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Accounting Structure

​The Accounting Structure of the College uses has an abbreviation FOAPAL which stands for  [Fund - Org - Account - Program - Activity – Location]

For most departmental budget expenses to be charged correctly you need to know your ORG code and the proper expense ACCOUNT code.

For all other charges, particularly for restricted funds such as grants, faculty research or start-up you need to know your FUND code and the proper expense ACCOUNT code.

Below is a table highlighting our account numbering system (FOAPAL).  Taking an example from the Business Office, below is the meaning of each number section:








Account 11000 5100 7011 41 - -

Annual Operating budget (Unrestricted Current Fund)

Finance area of the College (first digit); Controller's Office (last three digits)


Institutional Support (used for reporting only)

- -

Swarthmore typically does not use the last two positions of the FOAPAL, Activity and Location.  A few Departments might use Activity codes to track their programs separately if desired.


The first code in the Banner FOAPAL is the FUND. The fund code indicates the funding source. In Swarthmore's Chart of Accounts, the broad fund types are as follows:

  • 11000 Current Unrestricted Fund. This is used to report the College's Operating Budget.
  • 20000 Current Restricted Funds. There are many current restricted funds which may include federal funds (21XXX), state funds (219XX), private gifts and grants (22XXX), temporarily restricted funds (23XXX), College research funds (24XXX) and funds supported by the endowment (26XXX). 
  • 40000 Loan Funds. These are student loan funds. 
  • 60000 Endowment Funds. There are many endowment funds consisting of true endowment (61XXX) and funds functioning as endowment (62XXX). 
  • 70000 Annuity and Life Income Funds. These are for life income gifts from donors. 
  • 80000 Agency Funds. Agency funds are used to account for funds that belong to an outside group or organization. 
  • 90000 Plant Funds. There are many plant funds for the physical facilities of the College. Scientific equipment funds can be found in this group. 

If you have any funds, such as a government grant or College research fund, you will be given a fund code number to use along with an account code.


The Organization (or Org) code indicates your budget department, in most cases. The Org codes have been set up to follow the reporting structure of the College.


Program codes are functional categories used in financial statements. These categories are determined by FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) so that non-profits including educational institutions’ financial statements can be compared.

Our defined program codes are as follows:

11 Instruction
21 Academic Support
31 Student Services
41 Institutional Support
42 Fundraising Activities
51 Physical Plant & Depreciation
61 Student Aid
71 Auxiliary Activities
81 Public Service
91 Sponsored Research
92 Sponsored Projects