Chart of Accounts (COA)

**UPDATED 4/2020 - Scroll down for FY20 year-end timing considerations for segment closures & Cost Center reorgs.**

The Chart of Accounts (COA) is a set of codes used to classify and record financial transactions in meaningful ways. It provides the structure for reporting and monitoring financial activity at Yale. The COA consists of segments and descriptive attributes that help the University organize financial information for:

  • Internal reporting and financial management
  • External reporting and compliance
  • Effective management of restricted funds

Different COA segments tell us information such as:

  • How an activity was funded
  • Who is responsible for financial oversight of the transaction (i.e., which department incurred the expense or earned income)
  • What is the activity in which the unit engaged (i.e., mission, line of business and detailed activities)
  • How to “account” for something purchased or sold

Consistent use of the COA on transactions is crucial to enable consistent and meaningful reporting for faculty, staff, University leadership, and external users.

Click for Detailed Information and Resources about the COA.

FY2020 Year-end Timetable for Reorganizations (hierarchy changes)

Below please find the timetable for Cost Center and Cost Center Hierarchy changes.

Please also note that COA segment closures do not take place during the year-end period close. As such, the last segment closures occur with the May month-end in calendar June. Closures generally resume with the September month-end in calendar October.

Winding Down:

  • May month-end (calendar June) – Last opportunity for cost center reorgs

No Cost Center Modifications:

  • June month-end (calendar July)
  • July month-end (calendar Aug)
  • Aug month-end (calendar Sept)

Resuming Activity:

  • Sept month-end (calendar Oct) – Resume ALL Workday cost center reorgs – (both within and between Planning Units)

A Note about Terminology

Until March 2016, the Workday @ Yale team had used the term Financial Data Model (FDM) to represent the Workday Chart of Accounts, the full Workday data structure and individual segments of the chart of accounts. Please note the following terms below that will be used from April 2016 forward:

Today we call it … Tomorrow we will call it … What is it?

Oracle Chart of Accounts

Chart of Accounts


Workday Chart of Accounts

Chart of Accounts


General term to describe the full set of data points used for standard accounting and financial reporting.

In Workday this includes delivered pieces of the Workday Financial Data Model (FDM) and also some worktags that are configured by Yale.

COA Segments COA Segments

Each individual piece of the chart of accounts - the buckets.

  • Oracle Project, Org, etc.
  • Workday Program, Cost Center, etc.

The list of values for each segment are called the “segment values”.

Charging Instructions


Charging Instructions Accounting string - PTAEO
Expenditure Type Ledger Account COA segment used for general ledger accounting (revenue, expense, assets, liabilities)