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University Finance and Administration

Tracking the Financial Impact

Updated on March 12 at 5:30 p.m.

March 6, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Leaders from all Chancellor and central areas across the university are closely monitoring developments related to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As mentioned in previous communications from the President’s Office and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority.

In the upcoming weeks, departments may incur unforeseen expenses or receive requests to refund student tuition and fees directly related to COVID-19 occurrence or events. It is important that the University carefully track the financial impact. To this end, the University Controller’s Office has created a new chart of accounts Activity value, 9105 (COVID-19). This new Activity value will help departments and the Controller’s Office track COVID-19 related transactions and identify them on financial management reports. Please note that this guidance is not budget authorization for such transactions – those must go through processes as defined by responsibility centers and by Chancellor or central administration units.

Using the New Activity Value (9105)
  • New requisitions, expense reports, check requests, non-purchase order uploads, payroll, and journal entries associated with COVID-19, must be coded with the new Activity value.
  • All description fields for the above-mentioned transactions must start with “COVID-19” followed by a succinct and clear business purpose description of the transaction, including how it relates to the University’s COVID-19 response.
  • If an expense involves salary and wages, then the employee charging instructions (ECI) must be changed with the new Activity value added.
  • Supporting documentation is always required for all transactions in the financial management and procurement systems. Special consideration should be made to organize and store any documentation related to the COVID-19 transactions as they may be requested for review and approval by each department’s respective Chancellor or Senior Vice President.
Reclassifying Entries to the New Activity Value (9105)
  • If a department incurred costs and/or refunded student tuition and fees directly related to COVID-19 prior to the creation of the new Activity value, the department must process a reclassification journal entry using the same chart of account strings listed on the original transaction and including the new Activity value and a description starting with “COVID-19”.
COVID-19 Accounting
  • If an existing expense involves salary and wages, then a salary reallocation must be processed by changing the employee charging instructions (ECI) to a chart string with the new Activity value added.  The amount being reallocated should only be the amount specifically related to the COVID-19 response and is not part of the employee’s regular duties.

If you have questions about using the new Activity value, contact the Financial Management Help Desk at

If you have questions about expenses or requests to refund student tuition or fees related to the COVID-19, contact your Chancellor’s or Senior Vice President’s office.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


J. Michael Gower

Executive Vice President, University Finance and Administration

University Treasurer