Managing journals and transfers - Overview
How to manage your department's general ledger and project journals and transfers. Overview of the process
- Managing journals and transfers overview
- Identify transaction and prepare journal
- Manage evidence
- Journal approval
- Process controls
Journals and transfers are used for various reasons, for example month-end general ledger (GL) accrual adjustments, clearing balances off project pre-award or suspense accounts, and correcting errors.
Departments are responsible for a number of journals, including the above examples; additionally some journals are posted centrally such as overhead income, and the monthly general ledger accrual journal for goods received not invoiced.
While journals are internal transactions rather than new commitments, it is still important to ensure that they are appropriately managed and approved. Restrictions (e.g. research funder terms and conditions or trust or donation restrictions) should be considered carefully when journaling.
It is good practice to keep correction journals to a minimum by posting to the right place first time wherever possible. Corrections should always be identified promptly and the journal raised in a timely manner.
Important differences between general ledger and the projects module
1. Transaction types
Two types of transaction are possible in projects:
- Transfers – used to shift costs between projects when there is no change in expenditure type or date.
- Journals – used when a transfer cannot be used e.g. to shift transactions between the general ledger and projects, or between projects when there is a change of expenditure type or date.
Only journals are used in the general ledger – there is no GL equivalent to transfers.
Approval of general ledger journals is system-based, via a workflow within Oracle Financials. There is no approval workflow within the projects module, and therefore departments need to implement manual processes to ensure that journals are appropriately approved.
3. Month-end accrual adjustments
Month-end accrual adjustments are made on the general ledger only. Accruals adjustments are posted to projects at year-end only.
: Financial Reporting Team
University of Oxford
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