Budget Basics for Academic Departments within the College of Arts & Sciences

There are several types of accounts and purchase methods Academic departments use to procure goods/services during the fiscal year (July 1-June 30). This guide introduces budget basics related to the following four categories:

I. General Ledger Numbers

There are three parts to a GL number:

  1. The first set of numbers is called the fund number. This set indicates the account type. In the College of Arts & Sciences there are six commonly used funds:
    • Operating Cost: 10…
    • Endowments: 20…
    • Scholarship: 21…
    • Restricted: 23…
    • Grant: 25…
    • Grant: 26…
  2. The middle number is called the department number. This number indicates the department. 
  3. The last set of numbers is called the object code. This indicates the object type (goods/services category) that may be purchased under that object code. The appropriate object code may be used as long as there is money in the pool. 

II. Types of Spend

Detailed information for the three types of spend may be found on the Procurement Services website along with instructions for the Colleague Purchasing modules.

  1. Credit Card
    • Keep in mind that this should only be used when a company will not accept a check or purchase order. Please make sure to retain the original itemized receipt/ invoice. The Administrative Assistant must scan this in when reconciling the credit card each month.  
  2. Check Request Form/Travel Reimbursement
    • Faculty may receive the reimbursement through direct deposit or a check mailed to home/campus
    • Check Request reimbursement examples include purchasing supplies, paying for a Dept Membership, purchasing student event supplies.  
    • Travel reimbursements examples include conferences, professional development. 
    • In all cases, please be sure to attach all original itemized receipts. If you attended a conference please be sure to attach the itinerary.
  3. Purchase Orders/Blanket Purchase Orders
    • Purchase Orders (PO) are typically completed by the administrative assistant. The admin will see this process through from creation of the requisition to marking goods/services received in Colleague. 
    • Blanket Purchase Orders (BPO) are typically used when there is a consistent amount of purchasing from a specific company (e.g., Staples).


All technology purchases are completed by IT. This includes software purchases. Please see the Technology Purchasing Policy for details. 

III. Budget Reporting

Administrative Assistants should run a budget report each month and share via email or in a monthly meeting with the Department Chair. Bi-weekly or monthly meetings between the Administrative Assistant and Department Chair are highly encouraged. 

  • There are two options for running summary reports:
    • GLBR- can be done as a summary or detailed. This allows users to see the specific object code balances.
    • GLBS- shows each transaction and can be completed as a detailed report.
  • Additional options for looking into account balances:
    • LGLA- allows users to view a specific account if there are questions about the balance.
    • AHST- allows users to view a specific account if there are questions about the balance.
    • Finance Query is now available in Self-Service. Follow these instructions for another way to view detailed budget information.

IV. E-check Sign Up

Faculty and staff may log into Self-Service and follow these instructions to set up direct deposit of reimbursement checks. Most faculty and staff receive their payroll via direct deposit but not all have completed the steps to have reimbursement checks directly deposited.