Unrestricted Accounts

Unrestricted accounts are internally funded accounts (as opposed to externally funded sponsored awards or gifts). As such, they do not have spending restrictions aside from University regulations. Business meals, honoraria, program income, and other expenses generally prohibited on sponsored awards can be charged to unrestricted accounts.

Unrestricted accounts are 2 and 4-ledger accounts, but the former are the focus here. At the end of the fiscal year, FAS will do one of the following to all 2-ledger accounts: (1) rollover the balance to the next fiscal year (budget re-appropriation) or (2) reset the balance to $0 (default). Typically, recharge accounts and auxiliary service accounts are reset to $0. However, other accounts like research incentive accounts and accounts for some University programs should have their balances rolled over. Whenever creating a 2-ledger account, inform Vickie Taylor via email and indicate whether or not the balance should be rolled over to ensure the proper year-end handling of the account. It is always a good idea to check the preliminary July ledgers to make sure that your 2-ledgers accounts were handled properly.

Many unrestricted accounts meant for general unspecified expenses are left un-budgeted, but if the account is for a specific program with defined expenses over a period of time, then it may be appropriate to enter a budget. Unrestricted accounts are typically funded with journal vouchers from 2 and 4-ledger accounts. Sponsored awards should not be used as funding sources for unrestricted accounts. Recharges and auxiliary services ought to break even by the end of each year. Other general expense accounts may carry balances forward, but should not be allowed to maintain long term overdrafts.

For more about unrestricted accounts and year-end processing, see the following sections in the FAS Manual: Ledger 2 BlockingLedger 4 BlockingYear-end Processing.