United Parcel Service (UPS) Account Coding Instructions

There are two methods that can be used to ship packages with UPS. The first is to complete a paper UPS airbill. The second is to use the UPS on-line CampusShip 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. UPS transmits an electronic invoice file to Duke University’s Accounts Payable department. 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 UPS account number is used to expense the transaction.

The information provided in the internal billing reference field must be in the required format for both manual and on-line submissions. 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 UPS CampusShip entries. (If you would like to know your default code, contact Accounts Payable at 919 684-3112).

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, UPS manually enters the billing information. To avoid potential problems, we recommend that Duke customers use the UPS online airbill whenever possible.

The onsite UPS Rep can assist in setting up UPS online accounts for your Department.


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