Accounting Office / Accounts Payable

Definition:
An encumbrance is a commitment to disburse funds in the future. Recording encumbrances helps prevent over-spending the amount available in the account.

Encumbrances can be created by:
  • Creating a Purchase Order for payments to vendors outside the university
  • Entering an Authorization or Air Ticket Requisition in the Employee Reimbursement System
  • Submitting an Electronic Personnel Action for a salaried employee
  • Obtaining services from Telecommunications or Information Technology Services.
Examples:
Purchase Orders are created by submitting a Web Requisition to Procurement Services. After the Web Requisition is approved by Procurement Services, they create a Purchase Order, which encumbers your fund(s) for the amount(s) specified. The encumbrance is relieved when the check is printed.

Non-Equipment - Purchase Orders for all object codes other than 0711 are grouped as Non-Equipment.

Equipment - Purchase Orders for equipment on object code 0711 are grouped as a separate total.

All Purchase Orders starting with an "I" have accounts assigned and are encumbered. There are many contracts though Procurement Services starting with a "C" that are not assigned to a specific account number, so they will not show up on this browse and are not encumbered. However, a "C" contract will be encumbered if it has an account number assigned.

If you change the pre-printed account, sub-account or object code on a VO Document, this will cause the encumbrance to not be relieved, and you will have to request a manual adjustment of the encumbrance through Procurement Services.

Encumbrances for both "I" and "C" contracts are reduced as payments are made on the contracts. However, the residual amount will remain for "I" encumbrances until the order is marked "COMPLETE" (i.e., the last listed item has been paid). Residual amounts for "C" contracts will remain until after the third working day in July, at which time they will be summarily removed.

Travel Encumbrances are created by entering an Authorization or Air Ticket Requisition on the Employee Reimbursement system. The Authorization encumbrance is relieved in full when the first Reimbursement for that travel event number is posted. The Air Ticket Requisition encumbrance is relieved in full when the air ticket intramural charges are posted the last Friday of the month.

The travel encumbrance file is updated on Wednesday and Friday evenings, and the change will be posted to e-Data the following day.

Payroll Encumbrances are created for salaried employees after the Electronic Personnel Action is approved. The annual amount is encumbered, and reduced throughout the year as the payroll expenditures are posted. Payroll encumbrances on state-appropriated funds do not include benefits, but other accounts do.

Telephone Encumbrances are created for the annualized amount of the monthly recurring data and voice charges. These amounts are reduced by the monthly intramural charges posted. No amounts are encumbered for non-recurring charges or long-distance charges.

This page was last updated on August 16, 2016.