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The Finance Department

Account Codes

Contact Details:  Financial Accountant
                            Head of Management Accounts

Contents of this page:

Useful links: Analysis Codes, Activity Codes and Cost Centres

 

Using the Correct Account Codes

The correct use of analysis codes is important, both from an audit point of view, to ensure that the College’s finance system holds an accurate and true reflection of the income and expenditure activities that have taken place, and from a budgetary control point of view to make sure an accurate and consistent picture is available on what has been spent against a particular budget. 

At its worst, miscoding of transactions may be an attempt to circumvent budgetary control by charging against budgets that are not for that type of expenditure concerned because the appropriate budget line either does not exist or is overspent - for example coding the cost of a computer to a consumables code.   This is not allowed.  

As part of the process of authorising a transaction of any type budget holders and authorised signatories must ensure that the analysis code for the transaction is appropriate for the type of income or expenditure involved.  If in doubt consult the Finance Office or RGCO.

Coding explained

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Activity codes in schools

For core school/department activity codes there the first character is used to identify particular types of activity namely:

  • External research grants A/B/C/D
  • Programme spanning departments J
  • Laboratories L
  • Miscellaneous M
  • Doctorial training grants P
  • Contingency and Discretionary Funds S/T/U/V
  • Consultancy by academic W
  • Activity to handle core pay & non pay costs X
  • CASE studentship Y
  • Institutes and research centres Z

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Levels of study

In addition a purely numeric range of unique identifiers are utilised to signify levels of programmes of study and modular based courses:

  • Certificate & Diploma programmes     1-99
  • Foundation programmes 101-199
  • Undergraduate programmes 202-299
  • Masters programmes 301-399
  • Research programmes           401-499
  • Modular courses 501-999

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Courses Spanning Departments

There is one further special case that the account code recoding project needs to handle.  This is where a programme or subject area spans multiple departments or schools e.g.

In these cases an account code will be set up in each department with a common activity code defining the programme and a unique cost centre coded to identify the department.

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Finance Department, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX. Departmental Office tel.:  020 7380 3145, fax.: 020 7380 3221