University of Illinois System
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Journal Vouchers

Journal Vouchers (commonly referred to as “JVs”) are non-cash transactions used to process accounting entries within Banner. Journal vouchers are typically processed and/or generated by departmental users, Banner modules, or feeder systems. JVs are considered to be “non-cash” transactions since they do not affect the overall cash balance within the University of Illinois System.

For example, if a unit processes a JV to reclassify an expense from one C-FOAP to another, there is no movement of cash into or out of the University of Illinois System. While the Claim on Cash balance within the funds involved in the JV may change, the overall cash balance within the U of I System remains unaffected, as it is an accounting entry internal to the U of I System.

As outlined within Section 13.3, Journal Vouchers and the Business and Financial Policies and Procedures, units must ensure that all JVs are processed accurately and on a timely basis. This helps ensure accurate reporting for the University of Illinois System’s audited financial statements.

Access and Training

All new users must complete the Journal Voucher Processing Certificate Track (which is a self-paced, online training program) before they are granted access to process JVs by their Unit Security Contact (USC). This track demonstrates how to prepare, process, and review JVs. It also covers best practices to follow when creating a JV, and where to find resources related to JV transactions.

Note: We also strongly encourage those who already have JV-processing access to consider taking this course as a refresher as well, as you may learn something new!

There is also an instructor-led training series on Journal Voucher Processing if you would like training in addition to the certificate track.

See the information and resources in the following sections below for further guidance. While this is not a complete list of the information that you will need to know when processing or reviewing JVs, it provides a good starting point.

Tips for Properly Processing Journal Vouchers

In order to ensure accurate, timely JVs that will create a clean audit trail, we strongly encourage you to follow the good business practices listed below when processing JVs:

Record JVs in the Correct Fiscal Year and Accounting Period

It is important to ensure all JVs are recorded in the fiscal year and accounting period (i.e., month) which properly represents when the transaction occurred. This will help ensure accurate and timely financial reporting.

Provide Clear Documentation for JVs

It is important to provide clear documentation within the JV to properly communicate the purpose of the entry. By doing this, you help ensure that anyone who reviews your entry (such as an auditor or your supervisor) can get a full picture of the reason the JV was processed. The FOATEXT (General Text Entry) page within Banner should be fully completed with the following information for each JV:

  • A detailed description of the accounting transaction being recorded, including any relevant information that may be helpful in creating a proper audit trail for the transaction (such as the original Banner document number of a transaction which the JV may be adjusting or reclassifying).
  • Applicable contact information (i.e., name, e-mail address, unit, and 10-digit phone number).

Description Line

The Description Line on each sequence of the JV should provide a clear explanation of the transaction.

Example #1: When processing a JV to reclassify an expense from one C-FOAPAL to another, the Description Line on the credit sequence of the JV should include the Banner document number of the expense being reclassified, while the Description Line on the debit sequence should clearly explain the nature of the goods or services that were purchased.

Example #2: When reversing an erroneous JV that was previously completed, it is helpful to include explanatory text such as “To reverse J1234567” in the Description Line so that the reader can easily tell that the purpose of this JV was to reverse a previously completed JV.

Process a Separate JV for Each Unique Accounting Transaction

It is important to use separate JVs for separate types of entries. That way, each JV accounts for its own unique transaction and is separate from other unrelated transactions which can better aid in the identification of the JV’s purpose.

For example, if you identify a misclassified transaction during your monthly reconciliation which needs to be reclassified to the correct C-FOAP, you need to complete the expense reclassification entry on its own unique JV, as opposed to including it with a JV intended for a different purpose (such as a JV to bill your internal customers for services provided). That way, each JV has its own purpose and its own story within the FOATEXT.

Correct Journal Voucher Errors

To provide a clean audit trail when correcting an erroneous JV that was previously recorded, follow the steps below:

  • First, complete a JV to reverse the erroneous entry from the original transaction.
  • Then, process another JV to post the entry correctly. This will help ensure a clean audit trail in case the JV containing the erroneous transaction is ever selected for further review.

Ensure JVs are Only Used to Record Allowable Transactions

Unit-generated journal vouchers should not be used to complete certain types of transactions, such as those listed below:

  • Unit-generated JVs should not be used to process budget adjustments for state funds or institutional funds (such as indirect cost recovery, administrative allowance, or royalty). Budget adjustments for these funds should be processed by the applicable university budget office instead. Refer to Section 3.1 (Adjust a Budget) within the Business and Financial Policies and Procedures for further details.
  • Unit-generated JVs should not be used to process labor redistributions that transfer payroll expenses from one C-FOAPAL to another. Refer to the applicable Labor Redistribution Job Aids for further guidance.
  • Unit-generated JVs should not be used to issue any type of payments to custodial funds. These payments should be issued via the appropriate payment method instead (e.g., Chrome River, purchase orders, etc.).

Be Aware of Banner Approval Queues

While most JVs post to Banner without a second level of review, some JVs must receive an extra level of review and approval via a Banner Approval Queue prior to posting. The purpose of these approval queues is to have an extra layer of review on higher-risk transactions, so that a third party can review and approve (or disapprove) the entry. This helps add an extra layer of protection to ensure the entry is appropriate.

Examples of JVs that must go through a Banner Approval Queue are:

  • Most JVs involving grant funds.
  • Certain types of fund transfers on certain types of funds (such as self-supporting and gift funds).
  • JVs which have a Document Total exceeding $2,000,000.

Correct Any JVs That Fail to Pass Cross-FOAPAL Validation Rules

The final layer of review and approval which JVs must pass before posting to Banner are the cross-FOAPAL validation rules. These rules have been put into place to help enforce various types of accounting and technical guidelines that all JVs must abide by. If any of your JVs fail to pass these rules, you will be contacted asking to either fix the applicable error or to delete the JV. See below for a few common examples of errors that will cause a JV to fail the cross-FOAPAL validation rules:

  • JVs using an invalid combination of C-FOAPAL segments, such as a JV using a revenue account code on a gift or Indirect Cost Recover (ICR) fund, or a JV trying to use a generic (i.e., “19nnnn”) program code with a state or ICR fund.
  • Trying to use a payroll expense account code (i.e., an account code starting with a 2nnnnn) on a JV.
  • Trying to complete a JV containing multiple debits and credits without using the proper 125 or 175 rule code.