How to Record Account Codes

Two Basic Formats

You can use one of two basic formats for most of your accounting entries.

  • If you are not coding to a Project, use the Non-Project format
  • If you are coding to a Project, use the Project format

For each type of format, see the required fields below.

If using the… Then…
Non-Project format
  • Your transactions must include Object, Fund, Department, and Program.
  • In some forms and systems, you will NOT have an option to change the Object Code. In these situations, the field is greyed out so that you cannot change it.  The appropriate Object code will be defaulted.
  • Non-Specific Functions Program 00000 can be considered the “default” Program. Still, be sure to confirm with your manager before using Program 00000.
  • Leave the remaining fields blank, as they are not applicable.
Project format
  • Your transactions must include Object, Project and Fund.
  • In many systems, if you enter Project, the system will autofill the Dept and Program for you through the use of “aliases”.
  • If a Project is shared amongst Departments (perhaps multiple departments will share the cost of an Event), you can override the default Dept and Program by entering these values in your Chartfield string.
  • As described for Non-Projects, the Object may be defaulted by the system or form. In these situations, it will be greyed out so that you cannot change it.
  • ActivityID is related to ProjectID. For certain Projects, you may be required to enter an ActivityID as well as Object, Fund and Project.

Examples of Non-Project and Project accounting entries

The exceptions: PAF and PAR forms

For these forms, you are also required to enter Dept and Program for a Project. Required fields for the Non-Project format remains the same.

Different presentations of the accounting string

While there are only two basic formats, the presentation and sequence of Chartfields may look different, depending on whether you are recording the accounting string on a paper form or entering it online.

There are five main places where you can enter an accounting string:

  1. On a stamp that is reproduced onto a paper document, such as an invoice.
  2. On a printed form.
  3. Directly entered into the PeopleSoft Finance system, FINS.
  4. In a spreadsheet journal.
  5. In a 3rd party system

Completing a stamp

Payment approval stamps (pictured) follow the two basic formats for Non-Project and Project:

  Project Object Fund Dept Program Activity ID
Non-Proj   Req Req Req Req  
Proj Req Req Req     If applicable

Please be sure to print your name clearly for easy identification, sign and date.

Payment approval stamps are available from the Payment Service office located in the Strand Hall Annex situated across from Strand Hall.



Completing a form

Forms have been revised to align to the new Chart of Accounts structure. Ensure you are using the most current version.

Tip: There should be a section for a Program. If there is no Program field, you have an outdated form.



On HR and Payroll forms (e.g. PAF or PAR), an Activity ID is not applicable so it does not appear on the form

Entering in FINS

In FINS, you will see extra fields in the account code entry pages, but you still use one of the two formats (Non-Project or Project). You do not need to enter any more fields than on a stamp or on a paper form.

When charging to a Project, enter your Project value in the “SFU Alias” field. This will auto-fill the Dept, Program and PC Unit Chartfields. As always, you need to fill in Fund, and you need to fill in Object if it is not greyed out.


The accounting string is presented slightly differently depending on which page you are on in FINS. For example, the Expense Report account code entry does not show Object at all, because Object will be defaulted based on the Expense type.

Entering in a spreadsheet journal

You enter account codes in a spreadsheet journal similarly to how you enter them into FINS. However, you will always need to fill in Object in a spreadsheet journal as it is not defaulted like when entering in FINS.

Entering in a 3rd party system

The way that accounting codes are entered in 3rd party systems may vary.  Check with your supervisor on how to enter accounting codes in these systems.