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SAP Glossary with MIT Equivalents

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The information contained in this table comes from a presentation to the Administrative Advisory Committee Forum on February 29, 1996 by Kip Warren, a member of the Management Reporting/Financial Operations Team.


Account Types

MIT TermMIT DefinitionSAP TermSAP Definition
General Account (Balance Sheet)A general account is used by MIT for operating budget funded activities and is contained in the range 10000 - 13799General Ledger AccountRevenue, expense and other "accounts" similar to MIT object codes and balance sheet accounts are structured in the general ledger.
General Account (Operating)A general account is used by MIT for operating budget funded activities and is contained in the range 13800 - 19999.Cost CenterA cost center is a unit or department within an organization, or a major activity, or sub-unit within a unit or department distinguished by its area of responsibility, location, or accounting methods. Cost centers are used in SAP to record costs by fiscal year periods. One or more cost centers may be funded from a fund source/fund center.
Fund AccountA fund account is usually established as a result of donation or gifts from individuals, companies, foundations, etc. A fund account begins with the numbers 2, 3, or 4. The range 20000-29999 is for current funds; the range 30000-49999 is for invested funds.Internal Order and Fund Source/Fund CenterInternal orders are used in SAP to record costs over periods that span one or more fiscal years. One or more internal orders may be funded from a fund source/fund center combination. Internal orders will be used for fund accounts and for self-funded activities such as conferences, etc.
Research (OSP) AccountAn OSP account is created when a research award is received. An OSP account begins with the numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. In some circumstances a research award may also be assigned a fund account number.Project Work Breakdown Structure ElementA work breakdown structure element is an individual element in the project work breakdown structure (WBS) which is used to track project information in SAP. Project elements are similar to OSP accounts but can also be used for managing project tasks and activities. Relationships such as parent, child, and from account , to account can all be modeled in the WBS of a project. The budget for a project is stored in a fund center.
Parent AccountThe highest level account within an account hierarchy or ranking. This mechanism allows an unlimited number of accounts to be added to an Informational Summary Statement under a parent account number.Parent Element in Work Breakdown StructureIn the SAP Project System (PS), individual work breakdown structure elements within a project are organized into a hierarchy. Each higher level element can act as a parent element.
Child AccountA subsidiary or subordinate account within an account hierarchy or ranking.Child Element in Work Breakdown StructureIn the SAP Project System (PS), individual work breakdown structure elements within a project are organized into a hierarchy. Each lower level element acts as a child of a higher element.
Predecessor Account (From Account)The previous account in a sequence of accounts, where each entity represents a discrete budget period within a larger framework, often called a project period. Costs originally intended for a predecessor account may be automatically forwarded to the continuation account where such forwarding is dictated by the receipt date of the cost in question.Project Work Breakdown Structure ElementIn the SAP Project System (PS), individual work breakdown structure elements within a project are organized into a hierarchy. A work breakdown element at the same level as a previous work breakdown element can be used as a predecessor element.
Continuation Account (To Account)A "follow-on" account in a sequence of accounts, where each entity represents a discrete budget period within a larger framework often called a project period. This is the account number to which project costs will continue when the original account number is terminated. Costs originally intended for a particular account may be automatically forwarded to its continuation account where such forwarding is dictated by the receipt date of the cost in question.Project Work Breakdown Structure ElementIn the SAP Project System (PS), individual work breakdown structure elements within a project are organized into a hierarchy. A work breakdown element at the same level as a previous work breakdown element can be used as a continuation element.
Fabricated Equipment AccountA child account for fabricated equipment can be established by OSP for the purpose of collecting the non-salary costs of fabrication and excluding them from the application of indirect costs. Salary costs do, however, bear indirect costs in the appropriate account.Project Work Breakdown Structure ElementA project work breakdown structure element which is not subject to overhead can be created within the project hierarchy for use as a fabricated equipment account.
Authorized TotalThe available maximum budget for a particular project.Project Budget or Fund Center BudgetThe budget is the amount approved for funding the costs of a costing unit such as an internal order, cost center, or project. The budget differs from the plan in that it is formally approved.
Department NumberA 6-digit number that identifies each MIT department. The first two digits represent the School. The second two digits are for the Department. The last two digits may be used for sub-department allocation.Cost Center Hierarchy Node or Profit CenterIn SAP, all cost centers must be associated with a node in the standard cost center hierarchy. This node represents the department which has responsibility for the cost centers associated with it. A profit center structure is used in SAP to support areas which have responsibility for profits. Cost centers, orders and projects may be associated with the profit center which has responsibility for them. Thus, profit centers can also be used to reflect departments, labs and centers.
Object CodeA 3-digit code used to classify and report on revenue, expense, and other financial transactions processed by the accounting system. They are used with account numbers when processing a requisition, purchase order, invoice, and B, M, X, Y vouchers, etc.General Ledger AccountRevenue, expense and other "accounts" similar to MIT object codes and balance sheet accounts are structured in the general ledger.

Account Data

CommitmentExpected future expense resulting from contractual obligations. Purchase Order Commitments appear in aggregate on the Monthly Statement produced for each MIT account and their effect, along with the effect of other commitments, is reflected in total in the uncommitted balance. Purchase Order Commitments are also listed in the Detailed Transactions Report.Open Items and CommitmentsIn SAP, commitments are created when a commitment document (requisition, purchase order, manual reservations, etc.) is created. In the Controlling module, commitments are called open items. Commitments are reduced from budgets in Funds Management.
InvoiceInvoices arriving at P.O. Box 69 are sorted by category. Invoices under a laboratory or other purchasing agency prefix will be sent to the designated area that has been assigned for further processing. Invoices of $500 and over, and invoices with a blanket order code are mailed to the department for further processing. Invoices that are associated with a blanket order number are checked by the department to insure that the period of performance is the same as spelled out on the purchase order.Incoming InvoicesIncoming vendor invoices connected with purchase orders can be posted through the Purchasing module in SAP and verified on-line.
Request for Payment (Yellow Voucher)This form may be used for reimbursement for services or for material items in the absence of a purchase order, or for advance payments against a purchase order. It can be used for miscellaneous payments such as stamps, honoraria, lecture fees, subscriptions, publications and reimbursement for meals. Receipts should be attached as proof of payment.Incoming InvoicesIncoming invoices without purchase orders can be posted through the Accounts Payable module and verified on-line.
Voucher (B or M)These are used to record original charges from one account to another.Journal EntryJournal entries are posted to the General Ledger, Controlling and Funds Management modules in SAP.
Voucher (X or Y)These are used to make transfers or adjustments to correct original charges.Journal EntrySAP allows automatic reversal of journal entries. An entry can then be posted for correction.
Monthly StatementThis financial report is issued monthly for every MIT account. It is used by account supervisors and others to monitor expenditures and account balances and to otherwise manage MIT accounts.Controlling Information System or Funds Management Information SystemEach module in SAP allows a variety of reports. Typical reports used for monthly statements would show comparisons of actual costs and open items (commitments) with plans or budgets. These reports may be run on-line whenever needed by the user and printed on a local printer.
Detail Transaction ReportThis is a record of every charge made to an account during a period. Within an account the charges are grouped according to object code numbers.Drill-down CapabilitySAP allows a user to click on lines in summary reports and "drill-down" to the details that constitute the summary line item. A user can drill down all the way to a detail document supporting a line item in a report.


Last modified: 4/2/96 by Robert Murray (rmurray@mit.edu)