IRIS Project Update – New Terms, New Chart of Accounts
The IRIS Project has afforded UK the chance to review its present chart of accounts, consider requirements and improvements, and then develop and design a new structure for the SAP R/3 software. When Financials and Procurement go live on October 1, the institution will be operating with a single chart of accounts. This new account structure promises flexibility and ease of use, as well as improved tracking and reporting of financial information. The framework will include one set of general ledger accounts, with GL and SL sub-codes combined.
UK employees who work with accounts should gain some familiarity with SAP terms and concepts related to the new chart of account structure before they attend IRIS training classes. As a beginning point, end-users should get acquainted with the financial modules – FI, CO, FM, GM, and PS. These integrated modules support different kinds of financial management and reporting.
- FI - Financials module
FI provides the financial statement view of the institution and supports required external reporting at the legal entity level.
- CO - Controlling module
CO contains the same financial information as FI, but presents it from the cost management perspective. It supports information based on “actuals”. These costs are aggregated at the lowest level by cost centers, which correspond with many of the current FRS subsidiary ledger accounts in ledgers 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 9.
- FM - Funds Management Module
Budgeting and fund accounting information is stored in FM. FM is used to present a “budget minus expenditures minus encumbrances equals available balance” view, or a view equivalent to what appears on the current FRS screen 019. Additionally, FM contains “funds”, which are similar to map codes in FRS. Funds provide the lowest possible level to create a balance sheet in the system.
- GM – Grants Management Module
The GM module is designed to account for awards from government and other sponsors for a specific activity. GM provides flexibility to account for funds on a fiscal period basis other than the University’s FY and shows financial information from a sponsor’s perspective.
- PS – Project Systems
Some components of PS support additional functionality needed for grants and plant fund accounting requirements. The PS module features “WBS”, or Work Breakdown Structure. WBS provides the ability to track costs by segments of a larger project and to bill based on events (instead of relying on reimbursement of costs incurred).
The Chart of Accounts and Master Data
Segments and attributes make up the chart of accounts, with much of the information coming from Master Data, or information created once and used again and again. Master Data items for the chart of accounts are similar to present account codes and attributes used in FRS. In SAP these items are grouped by cost objects, classification of revenues and expenses, and classification of function, and termed differently, depending on the particular module.