Glossary of Financial Terms

Learn the definitions of commonly used financial terms at the University at Buffalo.


Term Acronym Definition
Across the Board ATB Affecting everyone or everything in a group.
Allocation   Budget amount given to spend during the fiscal year.
Also Receives
  An approved annualized dollar amount (or portion thereof) that can be paid to the position incumbent in addition to their base annual salary, for services performed, on a temporary basis, in addition to the duties normally associated with their assignment.
Annual Allocation   Permanent on-going budget amount for the next fiscal year.
Annual Resource Planning Process ARPP  This process provides a framework for the university to review our financial capacity, align our current resources to support our priorities, and assess potential areas for new investment. 
Available Balance   Amount of the uncommitted costs that are available for expenditure.
Award   Component of a Research Foundation (RF) account number which also includes project and task.
Budget Revision   The primary tool for managing account funding.
Carry Forward   An account's unspent total cash/budget from the previous year carried forward to the current year.
Cash Balance   Beginning cash balance of account plus gross revenues less expenditures less General University Service Fee(GUSF) less fringe. Please note that cash balance does not take encumbrances into account.
Commitments   This amount is equal to the sum of encumbrances and expenditures.
Credit Hour CH The unit that the institution uses to measure its course work.


Term Acronym Definition
Department Audit Number   Internal number assigned by the department to track their state budget revisions.
Direct Costs DC Direct Costs are all expenditure categories EXCLUDING indirect costs (facilities & administrative costs).
Dormitory Income Fund Reimbursable   DIFR Dormitory Income Fund Reimbursable is a group of accounts that are self-supporting and used to administer room rental fees and charges. DIFR accounts operate similar to State Operating accounts.
Educational Advisory Board EAB Education Advisory Board provides best practice research and practical advice to leaders of academic affairs, business affairs, student affairs, advancement, continuing, online, and professional education, and community colleges across North America.
Empire Innovation Program EIP SUNY initiative to hire faculty that would be research based.
Encumbrance   The obligation incurred in the form of salary commitments, orders, contracts and similar items that will become payable when goods are delivered or services rendered. This can be a negative amount when the PO is being liquidated, paid or cancelled.
Entity   A name (corresponding with a four digit number) which identifies an administrative or academic element within the university's organizational structure.
ePayment e-Pay e-Pay is one of UB’s methods for departments to accept credit/debit card payments (MasterCard, Visa and Discover) and Automatic Check Clearing (ACH) also known as electronic checks for state financial transactions via the web.
Expenditure   Disbursement made for goods received, services rendered, personal service payments or employee reimbursements.
Facilities and Administrative   F&A Facilities and Administrative costs are real costs related to sponsored projects that are not easily attributable to individual projects, such as maintenance, security, heating, cooling, lighting, space, disposal of hazardous waste, secretarial support, the library, and cost of compliance with government regulations. May be referred to as indirect or overhead costs.
Fiscal Allocation   Spendable budget for the defined fiscal period.
Free Balance   Budgeted amount that has not been encumbered nor expended at a point in time.
Fringe Benefit   Any part of a regular employee's remuneration package that is not pay. This includes payroll taxes, health insurance, and retirement and other benefits. For State Operating accounts fringe is paid by SUNY and therefore not recorded in these accounts.
Fringe Benefit Rate   Combined total rate of an employee's remuneration package that is not pay (expressed as a percentage).
Full Time Equivalent FTE Full time equivalent is a means of quantifying employment. Full time equals 1.0 FTE.
FTE Type   Indicates if the FTE is instructional or non-instructional.
Function   The grouping of accounts/sub-accounts based on the activity that is supported by those resources; it is a 2-digit code that is the third and fourth position of the account number (examples and definitions of these functions can be found on the NACUBO/Functional Classifications page.


Term Acronym Definition
General University Service Fee   GUSF The General University Service Fee is a flat rate service fee charged to accounts on all eligible revenue.
Gross Receipts   Total deposits into an account prior to any GUSF, fringe or other fee reductions.
Headcount HC The number of students (full-time or part-time) enrolled during the semester. Cross-registered students are excluded.
IFR Expenditures   Includes Fringe Benefit, Salary Recovery Fees and General University Service Fees (GUSF) that are charged directly to revenue.
Income Fund Reimbursable IFR Income Fund Reimbursable accounts are self-supporting accounts which track cash collections and the matching expenditures associated with the educational and related activities provided to students and other customers. An IFR account differs from a State Operating account in that it is supported by cash receipts.
Indirect Cost Recovery ICR Administrative / overhead charges associated with sponsored projects.
Indirect Costs IDC Facilities and Administrative costs also known as Indirect costs or overhead costs are real costs related to sponsored projects that are not easily attributable to individual projects, such as maintenance, security, heating, cooling, lighting, space, disposal of hazardous waste, secretarial support, the library, and cost of compliance with government regulations.
Interdepartmental Invoice IDI The vehicle used to transfer expenditures between accounts as deemed necessary.
Internal Financial Plan IFP University at Buffalo’s internal plan which aligns the funding available that year, particularly from the State Operating Budget, with institutional priorities and needs.
Inventory   Any item of equipment or furniture with an original cost of $5,000 or greater is recorded and tagged as a state asset.


Term Acronym Definition
Lapsed   Period defined when transactions that occur after July 1st of fiscal year can be charged/credited to prior year accounts.


Term Acronym Definition
Major Object   A term that identifies budget/expenditure components at the highest level and defines the particular purpose for which funds are allocated, expended, or encumbered.(See examples of major objects).
Major Purpose Description   A grouping of functions whose expenditures are similar in scope.
Minor Object   A term that identifies budget/expenditure components at a lower level and defines the particular purpose for which funds are allocated, expended, or encumbered (See examples of minor objects).
NACUBO Code   The functional classification of the account set by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.  See also definition of function.
Non-Sponsored Accounts   Research Foundation accounts funded by organizational entities internal to the University.
Object of Expenditure Code OEC

Object of Expenditure Code is a five digit code for classifying specific types of expenditures based on goods and services purchased.

Other Than Personal Service OTPS Other Than Personal Services are expenditures that are not for salary, wages, and fringe benefits. Examples include travel, contractual services, equipment, etc.


Term Acronym Definition
Personal Service Regular PSR Personal Service Regular is salary, wage and fringe benefit expenditures for continuing appointments.
Principal Investigator PI Name of the person responsible for the technical and financial administration of a project and/or award.
Procurement Card P-Card Procurement Card is the preferred method of purchasing work related expenses, supplies, and equipment up to $2,500.
Project   A record to define a unit of work within an award that can be broken down into one or more tasks. Each project is assigned a system generated number. An award can be made up of multiple projects.
Reimbursement/Advance Payment Form RAP Reimbursement/Advance Payment form is the form used for personal reimbursement of business related expenditures.
Research Foundation RF Research Foundation accounts record research, instruction and training activities conducted under the direction of University faculty and staff and funded by organizations both external and internal to the University. They are made up of both Sponsored and Non-Sponsored funding.
Revenue Source Code   Identifier indicating the source of revenue from which the deposit came (See examples of Revenue Source Codes).
Revenue Transfer   Proper tool to make adjustments to cash balances for Income Fund Reimbursable and SUNY Tuition reimbursable accounts.


Term Acronym Definition
Salary Recovery   Salary Recovery is a means by which departments and equivalent units charge sponsored program accounts for the salary and fringe benefits of University at Buffalo personnel who are devoting compensated effort to sponsored programs and are paid from either the State operating budget or Income Fund Reimbursable accounts.
Service & Facility S&F A Service & Facilities account is a self-supporting type of account within the Research Foundation that provides a specific technical or administrative service that supports the internal operating activities of the University.
Service Centers   An organization that provides a specific technical or administrative service that supports the internal operating activities of the University.
State Operating   State Operating accounts are a combination of allocation from State tax dollars and campus revenues from tuition and certain other sources.
State University Tuition Reimbursable Account SUTRA State University Tuition Reimbursable Accounts accounts  utilize income from self-supporting programs funded from tuition revenue related to overseas programs, contract courses, summer session & enrollment overflow. SUTRA accounts operate similar to Income Fund Reimbursable accounts.
Strategic Information Reporting Initiative SIRI Strategic Information Reporting Initiative is a UB2020 initiative to provide a single authoritative source for information, an enterprise analysis and reporting solution, and improve the strategic, managerial, and operational analysis, reporting, decision making capabilities of the University community.
Task   The most specific portion of a Research Foundation account where expenditures are assigned/allocated. Projects can be assigned multiple tasks.
Temp Service TS Temporary Service is salary, wage and fringe benefit expenditures for temporary appointments.
Three Year Plan Summary TYPS Unit's current and future projections for the annual budget process.
Total Sources   Equal to the summation of revenue amount and revenue transfer credit amount.
Total Uses   Equal to the summation of expenditure, revenue transfer debit amount, salary recovery fee, fringe amount and General University Service Fee amount.
Trial Balance   A term used to indicate what type of funds will be spent or allocated.
TRN-AC TRN-AC A transaction Across Cost centers is a specific type of expenditure transfer code between accounts in different State Trial Balances (i.e. State Operating, IFR, SUTRA, etc.).
TRN-FM TRN-FM Is a specific type of expenditure transfer code which redistributes funds between accounts in the same State Trial Balance.
Uncommitted Balance   Represents what the balance would be if all current fiscal year encumbrances were expended.
Unit Business Officer
UBO Individual(s) primarily responsible for managing the financial risks, planning and record-keeping as well as financial reporting to higher management within a unit.
University at Buffalo Foundation UBF Supports and promotes the activities and programs of the State University of New York at Buffalo by providing support, advice and counsel regarding philanthropy, fund raising, and development, and also the management of gifts and grants on behalf of the University.
Unreserved Carry Forward   An account's unspent cash, excluding cash in reserve, from the previous year carried forward to the current year.


Term Acronym Definition
Voice Over Internet Protocol VOIP The Internet based telephone service used at the University at Buffalo. 

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