‘Did Somebody Say FOAPAL?’ Special Tip Series: Putting the first A in FOAPAL

We are back with the fourth tip in the series, which has been described as a “rattling good read’.

What is an Account Code?

It is the third element in a FOAPAL.  It is six digits in length.


Account codes represent the nature of each transaction (e.g. revenue, expenditure, salaries, or budget).  In addition, they provide detail about the ‘nature of the transaction’ (e.g. 710000 is an account code that tells us that expenditures were made on office supplies).

Tip: The first 3 numbers of the code are always consistent within an account category (e.g. Part time salaries all start with 611, Supplies start with 710, Travel start with 719).

What else is it called?

We believe that we are consistent in our use of the term ‘account codes’.  Have you heard us call it something different?  Let us know (facts@carleton.ca)!

Why is the Account Code important?

The account code tells us, and our stakeholders (e.g. the Board, the government, the ‘public’), what we have spent our money on.

The Take Away?

Account codes contain many different revenue and expense codes.  Care should be used in choosing the appropriate code.

Where do I find more information?

Next week, we’re putting the ‘P’ in FOAPAL.  Stay tuned!

Links to Related Tips: