Chart of Accounts Manual

Program answers the question, “What is the activity for which I need to capture financial information?” Program describes what is being done – the activity, or what is being accomplished.

  • Program is used to track transactions in order to capture information on a particular activity that is subject to only general budgetary or regulatory restrictions.
  • Program is required whenever the Project ChartField is not applicable. It consists of five alphanumeric characters.
  • Program identifies activities not identified by a project value. (Project identifies activities that use the project costing module. The project costing module provides functionality to manage activities with specific budgetary, accounting, or regulatory requirements. See project definition for further detail.)

There are three main types of Program codes:

  1. Programs utilized by central administration for uniform use University-wide.
  2. Programs defined for common activities and designed for shared use by multiple departments (Program indicates an activity below the DeptID level, but may be used by multiple departments).
  3. Programs requested for a unique activity within a specific department.

Alphanumeric values are used for centrally-defined Programs requiring uniform usage University-wide. These codes are restricted in their use, and are established by central administration. Alphanumeric codes are not recommended when a significant volume of data entry is expected.

Numeric values are used for all activities not tracked within the Projects module which do not fit the requirements for alphanumeric codes. Numeric program values can and will be used by multiple users. In all cases, the Program description and the Function code must accurately reflect the activity.

There are a few points to keep in mind when working with Programs:

  1. Function codes are an essential element of some of the University- wide reporting done by central offices. However, there are other, more specific activities that also need to be tracked/managed on a University-wide level. Examples include: the President’s Scholarship Match program, Grant in Aid of Research, Artistry or Scholarship, and Extension’s collegiate partnerships. This kind of more specific activity will be identified with a Program code.

  2. Within some Functions, a number of Programs may sound quite similar—some describe an activity in general terms, while others describe an activity in finer detail. For example, within Function 0100 (Instruction–Credit Courses) Programs have been set up for: 20031–Credit Instruction, 20038–Credit Inst Undergraduate, 20033–Credit Inst Summer Session, etc. While one aspect of credit instruction may be important to one unit, a different parameter may be important for the management of another unit. In these cases, the RRC Manager (or a leader at the level of a vice president) can determine the strategy for use of program values within that function code. That person can determine the level of detail needed to support effective decision-making and financial management.


Required for transactions on all revenue, expense, and transfer Accounts for all activity not defined by a Project in the Projects Module. A Program value is used in conjunction with a Project value when Program activities are used as matching/cost-share. Program is also required for all balance sheet transactions except cash (10XXXX accounts), accounts payable (20XXXX accounts), and fund balance (30XXXX accounts).

  • The exception is 201500 (Sales Tax Payable), which does not require a Program or a Project but can be used in combination with one.
  • Separate endowment Program values have been developed for Treasury Accounting and the Office of Investments and Banking.

Key Points

  1. A Function code is assigned as an attribute to every Program value. More than one Program may have the same function value, but an individual Program has only one Function.

  2. Once a Program code is established with a title, description, and Function code, those descriptors apply to that Program value whenever that Program value is used. Program values can be used with multiple Funds, DeptIDs, Accounts, etc. but whichever ChartField values are included in a ChartField string, the Program value will still carry the same descriptors.

  3. Program values are shared among all units. Program values with common definitions are established for use by departments University-wide. The function codes and the descriptions for these Program values are clear and unambiguous.

  4. Program codes may be requested for use by a single department when the need aligns with the strategy statement and definition for the Program ChartField. Function assignment must be approved by Accounting Services. The activities tracked using any Program code must fit the parameters of the assigned Function. Where a Program code will be unique to an RRC, the first two characters of the Program value denote the RRC. Use the list posted on this web site for reference.

  5. All Program codes are “owned” centrally, but may be requested for unit-specific activities. Program code requests must be approved by the Resource Responsibility Center (RRC) Manager or designee for the requesting department, and Accounting Services. User-defined ChartFields (CF1, CF2, Fin EmplID) should be considered as a way to capture greater detail about a particular activity. User-defined ChartFields should also be used for short- term activities (less than one year duration).

  6. RRC Managers are responsible for ensuring the appropriate use of Program codes within their RRC. The Program description and function code must accurately reflect the activity.

  7. Program codes should not be used to duplicate information captured by other ChartFields. For example, the Account code captures the type of expense, DeptID captures who is responsible, etc.

  8. Program codes are used to capture expenses for interdisciplinary instruction, research, and public service programs. Each unit uses their own DeptID in conjunction with the common Program value in the ChartField string. This creates greater flexibility for reporting in that it allows for reporting program-wide, by department, or by faculty member.

  9. For certain program values a Fin EmplID is required.

Program Values

Program values are available in EFS and in the COA ChartField Values Google Sheet.


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