Part III - UNM Finance: Practical Applications

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Standard Accounting Resource Manual (SARM)

MSC 0000 00
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Classifying Expenses? The Guiding Principles

Correct Operating Ledger Category?

Just a few categories are used to organize the financial information contained in the Operating Ledger reports: On Summary Reports individual account codes are categorized as either Revenue or Expenses, while Detail Reports organize account codes under the three categories of Revenue, Salary Expense and Other Expense.  On both reports, every account code that has financial activity during the period selected will be listed.

For the purposes of this Manual, the remainder of our discussion will focus on account codes categorized as “Other Expense, or as “Operating Expense Other” (as on the ePrint Account Hierarchy Report).  Principal subcategories used include: Supplies, Travel, Student Costs, Research Costs, Patient Care Costs, Communication Charges, Services, Plant Maintenance, Utilities, Capital Expenditures, and Other Expenses.

Specific account codes fall within each of these subcategories.  Generally, for contracts and grants, the appropriate account code to use will be the one containing your approved budgeted.

A Guiding Principle is this: Choose an account code that falls under the most appropriate subcategory.  If your expense involves meals purchased for a business meeting attended by non-UNM employees, and the purchase was made by an employee while traveling, the code you use should be under the Travel heading.  If the expense involves the same type of business meeting, but is a food purchase for a local business meeting, the expense should NOT be under Travel, but rather under Supplies.  

Under Travel you will find code 3860-Bus Meals and Hospitality Gen.  Under Supplies you will find code 31A0-Bus Food-Local.  The best way to decide which account code to use is by becoming very familiar with the Account Code structure as contained in the Account Hierarchy Report (and other sources listed below) and then following the guiding principle; choose an account that falls under the most appropriate subcategory.  If the purchase is associated with travel, it belongs there.  If it is not associated with travel, it belongs under supplies.  If the purchase is a service (having brochures bound for you) rather than a good (buying the paper used to print brochures) it will belong under the Services subcategory.