[Accounting] Account Activity Review Guidelines and Month End Reports
St. Cloud State University is an agency of the State of Minnesota and follows the State’s fiscal year of July 1 through June 30. Budgets for each fiscal year are allotted to deans, departments, and centers in accounts called “cost centers.” Each cost center has a designated “responsible person” who is a University employee, usually the chairperson or director.
Persons responsible for these accounts may monitor them through the Accounting Module Web Application of ISRS. The queries found online provide up-to-date information on account balances, open commitments or transaction detail needed to review an account. For those who prefer the old accounting reports, the report names and parameters needed to generate and view/print these reports can be found below near the bottom of this page.
Login to the Accounting Module Web Application at https://admin.mnscu.edu/acct/ .
Guidelines for Reviewing Account Activity
Account activity needs to be reviewed periodically to ensure any errors are detected and corrected promptly. It is recommended that this review be performed at least monthly and that copies of source documents such as budget transfers, purchase orders, 1400 internal requisition forms, service center requisition forms, etc. are retained in a file or binder for reference and comparison.
Review Budget Transfers:
Verify budget transfers have been processed. Look for “CB” entries on the Transaction List. If the amounts and object codes match your copies, check them off on the report and mark your copies as processed. Call Accounting in the Business Office if there is an error on the transaction, if a transfer is missing, or if there is a transfer for which you do not have a record.
Compare the Total at the bottom of the Current Budget Column on the Budget Balance Available report to the Total on the report for the previous month. If they are different, make sure you can account for the change. You should have copies of budget transfers that move budget between cost centers.
Review open purchase orders on the Open Commitment report. This report lists orders that have not been completed, paid, or closed. Contact Purchasing in the Business Office if you do not recognize a purchase order as belonging to your department. You should also contact Purchasing if an order is showing unpaid when you know the goods or services have been delivered in a previous month. The Business Office may not have received the invoice or the receiving report.
Verify payments have been processed. Look for “PV” entries on the Transaction List. Compare them to your copies of purchase orders and 1400 internal requisition forms. Check them off on the report and mark your copies as processed. Contact Purchasing if there is an error on a transaction, if a payment is missing, or if there is a payment you do not recognize.
Review Service Center Charges:
Look for “JC” and “JG” entries on the Transaction List. Most of these will be for charges incurred at on-campus service centers, such as printing, postage, telephone, motor pool mileage, central stores supplies, computer store, etc. For some of these, you may want to make note of the actual amount of the charge on your copy of the requisition or job request form. You can generally match your form number to the number in the reference or description field on the transaction. For others, such as small incidental postage charges, it may not be worth your time to track each of these. However, all of the JC and JG chargeback entries should be reviewed for reasonableness and appropriateness. For example, there may be telephone charges for numbers you do not recognize, or motor pool charges for someone not in your department. Contact the service center directly if you question a chargeback transaction. If you are not sure how to contact the service center, you may call Accounting in the Business Office.
Review Travel/Business Expense Reimbursements:
Match “PR” transactions to your copies of employee reimbursement forms. Check them off on the report and mark them as processed on your copies. Contact Accounting if entries appear for names not in your department, or if transactions do not appear for forms you have submitted. Keep in mind these reimbursements follow the payroll cycle and deadlines, and they are generally posted to your account during the week after the payday they appear on the employees’ paychecks.
The IFO and MSUAASF bargaining agreements specify that a certain dollar amount shall be budgeted for each full-time faculty or administrator for professional development. St Cloud State University allots this amount to each department’s separate professional development cost center in object code 2221 out-of-state travel. The budget authority table has been set up in these accounts so that object codes 1000 through 3999 will automatically draw budget from object code 2221. Only expenses defined as professional development in the IFO or MSUAASF contracts will be allowed in these cost centers. Budget transfers in or out of these accounts will not be allowed. Each department is responsible for accounting for its professional development budget as it deems appropriate.
Travel and business expense reimbursement policies, guidelines, and forms are available in the Travel/Business Expenses section of this web site. The employee expense report form is also available in “enterable rich text” format at the State of Minnesota Employee Self Service website under Payroll Forms.
Review Budget Balance Available:
Departments are responsible to spend within their budget. Check the Budget Balance Available column on the Budget Balance Available report. Negative amounts indicate the budget has been overspent. A budget transfer should be submitted to the Business Office to clear up any negative balances.
Descriptions of Common Reports Used at Month End
Budget Balance Available Report
This report summarizes the status of the cost center. The columns on this report include:
- Original Budget: Represents the starting point of the budget at the beginning of the fiscal year. It is for reference only and will not change during the year.
- Current Budget: Represents the current budget allotment. This may change, as budgets are increased/decreased or transferred between line items.
- Encumbrance: Represents budget set aside for open purchase orders. These have been deducted from the budget balance available.
- Current Month Activity: Summarizes expenses charged to the cost center during the month.
- Year-to-Date Activity: Summarizes expenses charged to the cost center during the current fiscal year. The amounts include current month activity.
- Budget Balance Available: Current budget less encumbrances less year-to-date activity. A positive amount generally indicates budget available to spend. A negative amount generally indicates budget overspent. A budget transfer should be submitted to clear up any negatives in the budget balance available column.
Budgets are categorized into line items identified by object codes. These four-digit numeric object codes define the types of expenditures and revenues. In general, object codes are grouped:
- 0nnn Payroll
- 1nnn Services
- 2nnn Fees and Travel
- 3nnn Supplies and Materials
- 4nnn Equipment
- 9nnn Revenue
Budgets are maintained according to a “budget authority table.” This means there are certain object codes that have “authority” over others, similar to a parent/child relationship. The budget is kept in a “parent” object code and the “child” object codes automatically draw their budget from the parent.
For most cost centers, object codes beginning with 1, 2, or 3 will not have their own budgets, but, instead, will draw budget from object code 0999 “Non Salary Budget.” On the month-end Budget Balance Available report, these object codes are displayed as indented under 0999 to indicate they are “children” of the “parent” object code 0999.
Student payroll is budgeted separately in its own line item object code 0910. Equipment is also budgeted separately in object code 4000.
Professional development cost centers are set up with parent object code 2221, and expenditures in object codes beginning with 1, 2, or 3 will draw budget from it.
Open Commitment Report
This report lists purchase orders that have not been closed or paid.
This report includes details of all transactions for the month sorted by object code. Each transaction is assigned a Serial Number that refers to the documentation in the Business Office files. Another option to running this report is to use the Transaction Detail Query found online in the Accounting Module Web Application
The transaction types are:
- CB Current Budget entries will affect the amounts in the Current Budget column on the Budget Balance Available report. They can occur between line item object codes within the cost center and have no effect on the total current budget. Budget entries can also occur between cost centers and will have the effect of increasing the total current budget in one cost center and decreasing the total current budget in another cost center.
- CP Cash Receipt entries represent receipts deposited to the cost center.
- EN Encumbrance entries occur when purchase orders are generated. Encumbrances have the effect of encumbering or setting aside funds for open purchase orders. A negative encumbrance entry is generated when a purchase order is cancelled or when it is paid. If a purchase order is cancelled, the budget should no longer be set aside, so the encumbrance is backed out. Also, when a purchase order is paid, it no longer needs to be encumbered because it becomes an expense when the payment voucher is entered.
- JC Journal Voucher entries can represent charges at an on-campus service center. Journal Vouchers are also used to make correcting entries when the wrong cost center has been used on a transaction.
- JG These Journal Entries are used for on-campus service centers and for other internal charges such as student payroll.
- PR Payroll Vouchers are entries to post payroll transactions, including business and travel expense reimbursements.
- PV Payment Vouchers represent payment transactions, such as checks written to vendors.
Parameters needed to run common month end reports
Please review the Month End Reports PDF Packet or click on the report names below to see samples of the parameters needed to run a particular report. Each of these reports can be run for a specific account or a range of accounts (i.e. 211001-211015).
- AC0513CP Budget Balance Available
- AC0519CP Open Commitment Report
- AC0531CP Transaction List
- AC0542CP Agency (900xxx) Account Cash Balance
Examples of Parameters needed to run reports for an entire Department or other Functional Area
Each example below illustrates the report parameter needed in the "User Field" to run such a report.
- Buildings and Grounds
College of Business
College of Education
College of Fine Arts and Humanities
College of Science and Engineering
College of Social Sciences
Learning Resources and Technology Services
Provost - Account Range
- Provost - Cultural Diversity
Student Senate Finance Committee
Sponsored Programs Office
Student Life and Development