FAQ - Chart of Accounts

What is the Chart of Accounts?

The Chart of Accounts determines how your accounting information is collected, categorized and stored for reporting purposes. For example, the current RIAS chart of accounts includes Fund Source, Organization, and Natural Account as segments while the Banner chart of accounts includes the fund, account, organization and program.

Why is the Chart of Accounts being redesigned?

The transformation of Rutgers, driven by the integration with UMDNJ, requires a book of record that will facilitate more streamlined financial reporting across the institution while providing flexibility at the local level. The Chart of Accounts is being redesigned with the initial purpose of mapping financial data from Rutgers and UMDNJ for University-wide consolidated results and offering a means for standard reporting. This new Chart of Accounts is also being redesigned with the added intention of being utilized in the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, once it is selected.

What is the proposed Chart of Accounts structure?

The proposed structure is a multi-dimensional Chart of Accounts made up of multiple segments to capture different aspects of a transaction. The combination of the segments provides a more robust record of the financial activity. It consists of the following:

  • Unit/Responsibility Center (3 digits) - School, Institution, Center and/or a Central Unit which is required to produce a balanced Balance Sheet. At the highest level of reporting, the parent values will be New Brunswick, Newark, Camden, RBHS and Central
  • Division (4 digits) - Used to group Organizations into alternate hierarchies
  • Organization/Department (4 digits) - A business area with dedicated people and space
  • Location (4 digits) - Identifies the area where the revenue and/or costs were incurred, including onsite, off-site, online and foreign locations. It is the area for which service is provided, which could or could not be the physical geographic location of the people providing the service
  • Fund Type (3 digits) - Identifies the funding source used to acquire goods and services (Unrestricted, Restricted, Endowment, Plant, Loan, Auxiliary)
  • Account (5 digits) – Identifies the nature of the transaction such as expense or revenue (Natural Account)
  • Business Line (4 digits) - Identifies the specific line of business (or mission) being offered. At the highest level of reporting, the parent values will be the four missions of the university – Instruction, Research, HealthCare and Public Service as well as an Other category
  • Activity (4 digits) - Identifies total activity of high-level, interdisciplinary and strategic initiatives that span across multiple responsibility centers/units
  • Intra- Unit (3 digits) - System generated (no user input required) transaction to balance journals for financial activity between a Unit and/or Fund Type
  • Future (5 digits) - Placeholder if we need to add a segment in the future

Will there be descriptions for the Chart of Accounts (COA) segments in the system?

Yes. There will be descriptions in the search fields when you select your COA string..

Will the university continue to use Fund Sources and Indices with the new Chart of Accounts redesign?

No. Fund Sources and Indices will be eliminated and replaced by account code combination of the segments in the proposed Chart of Accounts structure.

Can we use the REX system when the Cloud Financial Management System is implemented? 

REX will not be updated with the new chart of accounts information.  Units will have the ability to record amounts in the General Ledger or Projects modules for future “planned financial activities” to replace functionality found in REX to record these transactions. As well, units have the ability to do manual encumbrance journals to reserve amounts against their budgets. Units will also have a way to record that General Ledger and Project transactions have been reviewed and reconciled. This is similar to the functionality that was available in REX. Reports are being developed to see these activities. 

Can Dept Activity 1 and Dept Activity 2 values be used?

Where possible, the activities captured by Dept Activity 1 and Dept Activity 2 can be new values within a segment of the new Chart of Accounts.  For example, values in one of the new segments such as Business Line or Location may take the place of Dept Activity 1 or 2 values.  If the Dept Activity 1 and 2 are project-specific or task-oriented, then those more granular-level detail can be accommodated within the Projects Module. The RU Initiative field can be used on both General Ledger and Project transactions to tie multiple transactions together. The University plans to implement the Projects Module at the same time it implements a new General Ledger.

How will reorganizations be handled by the Cloud Financial Management System? 

The Cloud Financials system cannot support changes across multiple hierarchies. Therefore, reorganizations will be handled with journal entry transactions or with alternate reporting hierarchies.  Central Accounting will process all hierarchy update requests and required journal entries to move balances forward.