Accounting Services Section (ACT)
Effective Date: 07/01/1989
Last Modified Date: 04/26/1995
Attribute is a term applied to a descriptive non-dollar characteristic for an account and is maintained as an integral part of the system's data base. The primary function of attributes is to support a wide variety of reporting techniques by removing the need to define descriptive elements in the account number. Attributes, once entered, are stored along with the dollar data in the account master file.
Subsidiary and General Ledger
Attributes are applied to both subsidiary and general ledger accounts. Although accounts in the subsidiary and general ledgers may be related in an accounting sense, they may not necessarily have the same attributes or the same values, for an attribute may not be common to both ledgers. An account will only have those attributes which are pertinent to it and necessary to summarize its data for reporting.
Attributes are not used on any input transactions for data manipulation or posting purposes. They are used, without exception, to prepare all reports from the system. This is a very significant point. Reports may be changed or new reports added, attributes may be changed or new attributes added, but input processing is unaffected.
There are three basic types of attributes used by the system:
- System processing indicators
- Selection criteria
- Report header information
System Processing Indicators
Some of the attributes are used by the system to determine how the account and the dollar records are to be processed. Some examples follow:
- Indicators of an account's fund type (i.e. State Fund vs. Sponsored Research)
- Directives on how to process the account from one fiscal year to the next
- The general ledger account that a subsidiary ledger account will update when transactions are posted to it
Report Selection Criteria
These are the principal attributes for the account. They represent various classification schemes or indicators which may be used to pull accounts together for reporting needs. Examples of this follow:
- The account number
- The department number of the account
- The funding agency for sponsored projects
- Budget code and purpose code for University and State reporting requirements
- The school or division the account reports to
Report Header Information
This information is usually printed on reports for "people" identification or is important but is not used to accumulate dollars for a report. Examples of this follow:
- Account title (2 titles are available, a 20-character short title and a 60-character long title)
- Name of person or position responsible for account and the report mailing address
- Dates that certain reports concerning a sponsored project are due
- Report distribution number, which determines where the reports are sent
Remember that all attributes are available as report selection criteria, not just those so classified above.
The FRS Data Element Dictionary lists the attributes used by the system and gives a definition of what they are.
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