Index and Glossary – A

Share Your Ideas

A-21 [OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Circular]:

Discussion: This Circular establishes principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other agreements with educational institutions. The principles deal with the subject of cost determination, and make no attempt to identify the circumstances or dictate the extent of agency and institutional participation in the financing of a particular project. The principles are designed to provide that the Federal Government bear its fair share of total costs, determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, except where restricted or prohibited by law.

| A-21 Direct Cost Restrictions | PAR System Original Rule | PAR System Rule October 2008 | Policy 3-020: Effort Reporting | OMB Circular No. A-21 | Ask Us Cost Accounting |

Return to Topical List

ABA (Annualized Base Amount):

Discussion: The ABA is the maximum amount the employee would receive for the designated position if he/she were to work full-time (1.0 FTE) for the full year (12 months). Each employee can have only one ABA on the database at a time. Not included in the ABA is Clinical Incentive Pay, Bonus, Additional Compensation, Compensation for Extended Day Classes, etc. which is not part of their normal salary. ABA does not include consulting, fellowships and scholarships, etc.

| PAR System Original Rule | PAR System Rule October 2008 | Policy 3-020: Effort Reporting | OnLine PAR Training | Ask Us Cost Accounting |

Return to Topical List

Account (Chartfield Element):

Discussion: Account is the sixth element in the chartfield string, contains 5 numeric characters and is used to qualify the category of a transaction. Account is not used to refer to the total chartfields, it is only one element of the chartfields.

Sample Chart Field Combinations

| Chart of Accounts BU 01 & 04 (Uof U & UURF) | Chart of Accounts BU 02 & 03 (Hospital & UNI) | Chart of Accounts BU 05 (UUHN) | Account Ranges Help | Ask Us Financial Reporting & Accounting |

Return to Topical List

Accounting Calendar:

Discussion: The Accounting Calendar lists all pertinent dates related to closing accounting periods and the dates transactions are due in order to be included in the specified accounting period.

| Accounting Calendar | Accounting Calendar Help | Ask Us Financial Reporting & Accounting |

Return to Topical List

Accounts Payable:

Discussion: Accounts payable is the obligation that University owes to our creditors for buying goods or services. That is, it is the unpaid invoices, bills or statements for goods or services rendered by outside contractors, vendors or suppliers. Accounts payable is sometimes referred to as “payables.” The sum of the amounts we owe to our suppliers is listed as ‘AP VOUCHERS PAYABLE’ in the ‘LIABILITIES’ section of our various Management Report Balance Sheets. The detail for this summary can be found in the Activity/Project Journal Detail.

Accounts payable is also used to refer to the department under the University’s Financial and Business Services Division that manages the timely payment of these liabilities. As such, overseeing the Accounts Payable function is a serious responsibility. Paying bills on time and according to the specific terms and conditions can affect our credit ratings, business relationships and ultimately our image in the community.

In addition to the traditional Accounts Payable functions we have taken on much wider roles including document imaging, managing small dollar procurement (Payment Requests and Limited Purchase Checks and Orders) and recording intra-unit accounting transactions (Campus Orders).

Quick Links

| AP Dept site | OnLine Learning | In-Person Training | Location: 145 Park | Ask Us Accounts Payable |

Return to Topical List


Discussion: ACH refers to a payment industry term called Automatic Clearing House, although here at the University, we more commonly use the term Direct Deposit. Both terms are interchangeable. When a vendor payment is processed using ACH, the funds will be deposited directly into a designated bank account. Accounts Payable ACH works much like Payroll ACH, but are managed separately, and require vendors to submit separate forms to initiate Direct Deposit to one or both offices.

| Web Page with FAQs | Direct Deposit Auth Form | Traineeship Direct Deposit Auth Form | Traineeship Direct Deposit Auth Instructions | Ask Us Accounts Payable |

Return to Topical List

Activity (Chartfield Element):

Discussion: Activity is the fourth chartfield element, generally has 5 numeric characters, and distinguishes business activities within the same Fund in Business Units 01 and 04. Activity is not used in Business Unit 02. Activities are used with all Funds except Fund 5000. In the Plant Fund, Activity values may have an alpha character (B) as the leading character.

Sample Chart Field Combinations

| Activity/Project Setup Request | Quasi Endowment Setup Request| Activity Setup Instructions | Activity Lookup Help | Ask Us Financial Reporting & Accounting |

Return to Topical List

Activity/Project Setup Request:

Discussion: This form used by Financial Reporting & Accounting to establish new Activities or Plant Fund Projects. The .pdf form should be filled out on the web, and requires Dean or Vice President’s signature for authorization prior to submitting the form to Financial Reporting & Accounting. A complete description of the purpose of the requested Activity (why a separate accounting is needed for the proposed business Activity) is required. Specific funding information (amount, source, continuous or one-time) is also required.

| Activity/Project Setup Request | Activity Setup Instructions| Ask Us Financial Reporting & Accounting |

Return to Topical List

Agency Fees (Travel):

Discussion: Travel Services has contracted with an outside Travel Agency (Christopherson Travel) to provide Travel agency services to our campus community. The Agency charges service based fees to cover salary expenses as follows:

  • $12 for a Non-Refundable Airline Ticket
  • $30 for a State Contract Airline Ticket

FS TipNOTE: State Contract tickets may be higher in price, but can be easily refunded, changed, or upgraded for more frequent travelers. Our OnSite Travel Agents are able to help departments make appropriate decisions.

| Travel Web site | Step 1: Request Airfare Options | Step 2: Request “ON HOLD” Reservation | Step 3: Confirm Itinerary | Travel Services Training | Travel Planner Reservation Training | Ask Us Travel |

Return to Topical List

Airfare, First Class:

Discussion: An aircraft is typically split into two areas of seating. First Class seating includes wider seats, more leg room, special boarding schedules and other improved service benefits. When our travelers fly for business purposes, however, it is typically most appropriate to book Coach class tickets and to avoid booking First Class or Business Class. Travel Planners must also avoid booking immediately upgradable classes of service.

We do allow our travelers to use their status to upgrade seating where the cost of the ticket is not impacted by the upgrade.

There are also circumstances where it may be appropriate to book First Class or Business Class tickets when flying internationally, or when health concerns make First Class necessary.

An Administrative Rule has been published to outline these circumstances where exceptions are granted.

University Travelers may have to reimburse the University when airfare is booked incorrectly and outside of this Rule.

FS Tip

NOTE: Both University and travel industry Rules governing airfare are fairly complicated. We recommend that departments us our OnSite Agents to best make appropriate business decisions.

| Airfare Costs and Class of Service Rule | Step 1: Request Airfare Options | Step 2: Request “ON HOLD” Reservation | Step 3: Confirm Itinerary | Travel Services Training | Ask Us Travel |

Return to Topical List

Airfare, Fly America Act:

Discussion: The Fly America Act is a law requiring the University to use domestically owned airline companies when booking airfare purchased as part of a federally funded grant. In other words, if your department is traveling as part of a federally funded research grant, (fund 5000) you much book airfare from U.S. owned airlines, such as Delta, American, United and Continental.

There are instances where this law requires us to book a higher priced ticket than that we could obtain directly from a foreign airline carrier, but nonetheless, we must comply.

If a traveler does not follow the requirements of the Fly America Act, he/she may not be reimbursed for the cost of the airfare purchased.

FS TipWe recommend in instances where our researchers are flying internationally, the airfare be booked using our OnSite Agents, to be sure that the flight is in compliance with the Fly America Act.

| More info on Fly America Act | Step 1: Request Airfare Options | Step 2: Request “ON HOLD” Reservation | Step 3: Confirm Itinerary | Travel Services Training | Ask Us Travel | Ask Us Grants & Contracts Accounting |

Return to Topical List

Airline Fees:

Discussion: Airline companies are becoming more creative as they try to increase profits, and our travelers will begin to see additional charges for services that have traditionally been part of their ticket price. Airlines have implemented customer charges for baggage, meals, seat preferences, exchanges, etc. The Travel Department makes every effort to keep the Schedule of Allowable Rates current with regard to Airline Charged Fees.

FS TipOur OnSite Agents are our best resource to be sure we pay only reasonable and necessary expenses when we book airfare.

| Schedule of Allowable Rates – Airfare Fees | | Step 1: Request Airfare Options | Step 2: Request “ON HOLD” Reservation | Step 3: Confirm Itinerary | Travel Services Training | Travel Planner Reservation Training | Ask Us Travel |

Return to Topical List

Airport Parking:

Discussion: University Travelers are allowed to park in short-term parking (covered and next to the terminal) when the duration of their trip is less than 24 hours. Otherwise, long term is most appropriate. Current rates for airport parking are listed on the Schedule of Allowable Rates.

Under rare circumstances, and when fully documented, short term parking may be permitted for up to 4 days, but may not be charged to State of Federal funds.

| Policy 3-030 | Schedule of Allowable Rates | Ask Us Travel |

Return to Topical List

Annual Inventory Procedures:

Discussion: Annual inventory procedures address the annual capital inventory and write-off of lost inventory items. Annual capital inventory is required for property valued at $5,000 or more and is initiated through a letter and an annual inventory report provided by Property Accounting. Completed inventories are due within 60 days of the letter date. Inventory write-off is required for any items not found during the annual inventory and is initiated by a Write-off Authorization letter. Completed Write-off Authorization letters are due within 30 days of the letter date. Departments that do not comply with these procedures are subject to an escalation to the Department Chair and cognizant Vice-President to assure inventory completion and/or inventory write-off.

| Annual Inventory Procedures | Ask Us Property |

Return to Topical List

Approval Signatures – Responsibilities:

Discussion: Specific approval considerations and instructions are described near the signature line on each of the FS forms. Where specific directions are absent, officers signing documents should be mindful of the following guideline:

  • Approver One: considers the accuracy of the transaction, the appropriateness and availability of the funding, verifies that the transaction is a reasonable and necessary expense of the University.
  • Approver Two: should be the ORG head one reporting level higher, whose responsibility it is to verify that the expense and the timing of the transaction is proper and prudent in the context of the University’s overall mission.

| Electronic Approvals Rule | Policy 3-003 | Ask Us Controller |

Return to Topical List

Approvals, Electronic:

Discussion: Implementation of electronic Payroll approvals made necessary a Rule to clarify Policy 3-003, approvals for financial transactions. This Rule provides important guidelines for signors to consider when they approve all transactions, and especially salary transactions.

| Electronic Approvals Rule | Policy 3-003 | Ask Us Controller |

Return to Topical List

Asset Management:

Discussion: The management of University property and government property for which the University is responsible, from the time of asset acquisition through either asset retirement, sale, or transfer to another institution.

| Policy 3-040 | Security and Accountability for University Equipment | Grants Management Essentials Training | Ask Us Property |

Return to Topical List

AU (Allowable/Unallowable) (Chartfield Element):

Discussion: Allowable/Unallowable is the seventh element in the chartfield, is one character long, and is either coded “1” for Allowable or “0” for Unallowable. Fund 5000 expenses are always Allowable by fund restriction. Only Business Unit 01 expenses, (Accounts 50000 – 67399 and 67600 – 89999) where the Fund is 1001, 2xxx, or 6xxx should be coded with an AU value. Fund transfers out (Account 67400 – 67599) are not expenses.

Allowable means simply that the intended outcome of the expenditure was mission related.

Sample Chart Field Combinations

A/U Background | Ask Us Cost Accounting |

Return to Topical List

Audit Fee, Travel:

Discussion: Travel Accounting will charge a mandatory audit fee to support unfunded operations in the Travel Accounting budget.

These fees has been approved by the President’s cabinet and will be charged once per travel number as registered by the online Travel Application:

  • Domestic – $12
  • Foreign – $20
  • Driving(Utah) – $8

| Travel Accounting Training | Ask Us Travel |

Return to Topical List

Authorization Agreement for Direct Deposit (Student – Income Accounting):

Discussion: This form is used for students to set up Direct Deposit of Tuition Remainder checks, or for the purpose of short term student loans.

| Authorization Agreement for Direct Deposit | Ask Us Income Accounting |

Return to Topical List