Glossary of Business and Financial Terms

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academic competitive scholarship. A scholarship awarded on the basis of academic performance as indicated by GPA, test scores, or other measurement. Non-residents of Texas pay resident tuition rates as part of the scholarship.

academic department. A department reporting under a School or College and having a teaching curriculum.

acceptance of offer. The agreement of a buyer to an offer submitted by a seller.

acceptance of order. The agreement of a seller to transfer goods to a buyer for a particular price.

account group. The first two digits of an account number. Classifies the source or purpose of funds.

account number. A ten-digit number assigned to an account and used for recording accounting transactions. The first two digits indicate account group; the first eight digits indicate budget group; and the last two digits indicate subaccount.

account roll over. A process by which account numbers are copied from one fiscal year into the upcoming fiscal year. Whether an account is rolled over is determined by its status. Accounts with status C, D, or I that have zero balances are not rolled over. See also Account status.

account status. Assigned at budget group or account level by accountants in Accounting and Financial Management. Controls what types of transactions can be processed on an account:

A — Active. Will allow all transactions to be processed.

B — Inactive. Set up for budget only.

C — Closed. Will allow only journal vouchers (VJx documents) and cash receipt vouchers (VCx documents) to process. No service dates required.

D — Inactive/To be deleted. Will not allow transactions of any kind.

E — Expired. Will allow documents to process with service dates within the contract period.

I — Inactive. Will not allow transactions of any kind.

P — Proposed account.

account title. An account has two titles: an official title set up by Accounting and Financial Management, and a departmental title.

acknowledgment. A formal declaration before an authorized official, such as a notary public, by someone who signs a document and confirms that the signature is authentic. Also, the certificate of the officer on such instrument indicating that the document has been so acknowledged. (Definition courtesy of the State Office of Risk Management.)

adjusted balance. The month end balance in your checkbook after outstanding deposits and checks have been accounted for.

administrator. See Unit head.

affidavit. A voluntary declaration of facts, written down and sworn to or affirmed by the declarant ("affiant") before a Notary Public or other officer having the authority to administer an oath. (Definition courtesy of the State Office of Risk Management.)

affirmation. The act of affirming the truth of a document, not an oath. "I solemnly affirm and declare the foregoing to be a true statement." Note that an affidavit may appear in two forms: a sworn affidavit with oath, or an affirmed affidavit with affirmation. Each has the same legal import. (Definition courtesy of the State Office of Risk Management.)

AFR. Annual Financial Report

agency-peculiar property. Government-owned personal property that is peculiar to the mission of one agency (e.g., military or space property). It excludes Government material, special test equipment, special tooling, and facilities.

amusement services. Entertainment, recreation, sport, or diversion that is an enjoyable occupation of the senses. Includes, but are not limited to, live or recorded performances, exhibitions, spectator sports, participatory sports, fairs, or carnivals.

appropriated funds. Funds appropriated under the General Appropriations Act.

*AQAFRS. The University of Texas Automated Financial Report System, used to prepare parts of the Annual Financial Report (AFR).

asset. A property or investment, such as real estate, stock, mutual fund, or equipment, that has monetary value that could be realized if sold. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

authorized signer. Persons with signature authority for a unit or budget group.

average coach airfare. The arithmetic mean of the unrestricted "Y" class fares offered by all commercial airlines to a particular destination as quoted in the Sabre® Passenger Reservation System or the Worldspan reservations system.


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balance forward. A transaction that brings the remaining account balance from the previous fiscal year into the new fiscal year.

benefits of travel. Information on a Request for Travel Authorization indicating how the University will benefit from a trip.

Biennial. 24-month review based on the effective rate end period for each service center.

budget category. See Subaccount.

budget group. A group of related accounts having the same first eight digits in the account number. Budget groups are assigned to the units responsible for administering the funds.

budget pool. A group of accounts within a budget group. Accounts may be pooled together if there are no transfer restrictions between them. The free balances of the accounts in a budget pool are added together to calculate the pool balance, and when an account is audited for sufficient funds to process a transaction, it is the pool balance, not the free balance of the account, that determines whether sufficient funds are available.

bulk vending machine. A vending machine that contains unsorted items and dispenses them at random; customer does not select the item.

building Code. A 4-digit code assigned to University buildings by The Office of Institutional Research.

bundle. Any inventoried item with one or more elements that has been given the same inventory number. A bundle may contain multiple elements due to several costs or parts associated with it.


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cancellation charge. A fee, charge, or payment that a provider of travel services assesses or retains because of the cancellation or change of a travel reservation or other travel plan. For example, a non-refundable purchase of an airline ticket becomes a cancellation charge when the ticket becomes unusable because of changed travel plans.

cannibalization. The removal or exchange of parts or assemblies from an item of equipment to replace a damaged or worn out part or assembly of another item of equipment.

capital. Accumulated possessions calculated to bring in income. (Definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster Online)

capital equipment. A term used by some government agencies to identify equipment having an acquisition cost over a certain dollar amount and an expected service life of a certain number of years. For more information, see the Object Codes for Purchases of Furniture, Equipment, Animals, and Artifacts website.

cash receipt voucher. A voucher that documents cash receipt amounts to be deposited in the bank.

cash sales. Sales made by cash, check, or credit card.

casual employee. An individual who has been determined to be an employee for income tax purposes based on the evaluation of the individual's relationship with The University and the degree of control over the individual. The term casual employee was created by The University to distinguish this type of employee from regular full, part-time, or temporary University employees appointed through Human Resource Services.

CCART. The Capitalized and Controlled Asset Removal and Transfer System (CCART) provides a web-based means for inventory contacts or other persons responsible for inventory to assist in the management of their inventoried assets. The system enforces present business rules regarding the transfer of assets at The University of Texas at Austin pursuant to Part 16. Inventory Control and Property Management of the Handbook of Business Procedures.

centrally billed travel. Travel booked through a UT-contracted travel agency and charged to a University account. Travel Management Services or the Payment Services Travel Services section processes the payments directly to the travel vendor.

change fund (non-retail). A petty cash fund set up through Accounting and Financial Management that is used to make change for sales operations using a cash box or drawer without a cash register.

check. A written order that is considered legal tender and directly payable by a bank. This includes pre-printed checks, traveler's checks, money orders, and temporary checks.

CFR. Code of Federal Regulations. Regulations of federal agencies adopted under authority of laws enacted by the United States Congress.

class code. A 3-digit code assigned by the State of Texas to categorize equipment.

collection agency placement. The university refers past-due accounts to outside agencies that work to collect the past due amount. A collection fee is added to the amount the borrower owes.

commercial lodging establishment. (1) A motel, hotel, inn, apartment, house, or similar establishment that provides lodging to the public for pay; or (2) a person or establishment that provides lodging for pay that the comptroller determines to have a sufficient number of the characteristics of a commercial lodging establishment for the purposes of the Travel Regulations Act. The term includes lodging provided by: (1) a governmental entity on property controlled by that entity; or (2) a religious organization on property controlled by that organization; or (3) a private educational institution on property controlled by that institution.

commercial transportation company. An entity that offers transportation of people or goods to the public for pay.

common carrier. A company licensed by the state or federal government to transport goods and passengers for the general public. Examples include UPS and Federal Express.

common trust fund. A fund maintained by a bank or trust company exclusively for the collective investment of money for trust customers. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

confidential state record. Any state record to which public access is or may be restricted or denied under the Public Information Act, Chapter 552, or other state or federal law.

conflict of interest. A conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust. (Definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster OnLine.)

consultant [petty cash]. An individual who advises The University on how to undertake a project, such as a contractor who is hired to advise us on how to remove asbestos from University buildings. In contrast, someone who performs a task that is within the scope and mission of The University, such as giving a lecture, collaborating on a research project, or teaching a continuing education course, is not a consultant. The State of Texas defines a consultant service as follows:

"A study conducted for a state agency or advice provided to a state agency under contract that does not involve the traditional relationship of employer and employee. The term does not include a routine service that is necessary for the functioning of a state agency's programs."

conterminous United States. Consists of the District of Columbia and all states of the United States except Alaska and Hawaii.

contract [contracts and grants accounting]. A contract [definition from Public Law 95-224 (1978)] is the appropriate agreement to be used in a relationship between the federal government and a recipient whenever

  • The principal purpose of the instrument is the acquisition (by purchase, lease, or barter) of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the federal government; or
  • An executive agency determines in a specific instance that the use of a type of procurement contract is appropriate.

contracting officer. Person at the federal agency whom approves the contract or grant.

contractor-acquired property. Property procured from or otherwise provided by the contractor for the performance of a contract and for the cost of which the contractor is entitled to be reimbursed as a direct item of cost under such contract. Title to contractor-acquired property is vested in either the Government or the contractor as determined by the terms of the contract. If the Government retains title to property that was contractor-acquired under a contract or grant and subsequently transfers accountability to another contract or grant, the property will be classified under the gaining instrument as contractor-acquired property.

controlled item. Assets that the State of Texas requires the Univeristy to monitor regardless of value. For more information see the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

convenience copy. All copies of a record other than the master record that were created for purposes of reference or research. If a convenience copy is kept after the master record has been destroyed, the convenience copy becomes the master record.

costing. Costing identifies the method of recognizing direct and indirect costs associated with products and services.

credit. A transaction that adds funds to an account balance. Examples include deposits, transfers to, and disencumbrances.

credit bureau reporting. The university sends a report to the three national credit bureaus on a regular basis. The report includes current balance, past due amount, next payment due date and status.

CRV. See Cash receipt voucher.

custodian. The person who has physical possession of a petty cash fund. Custodians are designated by the responsible person.

county. When used in a provision that applies to a location outside Texas, includes a parish of Louisiana.


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D/S. "Duration of status," term indicated on I-94 indicating that the non-resident may stay as long as he is continuing his objective and has a valid document (i.e. I-20 or DS-2019).

data processing services. Includes word processing, data entry, data retrieval, data search, collection of information, payroll and business accounting data production, and other information storage or manipulation.

debit. A transaction that subtracts funds from an account balance. Examples include expenditures, transfers from, and encumbrances.

deductible. The amount that a department is required to pay before an insurance carrier will begin to reimburse for damage or loss.

*DEFINE. A financial application used by The University of Texas at Austin and other UT System components. Acronym for Departmental Financial Information Ne twork.

delegated signer. Person who is given authority to sign manual accounting documents on an account. May be permanent or temporary.

department code [records management]. A two, three, or four letter code in the prefix of the Record Series number in the Records Retention Schedule. This code identifies the University department or office that uses the Record Series. Record Series that begin with "AALL" can be used by anyone on campus.

depreciated value. The current value of an asset based on its useful life in months.

designated headquarters. The area within the boundaries of the incorporated municipality in which a state employee's place of employment is located. If an employee's place of employment is located within an unincorporated area, then the area within a five-mile radius of the place of employment is the employee's designated headquarters. If an incorporated municipality or an unincorporated area is completely surrounded by the incorporated municipality in which an employee's place of employment is located, then the employee's designated headquarters includes the surrounded municipality or area.

destination. A location to which an authorized person is to travel in order to conduct state business.

disability. A physical or mental impairment of a person that substantially limits one or more of the person's major life activities.

disencumbrance. Reversal of an encumbrance.

diversification. The practice of investing among several categories of investments (including different industries, countries, or investment vehicles) to enhance return and reduce risk. Avoids excessive exposure to any one source of risk. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

*DPUSER. An application used to maintain profiles of each department and each mainframe user ID. Contact the Information Technology Services help line at (512) 471-8800 for assistance with *DPUSER.

DS-2019. An immigration document issued to a J-1 student, visiting scholar, or researcher. After processing at the port of entry, the non-immigrant should just have the pink copy. This form indicates the name of the school, the activity of the participant, and the dates of stay.

dunning letter. A dunning letter is written notification of the past-due amount owed to the university by a sponsor or other entity.

duty point. The destination, other than a place of employment, to which a state employee travels to conduct official state business. If the destination is outside the employee's designated headquarters, then the duty point is: (1) the incorporated municipality in which the destination is located; or (2) the area within a five-mile radius of the destination if it is located in an unincorporated area.


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educational and general funds. Net tuition; special course fees charged under TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 54.051(e), (l) (Vernon Supp. 2005); lab fees; student teaching fees; organized activity fees; proceeds from the sale of educational and general equipment; indirect cost recovery fees; or hospital and clinic fees received by a state–owned clinical care facility that is operated using general revenue fund appropriations for patient care.

electronic signature. An electronic identifier intended by the person using it to have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature.

electronic signature authority. The authority to approve electronic accounting documents. Maintained by electronic office managers.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). For the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), this authorization enables nationals of 36 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa The program was established to eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on VWP, and therefore, some travelers from VWP countries are not eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel, be screened at the port of entry into the United States, and be enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.

As the B visitor checklist indicates, a copy is needed by Accounting and Financial Management prior to a treaty benefit appointment.

Once approved by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the ESTA Form can be retrieved.

element. A different line item within an inventoried bundle. Elements represent separate costs or parts associated with an inventory item. A single piece of equipment can have multiple elements if the item was purchased using different accounts on the payment voucher or the payments were broken out as separate line items on the payment voucher. Since shipping costs are required to be included in the cost of an item, they may also appear as an element of the item if paid separately.  For example, a Dell Latitude computer purchased for $1,500 with shipping cost of $50 can have the following elements:

9XXXXXelement 1$1,000.00 paid with 14 account
9XXXXXelement 2$500.00 paid with 29 account
9XXXXXelement 3$50.00 paid with 14 account

Total Cost$1,550.00

An item can also consist of multiple parts integral to the operation of a system. In other words, the system or equipment cannot function without these pieces or parts, and they are not accessories or spare parts. For example, a microscope system purchased at $200,000 consists of 14 line items in the purchase order/invoice detail. Line items 1 through 10 are essential to the microscope, total $199,500, and have been assigned capitalized inventory object code 1830. Line items 11 through 14 total $500 and are spare parts and have been assigned expense object code 1836. No shipping costs were incurred.

8XXXXXelement 1$114,200.00
8XXXXXelement 2$64,500.00
8XXXXXelement 3$8,000.00
8XXXXXelement 4$3,000.00
8XXXXXelement 5$1,000.00
8XXXXXelement 6$1,200.00
8XXXXXelement 7$700.00
8XXXXXelement 8$600.00
8XXXXXelement 9$5,794.45
8XXXXXelement 10$505.55

Total Cost$199,500.00

employee negligence. Failure to actively care for the safety, and maintenance, of university or university-entrusted personal property as a reasonable person would of his or her own property.  Employee negligence is determined by the unit administrator and documented in a police report for stolen items or a summary of events for missing or damaged items.

encumbrance. A means of reserving funds for future expenditures by debiting the free balance of an account. Purchase orders and other documents commit funds for future payments by creating encumbrance transactions, which remove funds from the free balances of accounts. Encumbrances must be reversed (disencumbered) when the expenditure takes place.

endowment. A group of funds donated to a tax-exempt organization that uses the earnings to advance its mission. The principal is not spent.

endowment tracking code. An endowment tracking code is used on the VIP Direct Gift Entry Web page to track gifts to endowments so they can be differentiated from other kinds of solicitations and transferred to the appropriate 57-account when it is created.

exhibitions. Examples include but are not limited to animal shows; antique shows; arts and crafts; museums; and auto shows.

expendable property. Property that is expended or consumed in use. It includes raw and processed materials, supplies, small tools, etc.

external users. External users are entities or persons over whom The University of Texas at Austin has no fiduciary responsibility, regardless of the user’s relation to the university’s academic or research mission. External users include universities other than UT Austin, commercial entities, non-affiliated not-for-profit organizations, other state agencies, students and members of faculty or staff acting in a personal capacity.


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FAR. See Federal Acquisition Regulation.

fabricated equipment. Equipment made or constructed from raw or processed materials, supplies, parts, small tools, components, etc. in accordance with the terms of a contract or grant to accomplish specific research purposes or goals. A detailed explanation is provided in Section 16.5.1 of this publication.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). The FAR is the single regulation for use by most federal agencies in their acquisition of supplies and services with appropriated funds. It should be administered in conjunction with agency-specific supplemental regulations.

fiduciary. An individual or institution responsible for acting in the best interests of another party. A fiduciary is bound by law and duty to put aside personal interests and act in good faith when making decisions for the benefit of another. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

financial bar. A Student Accounts Receivable (SAR) system tool that places a hold on past-due accounts and prevents receipt of university services, including registering for class, obtaining new institutional loans, and receiving official transcripts.

fiscal year. A twelve-month period for which budgets, employee appointments, and external financial reporting are done. The University of Texas fiscal year begins on September 1 and ends on August 31.

fixed price contract. A contract is characterized by payments of predetermined amounts from a sponsor in support of research activity. Payments may be made periodically or in a lump sum, and they may require a payment request from the University.

foreign source income. Income earned by an independent contractor for services rendered outside the U.S.

foreign travel certification. Section 2.02(B) of the State of Texas Travel Allowance Guide states that a state agency may pay or reimburse a state employee for travel expenses incurred while traveling to or from, or staying at a duty point in a foreign country only if the agency's chief administrator (or someone designated by the chief administrator) provides prior written approval. This approval is not required for Canada, Mexico or U.S. possessions. Electronic travel documents (VE5, VE6, and VP5) require the document creators to certify that foreign travel on state accounts for employees and prospective employees has prior written approval from the applicable Dean or Vice President.

14th month. The 14th month (abbreviated as 14 in *DEFINE's Month field) is related to the new fiscal year (Sept. 1-Aug. 31). It reflects the beginning balance for the new year in *DEFINE. The only transactions that affect the 14th month are balance forward entries. The 14th month provides a picture of what the account looked like at the beginning of the fiscal year. For more information about the 14th month, see the PN 535 Fiscal Year-End Process Handout.

free balance. The balance for an individual account. Represents the estimated available budget for future expenditures.

fully burdened. Fully burdened costs include all direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include salaries (including fringe), equipment/maintenance reserve, and consumables. Indirect costs include but are not limited to administrative support and operating costs for facilities.

fund balance. The total amount of a petty cash fund. It includes cash on hand, disbursements not yet vouchered, and vouchers in transit.

fund group. A designation prescribed by the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officers (NACUBO) to classify the source of funds for reporting purposes. Each account number established at the University of Texas at Austin's Accounting and Financial Management must be assigned a three-digit fund group number.

FY Fiscal year


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General Appropriations Act. The General Appropriations Act (GAA) covering fiscal years 2006-07 or a subsequent GAA to the extent it is consistent with the GAA for fiscal years 2006-07.

government-furnished property. Property in the possession of, or directly acquired by the Government and subsequently made available to the contractor (FAR 45.101).

government property. All property owned by or leased to the Government or acquired by the Government under the terms of the contract. It includes Government-furnished property (FAR 45.101).

gratuity. Something given voluntarily or beyond obligation, usually in response to or in anticipation of a service.

Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs). A member-based organization created to leverage the purchasing power of a group of businesses in order to obtain discounts from vendors, based on the collective buying power of the group’s members.


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hired vehicle. An automobile that U.T. leases, hires, rents, or borrows. This does not include employee-owned vehicles.

historical value. The cost of an asset at the time of purchase.


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I-20. An immigration document issued to students admitted to study in the U.S. as F-1. The form indicates information concerning the school they will attend, the program and the expected date of completion.

I-94. A small white card issued at the port of entry of the U.S. indicating the status of the person entering and the length of stay allowed. Note: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) automated the I-94 and I-94W process for all travelers applying for admission at U.S. ports of entry. Air and sea travelers are not required to complete paper Forms I-94 or I-94W.

In lieu of the paper I-94 card, the U.S. CBP obtains electronic authorization and issuance of an admission number. Once approved by the U.S. CBP, the Admission (I-94) Number will be available for retrieval.

As the J visitor checklist and B visitor checklist indicate, a copy is needed by Accounting and Financial Management prior to a treaty benefit appointment.

I-94 Automation Fact Sheet

I-94w. A small green version of the I-94 issued to citizens entering on the visa waiver program.

Note: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) automated the I-94 and I-94W process for all travelers applying for admission at U.S. ports of entry. Air and sea travelers are not required to complete paper Forms I-94 or I-94W.

In lieu of the paper I-94 card, the U.S. CBP obtains electronic authorization and issuance of an admission number. Once approved by U.S. CBP, the Admission (I-94) Number will be available for retrieval.

As the J visitor checklist and B visitor checklist indicate, a copy is needed by Accounting and Financial Management prior to a treaty benefit appointment.

I-94 Automation Fact Sheet

IDT. See Interdepartmental transfer.

imprest fund. A revolving petty cash fund used for making purchases. Imprest funds are reimbursed by preparing a payment voucher, attaching receipts supporting the purchases, and submitting the voucher with supporting documentation to Accounting and Financial Management.

imprest fund ID. An identifier for each imprest fund. The ID needs to be put on each reimbursement voucher in order to verify signature authority. IDs are maintained by the Cash Management section in Accounting and Financial Management (2-2104).

incidental expense. An expense incurred while traveling on official state business. The term includes a mandatory insurance or service charge and an applicable tax, except a tax based on the cost of a meal. The term does not include a meal, lodging, or transportation expense; a personal expense; an expense that an individual would incur regardless of whether the individual were traveling on official state business; and, a tip or gratuity.

income. Interest, rents dividends, and other non-capital returns on investments. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

independent contractor. An individual who has been determined to be a non-employee for income tax purposes based on the evaluation of the individual's relationship with The University and the degree of control over the individual.

indirect cost categories. Educational institutions have the following indirect cost categories: depreciation and use allowances, general administrative and general expenses, sponsored project administration, operation and maintenance expenses, library expenses, departmental administration expenses, and student administration and services.

indirect costs. Indirect costs are those that are incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, instructional activity or any other institutional activity.

information services. Furnishing general or specialized news or other current information, including financial information. Examples include but are not limited to newsletters, scouting reports and surveys, mailing lists, and bad check lists (only that percentage which represents names of persons located in Texas is taxable).

institutional funds. Also known as local funds. All funds collected at the institution that are not appropriated educational and general funds. After funds are deposited at UT, they are considered UT's funds and must follow UT System's regulations and UT's rules. There are various types of institutional funds: restricted gift funds, unrestricted gift funds, contracts and grants, and sales from tickets, food, or printing services.

Note: The term "institutional funds" is commonly used interchangeably with the term "local funds" in the university business community. Designated tuition should be considered institutional funds. Per the State of Texas Education Code, there are significant legal differences between the definitions of institutional and local funds (see the state's Education Code).

interdepartmental transfer. Charges processed between University of Texas departments for goods or services, or movement of charges between accounts.

internal users. Internal users are university departments represented by charges to accounts over which The University of Texas at Austin has fiduciary responsibility.

inventory. (1) The amount of property on hand at any given time; (2) An itemized listing of amounts of property indicated as on hand at a particular time. A physical inventory is one determined by an actual physical count of the items. A book inventory is one determined from records maintained in connection with day-to-day business activities.

inventory contact. The individual on the department level who is responsible for managing inventoried assets. See the GG5 command in *DEFINE for a list of inventory contacts.

inventory number. A 6-digit number used to identify equipment. For official inventory records, this number corresponds to the number on the inventory tag attached to the equipment.

inventory record. Each item of University property can have an inventory record. Official inventory records are created by the Inventory Processing Department. All capitalized and controlled assets are recorded on the official inventory. An inventory tag is affixed to these items when possible. The 6-digit number assigned to an item corresponds with its identification tag.

inventory scanner. An inventory scanner is a data-recording and data-storing device that is used for inventory purposes. It is a handheld device capable of capturing data from barcode font 39 (on UT equipment), or from manual data entry. Scanners may be requested by UT departments by sending an email message to Inventory Services.

The following information should be included in the request:

1) Valid UT mainframe logon ID for the person(s) using the scanner

2) Unit code (subunit) being worked on

3) Building(s) being inventoried

inventory status. The inventory record display screens (NVM screens) show a status in the "S" column of each screen. The possible status values are:

I - Item is inactive

S - Last action was a split

T - Last action was a transfer between UT departments

M - Item has been marked as Missing or Stolen

G - Item was a gift

C - Item was constructed in the department

F - Item was found in the department

B - Item is federal or personal excess property

A - Item is an active item brought in from the NU1

4 - Item was transferred from another state agency into UT

L - Items loaded to ARL inventory system

* - There is activity this year (unless activity is to inactivate or if none of the above)

investment. The outlay of money usually for income or profit; capital outlay; also the sum invested or the property purchased. (Definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster OnLine.)

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jurat. A certification added to an affidavit or document stating when, where, and before who such affidavit was made. (Definition courtesy of the State Office of Risk Management.)

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late payment. A payment that is made past the due date.

LBB. Legislative Budget Board

lease. A contract with a term of at least one month that gives the lessee possession and use of property or equipment while the lessor retains ownership of it.

ledger sheet. See Statement of account.

liquidity. The flexibility of being able to obtain the cash value of investments without incurring significant loss. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

live performances. Examples include but are not limited to ballet performances; ice skating shows; motion pictures; musical concerts; and circuses.

local funds. See Institutional funds.

lodging expense. A charge imposed by a commercial lodging establishment as consideration for providing lodging. The term does not include money paid as a donation, gratuity, or tip to the establishment.

Long-term Fund (LTF) Rate. (also known as the endowment or recommended payout rate) is the annual distribution rate used to ensure that the endowment’s distribution rate remains within a range of 3.5% to 5.5% of the Long Term Fund’s market value. For more information, see the UTIMCO Long Term Fund Summary.

lowest available airfare. The lowest available airfare as quoted in the Sabre® Passenger Reservation System or the Worldspan reservations system.


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magazine. A publication that is usually paper-backed and sometimes illustrated, appearing at regular intervals. It contains advertisements, stories, articles, and essays by various writers.

major functions. Major functions of an educational institution are instruction, organized research, other sponsored projects, and other institutional activities.

manual signature authority. The authority to sign or approve manual accounting documents. Maintained at the budget group level.

manufacturer's warranty. A guarantee by the manufacturer that the product is operable and will remain so for a specified period of time.

marginal cost. Any additional cost incurred through the rental of a special use facility that is not already incurred for other university activities.

market value. The closing market price of a security on the date of the report. The values are based on the best information available at the time that the report was produced. In the case of assets not traded in a securities market, the prices may be updated on a less frequent basis, or derived from the work of valuation specialists. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

master copy. A document that is kept on file as an original or official or master record for the total retention period. Distinct from a "working" or "convenience" copy, which is a duplicate used for reference purposes.

material encumbrance. An encumbrance transaction created on a purchasing document.

meal expense. Includes a tax that is based on the cost of a meal. The term does not include a tip, a gratuity, or a mandatory service charge paid or imposed in conjunction with a meal.

MFR. Monthly Financial Report

money market fund. A mutual fund of short-term investments. They are valued at par and thus have no principal value fluctuations. The interest paid will vary based on prevailing short-term interest rates. Refers to mutual funds investing solely in money market instruments. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

monthly close-out. The point at which Accounting and Financial Management closes its books for the previous month and no more entries for the month may be posted so that the ending balances for the month will remain intact.

MTA. Mass Transit Authority


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newspaper. A newspaper is defined as a publication that is printed on newsprint and distributed at short intervals for the circulation of general interest. The average sales price for each copy over a 30-day period must not be more than $0.75.

non-expendable property. Equipment that is complete in itself. It is reported, inventoried, and accounted for in accordance with policies of the applicable U.S. Government agency.

non-official inventory record. Non-official records are created for University property that is actually federally or privately owned.

non-owned vehicle. An automobile that U.T. does not own, lease, hire, rent, or borrow. This includes employee-owned vehicles that are being driven for U.T. business.

non-working hours. All hours in a calendar day except working hours.

NT1. The electronic document used to transfer inventory items from one unit to another. An NT1 is generated when a CCART is processed.


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OASI. Social Security taxes that are withheld from payroll checks.

oath. A solemn declaration, accompanied by a swearing to a revered person or thing, that one's statement is true or that one will be bound to a promise. The person making the oath implicitly invites punishment if the statement is untrue or the promise is broken. (Definition courtesy of the State Office of Risk Management.)

object audit group. Groups of object class codes assigned to each subsidiary account. Used to control what types of transactions may be processed on an account.

object class code. Four-digit code used to categorize transactions for reporting purposes. Every accounting transaction must be assigned an object class code. Commonly referred to as "object code."

object code. See Object class code.

official signer. Person who is automatically authorized to sign manual accounting documents on an account. Includes unit head of the unit to which an account belongs, co-administrators of the account, and unit heads to which the unit reports.

official university business. Activities that support the mission of the University of Texas.

ONRRO. Office of Naval Research Regional Office

operating equipment. Equipment owned by U.T. Austin, having an acquisition cost of over $1000.00 and an expected service life of one year or more.

outstanding checks. Checks you have written that have not yet cleared the bank.

outstanding deposits. Deposits not yet credited on the bank statement.

outstanding reimbursements. Consists of disbursements not yet vouchered (purchase receipts and cash) plus vouchers in transit.

overhead. See indirect costs.

owning unit. The unit that purchased the asset or currently owns it.


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participatory sports. Examples include but are not limited to athletic clubs; bowling games; court fees - tennis, handball, etc.; golf courses; pool (billiards) games; and swimming pools.

partnership. A business owned by two or more individuals.

passport. A formal document issued by the country of citizenship; must be valid at all times.

payee identification number. See Vendor identification number.

payment voucher. A document (form) used to pay vendors for goods or services rendered or to replenish imprest funds.

petty cash fund. See change fund or imprest fund.

PIN (payee identification number). See Vendor identification number.

place of employment. The office or other location at which a state employee most frequently conducts official state business.

plant equipment. Personal property of a capital nature (including equipment, machine tools, test equipment, furniture, vehicles, and accessory and auxiliary items) for use in manufacturing supplies, in performing services, or for any administrative or general plant purpose. It does not include special tooling or special test equipment (FAR 45.101).

pool balance. The sum of the free balances of all accounts in a budget pool. Used to determine sufficiency of funds for a transaction.

portfolio. The combined investment holdings of an individual or an institution. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

post-payment auditing. Process that allows departments to approve many documents paying under $1000 without a pre-payment audit by Payment Services. Documents that approve at the department level will be audited for compliance with payment rules on a post-payment basis.

presidential policy memoranda. Memoranda prepared by the Office of the President at The University of Texas at Austin. They apply to UT-Austin only. See

principal. The assets of an account other than income derived from those assets. The specific assets or amounts from which income is earned. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

processing unit. A unit responsible for final approval of a document after departmental approvals are complete. Examples include Payroll and Accounts Payable.

professional services. Services that cannot be performed in an efficient and timely manner by regular University personnel. Departments may obtain the services of individuals outside the University to fulfill these needs. Prior approval and authorization for the procurement of these professional services are required.

project director. A term used to refer to the individual with primary responsibility for a contract or grant. The terms Project Director and Principal Investigator are synonymous.

property administrator. Authorized representative of the Contracting Officer assigned to administer the contract requirements and obligations relating to Government property. NOTE: most DoD contracts and grants are administered by the Office of Naval Research Regional Office (ONRRO), San Diego Regional Office, San Diego, CA.

prospective state employee. A person who is being considered for employment with a state agency.

protest. A notary public's written statement that, upon presentment for payment or acceptance, a negotiable instrument was neither paid nor accepted. (Definition courtesy of the State Office of Risk Management.)

purpose code. Used by Payment Services to code certain transactions for reporting purposes.

purpose of travel. Information on a Request for Travel Authorization indicating the reasons that a trip is to take place.


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quasi-endowment. A quasi-endowment is defined by The University of Texas System’s Policy UTS138 - Gift Acceptance Procedures as institution funds functioning as an endowed fund, which may be dissolved and returned to the institution with the approval of the UT Board of Regents.

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real property. Land or rights in land, ground improvements, buildings, etc.

record. Any written, photographic, machine-readable, or other information created or received that documents activities in the conduct of State business.

record copy. A document that is kept on file as an original or official or master record for the total retention period. Distinct from a "working" or "convenience" copy, which is a duplicate used for reference purposes.

recorded performances. Examples include but are not limited to ballet performances; ice skating shows; motion pictures; musical concerts; and circuses.

Records Management Terminology. Refer to 20.8. Records Management Terminology.

records retention schedule. A listing of all types of records and their required retention periods.

records series. A category of related records with the same function and retention period that is evaluated as a unit for retention scheduling purposes.

Regents' Rules and Regulations. General rules governing how funds and supporting documentation must be handled by all University of Texas campuses. See

reimburse. To pay someone an amount of money equal to an amount the person has spent.

rented or public conveyance. A motor vehicle, train, aircraft, boat, or bicycle that a state employee rents or pays a fare to use for a period of less than one month.

reporting type. Simplified transaction type that summarizes all accounting transactions based on the balances they update.

Request for Travel Authorization (RTA). An official document that authorizes an individual (employee, prospective employee, student or non-employee) to travel for UT business purposes and to be reimbursed for related travel expenditures. The RTA must be completed and approved prior to the beginning travel date if the traveler type is an employee or prospective employee. An RTA for non-employee travelers is only created when the traveler will not receive a fee for services or an honorarium payment. The RTA supports the legality and fiscal responsibility of a travel payment or reimbursement, or for both purposes.

resale certificate. If a purchase is made for resale, lease, or rental to others, the purchaser must provide you with a resale certificate. This certificate entitles one to make tax-free purchases. The certificate must be signed by the purchaser and include the purchaser's name and address; state the purchaser's tax permit number or that the application for a tax permit is pending before the comptroller, and contain a description of the property /taxable service sold, leased, or rented by the purchaser in the regular course of business.

responsible person [Inventory]. The responsible person is the person who has the equipment in his or her possession and will safeguard the asset to ensure it is not lost or stolen. The responsible person can bring the equipment to the inventory contact for scanning during the annual inventory process or can report on the status and whereabouts of the item(s). For example, if a staff member is issued a laptop to use at home or at the office, the staff member is the person responsible for the laptop. In the case of a computer lab, the responsible person would be the one that oversees the lab.

responsible person [petty cash funds]. Generally the department head. Imprest funds are kept in this person's name. The responsible person assigns custodians and should ensure that proper internal controls are in place

retention period. The amount of time a records series must be retained before destruction or archival preservation.

return. Profit earned by a capital investment or other type of security. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

RTA. See Request for Travel Authorization.


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sales tax. A tax on the sale, lease, or rental of taxable tangible personal property and taxable services within the State of Texas.

salvage. Property that, because of its worn, damaged, deteriorated, incomplete condition, or specialized nature, has no reasonable prospect of sale or use as serviceable property without major repairs, but has some value in excess of its scrap value (FAR 45.501).

scheduled property. Items for which insurance coverage has been requested and approved, and premium has been paid by the requesting department. The items can be owned by or on loan to the university, and coverage must be requested on an item-by-item basis for each item that needs to be insured.

scrap. Personal property that has no value except for its basic material content (FAR 45.501).

sensitive items. Items of property for which the theft, loss, or misplacement could be potentially dangerous to the public safety or community security, and which must be subject to exceptional physical security, protection, control, and accountability. The following types of property should be designated as "sensitive" in the University's property management system. Weapons, ammunition, explosives, narcotics and drugs, radioactive material, hazardous material, hazardous waste, precious metals, and any other item designated by a Defense Agency to be sensitive.

signature authority. The authority to sign or approve accounting documents manually or electronically. Assigned at unit or budget group level.

small business concern. The federal contracts negotiated by The University of Texas at Austin refer to businesses as small business concerns. A business concern is a business entity organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States. A business concern may be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or any other legal form.

SOA. See statement of account.

Social Security number. A nine-digit number used for personnel appointments, vendor files, and student records.

sole proprietor. An individual who holds sole ownership of a business.

solicit code. A solicit code is used on the VIP Direct Gift Entry Web page to track gifts that were solicited from donors.

special event. A special event is any event that occurs outside the day-to-day operations of the university, is not paid with university funds, and is not an official university event. Special events are usually short-term, and they can expose the institution to risk either directly or indirectly. Examples of special events include art shows, conferences, exhibits, festivals, weddings, and reunions. Depending on where the special event is held, an appropriate contract is required. Certain facilities on The University of Texas at Austin campuses are designated as special use facilities and have their own contract templates, such as The University of Texas at Austin Unions, The Frank C. Erwin Jr. Special Events Center, The Performing Arts Center, and the Wildflower Center. Other facilities require that an event contract be drawn up by the Business Contracts Office.

special handling [inventory]. There are three possible values for special handling of inventory items:

  • None - Most items do not require special handling; therefore None is the default option.
  • Safety - Items that contain bio-hazardous materials require notification to the Environmental Health & Safety Office prior to transfer to Surplus. For assistance, contact the Environmental Health & Safety Office.
  • Computer - Hard drives must be wiped before being transferred to Surplus so that information cannot be recovered. For assistance, contact your departmental LAN personnel.

special test equipment. Single or multi-purpose integrated test units engineered, designed, fabricated, or modified to accomplish special purpose testing in performing a contract. It consists of items or assemblies of equipment including standard or general purpose items or components that are interconnected and interdependent so as to become a new functional entity for special testing purposes. It does not include material, special tooling, facilities (except foundations and similar improvements necessary for installing special test equipment), and plant equipment items used for general plant testing purposes. (FAR 45.101)

special tooling. "Special tooling," as used in this part, means jigs, dies, fixtures, molds, patterns, taps, gauges, other equipment and manufacturing aids. All components of these items, and replacement of these items, which are of specialized nature that without substantial modification or alteration their use is limited to the development or production of particular supplies or parts thereof or to the performance of particular services. It does not include material, special test equipment, facilities (except foundations and similar improvements necessary for installing special tooling), general or special machine tools, or similar capital items.

spectator sports. Examples include but are not limited to horse shows; motorcycle races; automobile races; rodeo; sporting events such as football, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer games; and wrestling, or boxing.

speculation. Undertaking a risky investment with the objective of earning a better profit than might be available with a risk-free investment. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

sponsor. A governmental agency or private company that funds research at The University.

sponsored project. An externally funded research project undertaken at The University.

SSN. See Social Security number.

state funds. Funds appropriated to a state agency by the Texas legislature and on deposit with the State Treasury until disbursement. Institutional funds held in the State Treasury are also considered to be state funds; examples include tuition and fees. All state funds are subject to State expenditure rules.

statement of account. An official listing of all accounting transactions occurring on an account.

Statement of Revenues, Expenses, and Changes in Net Assets (SRECNA). Reflects the results of all increases, decreases, and transfers affecting university funds. It presents a summary of total activity from the beginning to the end of the reporting period, including the resources flowing into and out of university funds and the effect on the net increase or decrease in fund balance.

stipend. Stipends can be defined in many ways. A stipend can be a periodic payment such as a scholarship or fellowship granted to a student as support for the student's educational pursuits. A stipend can be a fixed or regular amount of money paid as a travel reimbursement. Finally, a stipend can be a payment for work if it is intended to compensate an individual for services performed.

subaccount. The last two digits of an account number, used to divide a budget group into categories, such as salaries, equipment, scholarships, or other expenses.

subunit. A subdivision of an official University of Texas entity. The last three digits of a unit code divide the official unit into subunits, which may indicate individuals, such as Principal Investigators, or other programs or projects within the official unit. The "000" subunit is reserved for the official unit as recognized by the Office of the President.

supply chain. All parties involved, directly or indirectly, in fulfilling a customer request, including the manufacturer and suppliers, transporters, warehouses, retailers, and customers. Within each organization, the supply chain includes all functions involved in receiving and filling a customer request, including new product development, marketing, operations, distribution, finance, and customer service.

sustainability. Sustainability refers to societal efforts that meet the needs of present users without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability presumes that the planet’s resources are finite, and should be used conservatively, wisely, and equitably. Decisions and investments aimed to promote sustainability will simultaneously advance economic vitality, ecological integrity, and social welfare

sustainable practices. The responsible management of environmental, social, and economic resources.


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tangible personal property. Personal property that can be seen, felt, measured or that is apparent to the senses in any other way. It includes computer programs.

tax exempt. Not subject to sales tax due to the nature of the purchasing organization or the way the merchandise is to be used.

tax exempt organizations. Governmental entities (the United States, the State of Texas, or a county, city, special district, or other subdivision of the state), religious, educational, and public service organizations are among the organizations that are considered tax exempt.

tax exempt certificate. A certificate which, when properly executed, allows the tax-free purchase of an item that would otherwise be subject to sales tax.

tax rate. The percentage that is charged based on the taxable sale. The rate will depend on where the sale takes place.

tax treaty. A treaty between the United States and another country allowing nonresidents to be exempt from the required 30% income tax withholding if the proper procedures are followed.

Taxpayer identification number. See Social Security number.

TCPA. Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

temporary place of business. A “temporary place of business” is a location that is established for the purpose of receiving orders and mak­ing sales for a limited period of time. For example, a booth at a conference or convention is a temporary place of business. When a seller operates a temporary place of business in the state of Texas, local sales taxes must be collected for the tax­ing jurisdictions in effect at that location on all taxable items transferred to customers at the time of the sale. If the seller receives an order at a temporary location that is later filled and shipped from the seller’s store, then local sales taxes are based on the place of business from which the item is shipped and not the temporary location where the order was received. Note: For questions related to charging and remitting sales tax when doing business in states other than Texas, contact Financial Accounting and Reporting at

13th month. The 13th month (abbreviated as THR or 13 in *DEFINE's Month field) is a virtual month that falls between the last month of the prior fiscal year and the first month of the new fiscal year. Accounting and Financial Management uses it to complete year-end entries for reporting purposes. All 13th month transactions are posted with *DEFINE VJR documents and have an Aug. 31 date.

TIN. See Social Security number.

tip. See Gratuity.

transaction type. Determines the account balances to update when a transaction is processed.

transitory information. Records of temporary usefulness that are not an integral part of a records series of an agency, that are not regularly filed within an agency's record keeping system, and that are required only for a limited period of time for the completion of an action by an official or employee of the agency or in the preparation of an on-going records series. See Record Management Services for further information.

travel expense. Transportation, meal, lodging, or incidental expense.

Travel Regualtions Act. Refers to Texas Government Code, Chapter 660.

Triennial. The 36-month review period based on the end of the effective rate period for the service center.

trust. A legal, fiduciary relationship in which an individual or institution (the trustee) holds legal title to property with the responsibility for keeping or managing this property for the benefit of another person or beneficiary. (Definition courtesy of Wachovia Wealth Management.)

Twenty Factor Test. The common name for a list of 20 factors compiled by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that is used to determine the status of a worker as an employee or an independent contractor.

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unit. An official University of Texas entity, such as an academic department, administrative department, organized research unit, or project director responsible for a sponsored project.

unit code. A seven-digit code assigned to an official University of Texas entity. The first four digits indicate an official University department or organization. The last three digits divide the official unit into subunits, which may indicate individuals, such as Principal Investigators, or other programs or projects within the official unit. The "000" subunit is reserved for the official unit as recognized by the Office of the President.

unit head. The administrator of a unit. For an official unit (a unit that ends in "000"), the unit head is the chairman, director, dean, or vice president. The unit head for a subunit is an administrator assigned responsibility for a subdivision of the official unit.

unit level. A one-digit code assigned to a unit indicating its location in the organizational hierarchy. Unit levels are as follows:

1 — President

2 — Vice President

3 — Associate/Assistant Vice President

4 — Dean

5 — Academic Department

6 — Organized Research Unit

7 — Non-Academic Department

8 — Principal Investigator

9 — Miscellaneous Other Department

U.S. source income. Income earned by an independent contractor for services rendered inside the U.S.


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vendor identification number. Unique 14-digit number that identifies a payee. Contains the following components:

Digit 1: Prefix indicating the type of payee. 1 is used for non- individuals; 2 for individuals or sole-ownerships.

Digits 2-10: Federal Employers Identification (FEI) number for non-individuals; Social Security Number (SSN) for individuals.

Digit 11: Automatically generated check digit.

Digits 12-14: Mail code indicating where payment is to be sent.

verification. A formal declaration by which one swears to or affirms the truth of the statements in a document. In addition, the statement of a notary public that the person appearing before the notary has been properly identified as being the person purported to be appearing. (Definition courtesy of the State Office of Risk Management.)

VID. See Vendor identification number.

VIN. Vehicle Identification Number.

visa. A stamp in the passport issued by the U.S. Consulate for entry to the U.S.; must be valid for each entry, may expire during stay.

visa waiver. Allows citizens from certain countries to enter the U.S. without a visa stamp for business and tourism. They do, however, receive an I-94w at the port of entry.

Visa Waiver Program. This program enables nationals of 36 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The program was established to eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on VWP, and therefore, some travelers from VWP countries are not eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel, are screened at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.

Once approved by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol the ESTA Form can be retrieved.

voucher. An accounting document that creates accounting transactions.

voucher number. A unique seven-character number assigned to a voucher when it is final approved. Consists of one alpha character followed by six automatically generated numeric characters. The alpha character indicates the type of voucher:

L — Local check was cut for payment

S — State warrant was cut for payment

C — Cash received

B — Balance forward entry

R — Year-end adjusting entry

O — Material encumbrance

T — Interdepartmental transfer

J — Does not fall into one of the categories listed above

voucher transmittal form. A printed document submitted with supporting documentation for a voucher to a processing office. Usually obtained by using the PRT (Print) Action in an electronic document.

vouchers in transit. Reimbursement vouchers that you have submitted but have not finished processing.


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work day. A day on which an employee is regularly required to conduct state business.

working hours. The hours during which an employee is regularly scheduled to conduct state business.