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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Office of Finance & Administration
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Actuals Journals

Actuals journals can be done at any time and are used to handle a variety of transactions. Most are done to:

  • Correct the record of a completed transaction
  • Collaborate internally by transferring funds
  • Compensate your department for internal sales
  • Conduct business involving agency funds

Journal Types

Each of the most commonly used actuals journals, listed below, involves a different type of transaction. To create or search for any of the journals types, go to NUFinancials through the NUPortal, then go to Portal Actuals Journal.

 Correction Journal

A corrections journal is used for corrections of chart strings or accounts from previous journals (except for internal sales journals and transfer journals). When correcting an expense, the chart string to be credited (wrongly charged) will have a negative (‐) sign and the chart string to be debited (correct charge) will have a positive (+) sign. When correcting revenue, positive/negative signs will be reversed.

To locate the original journal ID number, refer to the Find the Original Journal ID job aid.

 Internal Sales Journal

An internal sales journal is used for any of the following:

  • The sale of goods or services from one Northwestern unit to another
  • A correction of an internal sales journal
  • To transfer funds to a Student Organization Finance Office (SOFO) chart string (in this case, use revenue account code 50699)

The seller creates the journal, and the buyer approves it via workflow. The seller’s revenue code (5 series) will have a negative (‐) sign, and the buyer’s expense code (7 series) will have a positive (+) sign.

 Transfer Journal

A transfer journal is used to move funds from one chart string to another. When creating a transfer journal, the chart string to be credited (receiver of funds) will have a negative (‐) sign and the chart string to be debited (giver of funds) will have a positive (+) sign.

Please refer to Feinberg Transfer Codes for help in choosing account codes for your transfer journal. Transfers can only be corrected on transfer journals.

 Agency Journal

An agency journal is used to record university transactions involving one or more agency chart strings. In NUFinancials, “agency” refers to an external organization with a chart string inside the University Chart of Accounts.

At least one line of the journal must have an agency chart string with a fund in the 7XX series. Allowable account codes are external revenue accounts in the 40000 series and other expense accounts in the 70000 series. The journal may record agency revenue or agency expenses.

Journal Upload Spreadsheet

A macro-enabled journal upload template (Excel) is used to record journal lines when there are 15 or more. Journal spreadsheets should be sent to upload-journal@northwestern.edu for processing. Please make sure that you have the proper security access profile you need to process these journals. To upload/submit a journal spreadsheet, a department/individual mask ID is required. If you do not have one, send the upload journal the financial administrator is assigned to your department (see the Financial Administrator Department Contact List). Always attach any available back-up to your actuals journals.

Once you have entered an actuals journal into workflow, you will see the transaction showing as pending on the affected chart strings. This is a good time to check and make sure that funds are flowing appropriately.

After the journal spreadsheet has been approved by Accounting Services, the Excel file will be converted into a text file (flat file) and uploaded into NUFinancials. Charges generally appear in NUFinancials on the same day. Charges can be verified by performing an Actuals Journal Search on the NUPortal under the Finance & Accounting tab.

Visit the Financial Operations website for instructions and more information.

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