FedEx Account Coding Instructions

There are two methods that can be used to ship packages with Federal Express. The first is to complete a paper FedEx airbill. The second is to use FedEx’s on-line ordering system to complete the airbill. The information the shipper provides in the internal billing reference field on the airbill (regardless of the method of submission) determines how the shipment will be expensed in SAP. Federal Express transmits an electronic file to Duke University’s Accounts Payable department comprised of invoices and airbills. This information goes through a validation process. If the information in the internal billing reference field fails the validation process, the default code assigned to the FedEx account number is used.

The information provided in the internal billing reference field should be in the same format for manual and on-line submission. If the required format of the expense code is incorrect, the expense will post to the department’s default code.

The proper format for completing the internal billing information is:

Company Code*Cost Object*Indicator

If the charges should be expensed to the default code, this field can be left blank. This format applies to both manual airbills and FedEx on-line order entries.

Company Code

The Company Code will be 4 digits (i.e., 0010, 0020…, 0060)

The company code is followed by an asterisk.

Cost Object

The Cost Object is your departmental code. For the University and Medical Center it is the seven digit fund code (e.g. 5755555). For the health system it is usually the department’s nine digit number (e.g. 301000222).

The cost object is followed by an asterisk.


The indicator is a one digit alpha character used to define the cost object category. Examples:

C for a COST CENTER (General Operating Expense) or W for a WBS ELEMENT (Restricted funds such as research projects and clinical trials, plant funds, capital acquisitions and construction projects)

Note: there should be no spaces between the company code, cost object, and indicator other than the asterisks mentioned above.



When the paper airbill is used, FedEx has to manually enter the billing information. To avoid potential problems, we recommend that Duke customers use the FedEx online airbill whenever possible.

Accounts Payable can assist in setting up FedEx online accounts for your Department. This on-line process, FedEx Ship Manager, can help you:

  • Print shipping labels right from a personal computer.
  • Create your own address book with up to 2000 names and addresses so recipient information will not have to be retyped.
  • Edit address book entries and default shipper information to keep all shipping information current.
  • Use FedEx ShipAlert shipment notification to inform recipients that your FedEx shipment is on its way.
  • Use FedEx ShipAlert delivery notification to receive e-mail notification when your FedEx shipment is delivered.
  • Arrange courier pickup on-line; it is available in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and select countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
  • Review your shipping history for the previous 45 days.
  • Obtain a courtesy rate quote before processing shipments.
  • Capture your expense code correctly and import address books from other applications.

If you or any member of your staff has questions, please call Accounts Payable at (919) 684-3112.

Examples of Airbills:


These are only examples.
Please do not try to use the codes in the example above or in the attached examples when shipping.
They are not valid codes.