Accounting Services

Glossary of Terms


Account: In Banner, the 5-digit number that identifies the kind of transaction taking place.

Administrative Overhead: Internal charge-backs to self-maintaining Funds/Orgs to recover the cost of administrative support.

Approval Queues: Web-based system for approving documents through Ursa and Banner that replaces previous signature manual. Currently used for Electronic Internal Orders (EIOs).

Authorized Position: All positions and maximum salaries require presidential approval. Once this approval occurs, the position becomes “authorized” and a part of the Position Management database maintained by OBIA. When a position is vacated, it requires re-approval to remain an authorized position.

Automated Clearing House (ACH): (Direct Deposit) Method used to automatically transfer funds from UNC to individual bank accounts.

Auxiliary Operations: Student support services that are funded through specific service charges and as a whole include bond-funded facilities; e.g., residence halls, dining halls, parking, etc.

Base Dollars / Base Budget: Ongoing funding which for any given Fund/Org or area is typically calculated from the prior year base plus or minus adjustments.

Bid Information & Distribution System (BIDS): The State of Colorado’s electronic distribution system for bid documents.

Capital Equipment: Single items having an expected life of more than one year and costing $5,000 or more.

Cash Funds / Cash Budget: Self-maintaining Funds/Orgs, which must operate within the dollars, earned; e.g., continuing education, auxiliary operations. These budgets are not appropriated by the State Legislature. Note that at the State level, however, the term cash funds is used to mean tuition and fees which UNC commingles with its general fund appropriation in the State appropriated budget.

Check/EFT Request: Document used by UNC’s Accounts Payable department to pay certain direct bill documents and receipts.

Chart of Accounts: A list of all the accounts used by an Organization, showing the identifying number (FOAP) assigned to each account.

College Opportunity Fund (COF): Financial support provided by the State of Colorado to in-state undergraduate students who apply for it. The amount of the support is determined yearly by the Legislature.

Colorado Correctional Industries (CCI): The State agency that manufactures and markets office furniture and seating, operates a print shop, fabricates metal products, and produces apparel and flags as part of its operations.

CONUS: Continental United States, including the District of Columbia.

Dedicated Revenue: A minority portion of the budget including selected fees, which are not commingled with other revenue sources but are spent out of the respective accounts in which they are earned.

Departmental Purchase Order (DPO): UNC’s small dollar purchase order used to order materials or services with a cost of $5,000 or less.

Documented Quote (DQ): The competitive process for purchasing relatively small value goods or services. Goods between $10,000 and $150,000 and services between $25,000 and $150,000 may be purchased by this method.

Electronic Internal Order (EIO): A web form used to record the purchase and sale of goods and/or services between campus departments.

Encumbrance: (Budget Reservation) An account used to record the estimated amount of purchase orders, contracts, and salaries. The account is credited when goods or services are received.

Encumbrance Order (EO): A type of purchase order that is associated with a formal contract.

Employer Identification Number (EIN): The federal taxpayer identification number issued to an entity (business, organization, etc.) when the entity registers with the Internal Revenue Service.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): Means of transferring money from UNC to individual bank accounts. See also ACH and Direct Deposit.

Expenditure: Charges incurred for operation, maintenance, interest, and other goods or services made during the fiscal period.

Expense Purpose (NACUBO category): Standardized categories used to group expenses: Instruction, Research, Public Service, Academic Support, Student Services, Operation & Maintenance of Plant, Institutional Support, and Scholarships & Fellowships.

External Mandates: Expenditure requirements imposed upon UNC over which the University has little or no control. Examples are software licenses, maintenance fees, risk management premiums, insurance and CCHE central governing costs.

Facilities & Administrative Rate (F&A): The maximum rate of recovery of administrative costs for grants and other sponsored programs. Calculated based on actual costs incurred and approved by the federal Department of Health & Human Sciences.

Fiscal Rules: Rules promulgated by Colorado’s State Controller regarding disbursements, contracting, accounting, etc.

FOAPAL: Acronym for Fund, Organization, Account, Program,
Activity, Location. (Location is currently not used.)

Foreign National: A citizen of a particular nation located away from their native country.

Fund: In Banner, the 5-digit number that specifies the source of the money.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): Calculated number of faculty, students or employees that equates the number of hours worked or the number of credit courses to a full-time basis. For employment purposes, 2,080 hours of employee work is one FTE, regardless of the actual number of employees involved. For student enrollment, 30 credit hours is one FTE.

GA/GRA/TA: Graduate Assistant, Graduate Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant. All are contracted graduate students who are assigned to departments in various capacities such as research, teaching and other graduate level duties.

Garnishment: Involuntary deduction from an employee’s pay based on a court or agency action by a creditor.

Green Card: An identity card attesting the permanent resident status of an alien in the U.S. Originally, the form was printed on green paper.

Governance Groups: State Personnel Employees Executive Council (SPEEC), Professional Administrative Staff Council (PASC), Faculty Senate and Student Representative Council (SRC).

Honorarium: A payment given to a professional person for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required.

Independent Contractor: An individual who is responsible to UNC for the results of certain work but is not subject to UNC’s controls as to the means and methods of accomplishing those results.

Indirect Cost Recovery (IDC): The recovery of costs that are incurred when the University performs research for other sponsored programs. The current distribution of Indirect Costs is:
Research and Development – 30%; Scholarly Activity – 30%; College/Department – 30%; Library - 10%.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN): A number formatted like a Social Security Number, but issued by the Internal Revenue Service to individuals who are not eligible for a Social Security Number (e.g., a foreign national not legally able to work in the U.S., but receiving some form of payment other than wages).

Insight: The University's reporting tool, used to view and create reports from data stored in the Banner database. Insight is accessed through the Ursa portal and reports are organized into Views and Tabs.

Invitation for Bid (IFB): The competitive process for advertising the purchase of goods and services in excess of $150,000.

June Book: The recommended budget for the upcoming fiscal year (July to June), which is presented to the Board of Trustees for approval. Includes narrative, charts, graphs, spreadsheets etc.

Line Item Budgeting: Budgeting by specific line item codes as opposed to budgeting by pools to maintain accountability.

Long Bill: Colorado’s appropriations bill.

May Book: The proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year (July to June) discussed at the Board of Trustees’ May meeting. Includes narrative, charts, graphs, spreadsheets etc.

NACUBO (National Association of College & University Business Officers): National association that provides training, develops resources and acts as a liaison for colleges and universities with regulatory bodies. Liaison activities include federal tax issues, accounting standards, etc.

Non-Qualified Scholarship: Generally, scholarship/fellowship amounts received in excess of tuition, fees, books, and equipment that are mandatory for enrollment at the University or in specific courses. Generally, non-qualified scholarship/fellowship amounts are taxable income to the recipient.

Nonresident Alien: (for tax purposes only) A foreign national who does not fulfill Internal Revenue Service testing criteria to be treated under the same tax laws as a U.S. citizen. For taxation governance, nonresident aliens are subject to a set of tax laws outside the U.S. citizen taxation laws.

Non-Scheduled Payroll Check Request Form: A form that must accompany a request for a payroll check to be printed outside the regular payroll confirm process. It is an authorization for the Payroll department to charge the requesting department a $45.00 fee for issuing a non-scheduled check.

Off-Cycle Check Request Form: A form that must accompany a request for a vendor check to be issued outside the regular Accounts Payable check-printing process. It is an authorization for the Accounts Payable Department to charge the requesting department a $25 fee for issuing an off-cycle vendor check.

Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP): An office within the Division of Research and Graduate Studies that supports the University's leadership, faculty and staff in the acquisition and administration of externally funded grants and contracts for research, teaching and faculty service projects.

Official Function: A meeting, conference, meal, or other function, which is hosted by the President, or representative of the University, attended by guests and/or University employees, and held for official University business purposes. Requires approval by designated individuals.

One-Time Dollars: Non-recurring funding for a specific purpose. One-time dollars in any given FOAP may be a transfer from another FOAP's base budget or may be from a non-recurring revenue source.

Organization: In Banner, the 5-digit number that specifies the unit responsible for managing the money.

Original Base Budgets: The budget as approved by the Board of Trustees for any given fiscal year. Includes the prior year’s original base budget plus approved proposed base transfers, plus approved new changes, resource strategies, etc.

Per Diem: Amount of reimbursements allowed by the State for breakfast, lunch and dinner meals while travelling for University business purposes.

Personal Services Agreement (PSA): Supplemental wages for regular UNC employees other than students who provide services in addition to and outside of their usual contract duties. These payments are subject to federal and state income tax withholding, as well as retirement withholding and Medicare tax, if applicable.

Personal Services Classification Analysis: Form with check boxes that is part of an independent contractor agreement and is used to determine whether an individual should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor. Also called a Verification of Non-Employee Status.

Position Management Report (PMR): A report published by OBIA that lists the permanent positions, incumbents, and authorized base budget for employees by Fund/Org. This report is currently available through the Insight reporting portal.

Program: In Banner, the 4-digit number that identifies the function being supported by the transaction. Based on the standardized categories of expenses as defined by NACUBO (National Association of College and University Business Officers.)

Procurement Card: UNC Visa card, issued by Wells Fargo, and the University's one-card procurement program, enabling employees to make business related purchases for goods and standard (not professional) services. It is a cost-effective method of paying for purchases and travel expenses.

Proposed Base Budget Changes: Any permanent budget changes requested subsequent to the loading of the current base budget. Requires presidential (or designee) approval and review in the coming budget process.

Proposed Budget: See May Book.

Purchase Requisition (PR): The document used to request authorization to purchase goods or services over $5,000 in value. A Purchase Order is issued when a Purchase Requisition is approved.

Purchase Order (PO): UNC’s large dollar purchase order used to order materials or services with a cost of more than $5,000.

Query: In Banner, an operation performed on specific screens to obtain detailed information. One cannot update any information in Banner-Finance while in query mode.

Recommended Budget: See June Book.

Request for Proposal (RFP): Process used to purchase complex products and/or services when price is not the only factor to be considered in the evaluation criteria.

Resident Alien: (for tax purposes only) A foreign national who fulfills Internal Revenue Service testing criteria to be treated under the same tax laws as a U.S. citizen.

Resource Strategy: Financial savings identified in an area during the budget process to be used for other University priorities.

Roll Forward: The amount of State dollars unspent during the previous fiscal year that will be available in the next fiscal year.

Salary Savings: For classified or exempt staff, the difference between a departing employee’s salary and the replacement employee’s salary when a position is rehired. Savings are permanent base dollars. For faculty positions, savings are equal to 5% of the departing employee's salary.

Sole Source: A procurement term indicating there is only one good or service that can meet a need and there is only one vendor who can provide the good or service.

Spending Authority Budgets: Budget dollars allocated during the annual budget process to individual budget Funds/Orgs and consisting of State support (COF or the state fee-for-service) and tuition and fees.

Standard Service Invoice (SSI): Document used to pay independent contractors for services rendered when the service period is 6 months or less, payment is under $5,000, and payment is made in one lump sum upon completion of the work. (See also independent contractors.)

State Budget: The primary operating budget of the University, which includes the support from the State, student tuition and administrative fees. Budgeted in two parts: spending authority and dedicated revenue.

State Fee-for-Service: Financial support provided by the Colorado State Legislature for in-state graduate education. The amount is determined yearly by the State.

Statement of Net Assets (SNA): Part of the University's annual report and formerly known as the Balance Sheet, this report is a financial snapshot of the University's assets (fiscal resources), liabilities (claims against those resources) and net assets (residual available for future operations).

Statement of Revenue, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets (SRECNA): Part of the University's annual report, this report presents the financial activity of the University over the fiscal year. The focus of the report is on operating revenues and expenses their effect on net assets.

Stipend: A fixed amount of money paid periodically for services rendered or to defray expenses.

Student Fee Allocation Process (SFAP): The process by which student activity fees are allocated to programs.

Substantial Presence: An Internal Revenue Service test, which calculates the number of days an individual is physically present in the U.S. for use in determining whether the individual will be treated as a nonresident alien or a resident alien for the tax year in question.

Tax Treaty: A bilateral agreement between two governments under which each country agrees to limit or modify the application of its domestic tax laws in an attempt to avoid “double taxation” of income related to one country but earned by a resident of the other country.

Technical Professional (NSS): Temporary salaried at-will employee hired for non-credit instructional or technical/professional support duties. A Technical Professional employee may not be hired for more than one semester.

Travel Expense Sheet (TE): A form used to request reimbursement of travel expenses to an employee or non-employee. This document is due in Accounts Payable within 14 days after the completion of the trip.

Travel Authorization (TA): Document issued by Accounts Payable to pre-approve over-night travel and estimate expenses for a trip. This document must be completed and approved prior to travel.

University Aide (NSO): Temporary hourly at-will employee used in non-permanent classified positions or pending the availability of an eligible regular employee. University Aides may not be hired for longer than six months or 1,040 hours in a 12-month period.

Vacancy Savings: The amount of salary (and benefits) that is saved during the time a position is vacant. Savings are one-time.

Wage Assignment: A voluntary agreement between the employee and employer to deduct from an employee’s pay and transfer the deduction amount to a creditor.

W-9: Request for Taxpayer Identification Number – An IRS document which reports taxpayer information including name, classification and identification number. This form is required from all individuals and vendors paid by the University's Accounts Payable department.

Xtender: Banner's document imaging system. Xtender provides imaging, document management, data capture, storage management, output capture and report management capabilities.