Journal Entries

The objective of the Journal Entry (JE) process is to ensure that all expenses are accounted for in the correct chartfield, funds are transferred into approved chartfield combinations, and balances are zeroed out to close project/grants.

Journal Entry eForm Instructions

SMTD Finance’s objective has always been to get a transaction right the first time instead of waiting to fix it during reconciliation. Sometimes errors occur where expenses are posted to the wrong shortcode. We can consider that there are two types of journal entries or transfers: moving revenues to fund projects or moving expenses to their proper place. At SMTD, the financial manager is the one who moves revenues or ensures funding is allocated to the correct shortcodes for our departments. You are empowered to do correcting journal entries to move expenses onto the proper project/grant, P/G. Here is your decision-making path:

Decision 1: Should I do this transfer?

  • None of this information is for Sponsored Programs, P/Gs beginning with an “F” or “N”.
    • Only the FM can move transactions on those grants externally funded by Foundations, the State of Michigan, or Federal organizations like NEH, NEA, etc.
  • You are allowed to fix your errors or other people’s errors when they’ve used the wrong shortcode or P/G.
  • You are not allowed (at this time) to transfer revenues or support for projects.
    • There are many rules for the “supporting a project” transfers that you are not required to know.
  • You will receive emails directly from faculty or staff at SMTD. You may also receive emails from faculty or staff outside of SMTD. You may find the error yourself as you are reconciling or investigating a shortcode or P/G.
    • Those folks are rarely finance professionals, so they won’t know our jargon. The phrasing of their request is your first clue.
    • Look out for the wording “we performed”, “we are supporting”, “we are sharing costs”, etc.
  • Any of those phrases means that they want to support a project. Forward that request to the financial manager, FM.
    • Forward the full email chain, not a paste of a portion. The full conversation is pertinent.
      • If there is a ticket that was created in TeamDynamix, please provide the link to the ticket in your email.
      • By forwarding, you will also be sending any attachments that are pertinent.
    • The financial manager will review and confirm the best practice for handling that request.
      • We can’t go by “whatever is easier” as central finance’s guidelines state we must use the appropriate system to process corrections.
      • If the expenses are the following, you must send your request (hopefully with a clear summary of the request) to the staff person that uses that system.
      • Payroll expenses should be adjusted in the Human Resources Management system.
        • For temporary labor, most of those expenses can be transferred. See the Payroll Transfer Guideline report (attached).
        • You can check with the financial manager any time you are uncertain. Be sure when you send the email chain to the FM that you explain what you think the resolution should be to the problem so there is an informed starting point.
    • Student scholarships or stipends should be adjusted in the Student Financials system.
    • For prior fiscal years’ transfers, that fiscal year won’t be updated as those financial books are closed.
      • The beginning balance will always show what the beginning balance currently shows.
      • The thing that is changed is the current fiscal year’s P/G’s available balances.
  • For service performed, equipment rentals, and piano tuning/moves, this must be processed by SUB billing.
    • When we use SUB billing, we are “billing” another department or unit for work we performed for them; services we provided them, materials or equipment that we loaned to them, and instruments we sell to them. [email protected] can teach you how to do SUB billing.
    • Your cohorts in other units may not use SUB yet to bill us, but that is UM’s preferred business process. It helps to encourage the unit who worked for you, performed for you, or loaned you materials to get with their Business Manager so they can help us continue to be compliant to the SUB billing process.
  • For student organizations, they do not know our systems at all.
    • Be aware that in order for the FM to fund projects in SOAS’, student organization accounting services, shortcodes (shortcodes beginning with a 9), we may have to transfer expenses.
    • Send those to the financial manager as they are usually cost sharing or funding projects not correcting expenses posted to the wrong shortcode.

Is it appropriate to do a journal entry?

  • Email from Faculty
  • Admin Staff email
  • Should this be a SUB for service performed?
  • Are they attempting to support a project?
  • The shortcodes are all SMTD shortcodes
  • SMTD corrects all errors.
  • Self Discovery from SOA

Decision 2: What is required to proceed with the journal entry?

  • For the shortcode that will receive the expense, you need the permission in writing of the person who owns the receiving shortcode. This must be the case for every request to move expenses.
    • This could be the person listed as the project director; this could be the person listed as the SAPOC, Single Administrative Point of Contact; or this could be the Chair/Director/Dean of an endowed P/G.
    • Be sure to provide the receiver the description of the expense and the total cost so they are making an informed decision on the impact of your transfer.
    • Please do not fill out the form without having the approval in hand.
  • For every transfer that you do, you have to double-check (never assume):

What are the required elements?

  • Who owns the receiving shortcode?
  • Check the available balance in BMR
  • Use the SOA to make sure the error is an expense
  • Has the transfer already been done?
  • Check the error in PGSR
  • You must run the PGSR (or any transaction level detail reporting) every time you want to move an expense.
    • See the error with your own eyes and don’t rely on the email that is sent to you.
  • For prior year errors, you still must run the PGSR (or SOA, statement of activity) to capture the full picture of that P/G in that fiscal year and the current year PGSR to see the impact to the balance if the transfer was made.
    • If the receiving shortcode will go into deficit when you move the expenses onto it, you can’t make the transfer until you work with the FM to see if revenues are pending for that shortcode.
    • The FM may direct you to use a different shortcode.
  • Backup required for transfers (must be PDF as M-Pathways physical and financial system for transfers only accepts PDFs):
    • There should be the approval email chain giving you permission to move an expense onto someone else’s shortcode.
    • The PDF of the transaction with the error highlighted.
      • You can use Business Objects reports, M-Reports, or M-Pathways reports to obtain the SOA.

Additional Journal Materials

SMTD Administrative Staff

Responsible Use of Data

Which SMTD Shortcode?
Email [email protected]

Temp Labor Payroll Transfers

Accounting Staff

Journal Entry Matrix

Journal Upload Template

Sponsored Programs JE’s

The Journal Entry eForm

The Journal Entry eForm is simple to use. Here are guidelines from SMTD Financial Manager (FM) Michelle Pnacek:

  • Do not hit enter at any point when filing out the form. It will submit your request prematurely.
  • Who will be receiving your request: Accounting Operations will be receiving your request.
    • Journal entries are their specialty so they will check your request to see how it measures when compared with those rules mentioned above.
  • They are bound by what you ask them to do.
    • Be aware of the language you use in your eForm.
    • Do not mention “support” “fund a department” or any other wording that makes Accounting Ops think you are moving revenues.

eForm Notes

Notify Other People about this Ticket

This is your opportunity to copy someone you want to know what status the ticket is in. Please do not copy the FM unless you and they are working on a transfer together. You can notify multiple people, if you like.

Would you like these people to be notified on all communications?

Here I usually select yes to update that person in every notification from Accounting Ops.

What kind of JE are you looking to process today?

This tells Accounting Ops what rules to evaluate your transfer with. The options are:
  • Funding Transfer: at SMTD, the financial manager is the only one allowed to do funding transfers.
  • Expense Movement – Current Fiscal year: This is the one you will mostly select.
  • Temp Payroll Movement – This is only allowed for those temporary staff like students and agency temps. (see the list attached to the email)
    • When you move this, you need to move the fringe benefits as well.
    • It should be rare to do payroll transfers, so check with the FM if you need assistance with this transfer.
  • Revenue Movement: At SMTD, the FM is the one who moves revenues.
    • This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Budget Appropriations
    • Research grants from SMTD
    • Grants from other Colleges and Schools at SMTD
    • Externally funded grants
    • Support for SOAS like Arts Chorale, MSTEM, etc.
  • JE Template File Attached – (unit prepared JE): This one is for uploading more than a few lines on the SOA.
    • If you have more than a few you will need to do an upload.
    • Let the FM know so you can get those instructions.
    • Multiple lines like this may be an indication that your day to day operating procedures need to be tightened so that the original transaction is accurate.
    • The FM can help you think through what is occurring that made so many lines on the wrong shortcode.
  • Unknown, Request Help: Please don’t use this one.
    • Work with your FM to decide on the best option.

Do you have more than 5 journal lines for this transaction?

This selection appears once you select “Expense Movement”. If yes, they will ask for the upload form. If you answer “No”, which should be the majority of the time, you move to the next question.

How many transactions would you like to submit?

Five on one eForm seems to be the maximum. If you submit multiple lines, Accounting Ops could contact you and ask you to fill out the upload form. It is doubtful that they would ask, but work with the FM if your errors have multiple rows to correct.

From Shortcode/PG/Chartfields

Here is where you write the shortcode where the errors are. One wrong number listed here could put your credits in someone else’s school or unit. Triple check this number from official sources like, SMTD’s BMR report (spreadsheet format or online) that have the shortcode listed for every account with a balance and/or transactions posted in the current fiscal year. If there is no balance, that does not mean the shortcode was closed. Work with the FM to verify whether the shortcode is active. You can also use the ITS Chartfield Converter to see whether a shortcode is active or not.

You should provide the shortcode instead of either the P/G alone or chartfield.

  • Entering just the project/grant, P/G, alone is not enough information. Never just use the P/G.
  • The only times you would enter the chartfield string are those times where a requisition or PO is created and the wrong program or P/G was entered for a voucher or invoice.
  • You would enter the full string where the expense is posted.
    • You can find that on the SOA.
    • In these cases, you would enter the information that is wrong from the SOA.
    • The format you would enter for the wrong chartfield is: fund code, department id, program, class code, P/G.
    • When the program was wrong, or the department was wrong, enter the wrong information in the “From”.

To Shortcode/PG/Chartfields

“To” means what shortcode are you moving the expenses to. This is just a shortcode, always. Be sure you have the permissions from the shortcode owner (Project Director), manager (FM’s or Finance Director’s peers from other units), or the SAPOC. Don’t be shy to ask the unit whether the person you are communicating with “owns” or “oversees” the shortcode. When your transactions are audited, you will have plausible deniability since you have it in writing that the person you were communicating with was empowered by the “owner” to give you approval. Oftentimes you are working with your peer who will need to obtain or verify whether they have the ability to approve spending on that shortcode.


The amount is straight forward. You enter the total amount you are moving per SOA line on that eForm. You will add a comments below that further explains your amounts so don’t worry about this field not capturing nuance.
Depending upon how many lines you listed above, you will see another set of the fields “From, To, Amount” so that you can capture each line.

Is an Agency Fund (90000) included in this transfer?

These are the shortcodes that begin with a 9. If “Yes,” there are extra rules; please partner with the FM to get those Agency shortcode transfers completed. The FM will be able to spot instances where funding a project is the real purpose of the transfer. The FM will need to review those transfers, but the solution will be simple. It really is all about the wording in your comments. If “No,” proceed to the next question.

Is a Sponsored Project Grant being affected?

At this time, you are not allowed to process sponsored programs transfers. There are extra rules and extra contract specific language that must be entered. Please forward that request or your investigation notes to the FM to process the transfer.

Journal ID (10 digit Alpha/numeric field for the entry being processed). Please Note “NEXT” if you would like the next chronological number to be assigned to this journal entry.

Please use “NEXT”. Don’t enter a journal entry number here.

Journal Date
Please note, JE’s can only be processed during the current month/period.

Use the date of when you are filling out the eForm. If there are any issues, work with the FM to resolve them.

Journal Requester

Start typing your unique name in this field for it to find you. If you can’t find your name, please contact ITS at 4-HELP so they can make sure you appear. This may only impact new faculty or staff. If another unit or school tells you about the error, you may be tempted to enter them on this line. However, this field populates the journal entry in M-Pathways, and we want to see your name there for statistics, at a minimum. You may be tempted to put the Director of Finance as the requestor, but you should not. The Director of Finance has to approve in the system for amounts meeting or exceeding Procurement’s target amount. If you enter the Director’s name as the requestor, the Director will have to get someone of higher authority to approve the transfer.

Journal Description – Describe the what, where, and why for this JE and reference any supporting documentation, if applicable.

There is a 230 character limit.

This description is what tells SMTD administration why you had to do the transfer. This is the place that you answer who, what, when, where, why, and how. If you are correcting an error so that the expense goes to another unit, be sure to include the name of the shortcode owner who authorized you to move the expense onto their shortcode.


“Browse…” to attach file

This is where you select your PDFs for backup. There should be approval email with amounts listed with clear details and the highlighted SOA. The Accounting Ops person who enters the journal entry will upload your attachments to M-Pathways on the journal. If the form does not allow you to upload multiple at this time, once you create the ticket you will be able to open the ticket you just created to add additional attachments.


Lastly, this is where you explain to SSC and Accounting Ops what happened. You also must give them specific instructions as to what descriptions you want on the journal entry line.

  • Accounting Ops will default to the standard naming convention which would look like this on your SOA line description (example): TSF AP0000152358 022223 FixP/G
    • This is the standard. If you provide no specific wording (30 characters max), the format of above is what will be on your SOA. See below.

Journal Line Descriptions

Line descriptions must provide additional information related specifically to individual journal lines. In addition, each line description must relate to the journal header description. The length of a journal line description cannot exceed 30 characters (including spaces).

The following guidance is provided to assist with preparing journal line descriptions:

Action Code + Original Transaction Reference + SOA Date + Miscellaneous

You have an option to tell them what you want to see on your SOA as the transaction description.

  • On the new transaction, most of the information you see on your SOA will not be populated on the receiving shortcodes’ SOA.
    • The supplier or PCard holder name will not populate on the new transaction line. Example: Your “From” shortcode’s transaction has a supplier, a voucher number that maps to your invoice in M-Pathways, and/or the PCard holder’s name.
    • Those will not carry over to the “To” shortcode’s new transaction.
  • I recommend that your comment regarding the shortcode where the error is “From” uses the standard description above.
    • When you review the SOA later, you will quickly identify your transfer.
  • Your comment regarding the “To” shortcode would say something like, “Please use the current expense’s transaction description (type out the current description) for the “To” shortcode (include the “To” shortcode in your comment).
    • When the receiving shortcode owner reviews their SOA, they should recognize the expense as what they expected.
    • For correcting journal entries, you may want to include the old transaction number or the voucher in the new transaction description.
  • Accounting Ops has the purview to insist on the standard format. If you don’t mind the standard format, you don’t have to include comments specifying the transaction description.
    • Feel free to tell them that your FM allows nonstandard transaction descriptions. That might help you get wording that tells the receiving unit or department what the expense really is.
  • Hit Submit
  • Account Ops will confirm that the transfer has been posted and give you the new transaction number.
    • You should close out the communication circle letting the stakeholders know the transaction id number. The stakeholders can be:
      • Your peer in the other unit or the person who notified you of the error
      • SMTD faculty or staff person you are working with
      • The Dean, Director, and/or shortcode owners
      • Your direct supervisor, if that is your department’s standard operating procedure
  • The last action item is the reconciliation.
    • Once you get the transaction id, you will be able to see that transaction in your reporting the next business day.
    • Run your report that gives you transaction details, like the PGSR, M-Reports, or through M-Pathways.
    • Confirm with your own eyes that the transaction is in the right shortcode, the right amount, and any other stipulations you gave on the eForm.
    • If everything looks like you intended, you have completed the journal entry process.
    • If there are any errors with the Fund, Department id, and/or Program code, please be sure to comment on your original ticket what the error is and ask Accounting Ops to correct the error.

Thank you for all of your work with our financial information. SMTD Finance appreciates your dedication to details, your discipline that makes 99.8% (give or take) of our transactions go smoothly. SMTD Finance is here to help, so feel free to reach out to any of us.

Internal Controls mandated list of approved users

Melissa Riser
Kimanie Gentles
Alison Gregory
Olivia Deane
Katie Gunning
Tyler Brunsman
Erin Feiner
Olivia Brown Zandhuis
Emily Sharpe
Nathan Carillo
Rebecca Rowe
Grace Bergonzi
Amanda Dihle
Ryanne Arecheja
Melissa Coppola
Crystal O’Rourke
Jimmy Stagnitti
Micaela Rebb
Kiera Saltz
Brandon Monzon
Kimberly Smith Miller
Deaunna Dresch

Megan McClure
Sarah Bennett
Caitlin Taylor
Kathryn Pamula
Rose Martus
Christine Eccleston
Tina Sedgeman
Michael Hopkins
Brian Igoe
Kate Fitzpatrick
Christi-Anne Castro
Melynee Weber-Lynch
Gabrielle Piazza
Paul Feeny
Christian Matijas Mecca
Sarah Jane Rau
Josh Chenier
Greg Laman
Beth Miller
John Pasquale
Kimberly Baumgartner
Eli Salembier

Policy on Journal Entries entered in M-Pathways

Authorized Creators by Department

Only designated administrative staff are authorized to create in MPathways or to submit journal entry requests to Shared Services as determined by TBD. These staff members consolidate requests from faculty and staff, assure accurate chartfield, and evaluate the appropriateness of faculty and staff transfer requests. They are:

GL Journal Entry Approver

  • MPathways approval workflow will send all journal entries $10K and greater to Eli Salembier for final approval.


Creators are required to take MyLinc courses GLE102 and CFE101 before receiving the Creator authorization in MPathways.


Creators must determine the justification and appropriateness of processing a journal entry. See the Financial Operations Journal Entry page for more information. Questions to ask:

  1. Is the dollar amount of the JE worth the time and effort involved?
  2. Has a journal already been completed so that your JE is not required?
  3. Does the requested transfer comply with UM guidelines? See SPG 500.01.
  4. Are the fund codes sponsored funds? If so, contact Sponsored Programs before you proceed. Sponsored Programs creates journal entries for all sponsored funds.
  5. Does the revenue remain within the same fund code? See Journal Entry Training Guide.
  6. Does the revenue’s class code remain the same?
  7. Are the expenses accounts appropriate and allowed? See the Valid Accounts and Transfer Matrix to determine whether transfers using your account codes are allowed.
  8. Are there available revenues to cover the transfer?
  9. Do you have approval from the budget owners for both lines of the journal entry?
  10. Do you have all the necessary backup to document the justification and budget owner approvals?

Instructions for submitting a JE through MPathways either manually or via upload can be found in the Journal Entry Training Guide. To submit through Shared Services, use the Journal Entry Request eForm. Backup can be attached electronically but a hard copy may also be required:

  • JEs affecting a Sponsored Project/Grant (with an initial Fund Code of 20000 or 25000) require submission of hard-copy supporting documentation to Sponsored Programs by 8:00am on the 1st workday to be processed in the current month’s business.
  • JEs not affecting a Sponsored Project/Grant will not require hard-copy supporting documentation unless your department’s internal controls require such support or the journal entry cannot stand on its own / is not self-explanatory. Mail to:
    • Campus Mail
      Journal Support
      3003 South State Street
      3082 Wolverine Tower
      Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1287

Supporting documentation received by SSC, Accounting Customer Service, or Sponsored Programs is electronically imaged and retained in WebNow.

Monitoring Controls

The Financial Manager will regularly review reporting in MReports to monitor pending JEs, JEs over $10K that were not approved by the CAO, and to monitor the volume of JE activity. Available reports are:

Updated on: 10/31/2023