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Chart of Accounts (FOAPAL)

OVERVIEW of McGill's Chart of Accounts

The Chart of Accounts (CoA) is the coding structure consisting of elements used to classify, record, budget and report financial transactions. There are six independent elements comprising the Chart of Accounts and the order in which they fall create the acronym "FOAPAL": An overview of each element is given in the table below.



Definition Examples Coding Scheme
F FUND Indicates the source of money and how it must be used. (6 characters, 2 levels of Type / 4 levels of Code of hierarchy) MRC Grant, General operating fund First digit
1: Unrestricted Funds
2: Restricted Funds
4: Restricted Student Loans
6: Endowment Funds
8: Trust Funds
9: Plant Funds
B: Bank Funds
O ORGANIZATION Departmental entities or budgetary units within the University. (5 characters, 6 levels of hierarchy) Faculty of Science, NCS, Economics Uses Administrative Unit tables codes; First digit of 9 represents a non data-enterable roll-up code.
A ACCOUNT Describes the nature of expenditures, revenues, assets, liabilities and fund balances. (6 characters, 2 levels of Type / 4 levels of code hierarchy) Travel expense, Tuition revenue, Accounts payable First digit
1: Assets
2: Liabilities
3: Control Accounts
4: Fund Balances
5: Revenue
6: Salaries/Wages and Benefits
7: Expenditures
8: Transfers
P PROGRAM Functional reporting classification for tracking use of funds. (4 characters, 4 levels of hierarchy) Teaching, Administration, Library Services First digit
1: Teaching
2: Research
3: Academic Services
4: Support Services
5: Community Services
6: Student Services
7: Ancillary Services
A ACTIVITY A user defined element to be used for independent reporting needs not required for external reporting purposes. (6 characters, no hierarchy) Piano vs Violin Activity in the Faculty of Music  
L LOCATION Identifies physical location of financial activity and fixed assets. (6 characters, 3 levels of hierarchy) James Admin Building, Dawson Hall  

Chart code "1" represents the McGill University set of books, and defaults in when querying and posting transactions.

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