Controller's Department

This page is presented as a guide to the acronyms, buzzwords and jargon frequently used by accountants, but less frequently understood by others. If you see or hear something not listed below, please let us know.

TERM

EXPLANATION

1042 STax form for non-resident aliens who have claimed a tax treaty or for students that have taxes on scholarships.
1099An IRS form used to report payments to non-employees for services rendered. There are different variations of 1099 forms. The one used to report independent personal services is called a 1099-MISC.
111A "one-eleven" was a form used before there was an Electronic Personnel Action (EPA) system. However, veteran employees sometimes still say "111" when they really mean "EPA." See "EPA" below.
8233An IRS Form 8233 is used when making payments for services provided by non-resident aliens.
ACHThe Automated Clearing House is an electronic banking network operating in the United States. Most ISU employees receive their payroll deposits and travel reimbursements via the ACH. This payment method also is available for ISU's vendors if the department completes a Debit Memo form (see "DME" below.)
ADINThe Administrative Information Network gives access to several systems supported by Information Technology Services (ITS).
AJEAn Adjusting Journal Entry took the place of the Revenue & Expense Transfer (RET) at the start of fiscal year 2009. AJE transactions will appear as revenue or expense on accounting statements, depending on the class code used. Only numeric class codes can be used.
ALOAllocations (Original) - Initial allocations for state-appropriated funds, per the budget. This Transaction Code was replaced by the TFR at the end of fiscal Year 2008.
ARTAn Accounts Receivable Transaction took the place of the Budget Transfer Receipt (BTR) at the start of fiscal year 2009. ART transactions will appear as revenue or expense on accounting statements, depending on the class code used. These transactions can only be initiated by the Accounts Receivable Office.
ATR (or TR)Air Ticket Requisitions are electronic forms faxed to our contracted travel agencies to purchase air tickets. Air Ticket Requistions (a/k/a TR's) are part of the Employee Reimbursement System in Access Plus.
BFWBalance Forward - For accounts that do not zero out at the end of the fiscal year.
BTABudget Transfer Allocation - A transfer of allocations between state-appropriated accounts, after the initial allocations. This Transaction Code was replaced by the TFR at the end of fiscal Year 2008.
BTRBudget Transfer Receipt - A distribution of funds collected through Accounts Receivable. This Transaction Code was replaced by the ART at the end of fiscal Year 2008.
BTCBudget Transfer Close - All state-appropriated funds are zeroed out as of June 30.
CANCancellation - Checks previously written are canceled, with the funds returned to the original accounts.
Cash ReportCash Reports were paper forms that were used to deposit funds at the Treasurer's Office. These were replaced by the Deposits Online system, but veteran employees sometimes forget and use the term "Cash Report" when they really mean "Deposit Online."
CMECredit Memo - Funds received by ACH transfer or wire transfer.
CRACash Receipt Adjustment - Changing an account number or class code when the original transaction was a Deposit Online or Credit Memo.
CRECash Receipt Entry - Cash and checks deposited through the Treasurer's Office, usually by means of the Deposits Online system.
CVCorrection Voucher-Accounting; Payroll Correction Voucher
CVRA Transaction Code used in WebFM for Correction Voucher - Includes both Payroll and Accounting Correction Vouchers.
DMEDebit Memo - Payments made by means other than an ISU check (e.g., cash, foreign currency draft, ACH transfer, wire transfer).

The Purchasing Department also has a form called a Debit Memo. However, they use their form for reducing the amount we will pay for an invoice received from a vendor.
Department CodeDepartment Codes are five-digit numbers assigned by the Office of Insitutional Research to identify departments, offices or other administrative units.
EASEEmployee Activity Summary of Effort - University form completed by most ISU employees twice a year to capture the types of activities or functions in which they are involved.
EPAElectronic Personnel Action - A system in ADIN to electronically route changes in an employee's status.
ESIEstimated Income - Anticipated receipts for the current year's budget for state-appropriated accounts.
FARFinancial Accounting and Reporting is an area within the Controller's Department that prepares the annual financial report, as well as other central reporting functions.
FEINFederal Employer Identification Number - A taxpayer identification can be either a Social Security Number for an individual, or an FEIN for a business. Both have nine digits. For example, ISU's FEIN is 42-6004224.
FMThis acronym refered to the Financial Management System, which was used to monitor account balances and to record accounting transactions. This system is now on AccessPlus under WebFM
FTTFunds Transactional Transfer - Moving expenses or receipts between accounts without affecting the class code previously used. This Transaction Code was replaced by the TFR at the end of fiscal Year 2008.
FYFiscal Year - ISU's fiscal year ends on June 30.
IBAInternal Budget Adjustment - A transfer of allocations between the state-appropriated accounts controlled within the college. Starting in fiscal year 2008 the electronic option for creating IBAs is not available. A TFR should be used instead.
Intramural (INT)Intramural Charges - When one university department charges another for goods or services we record an intramural charge rather than cutting a check.
Invoice VoucherThere has not been a voucher labeled "Invoice Voucher" for several years. When you hear this term, you should translate it as "ISU - Voucher." Also see "Regular Voucher" below.
IPSSee Independent Personal Services form.
Negative ApprovalMost vouchers created by Accounts Payable that are under $5,000 are not sent to departments for signature approval. Instead, the Accounting Copy is held, with a Departmental Copy sent for the department's review. If Accounts Payable does not hear an objection from the department after eight business days, it is presumed to be approved and is released for payment. Hence, the term "negative approval."
Negative ExpenditureA deposit made using an expenditure class code (i.e., a class code that does not start with a zero)
OffsetDeposits usually are made with receipt class codes, and charges or payments usually are made with expenditure class codes. Whenever the un-usual class code (e.g., making a payment to a vendor by using a receipt class code) an "offset" is required. For all transactions other than Deposits Online and Transfers (TRFs), this requires adding a "-2" after the class code.
Org CodeOrganization Codes are five-digit numbers, similar to Institutional Research's Department Codes (see above). However, the Org Codes are used primarily by the Controller's Department for financial reporting purposes.
PACProject Allocation Correction - Moving an allocation between section-project numbers within the same fund account. This Transaction Code was replaced by the PRC or PEC at the end of fiscal Year 2008.
P-CardA Purchasing Card is a Visa card issued by the Purchasing Department to enable authorized university employees to make payments for merchandise without obtaining a Purchase Order.
PECProject Expense Correction - Used to move expenditures or transfers-out from one project to another within the same fund account. PEC transactions will appear as an expense on a project statement.
P OA Purchase Order is a legally binding contract that only the Purchasing Department can issue due to authority delegated to it as "agents" of the university. Each Purchasing agent is an "agent" of the university authorized to commit the university in legally binding contracts. A Purchase Order number is assigned by the Purchasing Department after a Web Requisition (see below) has been approved. Without a Purchase Order number a vendor cannot be assured that the purchase was authorized by Iowa State University.
PostedWhen a transaction is entered, it does not appear immediately on WebFM. Once it does appear, the status has changed from Entered to Posted.
PRCProject Revenue Correction - Used to move receipts or transfers-in from one project to another within the same fund account. PRC transactions will appear as revenue on a project statement.
PSA (or PSCA)See Professional Services Contractual Agreement. A few years ago the form was changed to include the word "Contractual," but it is more common to hear the abbreviation "PSA" used than the more correct "PSCA."
Regular VoucherThere has never been a form with the label "Regular Voucher." When you hear this term, you should translate it as "ISU - Voucher." Perhaps the term "Regular Voucher" remains popular because it distinguishes this "plain vanilla" voucher from other more specialized vouchers like the Honorarium or Expense Voucher. Also see "Invoice Voucher" above.
RequisitionA Requisition is an instrument which enables a department to internally approve the way its budget is spent. It is the instrument that transmits the "request" to procure a good or service and authorizes Purchasing to commit those particular funds. (Also see "Web Requisition" below.)
RETRevenue and Expense Transfer - An alternative to a Correction Voucher or Cash Receipt adjustment, for moving receipts or expenditures. This Transaction Code was replaced by the AJE at the end of fiscal Year 2008.
Roll-upThe class code system has some class codes that are not used for individual transactions, but are used for financial reporting purposes to summarize (or "roll-up") groups of class codes.
RPRFResearch Participant Receipt Form. Form for making compensation payments to research participants.
RVHThis acronym translates to "Regular Voucher," but actually refers to transactions from all types of vouchers. Also see "Regular Voucher" above.
SIAWhen Accounts Payable creates a voucher to pay an invoice on a purchase order they sometimes already have a voucher created and signed by the department. If so, it is referred to as an "SIA" (signed in advance) voucher, which is not routed back to the department for signature, nor held for eight business days for the negative approval period.
SPASponsored Programs Accounting is an area within the Controller's Department. Veteran employees sometimes still refer to this office by its former name: "Grant Accounting."
SSNSocial Security Number - Also see "FEIN" above and "TIN" below.
TINTaxpayer Identification Number - This can refer to either a Social Security Number or a Federal Employer Identification Number.
Tax TreatyA form used by non-resident and resident aliens who qualify for a tax benefit by way of a treaty with their home country.
TFBTransfer Fund Balance - Transferring allocations between accounts that are not state-appropriated. This Transaction Code was replaced by the TFR at the end of fiscal Year 2008.
TFRTransfer - The TFR replaced the ALO, BTA, IBA, FTT and TFB Transaction Codes at the start of fiscal year 2009, as part of the implementation of the Resource Management Model. Only class codes starting with a "T" can be used on a TFR.
TR (or ATR)Air Ticket Requisitions are electronic forms faxed to our contracted travel agencies to purchase air tickets. Air Ticket Requistions (a/k/a ATR's) are part of the Employee Reimbursement System in Access Plus.
Tracking VoucherThis term refers to the vouchers prepared by the Controller's Department to pay invoices connected with purchase orders. People outside the Controller's Department usually prefer to say "P. O. Voucher" instead. There is a nine-digit "tracking number" that appears just above the address window on this type of voucher. Hence, the term "tracking voucher."
UARCOOur intramural tickets used to be made by the University Accounts Receivable Company. Although most of our forms are now generated with Excel templates, this anachronism lives on.
UI or UIDUniversity ID number
UPMThe University Policy Manual is being replaced by the University Policy Library.
VOThe new electronic voucher for payments on purchase orders, called a VOucher Document. For information about this system go to VOucher Document and System.
W-2A form sent to employees at the end of the calendar year stating their wages reported to the IRS.
W-4A form that is completed by employees used to calculate federal and state taxes on wages.
W-9An IRS form used to obtain the taxpayer identification information for non-employees.
WebFMThis acronym refers to the new name for the Financial Management System (FM) on AccessPlus, which is used to monitor account balances and to record accounting transactions.
Web RequisitionThe precursor to a Purchase Order (see "P O" above). A Web Requisition sometimes is referred to as a "Web Req" or simply as a "Req."