University of Minnesota
Controller's Office
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Accounting & Financial Oversight: Chart of Accounts (COA)

The Chart of Accounts is the backbone of the financial system. All of the University's accounts are listed in the general ledger by reference or account number to track and report on accounts. To learn the ChartField string for your area, please contact your department accountant.

Current Chart of Accounts manual

The current COA manual is a series of web pages available here.

Why is the format changing to HTML web pages? There were a number of reasons. Among them: units were printing paper copies of the book and not updating their printed copies as changes were made; staff commented that web presentation was desired; ease of update and maintenance.

Some historic COA manuals can be found on Training Services' website with the COA training materials.

Changes and Updates

Need a new ChartField value or want to suggest a change to a current value?

Suggestion for changes to Fund, Function, and Account codes are accepted throughout the year by a committee of University community members and central business process owners. Send items to for routing to this group. This team reviews requests and typically makes significant updates once per year.

New DeptID requests or requests for changes are reviewed by the Budget Office. These requests are considered throughout the year. Each college or administrative unit has individuals with access to the BPEL tool to complete requests for these values.

Requests for new Program codes, ChartField 1, ChartField 2, or ChartField 3 (FinEmplID) values are accepted throughout the year. Each college or administrative unit has individuals with access to the BPEL tool to complete requests for these values.

Project values are created and updated by Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) for sponsored projects. Facilities Management also uses Project values and creates or updates codes for activities in that area.

If you have questions, contact the University Financial Helpline.

Frequently asked questions

Account code 720105 (Office Supplies)
The definitions for the expense Account values for office supplies, non-capitalized equipment, and capitalized equipment will be changed to remove any restrictions or references to a $500 threshold between office supplies and non-capitalized equipment. The short and long descriptions of the Account values will not change because they do not reference the $500 threshold. The only change to the Accounts themselves will be to update the definitions that are listed in the COA Manual on its next publication in June. Changes effective July 1, 2009 for FY2010.
Account Code to Category Code Mapping (3/3/09)

Purchasing has posted the mapping of the Account Code values tied to their eProcurement Category Codes here. This is an Excel Spreadsheet that can be resorted as you wish.

It is critical that requisition preparers choose the appropriate category for their purchase. The preference for a specific account code should not cause the requisition preparer to choose an inappropriate category code. Our future spend analysis plans mentioned at the recent FSUN meeting will be based on these categories.

The plan is that Purchasing will update this spreadsheet after each fiscal year – probably the first week of July.

Category/Account Code Relationship (2/24/09)

When entering a Requisition into the system a category code must be selected. Once the category code is selected the system assigns the Account code that corresponds to that category. To ensure that purchases are reported in their correct category, the Account codes should not be changed after the system has assigned them.

A fix was added last weekend to prevent the Account code from being changed on the Requisition. If a different Account code is needed, change the category code to drive the new Account code.

If you think a category is mapped to the wrong Account code, contact the University Financial Helpline with your comments and suggested changes. Purchasing Services and Accounting Services will review any recommendations.

What account code should I use for __?
My approver returned a requisition and asked me to change the
account code. How do I do that?
Requisition preparers can make corrections to their own documents if they've been returned. Because the account code field is critical to the University's reporting needs, it is not a field on the Requisition that can be changed. The account value is available for update but should NOT be changed. The account value itself, not the other ChartField information, defaults based on the category code selected. If the account is invalid, this means that an invalid category code was selected and both would need to be corrected. If the requisition has already passed approvals and has been changed into a purchase order, then the Procurement Specialist would need to get involved.