Manual Journal Entries Requests

San Francisco State University Practice Directive-

Title: Manual Journal Entries Requests 

Reference number: 02.001.v1
Division: Fiscal Affairs
Department: University Accounting Services
Contact information: Jeff Wilson, wilsonjd@sfsu.edu, (415)338-2599
Issue date: July 1, 2018
Effective date: July 1, 2018
Revised date: N/A

100 Authority

CSU Chancellor’s Office Executive Order 1000, Delegation of Fiscal Authority and Responsibility (EO 1000)

200 Objective

The objective of this practice directive is to establish standards for manual journal entries recorded in the general ledger and to comply with EO 1000 to provide reliable financial reporting (EO 1000 §II).

300 Practice Directive Statement

This document defines the standards and procedures that ensure all manual journal entries recorded in the general ledger are properly initiated, approved, processed and recorded in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Manual journal entries must comply with the standards set forth in this practice directive. Individuals responsible for submitting journal entry requests to Fiscal Affairs and Fiscal Affairs employees responsible for preparing, approving and recording journal entries must incorporate the requirements of this practice directive into their manual journal entries procedures.

400 Scope

This practice directive applies to all manual journal entries recorded in the “ACTUALS” general ledger for San Francisco State University (SF State); it does not apply to budget journal entries or journal entries for SF State’s auxiliary organizations. This practice directive defines: 1) the process and tools for preparing and submitting a journal entry request form 2) the process for preparing, reviewing, approving and recording a manual journal entry and 3) support documentation requirements.

This practice directive excludes journal entries that are system-generated and posted automatically to the general ledger through an interface with a subsidiary application/ledger (e.g. account payable).

500 Definitions

General ledger – The general ledger contains all SF State financial transactions; it is the financial system of record; the current general ledger system is Oracle/PeopleSoft’s Common Financial System developed specifically for the CSU.

Journal entry – A journal entry records financial transactions in the general ledger. SF State utilizes the double entry accounting system, thus there are always both debit and credit journal entry lines and the total debits must equal the total credits.

Journal entry request form – All journal entries must be prepared using the appropriate journal entry request form located on the Fiscal Affairs webpage (fiscaff.sfsu.edu). Detailed instructions for inputting information into the template are within the journal entry request form Excel file.

Supporting documentation - Supporting documentation consists of source documents, supportive calculations, and/or other items necessary to substantiate the accuracy and appropriateness of a journal entry. All journal entries are required to have supporting documentation.

Supporting documentation must be stored and available at the time the preparer submits the journal entry template for approval. Typical supporting documents include, but are not limited to, general ledger reports, worksheets with supportive calculations, copies of source documents such as check requests, purchase requisitions, travel expense reports, third party reports/statements, or related emails.

Memos requesting a journal entry with no supporting documentation are generally not acceptable.

Approval matrix – The approval matrix outlines the minimum required approval level based on the journal entry type and journal entry amount (§700).

Manual journal entry types – There are nine (9) primary types of manual journal entries:

Error correction – A journal entry that corrects a clerical error (e.g. typo, data entry error); level of approval based on effect of journal entry on funding source(s).

Recharge (or chargeback) – A journal entry that charges SF State departments and units for services provided or costs incurred by centralized SF State service providers (e.g. Facilities, Telephone, Copying, Utilities).

Transfer (or reclass) – A journal entry that reassigns costs (i.e. expenses) or revenues from one PeopleSoft chartfield designation to another that is not an error correction. Rarely, transfers may occur directly between balance sheet accounts (i.e. assets, liabilities, net assets).

Disbursement (of resources) – A journal entry that records disbursements of SF State resources that is not captured in system-generated journal entries.

Receipt (of revenue) – A journal entry that records the receipt of SF State revenues that is not captured in system-generated journal entries.

Cost recovery – A journal entry that recovers costs from SF State units to comply with CSU EO 1000, which is not captured as part of a recharge.

Expense allocation – A journal entry that distributes a cost across multiple funding sources from a centralized, holding PeopleSoft chartfield designation or through an automated calculation and distribution process (e.g. Prorate and Indirect Cost for grants and contracts)

Month-end and year-end legal-basis journal entry – A journal entry initiated and recorded by Fiscal Affairs to comply with SFSU and CSU month-end and year-end closing policies, processes and procedures (e.g. Asset Management journal entries)

Year-end GAAP journal entry – A journal entry initiated and recorded by Fiscal Affairs to comply with CSU year-end closing policies, processes and procedures.

Automated/system generated entry – A journal entry that is generated and submitted to the ledger through an interface with a subsidiary application/ledger (e.g. Payroll, Accounts Payable, Campus Solutions)

Campus Preparer – The individual, external to Fiscal Affairs, who creates the journal entry and compiles the supporting documentation.

Campus Approver – The individual, external to Fiscal Affairs, who is responsible for reviewing the journal entry and supporting documentation for validity, accuracy, and completeness prior to approving the journal entry.

Fiscal Affairs Preparer – The individual in Fiscal Affairs who processes journal entries submitted by campus colleges and departments and creates and processes journal entries on behalf of Fiscal Affairs.

Fiscal Affairs Approver – The individual in Fiscal Affairs who, as required by this practice directive, approves journal entries on behalf of Fiscal Affairs; there are multiple levels of approvers in Fiscal Affairs based on the financial magnitude of the journal entry line item amounts. 

Service Center Administrator – The individual with management authority over a centralized service unit that provides services campus-wide or incurs costs that benefit the campus and recharges those costs to campus units.

600 Practice Directive

601

Campus journal entries submitted to Fiscal Affairs are required to have an approver who is different from the preparer.

602

The campus preparer is required to submit the completed journal entry and supporting documentation to the designated approver for approval.

603

Journal entries must be approved in accordance with the journal entry approval matrix (§ 700).

604

Evidence of journal entry approval is required to be in the form of a written signature or electronic approval via email.

605

Approved journal entries from campus colleges and departments must be submitted in accordance with the procedures contained in this practice directive (Section 800).

606

Posted journal entries and supporting documentation are to be retained by Fiscal Affairs to comply with CSU and SFSU record retention policies and as directed by CSU and SFSU officials with regard to public records requests or unresolved audit issues.

700 Manual Journal Entry Approval Matrix

                                                                                                      Required Approvals 

Reason for Journal Entry College and Departments Fiscal Affairs 
Journal entries requested by Colleges and Departments

Approver based on fund and/or department level DOA 

or

Service Center Administrator (or designee)

  • Accountant (or equivalent)
  • >$250,000, Associate Controller 
  • >$500,000, University Cotnroller 
  • >$2,000,000 AVP of Fiscal Affairs 
Interagency Journal Entries Approver based on fund and/or department level DOA, if applicable
  • Accountant (or equivalent)
Journal entries initiated by University Accounting Services Approver based on fund and/or department level DOA, if applicable
  • Accounting Supervisor (or equivalent)
  • >$250,000, Associate Controller 
  • >$500,000, University Cotnroller 
  • >$2,000,000 AVP of Fiscal Affairs 
GAAP journal entries Not applicable
  • Director, Financial Reporting
  • >$1,000,000, University Cotnroller 
  • >$2,000,000 AVP of Fiscal Affairs 

 

Notes on approvals

  • Fiscal Affairs approvals may be obtained after a journal entry has been posted.
  • Service Center Administrators (or designee) must approve recharge journal entries before they are submitted to Fiscal Affairs for processing.
  • Approvals must be evidenced in writing, via email, or electronic signature; verbal approval is not acceptable.
  • Copying an approver on an email containing the journal request form and supporting documentation is sufficient (the preparer of the journal entry is responsible for obtaining the approver’s written permission to implement this practice).

What is being approved?

Campus approver

The campus approver assures

  • The approver understands what is being approved;
  • Journal entries submitted to Fiscal Affairs comply with this practice directive;
  • Sufficient funds are in the funding source (i.e. fund/department chartfield designation) to support expenses included in the journal entry;
  • The information and supporting documentation is accurate and complete; and
  • The funding source is appropriate for the expense.

Fiscal Affairs approver

The Fiscal Affairs approver assures

  • The approver understands what is being approved;
  • The journal entry is consistent with GAAP and CSU accounting guidance and procedures;
  • The supporting documentation adequately satisfies the “re-performance standard” (i.e. that a reasonably informed professional accountant could re-perform the journal entry based on the journal entry request form and supporting documentation); and
  • The journal entry complies with this practice directive.

Service Center Administrator (or designee)

The Service Center administrator (or designee) assures

  • The administrator understands what is being approved; and
  • Adequate records exist to support the recharge of costs included in the journal entry request form.

800 Procedures

Note: These procedures apply to journal entry requests, in general. Based on college and department needs and Fiscal Affairs requirements, these procedures may be modified by mutual agreement between the college and department and Fiscal Affairs. However, all journal entries must comply with the remainder of this practice directive.

801 Initiation

To initiate a journal entry, the preparer must complete the journal entry request form and compile any required supporting documentation.

802 Authorization

The completed form (in Excel format) and supporting documentation (in PDF format) should then be routed for approval(s).

803 Processing

803.1 Submitting the journal entry request to Fiscal Affairs

Once the journal entry request form and supporting documentation are approved, the documents should be forwarded, via email to journalrequest@sfsu.edu.

The journal entry request form should be in Excel format and the supporting documentation should be in PDF format. (Note: if approvals were obtained by written signature on the journal entry request form, the signed form should be included with the supporting documentation in PDF format; however, the journal entry request form must also be submitted in Excel format)

803.2 Processing by Fiscal Affairs

Once received by Fiscal Affairs, the journal entry request and supporting documentation is reviewed by the appropriate Fiscal Affairs personnel to ensure it complies with this practice directive. Fiscal Affairs will work with the department to ensure the journal entry complies with this practice directive. After 14 business days, if the college or department fails to work with Fiscal Affairs to ensure the journal entry request complies with this practice directive, the request and all related documents will be returned.

804 Recording

Once the journal entry request has been processed, Fiscal Affairs will record the journal entry in the general ledger by uploading it to the CFS PeopleSoft system. Typically, the journal entry will automatically post to the general ledger overnight and be available for viewing in the CFS Data Warehouse the next day.

900 Record Retention

901 Retention Format

To conserve paper and minimize costs, Fiscal Affairs does not permanently retain paper copies of journal entries, journal entry requests and supporting documents. These documents are retained electronically in a secured, shared network drive. College, department, and Fiscal Affairs employees may access posted journal entries via their San Francisco State University Box account. Journal entries are organized by year, month, and journal entry number.

902 Retention Standards

The University Controller determines the retention standards for journal entries including the documents to be retained and the length of time the documents are retained. Retention standards must comply with CSU policy but are also subject to public records requests, unresolved audit issues, and tax-exempt bond regulations.

Related Documents

CSU Executive Order 1000, Journal Entry Request Form

Searchable Words

journal entry request, fiscal affairs, recharge, supporting documentation