Finance FAQs: Use of COVID-19 Account Codes

The following information was provided by Darlene Wood, CPA, MBA, associate director of finance. This guidance is for administrative personnel involved in expense transactions. It clarifies how to use new campus accounting codes to identify activities directly related to COVID-19, which will help with various reporting requirements.

Q: I cancelled my airfare because of the COVID-19 situation. What should I code to the COVID-19 codes?

  • If the airfare was refunded in full, then you don’t need to code anything to these COVID-19 codes because it is a net zero financial impact to the UW.
  • If the airfare was not refunded but a ticket remains available for your use you do not need to code anything to these COVID-19 codes because you are able to use that ticket at a later date.
  • If the airfare was not refunded and you do not have access to the ticket for a future trip you can code the full airfare to account 3115.
  • If the airfare charges you a cancellation fee then yes, the cancellation fee and any related Fox World Travel fee should be coded to the COVID-19 account codes. Campus was deciding if they wanted to create a separate account code for cancelled airfare fees but at this time they are recommending using 3115.

Q: If a COVID-19 related UW expense is being paid on the UWMF Transfer to SMPH (Business Expense) or UWHC Affiliation Agreement 233 projects should those be coded to the UW COVID-19 codes since we are already coding the UWH side to COVID-19 codes?

Yes, you should code all your UW COVID-19 related expenses paid using even though UWH is also coding the transfer to a UWH COVID-19 code. The campus does not believe they will be rolling up their COVID-19 activity with UWH activity but if they do, we can filter the UW data by the 233 sponsor ID to isolate those expenses on the UW COVID-19 account codes that UWH may also be reporting.

Q: I had an expense paid on the purchasing card and now am receiving a full refund due to COVID-19. Do I need to code this to the COVID-19 account codes?

No. Since this results in net zero financial impact to the UW, you do not need to code the expense or the full refund to the COVID-19 code. The UW is interested in the financial impact of COVID-19 to the UW.

Q: The research lab is not able to continue research right now but is still incurring per diems from Biomedical Research Model Services or RARC. Should those per diems be charged to these account codes?

Per RSP, no these billings should not be charged to the COVID-19 codes but should be charged to the normal internal billing codes. However, the unit taking care of the animals may use the new account codes for additional COVID-related expenses directly related to animal care and the well-being of the staff.

Q: If we have additional technology purchases, such as laptops, etc., to allow faculty and staff to telecommute should we code those to one of these codes?

Yes, please code this to 3118-Telecommunications