charged to the account numbers that best categorize the expense, regardless of whether of not there is a budget reserve for that account. This will assist you in analyzing your expenditures because you will know more accurately where your funds are being spent, as opposed to the majority of expenses being put into the general supplies account. While you may appear to be over budget in one account, you will be under budget in another and the bottom line will still be the same. Two examples below:

Magazine subscriptions could easily fall into the general supplies account, however, if you put them in account #9550 Periodicals/Subscriptions, you could easily look at that account total at the end of the year to know how much you spent in this area as opposed to analyzing your supply account and trying to pull out these charges.

When a guest teacher or lecturer is being paid an honorarium and travel expenses, the entire amount should be charged to #9612 Guest Teacher Expense, not #9430 Travel and Mileage. Even though you are reimbursing for travel, it is part of the guest teacher expense and should be categorized there. Account #9430 (Travel and Mileage) is for staff and faculty travel expenses only.

Account Number Guidelines

Your account number (sometimes referred to as the FOAPAL) for operating is comprised of the following elements:


11 - 5300 - 9510 - 80 - 5300011

Fund:    Represents the purpose for which the monies are generated or used.  Most transactions occur in the Current Unrestricted Fund (11).   However gifts from outside sources go to different funds such as the plant fund (for Buildings) or endowment.

Organization:   Represents a department of people or activities.   Common ones might be the presidents office, food service or biology.

Account:    Categorizies "like" types of revenue of expense.  Examples might be undergraduate tuition, salaries, general supplies, etc.   As note in the first section of this page just because a budget is in one account doesn't mean the item should be charged there.

Program:   Represents the main function a particular department serves.  Programs are divided between expenses and revenues.  The biology department's main purpose is Instructional.  Therefore there main program is 70.   The president's main purpose is Institutional Support.  Therefore this program is 80.  Most departments only have one main expense function even though some of their activity could cross program lines. 

Activity:    Represents a more detailed breakout of the Account component.  A department could use this to breakout certain activities or separate costs by teacher.

Location:    Not currently used.


Therefore it is important for each department to know their account number components.   If these are used incorrectly they must be corrected at a later time by either the department or the financial records office.  Please observe the following section carefully.  If you have questions please contact one of the accountants:

When you formulate an account number for an IDC or check request there is a direct correlation between the program code and the account number.  One simple rule ALWAYS applies for revenue and another ALWAYS applies for expenses:

Revenue numbers:    The Account Code will always start with an 8 whereas the Program Code will always start with a 5 or 6.  Unless your organization code begins with a '9' there can be no other combination.

Expense numbers:    The Account Code will always start with a 9 whereas the Program Code will always be 70 or higher.  Once again there can be no other combination unless your organization code begins with a '9'.

Income accounts (11-xxxx-8xxx-5x or 6x) should not be charged on a cash/check request or an IDC unless you are processing a refund of monies you originally deposited to that account. Even though you may have money in an income account to offset certain costs, expense accounts should be used and then netted against the income account.

Salary account numbers (#91xx or #92xx) should never be used on a cash/check request. These accounts are used through payroll only. Either an expense goes through payroll (i.e. AU employee) or it is a guest teacher expense (#9612) or contract service (#9613).

Professional Memberships (#9356) may be used for an individuals membership to an organization.

Organization Memberships (#9712) may be used for a membership for the university or a department.

Most expense account numbers are self-explanatory by their title. The use of the accounts is for the most part decided by each department. A list of commonly used expense accounts is included in this web page. Any questions on which account number to be used can be answered by the staff accountants.