skip to content

What is the chart of accounts?

The chart of accounts is the collective name that we give to all our General Ledger account codes. It includes the way the account codes are structured as well as the individual codes themselves.

Why is it important?

The General Ledger (also known as the GL or the Nominal Ledger) is at the heart of any accounting system. The GL collates information from the rest of the system for all transactions that have been processed. This information can then be summarised for management and financial reporting purposes.

The chart of accounts enables information to be processed uniformly throughout the University, which means:

  • Comparable reports can be produced at department, Schools, Faculty, and University levels.
  • Financial information can be categorised correctly to produce the statutory financial statements and returns required.

Overview of the structure

General Ledger account codes are made up of six segments.






Identifies the organisation



Identifies the department or operational area within an entity

Cost Centre


Identifies a specific activity or section within a department

Source of Funds


Identifies the type of funding, and in some cases the specific funding provider



Identifies the nature of an item



Always 0000

They are normally written in a string format eg U.AG.AGAA.AAAA.ESBC.0000, with or without the final 0000.

For transactions posted in the Grants module, the initial format of the code is different. A project code string is required instead. This is essential to record the specific information that is required for grant claims and for monitoring spend against individual project budgets over the life of the grant. However, when the information is transferred into the General Ledger it is automatically summarised and converted into the above standard format.
Care is vital when entering an account code to avoid creating an incorrect combination.

General guidelines

The following should be noted, and where appropriate actioned:

  • Source of Funds and Transaction codes are generic across all departments
  • Cost centre codes are, in the main, specific to a department
  • Make sure each part of the code is correct when processing transactions
  • An up-to-date listing of the available values for any segment can be produced by running the Chart of Accounts - Segment Value Listing (UFS) report in the GL module of UFS
  • Each department should look at the codes they use most often, agree a uniform selection, and prepare a crib sheet


Latest version 01 May 2024

Raven Login

Some items on this website are restricted. University members are encouraged to log in using Raven to make the best use of the site:
Login with Raven