Glossary of Terms

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Account Assignment Model
A template for journal entries used to save keystrokes for repetitive entries. Account assignment models can simplify journal entries that are created monthly by entering and saving multiple sets of identical data. The Account Assignment Model can be modified during posting to add/delete/modify line items. They can be created by any user or centrally by Duke University and Duke Health System accounting areas.
Accounting Document
The accounting document represents the original financial document in the system. An accounting document can also be generated from the creation of another type of document in SAP, such as an Invoice document. Accounting documents always consist of a document header with general information about the entire document and at least two line items for the debit and credit. The balance of the document must equal zero.
Accounting Period
The period within a fiscal year during which transactions can be recorded. For Duke, the accounting period is the fiscal month, as defined in the Fiscal Calendar published by the Financial Services division.
Accrual and Deferral
Accrual and deferral provides a temporary allocation of revenues and expenses to determine the profit for the period. A distinction is made between accrued income and deferred income; accrued income includes expenses before the closing key date, insofar as they represent expenses for a particular time after that date.
Acquisition Cost
The acquisition cost value of an item of property as determined by the Federal Government. This is not the amount charged for the item.
Abbreviation found on Biweekly Leave, Gross Pay Computation, and Distribution Reports. Stands for: Gross adjustment data.
Adjusted Cost Basis
In reference to Fixed Income Securities: The first cost of the securities adjusted for amortization of any premium or discount as of a given date.
Advanced Payment Award

Some Sponsors, usually private, enclose a check with the sponsored project award document or make advance payments based on a payment schedule specified in the award document. If the award document contractually obligates Duke to invest the advanced funds, the Office of Sponsored Programs notifies the Departmental Administrator and the Endowment/Investment Office of this requirement. The Endowment/Investment Office automatically invests the funds according to Duke's investment policies. Sponsors may require the return of any unspent funds left at the end of the project.


Generic name for grant, contract or other agreement which is enforcable at law, and which must be executed by an authorized official.*

Alien, Non-resident
If a person does not meet either the Green Card or Substantial Presence Test, then that person is classified as a non-resident alien.

A new arrival on a J-1 or F-1 visa is generally a non-resident alien.

Non-resident aliens are taxed only on their income from sources within the U.S. and on certain income connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the U.S.
Alien, Resident
To be classified as a resident alien, the individual must meet one of two tests:

1. Green Card Test

A non-resident alien is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. at any time if they have been given the privilege, according to the immigration laws, of residing permanently as an immigrant. This status usually exists if the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued a green card.

2. Substantial Presence Test

A non-resident alien is classified as a resident alien for tax purposes if they were physically present in the U.S. for 31 days during the current year and 183 days during a three-year period that includes the current year and the two years immediately before that.

Allocability, allowability, consistency, and reasonableness are the main factors affecting the determination of a direct cost. Per government regulation (OMB Circular A-21 section C.4.a.), a cost is allocable to a particular sponsored project if the goods or services involved are chargeable or assignable to the sponsored project in accordance with relative benefits received or other equitable relationship.
Allowability, allocability, consistency, and reasonableness are the main factors affecting the determination of a direct cost. The cost must conform to any limitations or exclusions stated in generally accepted accounting principles or in the sponsored agreement, i.e., the cost must be "allowable" and not specifically designated as unallowable by regulation or grant/contract specific award conditions.
In reference to Fixed Income Securities: The gradual, systematic extinguishment of an amount of money over a period of time
This is an attribute that exists in the PS module of SAP and it identifies the "Sponsor" of the project, such as NIH, DOE, Glaxo, etc.
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