POL-U5320.01 Managing and Reporting University Financial Data

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

April 2, 2019

Revised Date:

November 28, 2023

Approved by:

President Sabah Randhawa

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all financial transactions within the University’s Chart of Accounts.


Taxpayers and financial donors have entrusted the University to appropriately manage, accurately record, and report financial transactions. Western is committed to the protection of financial data, including use of efficient systems and processes that provide internal accounting controls and accurate reporting of financial data.


Chart of Accounts

The list of all account names and numbers used in the Financial Repository. The Chart of Accounts includes six codes referred to as the FOAPAL string: consisting of Fund, Organization, Account, Program, Activity and Location (Activity and Location are optional)

Financial Data

All financial transactions and supporting documentation related to the University’s assets, deferred outflows, liabilities, deferred inflows, revenue, expense and fund balance recorded or to be recorded in the Financial Repository.

Financial Repository

The Financial Reporting Module of the University’s Enterprise Reporting System (ERP) for recording, processing, and maintaining the University’s official source of financial data.


Any system outside of the Financial Repository which is used to record, process, or maintain University of financial data. Subsystems include systems that:

  1. Systems with direct interface to the Financial; Repository, such as Human Resources/Payroll, Student Accounts , Financial Aid, Travel, Cashiering and Accounts Receivable
  2. Stand-alone payment systems, such as those used in the Associated Students Bookstore, Wade King Student Recreation Center, and Parking and Transportation Services, and
  3. Stand-alone non-payment systems such as those used in Facilities Development and Operations.

Policy Statements

1. Western Washington University Follows Accounting Rules

Under the purview of the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs, the Controller/Director of Financial Services ensures the following, but not limited to:

  1. The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and standards set forth by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) and the State Administrative Accounting Manual (SAAM) are followed,
  2. A Chart of Accounts is maintained and changes are documented to ensure proper authority and controls,
  3. The accrual accounting method is used,
  4. The University’s financial data is recorded in the University’s central financial repository, and
  5. Processes are established to support the integrity and completeness of financial data.

2. Accounting Services Oversees Accounting Code Structure

For effective fiscal management and reporting purposes, Accounting Services, in partnership with the Office of Strategy, Management and Budget, oversees and provides training to the campus on the University's accounting code structure and approval process. Required approvals for changes to the code structure are listed in the routing procedures for each code request form.

Accounting Services will:

  1. Reviewing the chart of accounts regularly and delete obsolete or unused codes,
  2. Maintain documentation of chart of accounts creation, changes, and approvals in accordance with state retention schedules.

3. Financial Managers are Responsible for Data Submitted to Financial Repository

Financial Managers are accountable for ensuring that they, and those to whom they delegate budget authority responsibilities, utilize University Accounting Services resources that provide guidance on property recording financial data for financial transactions. See also the Authorizing and Defining Financial Responsibilities Policy, POL-U5320.03

Departments are to record and report financial information to the University's financial repository within required timeframes outlined in related University policies, standards and procedures.

Corrections to financial data must be made in a timely manner, and, in all instances, within the fiscal year.

4. Employees are Expected to Protect the Integrity of Western’s Financial Data

All employees whose duties involve creating, receiving, reviewing, and approving financial data are expected to use available related University resources, including training opportunities, to strengthen their understanding of the proper use of financial data. See Accounting Services Training Resources.

Employees are expected to take the appropriate steps to:

  1. Verify the accuracy of the data,
  2. Make necessary corrections, and
  3. Report to Financial Manager if the integrity of any data appears questionable.

To support the integrity of financial data, Accounting Services personnel must ensure:

  1. Journal vouchers are accompanied with sufficient documentation,
  2. All financial data code (FOAPAL) requests (e.g. fund, org, account, program codes) have received required written approvals prior to implementing in the financial repository, and
  3. The chart of accounts is reviewed regularly to identify changes needed to maintain integrity of financial data.

5. Western Restricts the Release of WWU Financial Information to External Entities

Authorized personnel whose official University role includes, but is not limited to, complying with state and federal reporting, data sharing agreements, audit requirements, public record requests, and court orders may release or authorize the release of financial information in accordance with their official job duties.

Other employees, including student employees, are prohibited from releasing non-published WWU financial data to external entities.

6. Subsystems with Financial Components Require Business and Financial Affairs Approval

Any subsystems utilized by the University to obtain, process, and maintain financial data must be approved prior to implementation, and/or use, by the Associate Vice President of Finance and Business Services following a review by the Controller / Director of Financial Services.

Policy Information


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  • POL-U5320.04 Establishing and Reporting Financial Data