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2005 REVISED ACCOUNTING HANDBOOK/MODEL CHARTS OF ACCOUNT
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Are cost centers pre-determined or am I allowed to use my own set of cost center numbers? They are pre-determined within a range of numbers. For schools with grade configurations of K-8, use numbers 01-19. For schools with grade configurations of 9-12, use 30-38. For Career and Technical Centers, use 39.
- In reviewing the model charts, there is a K-2 template and a K-8 template; which do we use? If we break down our elementary school into K-2 and 3-6, how do we report the middle school? In my unit, 6-8 is currently broken down in its own budget. Will that change to a K-8 budget or a further breakdown of K-2, 3-5 and 6-8? Under the Revised Accounting Handbook, cost centers are used to track costs by building within grade levels. For buildings that house grades K-8, an individual cost center number between 01 and 19 should be assigned to each school. Within the building configuration, you will need to designate K-2 programs by program code 1120, for EPS purposes. For example, expense coding for a grade one teacher located in an elementary school would look like this: 100-1120-1000-1010 -01 Coding for a grade 7 teacher salary could look like this: 100-1100-1000-1010-02 MDOE is not requiring you to segregate middle school grades using cost centers at this time.
- Do I need to break System Administration by cost center? As illustrated on the model chart of accounts, you do not need to code costs for the School Board, Superintendent’s Office or Central Office with cost center designations. However, until we eliminate the EFM 45 report, you will need to report them in the K-8 and 9-12 columns on page 7E. Most units do this based on percentage of pupils.
- How do I code a Pre-K program? For data collection purposes, DOE considers Pre-K programs to be part of K-2 Instruction (program code 1120). However, for units that wish to carry it separately on their books, use program code 1121. For these costs, remember to also assign the appropriate cost center for the building in which the program is located.
- How do I code a 4-Year Old Program? For data collection purposes, DOE considers Pre-K programs to be part of K-2 Instruction (program code 1120). However, for units that wish to carry it separately on their books, use program code 1122. For these costs, remember to also assign the appropriate cost center for the building in which the program is located.
- How do I code Art, Music and Phys Ed? These are all instructional costs; remember, if any part of an individual’s time is devoted to serving students in grades K-2, record that portion under program code 1120.
- How do I track Career and Technical Education costs by course? A program code has been created for each CIP course code. Please see the revised accounting handbook report entitled “Career and Technical Education Program Codes” on the Department’s website.
Operations and Maintenance
- How do I code building insurance? 100-0000-2600-5000 and then the cost center you assign to the building. If you need more detail in the object line, use code 5200
- How do I code telephone costs? 100-0000-2600-5000 and then the cost center you assign to the building. If you need more detail in the object line, use code 5320
- How do I code costs for electricity and fuel? Both may be coded as follows: 100-0000-2600-6200 and then the cost center that you assign to the building. If you need more detail in the object line, use 6220 for electricity and 6240 for heating oil.
- We have an operations and maintenance account called “special outlay” which is for purchasing non-recurring items such as carpeting, or other similar projects. How would I code it? I would consider this an “enhancement or improvement” project and would code it to 100-0000-2680-4300 and the appropriate cost center for the building in which the project occurs.
- If I have a line for sub bus drivers or sub teachers or any other sub person, do I put the benefits into the lines as 2230 which are benefits for subs (FICA in this case) or is that only for sub teachers and then the benefits for sub drivers would go in the same line as regular bus drivers? Benefit line object codes for any substitute personnel end in “30”, no matter what program or function. We will further define what type of “sub” it is by the program or function code; for example, subs coded to transportation will be assumed to be drivers.
- If we employ Ed Techs as bus monitors, I see that DOE wants a line for salaries and benefits paid to them under function code 2750, special ed transportation. Do we need to further break it down by Ed Tech I, II and III? No, for purposes of DOE data collection at this time, you do not need to discern between Ed Tech classifications.
- I am foggy on the benefit lines. Could you tell me the code for health insurance, dental/life, FICA/Medicare. As per the handbook object code report: Group Insurance (to include health) – 2100 – Health for Teachers = 2110 and Dental/Life = 2111; Health for Ed Techs = 2120 and Dental/Life = 2121; Health for Administrators = 2140 and Dental/Life = 2141; Health for Regular Employees = 2180 and Dental/Life = 2181 and so forth. FICA/Medicare is the 2200 series and just add the last two digits of the salary code; for example, 2210 for teachers, 2220 for Ed Techs and so on. MDOE is not requiring you to report these individually, you may bundle them all into the appropriate benefit line for the job class but we understand that you may want to show them separately and thus request that you use the codes as listed in the handbook.
- Is there a model chart for revenue codes? No, the revenue codes are provided as a report in the revised accounting handbook. Our guidance for coding revenue transactions at this time is to use the fund code, the program code to which the revenues are applicable and the appropriate revenue code. If a unit wants to include more fields in the transaction coding string to further identify the transaction, that is fine.
- I purchased computers on a cart that cost $31,000 – how do I code that transaction? If these are to be used instructional purposes, handbook guidance says technology equipment (function code 2230) As the $31,000 is likely to be over your unit’s capitalization threshold, you would use object code 7340. The program code is 0000 and remember to assign the appropriate cost center to the transaction for the building(s) in which these are located.
- Can we still charge a share of supplies and a share of repairs to field trips, co-curricular transportation and extra-curricular (athletic) transportation? Our Transportation Director has calculated a cost-per-mile and allocated part of these costs to these accounts. You certainly may do that and the model charts for these areas will be updated to provide codes for these items.
- Will the EFM 45 due in July of 2005 be in the new format? Currently, the data reported on the EFM 45 is loaded into a UNIX database that is accessed by COBOL programs. Many of these programs are “hard coded”, referencing data by line number and page; therefore, the EFM 45 cannot change in any way. The goal of the Department is to eliminate the EFM 45 report and replace it with an electronic transmission of your fiscal data. We hope this will be accomplished by the reporting for the FY 2006-2007 fiscal year. Until then, we will “fit” the new items into the current EFM 45 report. The model charts give provide guidance as to where on the EFM 45 the program or function area is to be reported.
- Do you anticipate that we will still need to file an EFS 02 report for the FY 2005-06 year? Yes; MDOE hopes to eliminate the EFM 45 and EFS 02 report by the end of the following year.
- Is the plan for all school units to be using the new accounting format for the FY 2005-2006 year? For those units that can incorporate the new codes so quickly, that would be wonderful! However, the Department’s expectation is that all units will have them in place for the FY 2006-2007 year.
- I use object codes 6128 for general supplies and 6129 for instructional supplies – are those still OK to use? Under the model chart of accounts, 6100 is designated for instructional supplies and 6000 designated for general supplies. We would prefer that you use these codes or, convert the general supply number to one that begins with 60 instead of 61. But, if you absolutely cannot convert them, when we move to electronic receipt of your fiscal data, your accounting software vendor will need to provide you with some sort of ability to “translate” them into our codes before submitting your data to us.
- Will school units lose state subsidy if they do not show sufficient expenses according to the EPS model for the FY 2005-2006 budget year? The EPS model contains three areas of targeted funds, meaning that funds distributed under these areas must be spent as such. These areas are: K-2 Instruction (program code 1120), Academic Student Assessment (function code 2240) and Instructional Technology (function code 2230). While rules have not been written as of this moment, it is very likely that if units receive subsidy in these areas but are not able to show expenditures to match, subsidy would be reduced.
- We have a contingency fund in both special ed and regular ed; the funds are budgeted but cannot be spent unless approved by the school board. How would I code that account? Using the Revised Accounting Handbook guidance, this would be a reserve account. You would designate the account as part of your fund balance, carrying it on your balance sheet using 7230 for regular ed and 7240 for special ed. When you expend the funds, you will then record the transactions under the appropriate codes for the transaction type.
Questions Specific to School Unions
- I develop a budget for each of our union offices then, in each individual budget, I have one account for that unit’s portion of the union office. Can I still do it that way? Yes, there is still an object code for “assessment for administration” provided for this situation; use object code 3410 under the system administration model chart.