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OSU FAS SUBCODE - DEFINITIONS

This document shows the revenue and expense subcodes that are to be used in the subsidiary ledger accounts of the Financial Accounting System (FAS). The subsidiary ledger accounts are the Income and/or Expense Statement accounts, in the ranges 1XXXXX to 9XXXXX.

New Terminology

When FAS is replaced by the ARMS General Ledger in July of 2000, there will be a change in terminology. The equivalent of the "account number" will be the "fund number" and the term "subcode" will be replaced by the term "account", as shown below:

FAS Terminology account subcode
ARMS Terminology fund account

Be aware that the new terminology is already in use in the ARMS Human Resource System.

Please read the following instructions carefully and be sure to comply with them when assigning FAS subcodes.


1.      Specific and User Optional Subcodes

The subcodes are divided into two types: revenue subcodes and expense subcodes. Please note that within each type there are "Specific Subcodes," as defined in this document, and "User Optional Subcodes" which you may define for your own use. The intent of the User Optional Subcodes is to allow you to track subsets of certain revenue or expense categories.

IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU CONTACT THE ACCOUNTING DIVISION IN WRITING TO INDICATE THE FAS ACCOUNT NUMBER AND SUBCODE USE AND TITLE FOR EACH USER OPTIONAL SUBCODE BEFORE BEGINNING TO USE IT.

2.      Budget Subcodes

Both the revenue and the expense subcodes also include "Budget Subcodes." These are subcodes whose function is to plan (or revise) your budget in FAS. Examples of Budget Subcodes are 050 (for planning revenue earned from external sources) and 300 (for planning expenditures for supplies and services).

The revenue subcodes have only one range of budget subcodes, known as "Major Budget Subcodes." The expense subcodes have two ranges: "Intermediate Budget Subcodes," and "Major Budget Subcodes" allowing you to plan your budget in more or less detail, respectively.

NEVER USE A BUDGET SUBCODE TO RECORD ACTUAL REVENUE OR EXPENSE OR AN ENCUMBRANCE. THE SYSTEM WILL REJECT THE ENTRY, AND TIME-CONSUMING MANUAL INTERVENTION WILL BE NEEDED.

3.      Importance of Using Subcodes as Defined

It is essential to use the FAS subcodes precisely as defined in this document. The increased scrutiny of the University's financial data has made it necessary to track the content of each revenue and expense subcode more closely, University-wide. Consequently, IT IS NECESSARY TO USE THE FAS SUBCODES AS DEFINED IN THE LISTING.

4.      Expenses that Span Multiple Subcodes

You might have an expense to which more than one subcode applies. For example, a supply order that is partly for office use (Subcode 331--Office Supplies) and partly for classroom use (Subcode 333-- Educational and Scientific Supplies). In that case you should use the subcode that applies to the major portion of the expense and charge the entire expense to that subcode.

5.      A-21 Compliance

Subcodes 525 and 620-629 have the term "A-21" in their title. "A- 21" is the set of Federal Regulations that governs the preparation of the University's Indirect Cost Proposal. (The Indirect Cost Proposal is the document used as a basis for negotiating the amount of funding we receive to support the indirect costs of federally sponsored research.) The purpose of subcodes 525 and 620-629 is to capture certain costs so the University can comply with these regulations.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT SUBCODES 621 (PUBLIC RELATIONS), 622 (LOBBYING), 623 (ALUMNI ACTIVITIES), 624 (FUND RAISING), AND 627 (STUDENT ACTIVITIES) ARE INTENDED TO CAPTURE THE COSTS OF THE ACTIVITIES NAMED IN THE SUBCODE TITLE, RATHER THAN TO CAPTURE SPECIFIC EXPENSES. If you have expenses related to any of these five activities, you should use the 62x subcode to record any expense that would normally fall in the 300-699 range (the "supplies and services" range). Thus for examples, all supplies and services expenses related to fund raising should be assigned subcode 624.  These expenses might include office supplies, room rental, staff training, etc., which would normally be assigned subcodes 331, 481 and 613, respectively.

Please note that if any part of the expense falls into one of these categories you must use the 62x subcode to record the cost of the entire expense. If any expense falls into two or more of these categories, use the subcode corresponding to the predominant category.

Please note also that if you have personnel expense, benefits expense or equipment expense related to one of these five activities, you should use the usual subcode, not a subcode from the 62x range.

6.      Capitalized Equipment (subcodes 701-707)

Capitalized equipment is equipment whose value is reported annually on the University's Balance Sheet. It is defined as equipment that costs in excess of $3,000 (as of July 1, 1999) and has a useful life of two years or more. If an equipment purchase does not satisfy both of these criteria, you should assign the appropriate subcode for non-capitalized equipment (710 or a user optional subcode from the range 711-738). Call Equipment Inventory if you have questions about whether or not an item should be capitalized.

7.      Transfers of Expense

For transfers of personnel expense, use the ARMS "Prior Period Adjustment" procedure. For transfers of non-personnel expense, use an "Adjustments and Accruals" form (within a department) or an "Income/Expenditures Transfer" form (between departments). Identify each discrete item of expense by subcode (331, 540, 624 etc.) for both the debit and the credit side of the transaction.

Please be aware that it is extremely important to record expenses in an appropriate account. For example, if you have expenses related to a conference that charges a fee, all the expenses should be recorded in the conference account. It would be inappropriate to charge those expenses to a General Budgets account. The General Budgets account can, however, still subsidize the conference. To do this, you should transfer funds from the General Budgets account into the conference account. Then you should record the expenses in the conference account.

Transfers of funds (i.e., transfers of dollars, rather than transfers of amounts of expense) should be made using a "Request for Budget Action or Fund Transfer" form. Remember that transfers of funds may or may not be possible, depending on the restrictions placed upon the account. Contact the Fiscal Officer for your College or equivalent unit, or the Office of University Resource Planning and Institutional Analysis, if you have questions about this type of transfer.

8.      Questions and Training

Please contact the Accounting Division if you have questions relating to FAS subcodes. Training on the use of the Financial Accounting System, including use of the subcodes listed here, is available through the Office of Financial Training and Documentation.

These OSU FAS Subcode Definitions dated 3/1/00 represent the latest edition of these definitions and contain revisions and refinements made to the previous documents dated 7/1/93, 3/1/94, 11/1/95 and 4/15/98.

Updated 3/1/00

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