Understanding Journals

Understanding Journals

Journals are created to enter financial information into the General Ledger. Financial information includes deposits, payments, transfers, allocations, and other types of activity necessary to accurately describe the finances of the University.

Journals are created in PeopleSoft by a Journal Preparer and reviewed by a Journal Approver.  Review Establishing Journal Preparers and Approvers in PeopleSoft for the steps needed to assign the Journal Preparer and/or Journal Approver role to a UCSF staff member. Journal Preparers should consistently use their established Journal Preparer ID when creating journals following UCSF's journal naming convention format "XXABCYYYY", where:

  • XX = the fiscal period of the journal
  • ABC = your specific 3-character Journal Preparer ID
  • YYYY = a sequential numbering scheme of your choosing

View the list of Journal Preparer IDs (opens in new window).

PeopleSoft journal roles chart

At UCSF, the journal source code is used to identify the type and purpose of a journal.  Not all source codes are available to all PeopleSoft Journal Preparers and Approvers.  In addition, some source codes require additional workflow for approval by the Control Point or the Controller's Office.

Source Code



Cash Receipt – used to record receipt of cash and checks from third parties (not used for sponsored research projects and awards, gifts, or payments for department accounts receivable invoices)


Credit Card Receipts – used to record credit card receipts from third parties


Financial Journal – used to record non-payroll adjustments or to correct chartfields for non-sponsored projects


Regular Cost Transfer – used to transfer expenses between chartstrings when the source or target is a sponsored project


Exception Cost Transfer – used to transfer exceptional payroll expenses, including vacation accrual, or lump sum cost overruns


Recharge-Direct – used to record recharge debits/credits for approved Recharge Units (with a Recharge Project ID)

To keep reporting consistent and clear, it is important that you use the proper Accounts when preparing a journal.  Additionally, in some cases "paired Accounts" must be used together on journals for some transaction types including assessments and inter-departmental transfers, Medical Center PSA Revenue, and Medical Center Purchased Services Revenue.  Refer to Moving Money and Using PeopleSoft JournalsCombo Edit Rules, Journal Source Codes, Recharge Source Codes and Contacts List, and Doing Business with UCSF Health to ensure that you are using the correct Accounts in your journal entries.

For detailed instructions on specific journal topics:

If you have questions after reviewing the specific instructions, contact a member of the Accounting & Reporting team.