I. Overview of the Standardized
This supplement to the California School Accounting Manual presents a Standardized Account Code Structure for use by school districts and county offices of education. The standardized structure has been developed to accomplish several key objectives:
To establish a uniform, comprehensive, minimum chart of accounts statewide to improve financial data collection, reporting, transmission, accuracy and comparability.
To reduce the administrative burden on local educational agencies (LEAs) in preparing required financial reports.
To meet federal compliance guidelines and increase opportunities for California to receive federal funding for education programs.
To ensure school districts and county offices of education comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) principles.
To create a logical framework which can be used to determine where education funds come from and how they are used.
To provide better information for use by administrators, parents, board members, legislators and others interested in school finance.
Account Code Structure
The Standardized Account Code Structure contains five numerically-coded, mandatory fields and one field that will be required to be built into the structure, but its use is not mandated:
1. FUND/GROUP 2 digits
2. RESOURCE (Project/Reporting) 4 digits
3. PROGRAM GOAL 4 digits
4. FUNCTION (Activity) 4 digits
5. OBJECT 4 digits
SCHOOL - NOT MANDATED 4 digits
Local education agencies may include additional sub-fields in their chart of accounts and/or expand the number of digits in each field, but must utilize these fields and the accounts described in this supplement. Exhibit I-1, on page 3, provides definitions for each of the six fields. Exhibit I-2, on the page following Exhibit I-1, provides the layout of the standardized structure and some guidelines to help users as to the decision process in classifying transactions. Exhibit I-3, on page 5, shows how the standardized structure should be used for revenue, expenditure or balance sheet transactions. The remainder of this supplement provides a chart of accounts with detailed account numbers, names and descriptions for each of the six fields, and several examples of how to use the standardized structure.
Excerpted from a document distributed by the California Department of Education