What is it?

Fund accounting is an accounting system, emphasizing accountability rather than profitability, used by non-profit organizations and governments. In this system, a fund is a self-balancing set of accounts, segregated for specific purposes in accordance with laws and regulations or special restrictions and limitations.

Why is this important?

As a public body, Carleton has special requirements to show how money is spent through financial statements and reports, rather than how much profit was earned.  It uses fund accounting in the compilation of its financial statements.

Carleton has over 6000 individual Funds that are grouped into common categories:

  • Operating (100000)
    • houses the activity associated with our main function of instructional teaching
    • consists of just 1 Fund for all departments
  • Ancillaries (12%)*
    • includes activity for operations that are supportive of, but not directly related to, the University’s primary function of instruction and research
    • examples include Athletics, Housing, Health Services
  • Endowments (6%)*
    • donated funds that must be held in perpetuity
    • only the annual income earned is available for spending
  • Scholarships (2%)*
    • donated or endowment generated funds that are restricted for student aid
  • Plant & Capital Projects (9%)*
    • funds expended on fixed assets (e.g. equipment, buildings) and major renovations/repairs
  • Special Purpose (26%)*
    • donated or University designated funds for specific endeavors, other than those noted above (e.g. lecture series, faculty Chairs)

*In FAST, you use the ‘%’ symbol as a wild character to search FUNDS.

Where do I find more information?

For further information contact Financial Services.