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General Budget Information

The Swarthmore College Operating Budget is developed for each academic year and is approved by the Board of Managers as a means to identify sources of revenues and other resources that support the College’s core mission and auxiliary functions of day-to-day activities.

The College annual budget follows the fiscal year calendar from July 1st to June 30th each year. College operating revenues finances current expenses and may also contribute to institutional reserves.

A Budget is designed to break-even annually. Surpluses, the excess of revenues over expenses are reinvested to achieve institutional goals. Budget deficits are covered by drawing down reserves or by a reduction of expenditures.

For additional information regarding the College’s Operating Budget, please see the Budget Office website.

Expense Account Information

To assist departments with budgeting and accounting for expenditures, the following expense codes along with descriptions have been provided as a resource.  This listing of expense categories are not all encompassing list of codes available, but are the most widely used.

If a department would like assistance with accounting for or tracking expenditures in a new category or for a specific activity or purpose, feel free to contact Beth Baksi at extension 2042.

The Business Office reviews all expense codes utilized in payment requests, transfer requests and PCard charges. If the account used is not considered an appropriate classification for the type of expense, Business Office staff have the responsibility and authority to modify the charge.


6999 - STUDENT WAGES:  Student wages/stipends/salaries paid. 

7011 - SUPPLIES:  Consumable materials such as paper, pens, tape, filing folders, calendars, chalk, chemicals, glassware, bandages, medicines, etc.  Durable goods costing under $250.00 such as chairs, tables, bins, small appliances, filing cabinets.   We also have 7021 (LAB SUPPLIES) and 7022 (CLASSROOM SUPPLIES) if departments wish to track of these types of expenses in addition to general supplies.

 7012 - PRINTED SUPPLIES:  Reproduction of printed supplies such as stationery and forms, whether done by an outside firm or Print Services.

 7014 - PRINTING:  Printing costs associated with materials such as brochures, catalogs, forms and covers.

 7015 - POSTAGE/SHIPPING:  Costs of postage for items sent through the College mailroom and outside services providing collation, stuffing and mailing of large volumes of materials.

7016 - EXPRESS MAIL:  Charges for FedEx or other express mail carriers.

 7017 - PUBLICATIONS:  Charges for professional journals, books, periodicals or other reference materials.

 7027 - MEMBERSHIPS/DUES:  Costs of belonging to professional or other organizations.


 7201 - TRANSPORTATION:  Airline, rail and vehicle (mileage or fare) incurred by College or non-College personnel on College business or for professional development.

 7202 - LODGING:  Costs of hotel, inn, etc. expenses incurred by College or non-College personnel on College business or for professional development.

 7203 - MEALS:  Charges for food incurred by College or non-College personnel on College business or for professional development.

 7204 - REGISTRATIONS:   Payments for registrations for conferences, annual meetings, seminars, classes and workshops.

 7205 - ENTERTAINMENT:  Payments for meals, etc. incurred by College personnel while traveling with non-College personnel.

 7207 - TRAVEL ADVANCE:  DO NOT BUDGET OR CHARGE HERE.  This is charged when a College employee requests a travel advance. 

 7302 - HONORARIUM/LECTURERS:  Funds paid to lecturers/ speakers who have come from outside the College

 7309 - MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS:  Costs for annual contracts to maintain or repair equipment or other machinery.

 7310 - FOOD/CATERING, ETC:  Food Service charges for department, guest or events charges, purchases of groceries, refreshments, etc. 

 7401- EQUIPMENT:  Any non-computer, non-vehicle item that costs more than $250.  Examples are exercise equipment, workstation furniture, etc. If an item purchased is greater than $5,000 and has a useful life greater than 5 years the equipment must be capitalized. Please see the Policy of Equipment Purchase and Disposal for further details.

7402 - EQUIPMENT RENTAL:  Leases or other payments made to an outside vendor for the ability to use equipment over a period of time.

 7404 - SCIENTIFIC EQUIPMENT:  Specialized equipment purchased for use in the sciences, such as microscopes, spectrometers, etc.

 7451 - SOFTWARE:  Any programs or program licenses purchased for use on computer equipment.

 7452 - HARDWARE:  Any computer equipment, laptops, monitors, keyboards, printers and other peripherals.