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1. Introduction
Documentation :|: BEN Balances Report Documentation

1.1 Chart Of Accounts (COA) Refresher

In the BEN Financials General Ledger, an account consists of seven segments, which together form a 26-digit account number. Below is a brief description of each COA segment.

CNAC Center/Net Asset Class: the first two positions of CNAC identify the Responsibility Center; the last position identifies the Net Asset Class (0 for Unrestricted, 1 for Temporarily Restricted, or 2 for Permanently Restricted).

ORG Organizational Unit: roughly equivalent to department; an organizational unit can be affiliated with one and only one Responsibility Center.

BC Budgetary Control: specifies the level at which funds checking should be performed.

1 = CNAC/ORG/FUND Year-to-Date
2 = CNAC/ORG/FUND/CREF Year-to-Date
4 = CNAC/ORG/FUND/CREF Project-to-Date

FUND Fund: a unique identifier for a specific set of financial resources or a "pot of money" that needs to be tracked and managed. In the majority of cases, a unique fund is established only for resources which have been provided by external donors or sponsors and which have either specific stewardship or financial reporting requirements.

OBJ Object: specifies the nature of the activity (asset, liability, revenue, expense).

PGM Program: a set of activities that are commonly defined across the University for purposes of tracking similar activities across Schools and Centers.

C-REF Center Reference: defined by each School/Center.

Within the General Ledger, special "cross-validation" rules ensure that certain segment values can only be used in combination with other segment values. For example, a cross-validation rule ensures that a SAS ORG cannot be used with an SEAS CNAC. Cross-validation rules are also used to ensure that the BC value is consistent across a particular fund. For example, grant and contract funds can only be used with a BC of '4'; similarly, the general unrestricted fund (aka the "zero fund"), gift funds, and endowed funds, can only be used with a BC of '1'.

1.2 General Notes

In the BEN Financials General Ledger, an account is made up of seven segments (CNAC, ORG, BC, FUND, OBJ, PGM, and CREF, see section 1.1) and all financial information is posted to a full 26-digit account number. However, for reporting purposes, information can be summarized at different levels depending on the business needs of a school/center or organizational unit (ORG).

BEN Financials reports have been divided into several major groups - one group is designed to provide a departmental or ORG view of financial information, another group is designed to provide a School/Center view of information and budget reports make up a third group. The numbering scheme incorporated into the report title (1xx.ORG for ORG level reports, 2xx.SCH for school/center level reports, and 3xx.BUD for budget reports) is designed to help BEN Financials users pick the report that will be most useful to them. In general, the 2xx.SCH reports, which were primarily designed for senior business officers in the schools and centers, provide a much higher, macro-level view of information than do the 1xx.ORG reports, which were designed for departmental administrators and which provide the greater levels of detail needed to manage day to day operations.

Many of the 1xx.ORG reports provided to BEN Financials users are simply variations on the same theme. That is, they provide exactly the same information but the information is aggregated at different levels. Users should choose the level of aggregation which best meets their needs.

For example, the following three reports provide the same information but summarized differently.

100.ORG: Summary By CNAC/ORG/FUND

For a specific CNAC/ORG/FUND combination, budget, revenue, and expenditures are summarized across all programs and c-refs for that combination.


For a specific CNAC/ORG/FUND/PROG combination, budget, revenue, and expenditures are summarized across all c-refs for that combination.


For a specific CNAC/ORG/FUND/CREF combination, budget, revenue, and expenditures are summarized across all programs for that combination.

1.3 Security

All users of the BEN Financials General Ledger have a security profile that specifies which ORG value(s) that user is allowed to see online and to view on reports. This security profile is invoked automatically whenever the user requests a General Ledger report so that, regardless of the parameters supplied for a report, the report will never display information for an ORG that has not been included in the user's BEN Financials security profile unless the Responsible ORG parameter has also been specified.

Each fund has a designated Responsible ORGanization associated with it. This is the ORG that is considered ultimately responsible for overall fiscal management of the fund. The value of the Responsible ORG attribute for a fund can be viewed online via the "GL COA Inquiry" responsibility (\Navigate COA Query). The ORG that is the Responsible ORG for a fund can see All account combinations for that fund, not just those combinations that include the ORG(s) from the user's BEN Financials security profile.

Use of the Responsible ORG parameter is discussed in Section 6, Report Parameters.

1.4 Active vs Expired Accounts

Within the BEN Financials General Ledger, there is no single simple criteria for what constitutes an "active" account. This is especially true for University Research Foundation (URF) accounts and for grants/contracts, both of which have activity that crosses the fiscal year. To effectively manage these accounts, it is necessary to be able to report on them for some period of time after they have expired. In order to satisfy this requirement, while at the same time ensuring that expired accounts eventually "drop off" the normal monthly reports, a standard definition of "active" is used for these accounts by all of the BEN Financials General Ledger reports. The definition is slightly different for URF accounts than for grants/contracts.

In order to be considered "inactive", All Three of the following conditions Must Be True:

  1. the fund value must be either expired or disabled (only Research Accounting can expire or disable a grant fund value; this is usually done 90 to 120 days after award termination); and
  2. there has been no budget, actual, or encumbrance activity in the account during the fiscal year being reported (that is, the fiscal year associated with the accounting period parameter); and
  3. the net project-to-date revenue plus expense is zero.

For purposes of this definition, "no activity in the reported fiscal year" means "no change in the actuals, budget, or encumbrance balances" from the beginning of the year to the reported accounting period. There may have been transactions against the account, but the net of these transactions for the fiscal year is zero.

If any one of the above conditions is not true, the account is considered "active" and will be considered for inclusion on the report. Inactive accounts are ignored and do not show up on the report unless the user has specifically requested their inclusion through the use of a special override parameter (described, where applicable, in the documentation for the specific reports).

URF awards:
Since the URF fund (000002) will never be disabled, the definition for "active" URF awards uses only criteria (b) and (c) above.

1.5 Running Reports

In BEN Financials, end users run their own reports at intervals which are meaningful to them. Most users would run one or more reports after each month end and may also run some reports, for example, for a particular ORG or FUND, at other times during the month.

Specific instructions on how to submit reports through BEN Financials will be provided in the Reference Manual.

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