Chart of Accounts – FOAPAL

The Chart of Accounts (COA) is a structure of codes used for the classification, budgeting, recording and reporting of financial transactions.

The chart code structure is classified by the following elements, which are commonly abbreviated by the term “FOAPAL” or “FOAP”:

Fund          Organization          Account          Program          Activity          Location

Each department on campus has ownership, or security rights, to view and enter specific FOAPAL elements in Finance systems dependent upon job function and reporting hierarchy. Users indicate which functions of Banner Finance they require when they complete the University of Mary Washington Administrative Data User Account Request Form. Form assistance is provided in the Fundamentals of Finance class or by calling Training and Systems Support at 654-1155 or 654-5973. Accounting or The Office of Budget and Financial Analysis can assist with FOAPAL elements assigned to you and your department and can assist with proper expenditure and revenue coding. To request a new FOAPAL element or to change/inactivate an existing FOAPAL element complete the Banner FOAPAL Request form

COA elements can be accessed at any time by those with security to do so. Review the Searches and Reporting in INB document or the SharePoint Reporting Manual for generating COA reports.


FOAPAL Elements

The FOAPAL elements that make up the University’s Chart of Accounts are defined below. Transactions require a combination of Fund, Organization, Account, and Program to correctly expense (buy something) or deposit money (via a Cashier Transmittal form). Some departments also Activity and Location elements in addition to the FOAP. Activity and Location codes further define the type of expense or revenue and may or may not be used within your department.

FOAPAL descriptions and examples are listed below, in order of Fund, Organization, Account, and Program; as required  on all  financial transactions.  A complete FOAP string looks something like this: 1111-209876-71268-10640.



An alpha-numeric code that identifies the funding source. Funding sources describe where the money to run the program or department originated. Broadly speaking, a Fund can be categorized as state, non-state or agency.

The University of Mary Washington (UMW) operates using Commonwealth of Virginia (state) funds as well as Non-Commonwealth (non-state/agency) funds.

The Fund Type and Card Use document provides further information on the appropriate charge card to use with specific funding sources.

State Funds - Funds provided to the University by the Virginia General Assembly through the budget process. These funds are subject to the Department of Accounts (DOA) policies governing the use of state funds

Payments for allowed expenditures from State Funds are generally made using the Small Purchase Charge Card (SPCC).

11xx 1557 3511
1551 1559 8910
1552 1580 8911
1554 2xxxx* 9xxxx
1556M 3111

*2 Funds can be classified as State, Non-State or Federal – Refer to the Fund Type and Card Use document.

Non-State Funds - Local and Agency funds are deposited and disbursed through UMW’s local bank account(s) and are not subject to DOA’s state fund policies. The funds are subject to audit by the Auditor of Public Accounts.

Agency Funds begin with an “8” and are a special type of non-state fund.  Monies are held in a custodial and/or fiduciary capacity for students, faculty, staff, and organizations.   Funding comes from money raised through camp dues, membership fees, team fund raising efforts, etc.  The responsibility for the management and investment of these funds resides with UMW.

Payments for expenditures from these Funds are made using the UMW Finance Card.

15xx – unless otherwise indicated above indicated as State
8xxx – Agency Funds (excludes 8910 and 8911)

*2 Funds can be classified as State, Non-State or Federal – Refer to the Fund Type and Card Use document.

Exceptions to Payment Method:

  • Payment for any business meal can be made using the UMW Finance Card, regardless of Fund source. See the Business Meal Form for more information.
  • Payment for transactions that are split coded between State and Non-State Funds must use the UMW Finance Card.

- Non-State and Agency funds are deposited and disbursed through UMW’s local bank account(s) and are not subject to Department of Account’s state fund policies. The funds are subject to audit by the Auditor of Public Accounts.

Funds Specific to Faculty

1111 Department Funds – Each year, departments and most full-time faculty members receive funding allocated to their specific Organization under Fund 1111.  The Program code for the department is generally 10110.  The Program code for an individual faculty member’s ORG is usually 10460. 
1552 Faculty Development GrantsProvided to Faculty upon special request through Academic Affairs.  In most cases, the 1552 Fund source will be provided in the faculty member’s ORG code.  However, each UMW College will specifically instruct grant recipients about the Fund, ORG, and Program code.
1557 Undergraduate Research Grants – Funds awarded to students are usually placed in the faculty sponsor’s Organization code. The Program code is usually 10220.  However, each UMW College will specifically instruct grant recipients about the Fund, Organization and Program code.
2xxx Funds that are usually external Grants – Grant types vary (Federal, State, Non-State, and Private) and are usually sought by faculty members to fund a specific research activity or project. The money is provided for a specific use and time period. Grant money is placed within the faculty member’€™s personal Organization code. Generally, the Program code: 11004 is used with 2xxx Grant Funds.   Occasionally Grant Funds use Program codes beginning with a 102xx. Grants can be identified as either State (SPCC) or Non-State (UMW Finance Card).  Please contact Accounts Payable regarding appropriate card use.



Also referred to as an Org, A six character code that identifies a unit of budgetary responsibility and/or department within the University. All faculty have an Org code to track specific grant assignments. A faculty member can have several Funding sources and several Program codes, but will only have one Organization code.

Examples of Organization codes:

  • Biology = 204101
  • Chemistry = 204201
  • Mark Smith – 303301



A five or six digit character code that identifies the purpose of the expenditure or revenue transaction. Transactions are postings shown on budget reports. Posting examples are the amount of budget allocated to each department for the Fiscal year, type of good or service the department purchased, the journal entry used to correct expenditure codes and the type of payroll cost deducted each pay period.

Account Code Categories:

5xxxx – Revenue Accounts
Examples: Student Dues, Fundraising Money
6xxxx – Personnel Accounts
Examples: Payroll, FICA, Health Insurance
7xxxx – Expense Accounts
71xxx – Operational Expenses
Examples: Postal Services, Printing, Telephone Charges
72xxx – Equipment Purchases
Examples: Mobile Computers under $2K, Mobile Computers $2K and greater



A five character code that identifies the function or purpose of the Organization or function on campus.

Examples of Program codes:

  • General Academic Instruction = 10110
  • Research = 10220
  • Academic Museums and Galleries – 10420



An optional four to six character code that can be used to capture total cost of an activity across the entire University or further define an Organization code expenditure.

Examples of Activity codes:

  • LTBULB = Light Bulb Trade In Project
  • XWALK = Crosswalk Modifications
  • PROJ – Project Course



An optional six character code used to identify a physical location. University internal offices use Location codes for Fixed Asset and specific expenditure tracking.