Accounting Terminology

Search Glossary:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Cash Contribution
The recipient's cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the recipient by non-Federal third parties.
Certificate of Resale
A Certificate of Resale (Form E-590) is used when a business, engaged in retail sales, purchases items to be sold. This certificate exempts the purchases from sales tax. Most departments normally should not expect a vendor to request form E-590, the exception being a gift shop, or other entity, which routinely sells retail merchandise.
Chart of Accounts
Equivalent to Duke's set of object codes (old terminology), the Chart of Accounts (COA) in SAP contains a detailed list of G/L (general ledger) accounts within account categories. The COA includes G/L accounts for the categories of Assets, Liabilities, Fund Equity, Revenues, and Expenses. Only one COA, which is identified by the value "DUKE", exists in SAP for all the companies within Duke, although different G/L accounts can be configured by each company.
A commitment is the reservation of funds for a future expenditure. A commitment is created for both an electronic Purchase Requisition and a Purchase Order. The commitment amount will become an actual expense, when the goods are received (applicable for certain areas, such as Durham Regional Hospital and Raleigh Community Hospital with central receiving) or when the Invoice is paid against the Purchase Order.
Commitment Item
A commitment item represents the functional aspects (expenditure and revenue structures) within the Financial Management module. In other words, a commitment item in FM is the equivalent of a cost element in CO. Each cost element in CO must be assigned to a commitment item in FM, to ensure that FM receives the transaction information occurring for that cost element (e.g., cost element 646000 is linked to commitment item 646000).
Company Code
A company code is a four-digit code corresponding to an independent accounting or business unit within Duke. The company code is a division that maintains the accounting balances separately (separate set of books) and creates the legally required Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement.
Controlling Area
Identifies the organization used for cost accounting purposes. All companies associated with Duke belong to the controlling area "DUKE". It is possible to carry out common controlling for more than one company code in a controlling area. Having all company codes in the same controlling area allows various assessment and allocations across companies. All companies must have the same fiscal year to be in the same controlling area.
Corporate Card
The Corporate Card provides an efficient method for making many business related purchases. Purchases are charged directly to the department's designated cost object and Duke issues one monthly payment for all Corporate Card purchases. The card may be used for most purchases up to $1,500 and travel related expenses up to $3,000. The Corporate Card cannot be used for the following purchases:
-Capital equipment
-Payments to individuals
-Leases and long-term rentals
-Weapons and ammunition
-Controlled substances
-Medical/Surgical supplies used in hospital or clinical patient care areas
-Non ENERGY STAR compliant appliances and electronics
Total charges per card are subject to daily and monthly limits.
Cost Element
A six-digit code that defines and classifies revenue or expenses/costs (usually equals Duke's old four-digit Object Code + two zeroes). The term "Revenue element" is also seen in the CO module to refer to codes for revenue.

Cost elements fall into two categories:

1. Primary Cost Elements = Used for initial postings of revenue and expense, and have corresponding G/L Accounts.
2. Secondary Cost Elements = Used for allocations (movement of an initial posting to other "owners") of revenue and expense, and do not have corresponding G/L Accounts.
Cost Element Group
A grouping of a set of similar or like Cost Elements used to select transactions for reporting.

For example, the Cost Element Group of "6XXXXX" contains all Cost Elements from 600000 to 699999. Selecting this group on the initial screen of a report will generate a report showing any activity posted to all expense Cost Elements.

Another example, the Cost Element Group of "HSRPT", is comprised of many other Cost Element Groups and contains all Cost Elements for revenue and expenses, grouped specifically the way a Duke Health System company code needs to analyze revenue and expense. Selecting this group on the initial screen of a report will generate a report showing all revenue and expense activity grouped into subtotals for Health System reporting, such as Inpatient Revenue, Outpatient Revenue, Total Patient Revenue, etc. Each subtotal is a Cost Element Group as well.

The Cost Element Group of "DUKE_CE" is also comprised of many other Cost Element Groups and contains all Cost Elements for revenue and expense, grouped specifically the way that Duke University areas need to analyze revenue and expense. Selecting this group on the initial screen of a report will generate a report showing all revenue and expense activity grouped in subtotals. This group is intended more for University reporting, but can be used by the Health System as well.
Cost Object
The term Cost Object defines the "owner" of or responsible department for revenue, expense, or project related expense/revenue in financial modules.

Cost Objects are further defined by the following categories / terms:

Cost Center
Defines the owner of general operating expenses, allocated, loan, endowment, and agency cost objects.

Profit Center
Defines the owner of general revenue. For DUHS companies, the Profit Center also collects information from the corresponding cost center and WBS element, which allows DUHS to see revenue, expenses, and capital acquisitions in the Profit Center report.

WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) Element
Defines the owner of revenues and expenses for a project. Typically, projects have a limited duration of life, but can cross multiple fiscal years. A project for Duke includes restricted funds (research projects and clinical trials), plant funds (construction projects and DUHS capital acquisitions).

NOTE: DRH is not using PS for restricted funds and RCH does not have restricted funds.

All these terms replace the term "fund code" and "department number" used by various Duke companies in the past.

The Duke University Health System cost object number contains 9 digits:

* The first 2 digits represent the last two digits of the company code (e.g., 30 for Duke Hospital)

* The same 9 digit number is used for a department's Cost Center and Profit Center, so there is now just one code to remember for revenues and expenses. There is a different WBS Element number for each Project, except for DUHS Capital Acquisitions prior to July 2000. NOTE: Duke Hospital and DUAP departments may still need to use the old seven digit fund code for some systems until they are converted to the SAP format.

The Duke University cost object number contains 7 digits:

* The cost object is either a Cost Center (expense collector for seven-digit funds beginning with 15x, 168,180, 190, 4xx, 5xx, 6xx, 8xx, and 9xx), Profit Center (revenue collector for seven-digit funds beginning with 11x and 14x funds), or WBS Element (expense and revenue collector for Project seven-digit funds beginning with 3xx or 7xx); and has the same digits and meaning as before SAP was implemented, except without the dash.
Cost Reimbursement Award

An award made on a cost-reimbursement basis refers to an award where the sponsor makes a commitment to award/obligate a specified amount but the actual money is not received by Duke until after the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) bills for the expenses incurred on the project. On a cost-reimbursement award, the Principal Investigator is allowed to spend the amount awarded/obligated and need not be concerned with the timing of when the actual money is received. For 30X through 38X WBS Elements, the amount awarded/obligated will be indicated in the AWARD column of the fund statement (SAP PDT Plan column). *