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Glossary of Terms


Account - The account code is the fourth set of numbers in a FOAPAL. The six digit code identifies objects, such as the general ledger accounts (assets, liabilities, control, fund balances) and the operating ledger accounts (revenues, expenditures, transfers). Account codes may be established in a hierarchy of up to four levels for roll-up and reporting purpose.

Accrual  - The accural is an accounting term that refers to situations where goods and services have been received but cash has not been exchanged. For more information on accruals, please visit Accounting and Business Services' Financial Certification page. 

Activity - The activity code is the fifth set of numbers in a FOAPAL. The optional designation is non-hierarchical and can be used to further define an object of expenditure; such as temporary units of work, subsidiary functional classifications, or short duration projects.The activity code is used for departmental use. 

Adjusted Budget – Original budget plus any budget adjustments.

Adopted Budget – Original budget allocated at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Available Balance – Remaining budget left to spend = total budget minus commitments minus actual expenditures.

Budget Adjustment – Any additions or reductions made to the budget since the original budget allocation.

Bid Process – The process of allowing potential vendors compete in the purchasing of goods or services.

Buyer – The individual in Purchasing Services who created the purchase order.

Central Receiving – The central location where all goods purchased by the University should be directed to be accepted by University personnel. Central Receiving will verify all items ordered on PO.

Chart of Accounts (COA) – The COA defines the accounting distribution used on all transactions processed in the Banner Finance module. The chart code is a one character, alpha/numeric field that uniquely identifies a particular chart. Banner Finance will accommodate multiple charts of accounts – each with a different chart code. The University of San Francisco chart code is always S.

Code Criteria – The search criteria for the type of item you are searching. You may use the Banner wildcard character of % to assist in the search.

Commitment – Equal to the total budget set aside for future obligations. Commitments are made up of Reservations and Encumbrances.

Commodity – The good(s) or services(s) being purchased.

Commodity Level Accounting – A way of processing requisitions and purchase orders in which each “line” (commodity) of the requisition will have its own accounting distribution. Typically, this accounting feature is used when supplies and equipment (fixed assets) are requested on one requisition.

Contract – A Purchasing contract that establishes with selected vendors and suppliers in order to maximize the purchasing power of the University while reducing the overall cost of goods and services from the vendor or supplier.

Discount – Reductions to a basic price for goods and services.

Document Level Accounting – A way of processing requisitions or purchase orders in which the accounting distribution entered on the requisition applies to the whole requisition.

Document Text – A text entry area where inputted information will appear on the purchase order above the line items.

Encumbrance – This is the encumbering of funds against the budget for a specific purchase order. The encumbrance is established when a purchase order is approved. The encumbrance is reduced or eliminated when the invoice is approved (a payment is issued) or when the encumbrance is cancelled (the purchase order is cancelled or paid in full).

e-REQ – An electronic requisition that is used as an authorized, departmental request to purchase of goods and services. For more information on e-REQs, please visit our e-REQ page.

Fiscal Period – The number of the fiscal month you wish to query (i.e. June is 01, July is 02 … May is 12, All = 14) 

Fiscal Year (FY) – Represents the University’s fiscal year beginning June 1st and ending May 31st. For example, FY 2010 relates to the year starting June 1st 2009 and ending May 31st 2010.

FOAPAL - is an account code structure in Banner, the University's Administrative System suite. The acronym for FOAPAL is Fund, Organization, Account, Program, Activity and Location. For more information on the FOAPAL, please visit Business & Finance FOAPAL page.

Fund – The fund is the first set of numbers in a FOAPAL. The six digit code identifies a self-balancing set of accounts and identifies ownership. It is the highest level of accounting information set up in the accounting distribution.

Goods – Any equipment, supplies and/or materials having physical properties.

Location – The location is the sixth set of numbers in a FOAPAL. The primarily use of the location is to show a fixed asset module to identify the physical location of an asset. The location is currently not utilized by USF.

Manufacturer – A person or company making or producing the goods.

Organization – The organization is the second set of numbers in a FOAPAL. The six digit code identifies a unit of budgetary responsibility and/or departments within an institution.

Program – The program code is a 4 digit code that identifies a function and enables the institution to establish a method of classifying transactions across organizations and accounts.

Proof of Delivery (POD) – A document used by Purchasing and Central Receiving to show proof that an item from a PO was received by the requesting department

Purchase Order (PO) – A document used to place an order for good(s) and/or service(s) with a supplier by Purchasing at the request of a department. Purchase orders can be regular purchase orders or standing purchase orders.

Purchase Requisition – An authorized, departmental request to purchase of goods and services.

Purchasing Card (P-Card) – A Visa card assigned to an employee for business purposes. The P-card should be used for low dollar and immediately needed purchases that do not violate the purchasing guidelines set by Business & Finance.

Quantity – The number of items being requested.

Requester – The person asking for certain goods or services.

Reservation – A reservation is created when a requisition is completed in Banner. It represents an internal request for expenditure against a budget. A reservation is liquidated when a PO is created.

Services – Any act from a secondary party providing labor, equipment and/or materials to the University.

Ship – Where goods will be shipped.

Supplier – A person or company who supplies goods or services. Same as “Vendor”

Standing Order – An open-ended purchase order is issued by Purchasing by the request of the department. This allows for the addition of items or payment on items on a standing order PO.

Unit of Measure (UOM) – Identifies the unit of measurement of the item or services being requested (i.e. EA for each, PK for pack, FRT for freight).

Unit Price – The cost per unit.

Vendor – A person or company selling goods or providing services. Also known as a dealer.

Year-to-date – Represents the actual revenue and expenditures posted to a budget.