Frequently Asked Questions About the Types of Funds Used at CMU

Three of the most common types of funds used to account for revenues and expenses at CMU are general fund, designated fund, and auxiliary fund accounts. Cost centers are used to track related revenues and expenses within each of these types of funds. Following is a brief explanation of the types of activities that are accounted for within each type of these funds. For more detailed explanations of the fund structure and definitions, click here.

General Funds

What are they? A general fund account is used to account for those transactions related to academic and instructional programs and their administration. General fund cost centers begin with 2XXXX. Global Campus cost centers begin with 3XXXX.

What revenue is recorded in a general fund account? New funds to the university must be recorded as revenue. The primary sources of revenue include:

  • Tuition and fees
  • State appropriations
  • Sales and services of educational activities

What expenses are recorded in a general fund account? Expenses should specifically relate to the intended purpose of each cost center. Such expenses are recorded in general ledger accounts that begin with the number 6XXXXX to 8XXXXX. This range of general ledger account numbers is further categorized as follows:

601000 - 609900 Cost of Goods Sold

611XXX - 612XXX Personnel Services, including salaries, wages, fringe benefits, other compensation, college work study

63XXXX - 8XXXXX Supplies and Equipment

For a more detailed list of account numbers, please refer to the SAP Account Listing on CMU Accounting Service's website.

In addition, general fund expenditures are categorized in functional classifications, which are:

  • Instruction
  • Research
  • Public service
  • Academic support
  • Student services
  • Institutional support
  • Operation and maintenance of plant
  • Scholarships and fellowships
  • Other institutional support

For more explanation of each of these functional classifications, please refer to Classification of Expenses on CMU Accounting Service's website.

What happens to the balance in a general fund cost center at the end of the fiscal year? The balance in each general fund cost center is rolled forward to a cost center that has been pre-determined and is reported on a crosswalk schedule. Please refer to the Carryforward Crosswalk Spreadsheet on CMU Accounting Service's website for the prior year crosswalk schedule.

Designated Funds

What are they? A designated fund account is used to account for funds for unrestricted gifts and for specific purposes which are not restricted by donors or supporting agencies. (Note: If only the income on certain funds is without restriction, the income would be recorded in a designated fund while the principal is accounted for in an endowment fund.)

Designated funds will include organized departmental activities associated with academic programs, conferences, seminars and unrestricted gifts. Designated fund cost centers begin with 4XXXX.

What revenue is recorded in a designated fund account? Revenues recorded in designated funds are from sources external to the university. Generally, designated fund revenues fall into two categories: 1) unrestricted gifts, and 2) sales and services of educational activities

What expenses are recorded in a designated fund account? The expenditures of a designated fund are to be reported using the same general ledger accounts and functional classifications described for the General Fund (see above).

What happens to the balance in a designated fund cost center at the end of the fiscal year? The balance in a designated fund cost center is carried forward in its entirety to the new fiscal year.

Auxiliary Funds

What are they? An auxiliary fund account is used to account for funds for revenue producing, substantially self-supporting activities. The following are examples of business enterprises that CMU records in auxiliary fund cost centers:

  • Athletics
  • CMU Bookstore
  • CMU Printing Services
  • Telecommunications
  • Health Services
  • Motorpool
  • Residence Life
  • Campus Dining
  • Bovee University Center
  • Other miscellaneous self-supporting activities

Auxiliary fund cost centers begin with 5XXXX.

What revenue is recorded in an auxiliary fund account? Revenues recorded in auxiliary funds are those revenues collected for the enterprises listed above. These revenues may be collected from outside of CMU or from other CMU departments to which they provided services.

What expenses are recorded in an auxiliary fund account? The expenditures of an auxiliary fund are to be reported using the same general ledger accounts and functional classifications described for the General Fund (see above).

What happens to the balance in an auxiliary fund cost center at the end of the fiscal year? The balance in an auxiliary fund cost center may be cleared to a repair and maintenance reserve or, in some instances, carried forward in its entirety to the new fiscal year. ​​​

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