FIN-6.16 - Chart of Accounts

Administrative Rules Adopted by City Council (ARC)
Policy number
Administrative Rule Adopted by Council

The purpose of this administrative rule is to establish minimum standards for establishment and maintenance of the Chart of Accounts.

Authority for this administrative rule is established in the City Charter and City code.  This administrative rule has been approved by the City Council.

The Accounting Division of the Bureau of Financial Services of the Office of Management and Finance (Accounting Division) will periodically monitor bureaus to assess compliance with the minimum standards of this rule.  As instances of non-compliance are identified, bureaus will be required to develop and implement a corrective action plan.  The Accounting Division will provide assistance to bureaus, if requested, to develop this plan.  The Controller will report all instances of non-compliance annually to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and City Council.

The definitions below are presented in logical rather than alphabetical order.
“Chart of Accounts” means a standardized, citywide system of classifying financial information to fulfill the need for uniform, consistent terminology and classifications to be used for budgeting, accounting, and reporting the City’s financial activities. 
“Accounts” refer to systematically-assigned numeric indicators that allow categorization and collection of business transactions and other events on the City’s financial records.  Individually, the accounts represent the various aspects or attributes of the City’s financial system.  Collectively the accounts, along with the transactions and balances, comprise a ledger or general ledger.  Examples of accounts are cash, accounts payable, property tax revenues, and office supplies expense.
“Cost center” (or alternatively “center code,” “account-center,” or “revenue center”) refers to a numerical digit sequence that delineates an organizational unit within the City and represents the lowest level used for capturing financial information in the general ledger.  Such a digit sequence may be set forth as a separate code, a combination of account and cost center codes, or a sequence within an account number.
“Fund number” refers to the numerical digit sequence assigned to a fiscal and accounting entity as authorized by City Council.  For additional detail, see Administrative Rule FIN-6.03 - New Fund Establishment.    

Chart of Accounts
1.      The Accounting Division shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining a single, citywide Chart of Accounts.
2.      The Accounting Division shall be responsible for insuring that the Chart of Accounts appropriately provides for accurate and consistent recording of accounting transactions in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and that it adequately supports uniformity in reporting financial information.
3.      The Accounting Division shall be responsible developing the citywide internal financial reporting structure.    
4.      The Accounting Division shall publish the Chart of Accounts including definitions, guidelines, and procedures for its appropriate use and shall make such publication readily available to all users of the citywide financial system.  Any changes to these definitions, guidelines, and procedures shall be authorized by the City Controller or designee.
5.      Each bureau shall be responsible for assuring the proper application of accounts and related codes in accordance with its internal financial reporting structure and in accordance with the published definitions, guidelines, and procedures established by the Accounting Division.

Chart of Account Maintenance Process
1.  The Accounting Division shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining a uniform and consistent citywide process for adding, deleting, and modifying the chart of accounts and the financial reporting structure.
2.      The Accounting Division shall publish the instructions for the Chart of Account maintenance process and shall make such instructions readily available to all users of the citywide financial system.
3.      Bureaus, in coordination with the Accounting Division, and where appropriate, the Financial Planning Division, shall be responsible for submitting requests to add, delete, and modify the chart of accounts and related codes.
4.      The Accounting Division, together with the bureaus, shall strive to use the minimum number of accounts and related codes. 
5.      The Accounting Division shall be responsible for annually purging account numbers and related codes that have remained inactive for a specified period of time. 
6.      Bureaus shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions and timelines set forth by the Accounting Division’s published instructions for Chart of Account maintenance.

Resolution No. 36435, adopted by Council September 6, 2006.

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