Department Accounts

For Winona State departments, budgets are allotted each fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) in accounts called cost centers. Each cost center has a designated university employee, typically the chairperson or director, who is responsible for managing cost center funds.
Monthly reports should be printed by departments and accounting entries for things such as student payroll, travel expenses, purchases, etc. should be verified for accuracy. If an error is noticed, the Business Office should be notified immediately so that any discrepancy can be investigated and resolved. 

The two reports that should be printed each month are Budget Balances (AC0512CP) and Transactions (AC0531CP) lists.

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 or 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 encumbrance 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:
  • 0xxx Payroll
  • 1xxx Services
  • 2xxx Fees and Travel
  • 3xxx Supplies and Materials
  • 4xxx Equipment
  • 9xxx Revenue

The transaction list includes details of all transactions for the specified time, sorted by object code. Each transaction is assigned a serial number that refers to the documentation in the business office files.

The transaction types are:

  • CB – Current Budget entries will affect the amounts in the Current Budgets 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. 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 for 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.
  • EV & PV – Expense Voucher and Payment Voucher entries represent payment transactions, such as checks written to vendors.

It is recommended that month-end reports are reviewed each month to ensure that any errors are detected and corrected promptly. Retain copies of source documents such as purchase orders, 1400 forms, service center requisition forms, etc.

Review Budget Transfers:

Verify budget transfers have been processed. Look for "CB" entries on the transaction list and make sure amounts and object codes match your records. If there is an error, please call the Budget Director. 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.

Review Disbursements:

Verify payments have been processed. Look for "PV" or "EV" entries on the transaction list. Contact Accounts Payable if there is an error on a transaction.

Review Service Center and Student Payroll Entries:

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 Print Shop, Central Stores, Motor Pool, etc. For most of these charges, you should have documentation to which you can compare charges. For some charges, such as postage charges, it may not be worth it to try to check each of these. However, all of the JC and JG charge back entries should be reviewed for reasonableness and appropriateness. For example, if there are telephone charges for a number you do not recognize or motor pool charges for someone not in your department, contact the person in the Business Office in charge of Cost Allocation to make inquiries. You may be asked to contact the service center directly for further clarification. Check student payroll transactions for accuracy; if a problem is detected, contact the Student Payroll Manager.

Review Travel/Business Expense Reimbursements:

Match "PR" transactions to your copies of employee reimbursement forms. Contact the Travel Director if you notice any discrepancies. Keep in mind that these reimbursements follow the payroll cycle and deadlines, and they are generally posted to your account during the week after the payday on which they appear on the employees' paychecks.