The Organization (Org) is about Who is Responsible for expenditures within its budget

Required = Yes, for Revenue and Expense (Operating Ledger) transactions (optional for General Ledger)

The Organization (“Org”) segment of the FOAPAL should reflect the financial organizational structure of the University and align with the operational academic structure where appropriate.  This means that organizational units or departments should be represented by a unique Org number and that the hierarchy for how Orgs are grouped for reporting should reflect the reporting structure of the institution (e.g., Departments roll up to a College/Division, which in turn roll up to the Provost/SVP, etc.).  See separate principles related to hierarchy levels and definitions below.  Transactions are recorded at the lowest level in the Org hierarchy (L6 or L6B level), within the department or program responsible for managing their approved budget.  Most units will have L6A as the lowest level.  There are occasions where a 6B organization may be needed, primarily for departments that are broken into smaller units, or where a temporary organization is needed – for example, establishing a new program that may or may not become a new academic department.  In addition, 6B organizations are used for student organizations that need an organization code to reserve space on campus.

An Organization may be funded by multiple sources (identified by different Funds) and be associated with multiple Programs, Activities, and Locations.  The Organization can be used in reporting to display the financial status of the entire department, including all types of financial activity that the department is responsible for (E&G, Grants, Start Ups, Indirects, etc.)

Organizations should be established for cost centers that have:
  • Budgets
  • Financial transactions (salaries/purchasing)
  • A single individual responsible for the financial health and decision-making of the organization (even if there is a higher-level approver) – this person will be named as the Financial Manager for the organization in the system
  • A tie to an administrative division or academic department or program that can be identified in the University hierarchy.
Organizations should NOT be established for:
  • Reporting purposes alone
  • Activities (example: tracking one type of business of the university, like “Department Research” or “Fall Festival”)

Organization Hierarchy Principles:

To maintain consistency across the University for standardized and consolidated reporting/analysis, best practices suggest that each level of the hierarchy for the Chart of Accounts should represent “like” items.  For the Organization segment, which is intended to represent the organizational operating structure of the University, the organizational unit represented by each level is listed in the table below: 

Note that while there are structural differences between the Academic and Administrative sides of the structure, comparability is maintained — particularly at the highest and lowest levels of the hierarchy.  Some branches of the hierarchy with less organizational complexity will see redundancy between the levels as described below. The value in placing “like items” consistently at the same level is supporting meaningful reporting with the capability to drill down into more granularity when appropriate.  We can also use a specified level for consistent internal control points across the institution. 

  • Level 1: This will always represent the consolidated institution and is used for reporting in the Financial Statements, to the BOV, and others on Mason’s complete financial operations. 
  • Level 2: The University is led by an Executive team – several functions report directly to the President, while the Provost and the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration each lead the Academic and Administrative operations, respectively, of the institution.  These three areas of executive responsibility are reflected in Level 2. 
  • Level 3: Within each of the three executive “verticals”, there are major subdivisions – either individual Colleges on the Academic side (e.g., CHSS, COS) or major operational units on the Administrative side (e.g., Facilities, ITS). 
  • Level 4:  
    • Academic:  Each College has a Level 4 (L4) unit to represent the roll-up for College Administration and Student Services (e.g., Dean’s Office, Student Advising, etc.) and an L4 for College-level Centers and Institutes, if applicable.   
      • Some Colleges have Academic Schools within the College (e.g., the College of Engineering and Computing (L3) has the Volgenau School of Engineering and the School of Computing) which are represented at L4 of the hierarchy.   
      • Colleges that do not have separate Schools within the College (College of Science L3) have an L4 roll-up for all academic activities. (COS Academic Departments L4). 
    • Administrative:  Within the Administrative side of the organization, some Major Divisions have distinct operational Sub-Divisions (e.g.,  Regional Campusesincludes subdivisions for each campus ).  These sub-divisions are represented at Level 4 of the hierarchy.  Divisions that do not have the same level of complexity have redundancy between Level 3 and Level 4 groupings. 
  • Level 5: The organization structure of both Academic and Administrative Divisions contains multiple operating units or Departments.  These operating units may have one or more operational sub-units within. 
    • For those with multiple units, Level 5 will serve as a roll-up of those units (which will be Level 6A). 
    • For those with only one unit, there will be redundancy between Level 5 and Level 6. 
  • Level 6A: This is the level at which most transactions are recorded for both Academic and Administrative units.  As noted above, Departments that have multiple operational units (e.g., Fiscal Services L5) may have multiple L6A Orgs (Accounts Payable, Student Accounts, General Accounting, etc.).  Other Departments may have only one transaction L6A Org value. For Academic Departments, generally, there is one 6A Org, but additional 6A Orgs may exist for departmental research centers or major facilities that have their own operating structure. 
  • Level 6B: Some units may have a need for even more granular tracking.  For example, the Parking office manages separate parking facilities on multiple campuses, each with its own financial responsibility. These individual groups exist at Level 6B in the hierarchy and roll up to a Level 6A “predecessor” or ‘parent’ org.  (Note:  The level retains “6B” rather than “7” to indicate that it is a 6-character value.) 
Reorganizations:  Renaming, Reparenting, and New Organizations:
An organization may be renamed when:
  • The people and organizational structure will be maintained, but the name we call it at Mason has changed (ex: renaming “Payroll” to “Compensation Office”). In this case, the history can be reported as a whole because it is essentially the same office.
An organization may be reparented when:
  • The people and structure of the organization itself will be maintained, but it will roll up to a new area of the university. The organization can be given a new predecessor and otherwise maintain its structure. 
  • Historical reporting considerations:
    • If the desire is to maintain the original structure in prior periods, effective dates will need to be included in the report design.
    • If the desire is to have ‘normalized’ data reflecting only the current structure, reports will need to reflect only the current hierarchy.
New organizations will be created when:
  • An organization is splitting into multiple organizations
  • Multiple organizations are being combined into a new area
  • The fundamental structure or business of the organization has changed such that historical reporting would not be meaningful
Organization use in HR

Transactional (L6A/L6B) Organizations are used in various places for HR and Payroll purposes.

Home Organization: Is the organization the employee belongs to.  This exists on the PEAEMPL Home Department Organization field.  There is only one per employee.
Position Organization:  Is the organization the position belongs to.  This exists on the NBAPBUD Salary Budgets Organization Field. There is only one position organization per position, however, the Position Labor Distribution may be split.
Position Labor Distribution:  This is the operating budget labor distribution that will also be the default for the job labor distribution. This exists on the NBAPBUD Labor Distributions tab.
Job Labor Distribution:  When an employee is assigned to a position, this creates a job.  The Job labor distribution is where the salary will post when charged via payroll.  This exists on the NBAJOBS Job Labor Distribution tab.
Job Organization: This represents the organization that timesheets are routed to for the job.  Depending on department procedures and oversight, this may not be the same organization as any of the above. This exists on the NBAJOBS Payroll Default Tab “Timesheet” field.
Check Distribution Organization:  This is used for documents, like printed checks. This defaults to the Home Organization.