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What is a Source of Funds?

The Source of Funds is the fourth part of the account code. Each four-digit code represents a different source of income. Income and expenditure funded by that income must be recorded against a specific Source of Funds code.  For detailed guidance see section 2.

Why is this important?

Funding for the University’s activities comes from many different sources. The University has a responsibility to its sponsors, donors, and government funders to separate, manage and report (in most cases) on the activities based upon the Source of Funds.


The Source of Funds code is represented by four characters, which are the same across all departments. Although the list is very long there is a logical structure.

1st Letter



Balance sheet




Recoverable from external sources


Recoverable from internal sources (central use only)


General reserves


Specific reserves


Self-supporting activities


Specific donations


Specific endowments


Specific grants


Trust funds


Trust funds appropriations


Research grants and contracts


Building projects


General endowments (central use only)


Investment account (central use only)


Pension funds (central use only)


Associated bodies


Depreciation (central use only)

Requesting a new Source of Funds code

If a new Source of Funds code is required, the departmental Secretary or Administrator should email a request to the helpdesk at and give the following information:

  • the name of the required Source of Funds
  • its purpose

Further information may be required to support the request. If the request is approved, an appropriate code will be allocated by the Finance Division.  Some Schools have local arrangements to request codes via the School Office rather than directly.  Check with your Finance Adviser before making your first request.

Source of Funds and investment

Departments can invest surplus income on specific Sources of Funds in either Cambridge University Endowment Fund (CUEF) units or in the University Deposit Account. Chapter 12 of the Financial Procedures Manual outlines which Sources of Funds are eligible in each instance and how to proceed.

Source of Funds and overhead charges

The indirect cost charge (ICC) or Trust Fund overheads is an overhead charged on pay costs met from most other non-Chest Sources of Funds. ICC is intended to recognise and recover part of the central and local infrastructure costs of non-Chest funded activity. For further advice and guidance please contact your Finance Business Partner.

For more information on Trust Funds, refer to FPM Chapter 13, Overheads section. 


Latest version 01 May 2024

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