The COA contains five segments: project, task, award, expenditure type, and organization. The order in which they fall creates the acronym PTAEO.

All activities undertaken by the University are organized into projects. Projects enable departments to track work activities from budget set-up through completion of the activity. Projects must have budgets, should not be used for purposes covered by other segments (such as award or expenditure type), and have a unique 7-digit number that is automatically assigned.

There are three types of projects:

  • Operating - Operating projects are activities supported by all fund sources other than sponsored awards. As a rule, an operating project cannot be linked to a sponsored award. Any project funded wholly or in part by a sponsored award will be classified as a sponsored project.

  • Sponsored - Sponsored projects are activities funded wholly or in part by sponsored awards, most notably by grants and contracts. Sponsored projects may only be linked to non-sponsored awards when the sponsored award specifies mandatory or voluntary-committed cost sharing (see University Policies 1306 and 1316. Important aspects of the project (e.g. its start and end dates) are determined by the terms of the associated sponsored award.

  • Capital - Capital projects are a specific type of operating project undertaken to extend the useful life of an asset or to create a new asset. This project type is used for the purchase or construction of buildings and fixed equipment where the cost will equal or exceed $50,000. All renovations and alterations of buildings or fixed equipment ›= $50,000 or that will extend the planned useful life for more than two years should also be captured in capital projects. Moveable Equipment (MEI) must cost ›= $5,000 and have an estimated useful life greater than one year. If you think a project your organization is considering might be a capital project, please contact the Office of Capital Management at 203-432-8012.

In order for a project (and its tasks) to accept charges, it must be linked to an award and organization (creating a valid PTAO). These linkages are established during the set-up process. They are used to validate data entry and ensure that only the appropriate project/award and project/organization combinations are charged. A project can generally be linked to any organization for charging purposes. There are certain limitations for award linkages; please see the discussion of operating and sponsored projects in the “Projects” section above.

Each project is classified according to its primary purpose in one of the following functional classes. Each project must have one (and only one) functional classification. A full description of each functional class is below (examples may not be all-inclusive).

The School of Medicine also uses functional classifications to allocate financial activity across the three core missions (clinical, research and education) to facilitate easier mission-based financial reporting. The table below shows how the School of Medicine maps the functional classifications to the lines of business.


MED School
Education 01 Education
Academic Support 02 Education
Student Life & Services 03 Education
Organized Research 04 Research
Research Training 05 Research
Research Support 06 Research
Professional Practicum 07 Clinical
Public Services 08 Admin
Other Scholarly Activities 09 Research
Administration 10 Admin
Facilities 11 Admin
Institutional External Affairs 12 Admin


01 Education 

All educational activities offered either for credits toward a degree or certificate, or on a non-credit basis.

  • Academic courses
  • Educational programs (including lectures and course-related workshops that focus on the student population as primary audience)


02 Academic support 

Resources and programs to support the academic missions of the University, such as:

  • Libraries, museums, and galleries (except public access and events)
  • Academic computing, audio-visual and photographic services
  • Recruitment and start-up for faculty, fellows, and residents primarily engaged in teaching
  • Lectures, seminars and conferences whose primary target audience is faculty, rather than students
  • Study abroad programs


03 Student life and services

Programs and resources provided for the benefit and support of students outside the context of the formal academic/instructional program, such as:

  • Residential colleges and programs
  • Student activities including varsity and intramural athletics
  • Student administrative offices such as the Registrar, Bursar, Admissions, and Financial Aid (including departmental projects for student aid)
  • Seminars and conferences whose primary target audience are students
  • Fellowships and Scholarships


04 Organized research

Research efforts that are separately budgeted and accounted for, including cost sharing where required by the award, and which meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • There is a competitive or review process to establish the project (ex: grant), or
  • There is a specified scope and deliverables (ex: contract).

This classification includes:

  • Sponsored research projects including clinical drug trials
  • Institutionally funded research projects meeting the definition above.


05 Research training

Activities directed toward provision of practical research training, usually at the postgraduate (including postdoctoral) level.

  • Sponsored research training programs
  • Research fellowships


06 Research support

Resources and programs that support the research missions of the University, include:

  • Core scientific facilities
  • Biological, chemical and radiation safety
  • Research administration
  • Recruitment and start up for faculty primarily engaged in research activities.


07 Professional practicum

Professional/clinical practice and training. These activities take place primarily in the professional schools and include the following:

  • Patient care services and practice administration
  • Clinical training such as residency programs
  • Drama productions and legal clinics/services
  • Recruitment and start up for faculty primarily engaged in professional practice and training

08 Public services

Programs and activities directed toward the community (external of Yale University). These may be funded from a variety of sources, both institutional and external. Examples include:

  • Libraries, museums and galleries public access and events only (typically driven by admissions; for all other Lib/Mus/Gallery projects, see #02)
  • Community services and outreach activities


09 Other scholarly activities

Research, development and/or scholarly activities that are neither organized research nor direct educational and instructional activities, and may not be formally/regularly budgeted. Examples include:

  • Faculty sabbaticals (for non-sabbatical leave, see #10)
  • Journals and editorships
  • Faculty directed activity not readily assignable to other classifications


10 Administration

Planning and management of financial, physical and human resources. Examples include:

  • Institutional, school or departmental administration
  • Information technology and computing support
  • Dean, department chair or other administrator recruitment
  • Faculty or staff leave of absence (for Faculty sabbatical, see #09)


11 Facilities

Operation and maintenance of physical plant, including:

  • Custodial services
  • Grounds maintenance
  • Non-capital alterations and renovations
  • Facilities administration


12 Institutional external affairs

Activities directed toward external constituencies (examples below) on behalf of the institution

  • Development and fund raising (both for University funds and charitable benefits)
  • Public affairs
  • Government relations
  • Alumni

Tasks allow departments to separate project activity into subcategories based on the department’s business needs. It serves as a sub-project and should not be used for purposes covered by other segments (such as award or expenditure type). Every project must have at least one task. When a new project is established, departments have the option of using a default task (00 – General or 1 – Sponsored). If you do not wish to use a default task, you may create a new task or tasks using the Task Form.

There is no limit to the number of tasks that may be associated with a project. However, it is recommended that departments be thoughtful about how they use tasks and endeavor to make that use both meaningful and consistent within the organization.

Awards and sources are used to categorize and define the University’s funding resources.

Source creates a hierarchy of funding resources; awards represent individual/specific funding amounts and are arranged/grouped within the source hierarchy.  A depiction of this hierarchy can be found in the online COA Handbook: Award/Source Hierarchy

Awards define how an activity or function is funded. Each award is directly related to a particular funding source and is assigned a 6 character identifier; sponsored awards begin with a letter and non-sponsored awards end with 1 or 2 letters depending on the source of funds. The other 4-5 characters are numbers. Awards have attributes that promote the observation of restrictions imposed by the donor or sponsor.

There are 3 main types of awards:

  • Sponsored - consists of grants and contracts and other similar agreements. There is generally a one-to-one relationship between sponsored awards and the projects they are funding.
  • Contributed Income - funded either from an expendable gift or an individual endowment source.
  • General Fund - funded from general appropriations, special programs, or funds designated for specific purposes.

Sources are financial resources generated through major revenue streams. Each source may have many awards but each award can have only one source; sources are represented by a 5 digit identifier (alpha characters). A complete listing of source groups is found at the online source hierarchy.

Source Types - The most commonly used source types/(groups) are noted below:

General Appropriations (GENAP; 00001 – 00050)
General Appropriations funds represent the financial resources made available to units by the Provost (for centrally funded units) or by the Dean (for self-support schools) to enable the accomplishment of agreed-upon programs.

At the commencement of each budget cycle, the Office of Budget and Planning provides to each unit a planning estimate of the GA funds that will be available to the unit. The estimate does not necessarily correspond to the final amount of funds available, as this determination is made through a process of program review with the Office of the Provost.

However, with the planning estimate in mind, the unit must develop a budget proposal for all funding sources, linking its proposal to an explanation of its mission and programs. The final determination of GA funds to be made available to each unit is at the discretion of the Provost.

Special Programs (SPPRO; 00051 - 00090)
Special Programs or current use funds represent income available to the unit that has an unrestricted use. This income can be from external or internal sources. Special Programs also include reserve funds and Central funds held for future use.

Sponsored Agreements (SPAGR; 42000 – 49999)
Sponsored agreements, or grant awards, are monies provided by a donor agency that have specific spending guidelines, a beginning and end date, and a requirement that unused funds be returned.

Expendable Gifts – Operating (EXPOP; 50000 – 59999)
An expendable gift is provided to the University from a donor and is available for spending in its entirety either on a specific donor defined purpose or in an unrestricted manner.

Endowment and Similar Funds (ENDOW; 00100 – 29999)
Endowment funds are gifts where the principal portion is required to be held by the University in perpetuity (forever) as well as funds set aside by the University as approved by the Yale Corporation. Use of revenue generated by these funds is guided by the University spending policy approved by the Corporation.

Designated for Specific Purposes (DESOP; 70000 – 71999, 73000 – 74999)
Funds established to account for balances and activity outside the Budget process. Use of this source group is restricted to The Controller’s Office.

Purpose Code Definitions is a document providing mapping and definitions of Awards/Source purpose codes.

Only unique sources will have purpose codes; unique source and award purpose codes have a one-to-one relationship.

The University’s assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, and fund balances are divided into more specific categories called expenditure types. Examples include: office supplies, tuition, faculty salaries, student receivables and expense accruals. Expenditure types:

  • should provide valuable reporting information,
  • have regular annual activity, and roll up to the Minor levels which are used for budgeting and reporting purposes, and
  • have a unique 6-digit number.

The use of “Miscellaneous” and “Other” expenditure types should be minimized. The Chart of Accounts department can provide additional guidance. 

Expenditure Type Attributes

Each expenditure type must have:

  • a name assigned by COA. Can have up to 30 alphanumeric characters. The first 6 digits are the expenditure type number.
  • a start date.
  • an A21 allowability and includability flag that specifies whether the expenditure type is allowable and/or includable for federal indirect cost purposes as defined in OMB Uniform Guidance (formerly OMB Circular A-21).
  • a fringe benefit flag that indicates whether a salary or wage expenditure type is subject to fringe benefit assessment.

Additional tools and links for expenditure types.

A hierarchy is used to group together similar expenditure types and allow for summary reporting. Below is a table showing the hierarchy levels and some examples. The expenditure type “Master” indicates the highest summary level of expenditure type grouping, while the “Minor” is the most detailed summary. Some units will budget at the Minor level rather than using the individual expenditure type detail.

When looking at an expenditure type number, what do I know?

The numbering of expenditure types is “partially intelligent”. This means that users can tell some things about an expenditure type just by looking at the number. 

  • The first digit of the ET number refers to the Master group. For example, 4xxxxxx always means External Income and 7xxxxxx always means Salaries and Benefits.
  • If COA creates a new ET, we will make the number fit with the existing numbers in the Minor group. (ex: A new ET for supplies should begin with 821xxx.)
  • When moving an ET, the number will only change (create a new ET) if the move is between two Masters
    • Example #1: ET 411201 (Fees) now in Major “Tuition Room & Board” and Master “Income External” is moved to Major “Fees”. Since the ET stays in same Master, COA would keep the same ET number.
    • Example #2: ET 833615 (CCMT ISP Services) now in Master “Non Salaries” is moved to a new Master called 9700 Internal Service Providers. Since this is a new Master, COA would need to create a new ET with a number that matched the numbering in the new Master.




MS4000 –
Income External
MR4500 –
MN4500 –
MS5000 –
Income Internal
MR5100 –
Internally Provided Services
MN5100 –
Internally Provided Services
MS7000 –
Salaries & Benefits
MR7100 –
Faculty Compensation
MN7100 –
Faculty Salaries
MS8000 –
Non Salaries
MR8200 –
Materials & Supplies
MN8210 –
MS8000 –
Non Salaries
MR8700 –
Travel & Business Expenses
MN8700 –
Travel Expenses
MS9600 –
Internal Expense Allocation
MR9645 –
University Assessments
MN9645 –
University Assessments
MS0300 –
Accounts Receivable
MR0310 –
Sponsored Activities Receivable
MN0311 –
G&C Receivables
MS3500 –
Fund Transfers & Other Increases / Decreases
MR3500 –
Interfund Transfers
MN3500 –
Interfund Transfers

The Oversight Hierarchy shows an organizational grouping of employees at the University, broken out by Officer, Division, Department and Leaf-level Org.

division is an entity that reflects the different areas of oversight for each of the University Officers.

department represents a particular field of knowledge or a function within the University (ex: Physics, Financial Aid, Child Study Center) and must have a leader, such as a Director or Chair, that is accountable for the budget. 

An organization is the lowest organizational unit level (sometimes referred to as “leaf-level org”) of the University’s fiscal oversight hierarchy. Leaf-level org is the lowest level at which transactions take place within the hierarchy and, in this way, allows the University business community to track expenses pertaining to the activities of that organization.

Criteria for a new leaf-level org:

  • defined business objective
  • organized group of employees
  • ongoing budget with Program Leader (Dean, Director, Chair) accountable for the established budget
  • people assigned (generally mapped as their “home org”)
  • multiple programs/projects
  • assigned spaces (in most cases)

Orgs provide governance over projects, tasks and awards; they should not exist solely as a project-grouping mechanism. Leaf-level orgs should not be used for purposes covered by other segments (such as award/source or project).

(*) – Some exceptions may apply, such as building Orgs. Please consult COA with questions.

When do Org modifications get processed? When will the modifications appear in reporting?

In general, Oracle org modifications are performed after each month-end financial close (the 4th business day of the following month). The modifications are available for data warehouse reporting starting in the calendar month that they are processed. For example, an org modification submitted in January and obtaining all required approvals in time will be processed in Oracle on the 4th business day of February. January data warehouse reports will use the old org hierarchy structure; February data warehouse reports will use the new org hierarchy structure. Oracle org changes are also reflected in the “Oracle Home Org” structure in Workday HCM/Payroll. This is temporary while the Financial system is still in Oracle; modifications in Workday are generally performed the day after the Oracle org modifications.

At the end of the fiscal year during the close process, Oracle org modifications have more limited timing. The schedule from May-September is as follows:

  • May month-end (4th business day of June) – last opportunity to process Oracle org modifications that need to be reflected in June 30th yearend reporting
  • Last calendar week in July – process Oracle org modifications that need to be reflected in the new fiscal year starting with July
  • September month-end (4th business day of October) – resume monthly Oracle org modification schedule