Supporting a Journal Entry
There are two methods for providing appropriate support for a journal entry – journal entry descriptions and supporting documentation. All journal entries are required to be supported by a complete description. The description should be complete enough for review/approval and should completely describe the transaction being processed and why the journal entry is necessary. If support documentation is available, or if the description cannot stand on its own, support documentation is required to be attached. Support documentation is required to be attached for all journal entries affecting a Sponsored Project/Grant.
Reason for Directive
Providing appropriate support for a financial transaction, including a journal entry, is an essential element of internal control.
Who must comply
All UF Departments.
Journal entries affecting a Sponsored Program/Grant (Funds 201 or 209), must have supporting documentation attached, including a completed and signed Cost Transfer Request Non-Payroll attached. If the completed form is not attached, Contracts and Grants cannot approve and post the journal.
Journal entries that do not affect a Sponsored Program/Grant are not required to have supporting documentation attached, unless your department’s internal controls require such support. It is strongly recommended that supporting documentation is added to every journal entry using the procedures in the UF HR Toolkit – Add/Delete an Attachment.
If the Journal Header Description (detail below) does not provide enough detail for the journal entry’s activity, additional documentation must be provided to support the transaction. The Journal Header Description, along with any attached supporting documentation, must meet the audit standards of a complete journal entry transaction.
When attaching support for a journal entry, do not submit confidential information, such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, health information, or other types of protected information. Obscure or remove all sensitive information from the support prior to attaching; departments should retain secured departmental records of sensitive information based on departmental procedures and record retention requirements.
Journal Entry Descriptions
All journal entries are required to be supported by a complete description, which should be thorough enough for review and approval by someone unfamiliar with the transaction. There are two types of descriptions:
- Journal Header Descriptions
- Journal Line Descriptions
The journal header description (or long description) must completely describe the transaction being processed and should indicate why the journal entry is necessary. The text of the description should contain answers to the following questions:
- What is being transferred/corrected?
- Where is it being transferred?
- Why was the original transaction incorrect?
- Is there supporting documentation to reference?
In the description, it is recommended to use one of the following keywords to identify the type of journal entry:
- Transfer: When moving revenues or expenses to a different ChartField combination
- Correct: When correcting erroneous ChartField values
- Reverse: When reversing a previous journal entry that was created in error
Journal Line Descriptions
Line descriptions provide additional information related specifically to individual journal lines. In addition, each line description must relate to the journal header description (long description).
The journal line description should be used to indicate what is happening in that line of the journal entry, such as “moving expenses to dept 16129002, fund 149.”
03/31/2023: Reviewed content
General Accounting & Financial Reporting: (352) 392-1326; email@example.com
Contracts & Grants: (352) 392-1235
Banking & Merchant Services: (352) 392-9057
UF Help Desk: (352) 392-HELP