FOAP Descriptions

Defined below are the FOAPAL elements (the terms elements and codes are used interchangeably) that make up the University’€™s Chart of Accounts.   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 use elements called Activity and Location.  Activity and Location elements 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.


Fund: 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 or local.

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


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Organization: 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 Org codes are:

Biology – 204101
Chemistry – 204201
Mark Smith -303301

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Account: A five 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 codes that begin with a 5xxxx are Revenue (Student Dues, Fundraising Money, Membership Dues, etc.). Not all areas on campus generate revenue and restrictions apply for the Account code use.

Account Codes that begin with a 6xxxx are Payroll expenses (FICA, Health Insurance, Payroll).

Account codes that begin with a 7xxxx are called Expenditure codes. They are used to designate what type of expense the Fund and Org has incurred. They are further divided into 71xxx, Operational Expenses, and 72xxx, Equipment expenses.

71xxx Operational expenses are goods and services purchased in eVA and  SPCC; or entered as a Direct Pay into Banner.  The expense is deducted against the amount of Operating Budget you have. This money is placed into Account code 71000 or 72000 for specific equipment requests.

Examples of 71xxx Accounts codes:

71214 – Postal Service
71215 – Printing Services
71216 – Telephone Charges

72xxx Equipment purchases are coded for computers, printers, faxes, and the like. 72xxx codes are duplicated with the duplicate ending in an F, signifying the purchase of a Fixed Asset. Fixed Assets are monitored by Finance for compliance and require special consideration when purchased in eVA and on the SPCC.

Examples of Equipment duplicates are:

72211 Desktop Computers under $2K or 72211F Desktop Computers $2K and greater
72212 Mobile Computers under $2K or 72212F Mobile Computers $2K and greater

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

Examples of Program codes are:

General Academic Instruction – 10110
Research – 10220
Financial Aid Administration – 10550
Academic Museums and Galleries – 10420

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Activity: An optional six character code that can be used to capture the total costs of an activity across the entire University or further define Org. code expenditures. For instance, an event held on campus that involves many Orgs may consider capturing the cost each may incur by use of a shared Activity code. The cost of Hurricane Isabel was summed by the addition of a shared Activity code for those departments involved in the clean up and recuperation of supplies.

Examples of Activity codes are:

LTBULB – Light Bulb Trade in Project
XWALK – Crosswalk Modifications
PROJ – Project Course


Location: A six character code that identifies physical locations. University internal offices use Location codes for Fixed Asset and specific expenditure tracking.


Index: A six character code used to default FOAPAL codes and ease
Index codes are not used by University departments.

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