GAP 200.020, Journal Vouchers

  1. General
  2. Documentation Required
  3. SAP Online Journal Voucher
  4. Approver Roles and Responsibilities
  5. Additional Resources




This procedure is designed to provide detailed information on how to complete a Journal Voucher, also referred to as a Journal Entry, and guidelines on how to document the Journal Voucher appropriately. Documentation of Journal Voucher transactions is critical to ensuring our fundamental financial information is identifiable. Section V details additional resources, including how to obtain an assigned Journal Voucher number.

Journal Vouchers are used to transfer amounts between accounts in order to distribute interdepartmental charges, reclassify, or correct data in the general ledger system. Entries may involve G/L account transfers within the same cost object (Cost Center, Profit Center, Internal Order, WBS element or Fund) or transfers between different cost objects.

If a Journal Voucher involves a federal sponsored project (30x – 34x projects as well as subcontracts related to federal projects), the transfer may be considered a "cost transfer". Cost transfers must be processed in accordance with GAP 200.150, Cost Transfers on Sponsored Projects. Failure to process the cost transfer in accordance with GAP 200.150 could result in the entry being disallowed and charged to the department's discretionary code.

Journal Vouchers are entered into SAP at the departmental level. Duke launched the Journal Voucher Workflow ("JV Workflow") Initiative in response to concerns raised by KPMG and the Audit Committee of the University's Board of Trustees. The workflow process systematically routes journal entries which meet established criteria to the appropriate reviewer(s) for approval before posting the entry to the general ledger. These approval parameters have been established by each management center. It is important to note that users within the departments can be JV initiators, approvers, or both.

The SAP transaction code ZF104 provides a mechanism to upload data from Excel to SAP. Electronic Journal Voucher Uploads to SAP provides detailed information on how to do this type of upload. This is a useful tool when a complex spreadsheet is used to do calculations. By formatting a spreadsheet to match the requirements, the information can be uploaded rather than having to be re-keyed. Journal vouchers that are entered into the system via the ZF104 will route through JV Workflow.

Journal Vouchers are entered in accordance with the fiscal calendar deadlines. GAP 200.011, Fiscal Calendar provides important dates. As part of the Year End close process, periods thirteen and fourteen have a unique approval process. Accounting System Administration distributes detailed information prior to year-end close.



A Journal Voucher initiator must provide a thorough explanation for all Journal Vouchers to ensure that any questions arising regarding a Journal Voucher can be answered by reviewing the transaction description and additional notes. The explanation should include the purpose of the Journal Voucher, reference to any relevant manual approvals or supporting documentation, and the basis for the related amounts (calculations). Proper documentation ensures that there is not the need for individual recollection, by the person who created the Journal Voucher.

The basic underlying guideline is that the documentation should provide enough detail to satisfy an auditor, whether it is an internal auditor or an external auditor. Detailed below is the type of documentation expected to be included with the Journal Voucher.

  • For a correcting entry, include from the original posting the SAP document number (if available), the reference number, and the date posted; also include an explanation of why the correction is necessary.
  • For initial charges, details pertaining to the journal voucher such as why it is being done, the department and telephone number, and any calculation as to how the amount was derived. Where appropriate this should include a description such as charge, quantity, price, period. For example: 5 copies at 5 cents per copy for 09/02 for department x.

Entering text Documentation in SAP:

When entering a Journal Voucher directly into SAP the required documentation can be addressed in the Text Description, the information contained in Additional Notes, and/or by an attachment (Word, Excel, etc.). If all of the required information is entered into SAP, retaining a paper copy is not required.

If the required documentation cannot be entered into SAP then the paper documentation must be retained for 7 years or for 3 years after a sponsored project terminates, whichever is longer. This is in accordance with the applicable Duke University or DUHS retention policies. Please refer to GAP 200.240, Retention Periods for Accounting Records for further detail. The department must implement internal procedures that allow for the paper documentation to be accessible in the event the transaction is reviewed during an audit.

When paper documentation is being retained, indicate in the Additional Notes field that paper documentation is on file in the department.

The following are examples of why all the documentation may not be entered into SAP.

  • Confidential Information
  • Extensive paper backup, such as phone bills
  • Extensive and complex calculations

If adequate documentation is not in SAP, and the paper documentation is inadequate, a representative of the originating department must be able to answer questions that may arise concerning the Journal Voucher. Keep in mind that questions may not be asked until several years after the Journal Voucher is processed.


The JV originator must provide a detailed explanation of the purpose and justification for the entry, as well as the type and location of any manual supporting documentation. This full explanation will often need to be entered in the extra text field in SAP due to length restrictions for line item text (50 characters); however, line item text must also be included for each line in the JV.

  • Example 1, extra text field (appropriate):

Monthly entry to reallocate expense, per July 1, 2005 agreement approved by Alex Barth (DU School of Medicine) and Phil Smith (DUH). Agreement is maintained within the Department of Psycho-Analytical Statistics Studies. Supporting calculation attached (spreadsheet).


  • Example 2, extra text field (inadequate):

Entry to reallocate expense at month-end.

  • Example 3, extra text field (adequate):

To reverse document 3245687932 (posting date: January 3, 2006), due to an incorrect cost center used in that document.

  • Example 4, extra text field (inadequate):

Document 3245686932.

Entries involving a large volume of Interdepartmental Requisitions (IRs) are considered adequately documented when each line item in the journal voucher includes an IR number, and the extra text field for the journal voucher includes a description of the nature of the charge and the location of the related documentation/support.

  • Example 5 (appropriate):

Line item text: IR #342595; Extra text: Tissue samples for research; supporting documentation maintained by Melanie Brown, Pathology.



  • Example 6 (inadequate):

Line item text: IR #34259585; Extra text: (none)

When confidentiality concerns make detailed explanations in SAP impractical, that fact should be documented within the JV and a location where the related documentation will be maintained should be cited.

  • Example 7, extra text field (appropriate):

Transfer of costs associated with legal settlement paid on November 12, 2006. Confidential documentation is on file within DUHS Corporate Finance.

  • Example 8 (inadequate):


If a Journal Voucher involves a federal sponsored project (30x – 34x projects as well as subcontracts related to federal projects), the transfer may be considered a "cost transfer." Cost transfers must be processed in accordance with GAP 200.150, Cost Transfers on Sponsored Projects.


A. Overview

It is the responsibility of the individual entering the Journal Voucher to ensure it is entered in a timely manner and that adequate documentation is included. If adequate documentation cannot be entered into SAP, then paper documentation must be kept on file in the department. Section II provides guidelines regarding what is adequate documentation.

Section B assists in the actual process of entering the Journal Voucher into SAP. This is not intended to replace the SAP training manual; rather to provide additional information regarding the use of key fields. The Journal Voucher SAP Template is a tool that some find useful. The template is completed as part of preparing to enter a Journal Voucher into SAP. This will help ensure that all of the required information is on hand when keying. For assistance in completing the template, refer to Section C.

B. Header Data when entering Journal Vouchers into SAP

The following menu path accesses standard entries:

Financials > Financial Documents > Park Document

The Header Data fields to be entered are described below, all of the fields in bold are required:

Document date:   Date entry is being keyed
Doc. type:   Will default to SA,
ZJ is used for cost transfers
Company code:   Appropriate company code
Posting date:   Enter a date within the fiscal period that the entry is to be posted
Period:   Will default to the posting date.
Currency:   USD
Rate:   Leave blank
Document number:   Leave blank
Translation date:   Leave blank

Use 8-digit format with no spacing. JVPPXXXX, JV is standard, PP is the period number, and XXXX is the department’s assigned JV number. Example: JV070100. All Health System assigned JV numbers should be 13XX.

Section V details how to acquire an assigned Journal Voucher number.

Cross-cc no:   Leave blank
Doc.header text:   Description that pertains to the entire entry (this field is only 25 characters)
Example: Alloc long dist tele chg
Trading part BA:   Leave blank

Once all of the Header Data fields have been completed, click on G/L item fast entry, to access the input screen. Then select an entry template that allows for text, such as ZJVF or ZJVT. You can also set a default screen template by going to Editing Options or transaction FB00. Please see the SAP training manual for step-by-step instructions.

When keying in the Journal Voucher it is required that a text description be keyed. This description will be displayed on the financial statement and provides guidance regarding the nature of the entry. If an adequate description for the Journal Voucher cannot be provided in the text field (50 characters), then Additional Notes must be incorporated. Section II provides guidelines regarding what constitutes adequate documentation.

For detailed instructions on how to park and post an entry, refer to the SAP training manual.

Adding Additional Notes:

The following menu path accesses Additional Notes:

Extras  >  Texts
Double click anywhere on the note row – a blank screen is provided to key the information
Green arrow back (.) >  green check (.)

Additional Notes are used to provide any additional information necessary in order to provide adequate documentation for the Journal Voucher. Section II provides guidelines regarding what constitutes adequate documentation.

Additional Notes are only applied to a Journal Voucher once. As a result, the additional notes must address all documentation issues for the entire Journal Voucher. Ensure that the notes are organized in such a way that it is easily identifiable what line items the notes are addressing.

C. Journal Voucher SAP Template

The Journal Voucher SAP Template was created to assist users who prefer to key from a completed form. It is available on the web. The template is in the format of the SAP entry template ZJVF.

Journal Vouchers are entered into SAP at the departmental level.

To supplement the SAP training users have received, below are descriptions of what information goes into each field.

PK 40/PK 50:
Indicate if the line is a 40 (debit) or 50 (credit), Note: debit a G/L account to increase an expense or decrease a revenue, credit a G/L account to decrease an expense or increase a revenue.

G/L account:
Enter the 6-digit G/L account number. Note: this is the equivalent of the object code.

Enter the amount to be debited or credited.

Co Code:
Enter the appropriate company code for the line.

Cost Center, Profit Center, WBS Element, or Fund:
Enter in the appropriate field a 7 or 9-digit number (7 for University, 9 for Health System), only populate ONE of these fields. (For the University 3xx and 7xx codes are WBS Elements)

Enter the description for the transaction line. If correcting an error or transferring an expense, include from the original posting the SAP document number (if available), the reference number, and the date posted; also include an explanation of why the correction is necessary. For Cost Transfers, refer to GAP 200.150, Cost Transfers on Sponsored Projects. Remember that this is all the information that will show on financial reports, maximum allowed is 50 characters. If you cannot include all of the required documentation in this field, you must incorporate Additional Notes on the Journal Voucher.

Additional Notes:
Explain why this transaction is being done, Section II Documentation Required, details the required information that needs to be included on the Journal Voucher.

Date Prepared/Date Approved:
These fields have been included on the form for internal departmental use only; they may be useful if the department uses the form as a mechanism for documenting approvals.



JV approvers should review each entry and take action on the entry (approve or reject) within 24 hours from the time the time of arrival in your SAP Inbox.

JV approvers should (a) ensure that the document description and attachments include the relevant information to make the approver comfortable that the JV is appropriate and supported; (b) reject entries with insufficient documentation, and (c) include an explanation/reason for the rejection within the Journal Voucher.



For assistance in entering a Journal Voucher in SAP contact:

  • Accounting Systems Administration (919) 684-2752

To request an Assigned Journal Voucher Number

  • University users: Submit a request via the web; the request option is available at the top of the Assigned JV list.
  • DUHS users: Call (919) 286-6371

Additional General Accounting Procedures that may assist with the Journal Voucher process:

GAP 200.011, Fiscal Calendar

GAP 200.012, Reconciliation of Financial Transactions

GAP 200.240, Retention Periods for Accounting Records

Journal Vouchers affecting federal sponsored projects must, if applicable, comply with the following:

GAP 200.150, Cost Transfers on Sponsored Projects