There are two general accounting groups in the Controller’s Office, one for the campus and one for the Foundations (CSULB Research Foundation and CSULB 49er Foundation). The general accounting teams are responsible for the accuracy of the general ledger, timely monthly and year-end closes, and non-student billing.

The managers and accountants on these teams are dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the University’s accounting processes and providing excellent customer service to the faculty, staff, and students of CSULB.



The responsibility for reconciliation of expense accounts in all three business units belongs with the fund owner. Each month the fund owner, or their designee, should run reports from Finance Data Warehouse to verify that the expenses showing for that month belong in the fund and that no expenses are missing. Some funds also have revenue accounts; these too must be reconciled by the fund owner. Accounting and Accounts Payable will be glad to provide documentation for expense entries if needed.

Abnormal Balances

Accounting will contact fund owners when the balance in an account is “abnormal” at the end of a period. The normal balance of an expense account is a debit; the normal balance of a revenue account is a credit.

Deficit Cash Balances

With very few exceptions, all funds must be in a positive cash position at the end of each period. Accounting will contact fund owners when cash is in a deficit position and it is expected that this situation will be rectified immediately.

Campus policy requires that departments use the Miscellaneous Non-Student Invoicing process when billing for goods or services in amounts greater than $20.00. Invoices are requested by departments and prepared by Accounting to create a receivable which the debtor (the party being billed) promises to pay. The departmental income account specified on the invoice request is credited and the debit is recorded in the appropriate campus receivables account.

Please use the link below to obtain the Invoice Request Form:

Invoice Request Form (PDF)

Payments for services between CSULB and the Chancellor’s Office and other CSU campuses must be processed through an IFT (Interagency Financial Transactions, previously known as CPO (Cash Posting Order)). No check payments are allowed. It is recommended that the campus requesting the money completes the IFT request. IFTs are not applicable to CSU auxiliary organizations – check payments are processed, similar to 3rd party payments.

To initiate an IFT:

  1. Please complete the IFT Request Form (DocuSign).
  2. Campus Accounting will review and submit the IFT to the Chancellor's Office (CO).
  3. CO will obtain approvals from the affected campus(es).
  4. CO will distribute the IFT to all campuses involved.
  5. General Accounting will record the IFT as a journal entry.

Notes and suggestions:

  • Supporting documents are required.
  • Supporting documentation for conference registration: attach a registration roster that has information of attendee name, campus, department, email address & phone number or completed registration forms.
  • Wait until after the registration deadline to submit a IFT in order to collect the registration fees all in one IFT.

A chart of accounts is a listing of the names of the accounts that an organization has identified and made available for recording transactions in its general ledger. The chart of accounts consists of balance sheet accounts (assets, liabilities, net assets) and income statement accounts (revenues, expenses, transfers).

The Chart of Accounts used in the CSU is composed of the following six segments, referred to as a chartfield: account, fund, department, project, program, class. For balance sheet chartfields, only the fund and account segments should be used. For income statement chartfields, three segments are required: account, fund, and department. Certain construction and grants/contracts funds require the project segment. The program and class segments are not required by the accounting system, but may be used to group transactions as desired by departments.

The CSU Funds Definitions is being made available in Excel format to facilitate navigation. This worksheet is currently filtered to display active values only.

In addition to defining CSU funds, the worksheet provides the following information:

  1. Mapping to state fund number
  2. Net asset category
  3. Fund type code
  4. Status (active or obsolete)
  5. Effective date*
  6. Date last updated in FIRMS*

The reason for creation or deactivation of a fund has been incorporated into the description (see Col. D).

CSU Funds Drop Down Table of CSU Fund Definitions (EXCEL)

A journal is a record of transactions listed as they occur that shows the specific accounts affected by the transaction. Used in a double-entry accounting system, journal entries require both a debit and a credit to complete each entry. Journal entries are the foundation for all other financial reports. They provide important information that are used by auditors to analyze how financial transactions impact a business.

A journal entry requires the following elements:

  • A header which includes the date of the entry.
  • A reference number or a journal entry number that can be used to index and retrieve the journal when required.
  • The account number and name.
  • The debit amount.
  • The credit amount.
  • The description of the journal entry.

Please use the link below to obtain CSULB’s journal entry template with instructions:

Actuals Journal Entry Upload Request Form (EXCEL)

Typically in a higher education environment, the annual expenditure budget allocation is based on allocating expenditures by functional programs such as instruction, research, etc., and by individual revenue and expense objects. These by function budgets are normally broken down by object line-items such as salaries, travel, supplies, equipment, and etc. Each institution has its own rationales and requirements for the specific budget document it prepares and disseminates.

FIRMS Data Element Dictionary: Program Code

Faculty and staff may obtain a reimbursement in cash from the University cashier for small amounts where personal funds have been used for university business. Small amounts are defined as any amounts of $100 or less. Receipts must be presented with the request for petty cash reimbursement and the request must be approved by an administrator who has at least level 4 DOA (delegated authority) on the fund being charged. For petty cash reimbursements, the “Hospitality” form is not required.

Please use the link below to obtain the Petty Cash Disbursement Voucher:

Petty Cash Reimbursement Voucher