This manual is to be used as a guide to determine the established policies and procedures associated with the College’s fiscal transactions and should address the majority of questions raised by persons administering the funds.

However, as with any large, complex organization, there are times when specific transactions require extra ordinary processing. In those cases or when the standard processes do not appear to address a particular situation, the Accounting or Purchasing Offices should be contacted to determine the most appropriate way to meet those specific needs.

The Table of Contents includes a fair amount of detail to assist readers in quickly locating the specific information needed. Readers’ comments on the usefulness of this manual, as well as suggestions for future changes or additions, are welcome.

A. Definitions of Commonly Used Terms
Following are definitions of key terms used throughout this manual

  • Account Manager
    At Purchase College, typically, our account managers are Deans/Directors, i.e. employees who have administrative responsibility for a division/department of the College. These managers have decision making authority necessary to operate their area efficiently and effectively and are accountable for operational/financial performance and results.
  • Allocation Transfer
    Movement of allocation from one account or object to another account or object within the same fund. Transfer of allocation from an account decreases the account’s uncommitted balance. Transfer of allocation into an account increases the account’s uncommitted balance.
  • Authorized Allocation
    The level of funding available to the account for its operations. Allocations are assigned by object (PSR, TS and/or OTPS).
  • Authorized Signatory
    Person(s) authorized to approve transactions associated with a particular account.
  • Closeout Period
    Allocations are assigned to accounts and intended for use during the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). Often transactions started during the fiscal year are not completed by June 30. For example, an item ordered in April may not be delivered by the vendor until August. The College’s closeout period begins July 1 and continues into September.
  • Cash Disbursement
    Issuance of a check to a vendor as payment for goods or services. All cash disbursements are issued by the State Comptroller’s Office.
  • Committed Funds
    The total of all outstanding encumbrances and expenditures in an account.
  • Encumbrance
    A commitment of a portion of an account’s allocation to purchase a particular good or service (e.g. purchase orders).
  • Expenditure
    A transaction that indicates the approval to issue a check. The transaction could be liquidating an encumbrance or be a direct payment out of uncommitted funds.
  • Expenditure Transfer
    Movement of expenses incurred in one account to another account. Transfer of expenditures from an account increases the account’s uncommitted balance. Transfer of expenditures into an account decreases the account’s uncommitted balance.
  • Fiscal Year
    The time period used to monitor financial activity. The College’s fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.
  • Fringe Benefits
    An assessment against personal service and temporary service charges in IFR accounts to recoup the costs of fringe benefits. The assessment is made against all personal service and temporary service charges, except students and honoraria, regardless of whether the individual receives the College’s entire fringe benefit package. The percentage assessment is given to the College by the State Comptroller in May for the upcoming year.
  • Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR)
    A self supporting account that operates on revenue generated from its operations. These accounts are considered a special type of State funds.
  • Maintenance Operations Overhead (M&O)
    An assessment against revenue in IFR accounts to recoup the indirect costs associated with the facilities used by an IFR program. The assessment is reflected in the individual IFR accounts as a reduction to the uncommitted cash balance.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
    An agreement between two State agencies specifying work to be done by one agency and the method of payment and amount to be paid by the other agency for the services rendered.
  • Object Codes
    Numeric codes representing distinct categories of funds within an account; e.g., Personal Service (0000-1999), Temporary Service (2000-2999), Other Than Personal Service (3000-9999). Also see Sub Object Codes.
  • Other Than Personal Service (OTPS)
    Assigned to accounts to fund departmental operating expenses for such items as supplies, contractual services, or travel.
  • Pending Items
    Transactions which have been initiated, but have not yet completed the entire transaction process.
  • Personal Service Funds
    Assigned to accounts to support persons paid with State Purpose and Income Fund Reimbursable appropriated funds. Positions are normally controlled via line items in the roster through the annual budget process.
  • Procurement Card (P-Card)
    In association with Citibank, the State of New York has developed a NY State Purchasing Card (P-Card) to allow employees to make purchases at the point-of-sale, over the telephone or Internet. The Card allows the user to spend money directly out of their department’s budget.
  • Purchase Order (P.O.)
    A document specifying the description, quantity, price, and related information for goods and services ordered from a vendor. An issued purchase order is a contract between the College and the vendor, not to be altered without the approval of the Purchasing Office.
  • Purchase Requisition
    A request to order goods or services by a department. Most requisitions are sent to the Purchasing Office for encumbering against the specified account.
  • Receiving Report
    A document to be prepared by department staff when goods or services are received. The report provides a description of the goods, quantity, and date received, as well as other relevant data. A properly completed receiving report is required for the Accounts Payable Office to pay vendors.
  • Revenue Contract
    A contract between the College and another entity wherein the College is to provide a good or service. The revenue contract specifies the good or service, applicable time period(s) and the amount to be paid to the College.
  • State Purpose Funds
    State appropriated funds provided to the campus to operate College programs.
  • Sub Object Codes
    A more detailed structuring of expenses within the object codes. For example, the object code supplies can be further detailed to classroom, office, or cleaning.
  • SUNY
    State University of New York.
  • Temporary Service Funds
    Assigned to accounts to fund expenses for hourly or non-permanent employees and honoraria.
  • Uncommitted Balance
    The allocation remaining and available for use in the account after deducting all outstanding encumbrances and expenditures from the authorized allocation.
  • Vendor’s Invoice
    A document issued by vendors specifying such items as the description and quantity of goods and services delivered, price, freight costs, cash discount terms, and the billing date. This essential document is required for payment to be made. Invoices should be sent directly to the Accounts Payable Office by the vendor.
  • Vendor Statement
    A statement prepared periodically by the vendor indicating the beginning balance, billings, collections, and ending balance. These statements are the vendor’s representations of activity for the period and cannot be substituted for vendor invoices as a basis for payment; i.e. the College pays its bills in response to vendor invoices only, not from vendor statements.
  • Voucher
    A control document required by the State Comptroller’s Office to issue a disbursement.

B. Frequently Used Acronyms

  1. Organizations/Agencies/Departments
    • DOB - New York State Division of Budget
    • NYS - New York State
    • OGS - Office of General Services (of New York State)
    • OSC - Office of the State Comptroller
    • RF - Research Foundation
    • SUNY - State University of New York
    • ASC - Auxiliary Services Corporation
    • CSEA - Civil Service Employee Association
    • HR - Human Resources OfficePersonnel & Payroll
    • LSCELiberal Studies & Continuing Education
    • MC - Management Confidential
    • PAC - Performing Arts Center
    • PCA - Purchase College Association
    • PCF – Purchase College Foundation
    • PCFHC – Purchase College Foundation Housing Corporation
    • PEF - Public Employee Federation
    • UUP - United University Professions
  2. Budget/Finance and Human Resources
    • AAAffirmative Action
    • AC22 - Expenditure Transfer Form
    • AER - Academic Equipment Replacement
    • DIFR - Dormitory Income Fund Reimbursable
    • EOP - Educational Opportunity Program
    • FTE - Full-time Equivalent
    • GRI - Graduate Research Initiative
    • HRHuman Resources
    • HRETS - Human Resources Employee Tracking System
    • IFR - Income Fund Reimbursable
    • M&O – Management and Operations
    • MOU - Memorandum of Understanding
    • NTP - Non-Teaching Professional
    • OTPS - Other Than Personal Service
    • PAF - Personnel Action Form
    • PCS - Property Control System
    • PSR - Personal Service Regular
    • SCAP - Student Computing Acquisition Program
    • SEOG - Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
    • SMRT – SUNY Management Resource Tool
    • SUSTA - State University Supplemental Tuition Assistance
    • TAP - Tuition Assistance Program
  3. Purchasing & Accounts Payable
    • C Contracts
    • ENC Encumbrance
    • HRF Honorarium Request Form
    • MWBE Minority or Women Owned Business Enterprise
    • P-CARD Procurement Card
    • PC Petty Cash
    • PO Purchase Order
    • RA Remittance Advice
    • REQ Purchase Requisition
    • V Voucher

C. Funding

The College receives funding from multiple sources. Each funding source has its own set of accounting and fiscal controls. Following is a brief description of the primary aspects of each funding source. The fiscal year for each funding source is the same, July 1 through June 30.

State Purpose Funds:
These funds are appropriated annually by the State Legislature through the State budgetary process. All activity is monitored by the State Comptroller’s Office.

Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR):
This mechanism allows departments to operate certain funds that collect revenue in support of specific activities. Examples include course fees and rentals. Like State Purpose funds, IFR expenditure budget authority is appropriated annually by the State Legislature and all payments are approved by the State Comptroller’s Office.

Research Foundation (RF):
The SUNY Research Foundation serves as the conduit for all grants and contracts awarded to SUNY institutions. The Research Foundation provides basic administrative support to the campuses. The College is responsible for ensuring that expenditures are made in accordance with Research Foundation, sponsor, and campus guidelines and that sponsor billings are timely and accurate.

Purchase College Association (PCA):
PCA is a not-for-profit corporation operated to provide auxiliary services to the College pursuant to a contract with the College and SUNY Board of Trustees. The PCA also provides bookkeeping services for specific operations through agency accounts, as allowed by SUNY policies.

Purchase College Foundation (PCF):
Is a not-for-profit corporation created and operated to receive and administer gifts and donations for the campus. Monies are made available to departments in accordance with gift or donation specifications.