Accounting FAQs

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  1. What is the difference between a Budget journal and Financial journal?
    Financial journal entries reflect actual revenue and expenditure activity.  This "actual" activity includes transactions such as accounts payable expenses, revenues received, etc.  Financial journal may consist of a chartfield string including Account, Fund DeptID, Program, Class or Project.

    Budget journal amounts are reflected in the DataWarehouse reporting system in the "Current Budget" column.  Budget journals are used for a number of purposes such as to record anticipated expenses and/or revenue within a given fiscal year.  Budget journals can be used in evaluation actual expenditures against a budget to better identify under or overspending.  

  2. How do I correct a chartfield coding error?
    Most corrections can be made by campus departments through a Transfer Journal in the Financial Transaction Services (FTS).  However for those journal transactions that cannot be performed in FTS (i.e., revenue accounts, etc.),  Accounting Services will enter transactions in the system for you.  A Journal Entry Upload Request form will need to be submitted to Accounting Services.

  3. How do I correct a deposit that has been incorrectly posted?
    Most corrections can be made by campus departments through a Transfer Journal in the Financial Transaction Services (FTS).  Since the majority of deposits are recorded to revenue accounts (unless the deposit is a refund for an expense incurred), Accounting Services will need to post the corrections for you.  through a Journal Entry Upload Request form will need to be submitted to Accounting Services. A Journal Entry Upload Request form may be found on the following link.

  4. Why does my Trust Fund Agreement need to be renewed? 
    All Trust Funds are subject to renewal every three years per SJSU policy, such as Cost Recovery Funds, Miscellaneous Trust, Special Project Funds, Capital Project Funds, etc.  To renew an agreement, use the Trust Fund Agreement form.

  5. How do I close a petty cash account? 
    The form, Application for Petty Cash or Change Fund form will also enable you to close a petty cash account.  The form is available on the Accounting Services website (see below link).  Fill out the Petty Cash/Change Fund form, obtain approval, then return your cash to the Bursars for deposit using fund 70700, account 101009.

General Accounting

  1. I have a question related to an accounting issue.  Who do I contact in Accounting Services?
    Please refer to the Accounting Directory for the name of staff to contact.

  2. How do I find out the year-end Campus Department deadlines?
    Fiscal year-end timelines are explained in the Finance Spring What's Up? event held every year. The fiscal year-end schedule can also be found on the Finance website Presentations page.

  3. Why am I being contacted by Accounting Services to assist with an audit inquiry?
    SJSU is subject to both annual audits and periodic audits.  It is important that audit inquiries are responded promptly with accurate information that is consistent with CSU policy and governing compliance rules.  Since Campus Departments generate many general ledger transactions whereby the source information comes from the department (i.e., FTS Transfers, payroll activities, etc.), Accounting Services may need to contact Campus Departments for supporting documentation or additional information.  As such, it is critical that Campus Departments have record-retention practices in place.


  1. When submitting a billing or journal request to Accounting Services, is additional information required? 
    Yes.  You will want to include backup information to support your request.  Be sure to include an in-depth description of the request, providing justification for the transaction.  For journal requests, you will want to include documentation identifying where the expense/revenue is currently recorded (typically obtained by drilling down into actuals in a Finance Data Warehouse organization report) and documentation identifying balance of the expense/revenue account after a journal upload (what is the intended end result).

  2. I need to chargeback a department. What do I need to do? 
    If your department needs to collect funds from multiple departments, please complete a Journal Upload Entry Request form and send request to Accounting Services.

  3. If I need to bill an outside customer. What do I need to do? 
    For services provided to outside customers such as a sorority/fraternity or the City of San Jose, an invoice will need to be issued by Accounting Services. To request an invoice to the outside customer, complete the Billing Request to Outside Customers form and return it to Accounting Services.  

  4. How can I bill an auxiliary for a chargeback? 
    A department enters an Expense Transfer Journal in Financial Transaction Services (FTS) to reclassify to the appropriate project ID an expense that will be reimbursed by an auxiliary.  Departments incurring an expense that is to be reimbursed by an auxiliary organization must use the correct cost recovery fund number with the appropriate project ID (see instructional link below). When billed, revenue will be credited in the same fund to the cost recovery account #580095. 


  1. Why did I get an email asking me to create a Glacier record? 
    The information is being requested to help determine tax residency, withholding rates and income tax treaty eligibility for the foreign individual. All foreign student/faculty employees and vendors will receive an email notifying them to create a Glacier record.  GLACIER is a secure online Nonresident Alien (NRA) tax compliance system that collects tax data and immigrant information from foreign employees and vendors who receiving payments from SJSU. Users are required to complete all entries applicable to them online, and submit the tax summary report generated by the system to our Tax Specialist for review and final tax assessment.

  2. What is Unrelated Business Income?
    Unrelated business income is income generated by a tax-exempt organization from trade or business activities that are regularly carried on, and not substantially related to its tax exempt purpose. SJSU is required to pay Federal income tax on net income from activities unrelated to its educational purpose.

  3. What should departments do if there may be unrelated business activity in your department? 
    If you believe there may be unrelated business activity in your department, contact our Tax Specialist in Accounting Services Department.  The Tax Specialist will work with you to account for and document the Unrelated Business Income Report for the Chancellor's Office.