The USF Financial System
FAST Financials (Oracle/PeopleSoft)
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BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE USF FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Departmental and Central Staff
The University of South Florida System is composed of two separately
accredited institutions. USF consists of the main research campus in Tampa,
which includes USF Health, and two regional campuses – USF Sarasota-
Manatee and USF Polytechnic in Lakeland. USF St. Petersburg is a separately
USF uses a complex combination of software and systems that manages and
controls all financial transactions in the university. Some of these software and
systems are integrated; some operate independently. USF uses comprehensive
accounting software (Oracle/PeopleSoft Financials) to consolidate and report all
of its financial operations. Within the university the financial system is referred to
as FAST. FAST is composed of individual modules designed for managing
specific activities. These modules serve as subsidiary ledgers. The modules
currently used by USF are Asset Management, Accounts Payable, Accounts
Receivable, Billing, Budget, Contracts, General Ledger, Grants Management,
Commitment Control, Project Costing, Purchasing (and Pcard), Security, and
Travel. All transactions are summarized and posted to the general ledger; all
transactions also pass through commitment control for budget validation. In
addition, financial data from other stand-alone systems is imported electronically
and recorded in the General Ledger.
To better understand and use the data in FAST Financials it is necessary to have
a sound understanding of the structure and its components. This course will
deliver basic knowledge of:
o The university structure and funding sources
o The software applications
o The relationship and integration of all applications
o What application is best suited for your needs
This course should serve as a foundation and pre-requisite for the General
Ledger course, the Finance Mart Reporting course, and the Reconciliation
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Discussions in this section will include:
o The USF structure and funding sources Pg. 3
o The modules and functions Pg. 4
o The concept of a general ledger Pg. 6
o The general flow of data Pg. 7
o Basic building blocks of FAST Pg. 8
o What are chart fields Pg. 10
o Accounting Periods Pg. 14
o How do I get started Pg. 14
o Security Pg. 17
o Glossary of terms Pg. 18
THE STRUCTURE AND FUNDING OF USF
Similar to most universities, USF has three primary missions; instruction,
research, and innovation. These missions define the university as a non-profit
educational organization. USF practices fund accounting because our revenue is
generated from many diverse sources. Each source may have different
restrictions on the use of the funding and often have different reporting
Funding sources include:
State of Florida
(often referred to as E&G or general revenue)
(Federal, state, or private agencies)
(generated from approved business activity)
Tuition and Fees
Student Loan funding
Construction funding from State of Florida
Bonding of buildings
Federal Stimulus funding
Transfers from a DSO
As a recognized non-profit educational organization, USF is obligated to operate
only within the defined mission of the university as described above. There are
however other activities, financial and non-financial, that are desirable for USF to
conduct but which fall outside of the defined mission. To address these needs,
USF has created direct support organizations. A Direct Support Organization
(DSO) is a separate, not-for-profit corporation organized and operated
exclusively to assist the University to achieve excellence by providing
supplemental resources from private gifts and bequests, and valuable
educational support services. These organizations are authorized by Florida
Statute to receive, hold, invest and administer property and to make
expenditures to or for the benefit of the University. An independent certified
public accountant conducts an annual audit of each organization’s financial
statements and the annual audit report is submitted to the Board of Trustees, the
Board of Governor’s Office and the Auditor General.
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Currently, the DSOs of USF are:
(raises, accepts, invests and distributes gifts to USF)
USF Research Foundation
(supports technology research for economic development)
University Medical Service Association (UMSA)
(supports research and medical activities)
Medical Services Support Corporation (MSSC)
(supports research and medical activities)
Health Professions Conferencing Corporation
(sponsors activities and events for health professionals)
USF Financing Corporation
(receives, holds, and administers property for USF)
USF Property Corporation
(supports acquisition and construction of facilities)
(conducts activities, events and entertainment)
(maintains a beneficial relationship with USF alumni)
THE FLOW OF DATA
There are three primary enterprise business systems (EBS) at USF. All are
coordinated by the Business Systems Re-engineering (BSR) department. The
three EBS systems are
FAST (the primary financial application)
GEMS (the HR/Employment application)
OASIS (the student academic and financial application)
The FAST and GEMS applications are both Oracle/PeopleSoft software. OASIS
is SCT/SunGard/Banner software.
FAST (PeopleSoft) is modular in design; each module is designed to operate
either independently or in coordination with other PeopleSoft modules.
THE MODULES OF FAST
PeopleSoft is a financial software package composed of individual modules
designed to perform specific business functions. These modules may be used
individually or in various combinations as a component package.
Purchasing: This module is used by USF departments for buying products and
services from vendors.
P-card: This module is used by USF departments for buying products and
services from vendors using a USF corporate credit card (P-card).
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Travel: This is a part of the Accounts Payable module used to process all travel
requests and to account for travel related expenditures.
Asset Management: This module is used to track fixed assets that exceed the
state capitalization level ($1,000). Assets include tangible property, buildings,
building improvements, art, books, and vehicles.
Accounts Payable: This module is used to automate voucher processing to pay
vendors in a timely manner for goods and services purchased by USF.
Billing: this module is used to create billings for things USF sells to outside
customers. Outside customers include private businesses, private individuals,
other universities, state government, Moffitt, Sun Dome, UMSA, the USF
Foundation, and the USF Research Foundation.
Accounts Receivable: This module is used to record all money due from USF
customers. It is also used to record payments received (through Cashiering) and
to provide information to management.
Contracts: This module is related to the Grants module and is used to set up
Grants Management: This module is used to manage the sponsored grants
that are awarded to USF faculty. This module helps control the grant funds and
provides the information and reporting required by grant sponsors.
Project Costing: This module is used to record cash flow and expenses for
USF construction projects.
Budget: This module is used to manage your spending authority and to
manage your money.
Commitment Control: This module supports the Budget module to help
departments manage their spending authority and money.
General Ledger: This module is used to support the accounting operations and
to provide information to end users and management.
Security: Access to the FAST system is granted to individuals based on specific
duties performed. Find the request forms on the FAST web site under
OTHER SOURCES OF DATA
Although FAST is the primary financial application of the university, other
subsidiary systems continue to exist to perform specific functions that can not be
performed in FAST. For instance, student related transactions (recording of
charges and payments) are created in Banner (OASIS) and automatically
uploaded to FAST GL each evening. All payroll related transactions are created
in GEMS (also an Oracle/PeopleSoft product) and then automatically uploaded
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to FAST GL each evening. Other stand-alone systems exist that feed data to the
General Ledger serving the needs of Information Technology, Physical Plant,
and Post Office. These subsidiary systems employ functionality that does not
exist in FAST and would be very difficult to replicate in FAST. For instance,
Information Technology has software named TAS designed to track telephone
usage including the telephone numbers, locations of the telephones, calls
placed, length of time of the calls, cost, etc. FAST was not designed for this
functionality. USF chose to retain TAS and feed the telephone charges to the
FAST general ledger rather than modify the PeopleSoft software to replicate this
Data from these stand-alone systems is posted to the FAST general ledger in
summary. To find detail of the transactions, it is necessary to either search the
stand-alone systems or search the data warehouse. There is no drilldown
capability from FAST to GEMS, FAST to OASIS, or FAST to any of the stand-
In addition, some transactions are created on-line by import of spreadsheets
directly to general ledger. An example is the recording of inter-departmental
sales. When one department sells a service or a product to another department,
that sale and the corresponding expense are recorded on an Excel spreadsheet
to be imported to general ledger. The template of this Excel spreadsheet may be
found on the FAST web site www.usf.edu/fast.
THE CONCEPT OF A GENERAL LEDGER
The general ledger captures and consolidates all of the financial information from
all aspects of a business operation. The heart of a general ledger is a table of
balanced entries summarizing the transactions that appear in the various sub-
ledgers. General ledger is not designed to capture detail but rather the final
A general ledger contains four account types; assets, liabilities, revenue and
expenses. Assets are things the university owns such as cash in bank accounts,
accounts receivable, and equipment. Liabilities represent debts of the university
such as what we owe to vendors for things we have purchased. Revenue
represents sales that USF departments have made to customers. Expenses of
course recognize our cost of operating. For reporting purposes in Finance Mart,
the assets and liabilities appear on the Balance Sheet; revenue and expenses
appear on the Financial Reporting Summary.
The following graph maps the flow of data from originating source to the
reporting tools. Data from GEMS, OASIS, IT and Physical Plant is transferred to
GL by electronic interface on a daily basis. The on-line entries are presented on
spreadsheets that are uploaded to GL on demand. The entries created in the
various modules are posted to GL by a series of PeopleSoft jobs that are run
daily. All entries are processed and validated by GL and by Commitment Control.
That data is transferred to the Data Warehouse from which reports are formatted
for viewing via the Finance Mart.
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The Flow of Purchasing Actions
In addition to financial actions that involve an exchange of money like payments
made to vendors or deposits of cash, specific purchasing actions are recorded in
the financial system. These actions have an impact on a department’s budget
and they reflect the status of a purchasing action.
The general flow is:
A requisition is prepared and submitted to Purchasing
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The requisition is validated
A purchase order is issued
Occasional changes to the purchase order may be needed
A voucher is created
Expense and accounts payable entries are created
Finally the vendor is paid
Budget is affected through this purchasing flow. When the requisition is created
budget is reserved in the amount of the requisition; this action decreases the
amount of RSA (remaining spending authority) to prevent overspending by the
department. When the purchase order is created, the budget amount reserved
by the requisition is reversed and budget is then reserved for the encumbrance
(purchase order). When the voucher is created, expense is recognized. Budget
reserved for the purchase will be reversed and then RSA will be decreased in the
amount of the expense. The example below illustrates the effect of a $500
purchase from a total budget of $1,000.
THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS IN FAST
So what are the basic building blocks?
A SetID is used to connect multiple business units to commonly used data
tables. USF uses just one SetID: USFSI. Purchasing uses five business units but
all five use the same vendor table under the SetID USFSI. Billing uses two
business units to separate grants activity from commercial activity but both
business units use the same customer file under SetID USFSI.
The university is a separate legal entity maintaining its own set of books of
financial activity. The General Ledger uses the Business Unit USF01 to capture
all of the transactions for the university. The other modules (subsidiary ledgers)
in FAST use business units to group transactions for specific areas of the
university. For instance Purchasing uses multiple business units to separate
transactions by campus (Tampa, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Sarasota, USF
Health, and Physical Plant).
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CHART OF ACCOUNTS
A chart of accounts is a listing of all accounts used in the general ledger
including a description and a corresponding number. The accounts are
categorized in groups. See page 12 for a description of the grouping logic used
A ledger consists of posted balances that represent a set of books for a business
unit. Ledgers store the posted activity for a set of chart field values by accounting
period and by fiscal year. Because a ledger supports a single chart of accounts,
separate ledgers are defined for business units having a unique chart of
accounts. Ledgers are maintained primarily through journal entries, and can
store actual, budget, forecast, statistical, or other types of data at many levels.
The “Actuals” ledger contains actual expenditure and revenue transactions
(things you bought, things you sold, and money you deposited). Use the Actuals
ledger for searching the general ledger for transaction information.
Ledgers may also be combined into ledger groups. A ledger group can have one
primary ledger and up to nine subsidiary ledger. Ledger groups provide
information associated with the category of budget. There are four primary
ledger groups tha are used to search the commitment control module of FAST.
The ledger group named “CC ORG” contains budget transactions that are not
grant related. Typical transactions are the release of budget and any budget
transfers. In this ledger you will also see encumbrances and expenses which
consume the budget. The remaining budget after expenses are paid and after
purchase orders have been created is referred to as “RSA” or residual spending
authority. The CC ORG ledger is used during searches in the Commitment
Control menu options.
There is a related ledger group, CC_ORG_REV which contains only revenue
related transactions. Use this to search for auxiliary revenue.
Grants transactions are found in other ledger groups. They are
CC_PROJECT_CHILD AND CC_PROJECTS__PARENT.
There are other ledger groups but these four, CC_ORG, CC_ORG_REV,
CC_PROJECT_CHILD and CC_PROJECT_PARENT are the four most
commonly used ledger groups.
To recap, ledgers in FAST contain accounting entries defined by chart fields and
dollar values. All of the accounting entries for the university are combined as a
set of balanced books under business unit USF01. All of the business units of
the various subsidiary modules in FAST use common data tables that all carry
the SetID USFSI.
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A chart field value is a combination of either numbers or letters that will help
identify the characteristics of an accounting transaction. Chart fields identify the
source and purpose of a transaction and help drive how and where it is reported.
Seven basic chart fields are combined to form a chart field string. The account
chart field satisfies accounting needs. The other six fields (Operating Unit, Fund,
Department ID, Product, Initiative, and Project ID) exist for organizational
purposes. Chart fields and chart field strings may be used to search for
information in both FAST and Finance Mart.
Operating Unit: This is a breakdown within one company to show different segments of the
company. Here at USF, we use the operating unit chart field to identify
campuses and large individual segments such as USF Health. The operating
units ID is 3 characters long and only letters. We have seven operating units.
FPR Florida Institute for Phosphate Research
HSC Health Sciences Center
LKL Lakeland Campus
SAR Sarasota Campus
STP St. Petersburg Campus
TPA Tampa Campus
UNV University Wide
Fund ID: As a university, we are required to separate our funds into specific categories for
reporting purposes. In addition, specific funds will have specific restrictions on
how they may be used. For instance, the use of federal research funds (fund ID
20000) must comply with federal regulations. General revenue funding from the
State of Florida (fund ID 10000) must be used in compliance with state
The fund codes are 5 numbers in length with the first number indicating the
broad category to which the fund belongs. There are 9 categories each of which
refer to the source of the funding and the type of restrictions on those funds.
In general funds beginning with:
0 are Auxiliary (unrestricted) identifying a particular EBA activity
1 are State funding (E&G) and federal stimulus funds
2 are Restricted (targeted purpose) including sponsored research funds
3 are Loan Funds (student loans)
5 are Capital Project funds (construction)
6 are Renewal & Replacement (reserve)
7 are Debt Service (debt payments)
8 are Capital Asset (property)
9 are Agency (not USF’s money)
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More specifically, the fund ID’s are:
The GL Account chartfield collects accounting data and identifies the nature of
the transaction. Accounts, commonly referred to as a chart of accounts, are
grouped into five types; the type determines where the transaction will appear in
official reports. The five types are listed below with their appropriate report and a
definition of the type.
Acct Type Appears On Description
Assets Balance Sheet What USF owns (cash, buildings)
Liabilities Balance Sheet What USF owes (invoices payable, bonds)
Fund Balance Balance Sheet The difference between assets and
Revenue Income Statement Inflow of resources (student tuition, sales)
Expenses Income Statement Outflow of resources (salaries, supplies)
Account codes are always five characters and always numbers.
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Department: This field is used to define a cost center; one with a budget for its area, such as a
college department. There are 6 characters, all numbers, in the department ID.
The numbering scheme, using the first number of the department ID, often
points to a college or a VP area.
Product: Within a department, this may be used to keep track of the accounting for a
single activity. For example, Educational Outreach uses product codes to track
the revenue and expenses of each individual course that they offer, no matter
what fund ID or department ID is used. There are 6 characters in the product
field. They may be a combination of numbers and/or letters. We say this field is
optional but it must be populated with a value. An example of an Educational
Outreach product field is XLIC27 representing Polk County Government. But
departments that do not choose to use product codes enter the value 000000 in
the chart field. Products may be used to capture expense and revenue amounts.
Initiative: At USF an initiative is used for tracking each P I.’s share of a grant, or to track
internally funded awards. Initiatives are always 7 characters long and may be a
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combination of numbers and letters. Initiatives are also considered an “optional”
field but must have a value in the field. Departments not using initiatives populate
the field with 0000000.
Projects: This field is used to track both sponsored research grants (10 characters – all
numbers) and construction projects (all begin with P followed by a second letter
and 12 digits). For grants this field identifies a specific award. It is a
combination of campus, department, funding source, NACUBO code, sequence
number and sub-account number. For capital projects this field identifies a
specific construction project reference.
Typical chart field strings might look like this:
Oper Fund Account Dept Product Initiative Project Description
Unit ID Code ID Code
TPA 03600 54000 042700 000000 0000000 auxiliary expense
TPA 03700 44201 460601 XCAR11 0000000 auxiliary revenue
TPA 10000 50022 471000 FIO001 0000000 salary expense
SAR 06001 44426 520300 000000 0000000 Sarasota revenue
SAR 06001 12010 Sarasota AR
STP 20000 53600 122400 000000 0000000 2132101101 Grant expense
Appropriate Combinations of Chart Fields:
Notice that the fifth chart field string example above contains only three chart
fields. In general,a chart field string will have values in all six primary fields ;
grant related transactions will have values in seven fields including the project
ID. However when a transaction is built involving an asset or a liability GL
account code that starts with a 1 or a 2 (also called balancing chart fields), the
department, product, and initiative fields are not populated. Those fields must be
When a sponsored research fund (20000, 21000, 22000, etc) is used, it should
be accompanied by a project ID.
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Examples of Inappropriate Combinations of Chart Fields:
* Revenue codes (beginning with a 4) should never be used with a state fund ID
(fund 10000 or fund 10009)
* A chart field string containing an operating unit, and fund ID, and a GL account
code beginning with either “1” or “2” must not have any values in the department,
product and initiative fields.
* When a project ID is used in a chart field string, it must also be accompanied
by a PC Business Unit, and Activity ID, and a Budget Reference.
The USF accounting/fiscal year is July 1 through June 30. Fiscal years are
commonly referred to by the year when they end. For example the fiscal year
2007 runs from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007.
Each fiscal year has twelve periods. July is period 1. August is period 2. June is
period 12. Accounting periods are used when conduction searches in the
General Ledger and when building reports in Finance Mart.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
There are five primary applications in the USF financial system. They are:
Data Warehouse (Finance Mart)
All five exist under the guidance of the Enterprise Business Systems (EBS)
department. Note: the EBS web site may be found at www.usf.edu/ebscentral.
Individual web sites exist for each application. The web sites contain good
foundation knowledge about the application, frequently asked questions, links to
training opportunities, forms used by the applications, and links to other good
informational sites. The url addresses are:
eUSF https://eusf.admin.usf.edu (includes Finance Mart)
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You have now taken of the first steps. Once you have an understanding of the
financial system structure you will know what systems you need to learn and
what kind of access you need. This is driven mainly by your job responsibilities.
Many of the financial system components require specific security access
tailored to your job responsibilities and secured by a user ID and a unique
password. Once you have access to components of the financial system, use
particular applications for specific tasks.
For example to create requisitions, pay bills, invoice customers, deposit funds or
to track the progress of any of these actions, use the modules of FAST. To
manage, review, or report on payroll activities use GEMS. To manage, review or
report on student activities use OASIS.
To reconcile any of the activities above, start with Finance Mart using FAST,
GEMS, or OASIS to identify detail information of the transactions or to initiate
Training is recommended and in some cases required prior to being granted
access to the financial system. Training workshops are offered for both the
functional use of the various applications and for general knowledge in
accounting and reconciliation. The current training workshops include:
Purchasing/Hands On Requisition
Purchasing Hands-On Requisition Training is for new FAST users
or users that need a refresher. This is an 8-hour training
conducted over two half-day sessions in a computer lab. During
this training, participants will learn how to create different types of
requisitions, send them through workflow, and how to receive the
goods after the requisition becomes a Purchase Order.
P-Card reconcilers, with existing FAST access, will learn how to
process P-Card charges in FAST in a classroom setting. In this
four-hour training session, participants will learn how to view P-
Card charges, how to enter chart field information and
descriptions, and how to approve charges. A FAST User ID is a
requirement to take this class.
Billing and Accounts Receivable
For those who have never used the FAST billing module or who
would like a refresher, this program addresses the USF billing
system for commercial business conducted with outside
General Ledger and Commitment Control
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In this computer lab training, participants will learn how to use
General Ledger to track expenses and to use Commitment
Control to track budget and remaining spending authority (RSA).
Training will include a description of account codes, chart fields
and basic accounting terms such as debits and credits and cash
basis vs. accrual basis accounting. Participants will also learn how
to reconcile their departmental accounts each month.
USF Financial System
The University of South Florida has a complex combination of
software and systems that operates and controls all financial
transactions in the university. Discussion will include what these
components are, how they integrate, and how to best use them.
Making Cents Of Accounting
This program provides basic accounting information to support the
use and understanding of the USF financial system. This is
designed for non-accountants who want to learn basic terminology
and structure of accounting.
Cash Collections Training
All cash handlers must attend the required Cash Collection
Certification class. All employees involved in cash handling
including those who supervise cash handlers, those who reconcile
cash, those with access to areas where cash is held, and cashiers
must complete the training. Following the training, they must pass
the on-line certification test.
Payment Card Industry (PCI)
You will find all the information you need on this site to become
PCI certified for USF. PCI Certification is required for all
employees that handle credit card payment transactions at USF.
Learn how to build financial reports and interpret the information
in the Finance Mart. These are the new official financial reports
for USF, replacing Go FAST. In addition to being able to access
current month detailed reports, with drill down capabilities, you
can also access all of the previous FAST official monthly reports.
Multiple courses are offered. Please review the Talent
Management web site or the GEMS web site for details.
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Multiple courses are offered. Please review the Talent
Management web site or the OASIS web site for details.
Training registration is managed by Talent Management. Find links to
registration on the FAST web site, Compass, and Talent Management web site.
For specific questions call Theresa Scott at 974.9116.
It is also recommended that you enroll in all appropriate list serves. To register
for the FAST list serve, either navigate to www.usf.edu/fast, then click “How Do
I”, then click “Register For The List Serve” and follow the instructions or simply
send an email to Mark DeVore (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SECURITY ACCESS TO THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Access to all of the EBS systems is restricted to USF employees and is further
restricted based on a need for access. Specific security roles have been
designed to allow limited access to the modules of FAST, GEMS, and OASIS.
Access is granted based on the individual’s job responsibilities and is designed
to address any conflicts related to separation of duties.
FAST security may be requested (either new access or a change to access) by
completing the FAST Access Request form found at http://www.usf.edu/fast. A
GEMS employee ID is required. If you need Purchasing workflow assignments,
complete the FAST Workflow Request form also found at the web site above.
Both require the signature and approval of your Accountable Officer.
FAST security requests must pass through several review steps and may take
several days for review and updating. Reviews are conducted by Purchasing,
University Controller’s Office, and finally IT Security.
FAST workflow requests may be submitted on paper or by email to FAST!!
Security. Please be aware that if you change jobs within the university, your
FAST access will be temporarily locked at the time you vacate your current job.
You must then submit a FAST Access Request to request new security roles that
are appropriate to your new job and job responsibilities.
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GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Periods Each month represents a specific accounting period. Since USF operates
on a fiscal year of July through June, July is accounting period 1, August
is accounting period 2, September is accounting period 3 and so on to
June which is accounting period 12. Accounting period 998 represents
the time during which USF reviews and adjusts financial data during
preparation of the annual financial statement; the time frame is July 1
through September 15.
Period 0 This is a unique accounting period that represents the period of time,
immediately following the last period of a fiscal year (June) during which
adjusting entries and final closing entries are made to the USF financial
Accrual Accounting Accrual accounting systems use a different timing for recognition of
revenue and expenses. Revenue is recorded when the invoice is sent to
the customer. Expenses are recognized when the voucher is created.
Assets Things that the university owns. Examples are cash, land, equipment,
buildings, and accounts receivable.
Balance Sheet A financial report stating the condition of the business. Balance sheets
report assets, liabilities, and total equity (fund balance). On a Balance
Sheet, total assets minus total liabilities must equal equity (fund balance).
Budget Check The budget checking process ensures that a pending expenditure or
revenue transaction is covered by budgeted funds. If the amount left
unspent (RSA) in a budget account is less than the pending expenditure,
the transaction will fail budget checking. If the remaining amount of a
revenue budget account is less than the pending billing amount, the
transaction will fail budget checking. Budget checking is performed on
requisitions, purchase orders, vouchers, journal entries, and customer
Chartfield A value identifying a characteristic of a financial transaction such as the
unit originating the transaction or type of funding being used. Chart fields
currently being used in FAST are Business Unit, Operating Unit, Fund ID,
GL account, Department ID, Product, Initiative, and Project ID.
Chartfield String A group of chartfields forming the accounting information of a transaction.
Non-grant transactions typically require operating unit, fund ID, GL
account code, department ID, product ID, and initiative.
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Chart of Accounts A logical grouping of all account codes used by the university. The
account values categorize transactions to meet accounting standards and
direct accounting lines to appropriate reports. For example:
Accounts beginning with 1 Assets
5 Operating expenses
6 Non-operating expenses
7 Interdepartmental transfers
Commitment The reserving of a portion of a department’s budget for an expected
purchase. Two types of commitment are pre-encumbrance and
Control The name of the module and menu section in FAST that contains budget
Information and validates that sufficient budget exists to pass a
Credit The negative side of an accounting entry. Credits decrease assets and
expenses. Credits increase liabilities and revenue.
Debit The positive side of an accounting entry. Debits increase assets and
expenses. Debits decrease liabilities and revenue.
EBA activity An Educational Business Activity (EBA) is a revenue-raising activity that
supports the overall mission of USF. Educational business activities are
established and carried on only when approved by the University in
accordance with operating procedures. An (EBA) may be either a one-
time activity with specific beginning and ending dates or be on-going.
Encumbrance An encumbrance is a way of reserving a portion of a department’s budget
to pay for an expected purchase. Encumbrances are the result of a
EFT A method of payment; payment is made electronically.
Interface Some of the university’s information is created in stand-alone systems
outside FAST; the data is then automatically loaded to the General
Ledger with no manual data entry.
Fund Balance This is also referred to as equity. It is the difference between assets and
liabilities. Fund balance is hopefully a negative amount. Assets (normally
a positive value) should be greater than Liabilities (normally a negative
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General Ledger The primary ledger that summarizes and consolidates all accounting
transactions from all subsidiary ledgers in a business organization.
Journal This is how accounting transactions are posted to the General Ledger.
A journal is a batch of similar accounting entries either entered on-line
or by electronic interface to the General Ledger.
Liabilities Money that the university owes to others. Examples are amounts USF
owes to vendors and sales tax collections owed to the state.
Pre-encumbrance An alternative name for a requisition.
Purchase Order A purchase order is written authorization for a supplies (vendor) to ship
products at a specified price which becomes a legally binding contract
once the supplier accepts it. In addition to price, other specific conditions
may be agreed upon by the supplier and the buyer. Purchase orders are
identified by a unique system assigned sequential ten digit number.
Requisition A requisition is an online request used by the requesting department
when ordering products and services from external vendors, as well as
travel reimbursement requests, certain payment authorizations,
reimbursements other than travel, subscriptions, registrations and others.
Requisitions are identified by a unique system assigned sequential ten
RSA Remaining spending authority. This is the result of Budget minus pre-
encumbrances minus encumbrances minus expenses
Subsidiary Ledgers These ledgers contain detail transactions (debits and credits) based on
the nature of the transaction. For example there is an accounts payable
subsidiary ledger for all vendor payments and an accounts receivable
subsidiary ledger for all customer receivables.
Voucher A written record of expenditure, disbursement, or completed transaction.
A voucher is required before a payment to a vendor may be created.
Vouchers are identified by a unique system assigned sequential eight
For a more comprehensive glossary, go to the MetaMart at the following url.
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