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Account Code Structure

Ohio University uses Oracle e-Business Suite as their Financial Management System (FMS) and Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) for financial reporting. A full list of segment values is available in the Segment Lookup page of the Finance Lookups Dashboard.


General Ledger (GL): System of record for all financial transactions.

Subledger: stores specific accounting detail and posts in summary to the General Ledger.

Chart of Accounts (COA) Structure: Identifies how to account for transactions.

Segments: Components of the Chart of Accounts structure, intended to track different information.

Values: range of numbers defined for each segment.

Cost Center: Segment values used together in a transaction (excludes object code).

The General Ledger Account Structure:

  • The Entity segment is a two-digit value that identifies how the transaction is summarized for financial reporting. This segment represents major components of the University that require separate balance sheets and external reporting (Legal Entities, auxiliary operations, etc.) such as Ohio University or the OU Foundation.
  • The Source segment is a six-digit value that identifies how the transaction is funded, classified by restrictions. Source values used by Planning Units will generally belong to one of two categories: Unrestricted Operations and Restricted Expendable. It is important to note that restrictions are imposed by external parties like donors or sponsors.
  • The Organization segment six-digit value that identifies who administers the funds, such as a planning unit or department. Organization is the lowest level value of the University structure and a department can consist of multiple organizations. Organization values are unique to each Planning Unit.
  • The Activity segment is a four-digit value that identifies the internal purpose of the transaction. This segment is unit-defined, and allows Planning Units to identify internal purposes for spending and associated revenues. There is a range of shared values defined at the University level and a range of values available to be determined at the Planning Unit level.
  • The Function segment is a two-digit value that identifies the high level spending classification as defined by the government or accounting standards (e.g., instruction, research, etc.). University expenditures are recorded by a combination of functions established by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) for higher education and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21. The function value is required for each expense transaction on both University and Foundation accounts. Function is not a required value for balance sheet and revenue accounts. The Function segment is important and is used in the preparation of various required financial, regulatory, and activity-related reports.
  • The Object segment is a six-digit value that identifies what kind of transaction is taking place and delineates the values by account category for Assets, Liabilities, Fund Balances, Revenues, Expenses, and Investment Transfers. It is used to further define the nature of the transaction.

The Grants Accounting Structure:

In addition to the above segments, the Grants Accounting module is a sub-ledger of the General Ledger that summarizes transactions to the General Ledger. Internal Awards, Capital Projects and Sponsored Projects are tracked in the Grants Accounting Module and have a separate accounting structure, known as the Project - Task - Award or PTA, as defined below.

  • The Project segment is a system generated sequential five-digit value that represents a person or scope of work with a single task or multiple tasks. Examples:
    • Faculty Project, Research Project, Capital Construction
  • The Task Segment is a value up to five digits that represents the work breakdown structure for a specific project. It provides a way of organizing expenditures. Each project must have at least one task.
  • The Award segment is a seven digit value that represents the source of funding that supports the project, which can be internally funded by departments or funded by external agencies.
  • Expenditure type is a 30 digit value (GL object code + Object code description) that represents the type of goods or services being purchased.