Generally the Accounting Office is the point of contact in setting up new fund numbers.
Fund numbers consist of five digits ranging from 00001-89999 and must be assigned by the Accounting Office. The fund number is used to account for assets, liabilities, net assets, revenues, expenses, and transfers related to a particular source or activity.
Departments need to closely manage their funds and projects. The department should contact the Accounting Office if a fund is no longer needed and/or a fund name needs to be changed.
Separate funds are recommended when there is an external or internal need to have a separate accounting of a particular activity.
How to Establish a New Fund/Change an Existing Fund
Generally, NDSU has three categories of funds:
Local funds – fund ranges are as follows:
Appropriation funds – fund ranges 30000 – 39999
Grant funds – fund ranges 40000 – 49999
Local funds are supported by revenues generated by the university, such as: sales and services, fees, gifts, investment income, bond sales, transfers between local funds, etc…
Both balance sheet and income statement accounts need to be managed by departments for local funds. Net asset balances (i.e., assets less liabilities) for local funds need to be maintained in a surplus condition, although minimal temporary deficits are allowable in some cases (i.e., occasionally there are cash flow timing issues for a fund). Assets in local funds need to be closely managed by departments and need to be used wisely in the best interests of the department, college, division, university and state. Although budgets are now established in NDSU local funds, the overriding focus on spending limits is the net assets available in the fund. The university strives to have all local fund net asset balances in a surplus condition at fiscal year-end.
Recharge Center funds (also known as Internal Service Funds), are setup for activities where the primary purpose is to sell goods or services to other university departments, rather than external parties. These funds are subject to numerous regulations and require significant monitoring by the Grant & Contract Accounting Office. There are restrictions on the net asset balance in the fund and expenses/transfers must be for activities related to the mission of the fund. The NDUS web site has more detailed guidelines for these funds in the Accounting Manual.
Summary of Recharge Centers
In local capital improvement funds the net assets are tracked by project numbers. Separate project numbers are established for each local funded construction project. These funds are for construction projects funded from local sources, rather than appropriations or grants.
Scholarships and loans issued by the Student Financial Services department are charged to a separate fund range (# 50000 – 69999). These funds are managed for Student Financial Services.
Restricted gift funds (fund range 79000 to 79999) are funds in which there is a donor-specified restriction. Generally, donor-specified restrictions may not be changed without the donor’s consent. Restrictions may relate to who is allowed to use the money in the fund, what the money is allowed to be used for, when the money can be used, or some combination of these. The departments generating the gifts manage these funds, with oversight by the Grant & Contract Accounting Office. The revenue source in these funds are typically gifts from private companies that are restricted to a specific study, program, or department, and do not meet the definition of a grant under NDSU Policy 803.
Agency funds (fund range 80000 – 89999) are funds held by NDSU for an organization that is affiliated with, but not a part of, the University. NDSU has no control over how the money in the fund is used (as long as the use is legal), and simply serves as a custodian of the organizations money, basically acting like a bank account. Examples include, but are not limited to student organizations, monies allocated to student government, monies held for the University System Office activities on campus, monies held for counties.
Close scrutiny will be given when Agency funds are established to determine if a true and legitimate outside organization exists that actually owns the money in the fund. Extra care needs to be taken by NDSU to not include university monies in Agency funds. The outside organization cannot be part of a university department. If NDSU personnel are making the spending decisions on a fund it will likely not qualify as an Agency fund.
Appropriation funds are supported by a combination of state general funds, tuition, State Land Department income and, in some cases, sales/services income. In the Agriculture entities, separate funds are maintained for general funds and special funds.
With appropriation funds the focus is on budgets and expenses. Budgets and expenses in appropriation funds are tracked on a fiscal year basis (i.e., from July 1 to June 30). In PeopleSoft/Oracle, the Commitment Control module is the primary tool for managing the appropriation budget on a daily basis. There is an on-line inquiry called Budget Overview and a batch report called Budget Transaction Detail that gives the most useful information for appropriation funds. Departments need to manage their budget and keep their expenses within the budget limits in appropriated funds. Departments do not need to be concerned with the balance sheet accounts in appropriation funds.
In the Agriculture entities (department range 7000 – 7999), budgets are setup in fund and project numbers combinations. But the department focus is still on budgets and expenses.
In grant funds the fund number itself does not contain very meaningful information. Grant activity is tracked by project number. Grant project numbers are established through the initial setting up of the award by the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration. With grant projects the department’s focus is on budgets and expenses. Budgets and expenses in grant projects are tracked on a project life basis (i.e., the term of the grant award), not a fiscal year basis, in the PeopleSoft/Oracle Commitment Control module. Departments need to manage their grant project budgets and keep their expenses within the budget limits of the grant projects. The Budget Overview inquiry, Budget Transaction Detail report, both noted above in the appropriation fund section, gives useful information for grant projects. In addition, there is a PI report available in PeopleSoft/Oracle that gives excellent information on the financial status of grants.