Funds Overview

Fund Overview

Fund accounting is the accounting method used to segregate the organization's money by its sources in order to ensure it is properly spent and accounted for. Fund accounting, which is common to all colleges and universities, allows employees to be good stewards of university assets by segregating funds according to their intended purposes. Some of the funds are intended for specific purposes, while others are for more general use. Some funds can be spent in the short term while others are longer-term. 

For additional information on the Funds in Workday, please refer to the Quick Reference Guide to Fund Values in the Workday for Core Users: Finance section of the Administrative Resource Center

The Seven Fund Groups

The university has seven Fund Groups, which can be organized into Current Funds, Non-Current Funds and Agency Funds. The first digit of each fund identifies the Fund Group to which it belongs. 

Current Funds

Current UnrestrictedCurrent Unrestricted Funds can be spent in the current operating cycle. No outside person or agency has specified how the funds are to be spent.

(Funds 0xxxxx and 1xxxxx; Hospitals use Hxxxxx)

Examples of funding sources:
  • Student fees
  • State support for instruction and departmental research
  • Facilities and Administrative Cost recoveries (indirect cost recoveries)
  • Interest on cash investments
  • Sales of goods and services

Current Restricted

Current Restricted Funds can also be spent in the current operating cycle. An outside person or agency has specified how the funds are to be spent.

(Funds 2xxxxx, 3xxxxx and 5xxxxx; OSP uses 590000)

Examples of funding sources:
  • Gifts for current or continuing use
  • Distributions from the Endowment
  • State appropriations for specific purposes
  • Grants and contracts for research
  • Other grants and contracts

Non-Current Funds

EndowmentEndowment Funds may not be spent and are invested "in perpetuity." A portion of the market value of the Endowment is distributed each year, usually to Current Restricted Funds (Funds 2xxxxx), for spending.

(Funds 6xxxxx)

Example of funding source:
  • Endowment principal
Annuity and Life IncomeAnnuity and Life Income Funds are invested by the university to provide the donor with an annuity until a specified date. At the end of the time period, the money reverts to the university.

(Funds 70xxxx-74xxxx)

Example of funding source:
  • Deferred gifts
LoanLoan Funds are monies lent to students, collected from the students and lent out again.

(Funds 75xxxx-79xxxx)

Example of funding source:
  • Gifts and Federal Funds to provide loans to students
PlantPlant Funds are funds associated with purchasing, maintaining and recording the university's property, plant and equipment.

(Funds 8xxxxx)

Examples of funding sources:
  • Allocations from the state for buildings and equipment
  • Money borrowed for construction (bond issues)

Agency Funds

AgencyAgency Funds do not belong to the university, but are managed by a university employee. Money coming into Agency Funds is generally payment from external entities.

(Funds 9xxxxx)

A typical example is an academic journal of which the editor is a faculty member. Payment is accepted for subscriptions and printing, distribution and other expenditures are recorded, but the funds ultimately belong to the organization that publishes the journal.

Current Unrestricted Funds

The General Fund provides the money that sustains the university's core instruction, departmental research, instructional support, related general administrative costs and facilities expenditures. Funds may be used for any legal and reasonable purpose in carrying out the mission of the institution: Instruction, Research, and Public Service.

How do we use our Current Unrestricted Funds?

DEPARTMENTAL BUDGETSAllocation of funding from the university.

011000, 011200, and others
GRAD FEE AUTHORIZATIONSTuition waivers for graduate associates on appointment.

FEDERAL WORK STUDY PROGRAM (FWSP) MATCHING75% paid by the Federal Government, 25% paid by university financial aid money.

RELEASE TIMEReimbursement of faculty salary from research grants.

DEPARTMENTAL RESEARCHInternally funded research with funds distributed by the departmental administration.

DESIGNATED FUNDSA fund that has a use specified by the Board of Trustees. Since Designated Funds are not considered legal commitments, the university can reverse or unwind these funds without legal ramifications. For example, many of the unrestricted gifts received by the university are designated by the Board of Trustees to be used for student scholarships.

DEPARTMENTAL EARNINGS, EARNING OPERATIONSEach fund is set up as a business with revenues and expenses.

110000 - 115999
CONFERENCESDepartment run academic conference with revenue and expenses.

116000 -119999
UNIVERSITY SERVICESEarnings Operations that primarily provide services to the other university departments.

140000 - 149999
AUXILIARIES (ATHLETICS, DORMITORIES, ETC.)Earnings Operations with sales of products primarily to students, patients, employees, and general public. Examples of revenue are from dorms, parking and athletic tickets.

16xxxx, Hxxxxx

Current Restricted Funds

Current Restricted Funds must be spent only for the purpose intended by the outside entity that established the restriction. Because the university has a legal stewardship obligation to abide by fund restrictions, it is important to be aware of the restrictions and monitor the funds for appropriate use.

  • Endowment Fund restrictions can be found on the web site of the Office of Financial Services, or in the Development Fund Warehouse, an inquiry system made available by the Office of University Development.
  • Restrictions for Current Use Gifts are established when the gift fund is established. The department maintains these funds and monitors for appropriate use according to the restrictions. The Office of University Development's business office maintains copies of the documents which can be accessed online using the Development Fund Warehouse.
  • Restrictions on grants and contracts can be found in the relevant grant agreement or contract.

The original paperwork used to establish a fund in the General Ledger is also a useful source of information on fund restrictions.

Uses of Current Restricted Funds

ENDOWMENT INCOME & EXPENSEDistribution of income from the Endowment principal that can be spent in accordance with fund restrictions.

CURRENT USE GIFTS (ALSO CALLED DEVELOPMENT FUND GIFTS)Gifts that can be spent currently in accordance with fund restrictions.

PRIVATE GRANTS AND CONTRACTSGrants and contracts with non-governmental organizations and foundations.

Funding from the State of Ohio for specific purposes.

FEDERAL APPROPRIATIONSFunding from the Federal Government for purposes specified in Federal grants.

OFFICE OF SPONSORED PROGRAMS (OSP)All sponsored projects monitored by OSP are managed in this fund. A ChartField project value is required when using this fund number.


Discretionary Funds

Discretionary Funds are given to the university for use at the discretion of a Dean, Chair or other University official. They are generally used to support special departmental needs, as the Administrator determines appropriate, within the limits of reasonableness, legality and university policy. These are not personal funds, so when the Administrator vacates the position, the Fund falls under the stewardship of the succeeding Administrator. Most are restricted current use gifts (range 3xxxxx), but some come from unrestricted gifts that have been internally designated (range 06xxxx) as discretionary by the Board of Trustees.

  • Important! Discretionary Funds are the only funds that can be used to purchase alcohol. Please see the University Expenditures Policy for additional information.

Non-Current Funds

Non-Current Funds are monies that have a longer timeframe than Current Funds. Typically, they are not spent in the current operating cycle, but may be held for many years.

Endowment Funds

The Endowment Fund group includes the principal of all of the individual Endowment funds and any undistributed income. In most cases the donor restricts the Endowment fund to specific uses, such as professorships or scholarships. However, some Endowment funds are given without any specifications. Most of these are used to provide scholarships for students.

Distinction between Endowment Principal and Endowment Income & Expense

Endowment Funds are unique in that each endowment gift has two fund numbers of which the last five digits are identical. Money is not spent directly out of the Endowment Fund principal (6XXXXX Funds). Instead, every year a distribution is made to each department using the Endowment Income and Expense Fund (a Current Restricted Fund in the 2XXXXX range of Funds). Expenditures are charged against this fund. The distribution is calculated by the Controller's Office using a percentage of the average market value of the endowment over a seven-year period. By using an average market value, taken over a period of time, the university is able to compensate for fluctuations in investment returns.
Endowment Principal6xxxxxis held in perpetuity and invested
Endowment Income & Expense2xxxxxreceives an annual distribution of investment income from the endowment principal that may be spent

Annuity and Life Income Funds

These funds are invested by the university and provide the donor with an annuity (fixed amount of money distributed annually to the donor) until a specified date. At the end of the time period, the money reverts to the university, usually as an Endowment.

Loan Funds

Loan Funds represent monies that are lent to students, collected from the students and lent out again. The money is a mixture of gifts and federal money that is managed by the Office of Financial Aid.

Plant Funds

Plant Funds are used to account for the university's capitalized assets. The funds are generally managed centrally.

There are four subsets of Plant Funds:

  1. Capital Additions
    Used to accumulate costs of capitalized assets such as new buildings or equipment during the timeframe that they are being constructed or acquired. When complete, the total cost is transferred to the Investment in Plant Fund Group.

  2. Renewals and Replacements
    Used to account for remodeling, renovation or replacement of fixed assets. These are the funds usually used for departmental equipment reserves.

  3. Debt Service
    For the monies used to pay back debt that the university has acquired in the form of bond issues.

  4. Investment in Plant
    Used to record the value of our capitalized assets such as land, buildings and equipment.