Back to Basics

If you have a financial role, you will be involved in a journal entry at some point. It is important to understand not only how to do a journal entry, but also why we do them, and the steps we can take to ensure accurate and appropriate recording of our financial transactions.

Why do we do JEs?

  • A lot of department-initiated JEs are created to move expenses between SpeedTypes.
  • We also do JEs to move or create budget and to move cash between compatible fund types.
  • If we are selling a good or service, either internally or externally, we will record a sales transaction.
  • Lastly, we record accruals and other GAAP related information.

What do I need to remember when entering a JE? 

Header Description

The header description is a very important step in creating a JE. The lines on a JE tell us what is being done: moving an expense from one SpeedType to another or completing a cash transfer. The header is the explanation for why this transaction is necessary. Be as thorough as possible. This explanation should be written in a way that is understandable to someone outside your department.

Also, for those JEs needing secondary approval for projects and gift funds, the more information you can provide that describes how the transaction is pertinent to the project or gift fund, the less likely we are to contact you for more information.

Attachment Function

The attachment function is a great place to attach the necessary documentation to back up the JE. Remember to redact any sensitive information such as bank account numbers, social security numbers, student IDs, etc.

What should I look for when approving JEs:

  • If the JE is moving expenses, do the expenses exist? If moving prior year expenses, why (projects excluded)? Remember that our books for prior fiscal years are closed. Sponsored projects are an exception to this, as their life-cycle is specific to the award.
  • Is there enough budget or net assets in the SpeedType you are moving the expenses to in order to cover the costs?
  • If moving an expense, is it appropriate for the project or gift you are moving it to?
  • If recording revenue, has the good or service been provided?

Pointers and tips for creating JEs:

 Custom JE ID number

If you need to be able to easily identify what the JE is for, you can create a custom JE ID number (up to 10 characters) when adding a new value.

​ Two business days

If you did not get your JE in for the month, you have two business days into the next month to create JEs. Just change the date to the prior month when adding a new value. Don’t forget to plan additional time if your JE will need secondary approval.


If you do not like how the boxes in the JE lines are ordered, you can personalize this! Just above the lines is a ‘Personalize’ hyperlink that will allow you to reorder and hide these boxes as you see fit.

 Not seeing a JE?

Are you an approver who isn’t seeing a JE in your worklist? If a JE is not showing, it likely has not been submitted. Contact the originator to submit the JE.

 Recurring or large JE?

If you have a recurring JE or large JE you would like to use a spreadsheet for, we have the spreadsheet journal entry upload just for these JEs! Contact us and we will work with you on this.

Need more guidance on journal entries? Take a look at the how-to guides and videos on OUC’s site or contact your area accountant.