University of Illinois System
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13.3 Journal Vouchers

Policy Statement

Units must ensure that journal vouchers, which are Banner documents used to record journal entries, are processed accurately and timely.

Reason for the Policy

To provide for the accuracy and timeliness of the University of Illinois System’s audited financial statements.

Applicability of the Policy

All units that process and/or review journal vouchers (including those processed on feeders).


Employees who process and/or review journal vouchers are strongly encouraged to complete the Journal Voucher Processing Certification track.

An instructor-led Journal Voucher Processing training series is also available for further training.

Use of the following good business practices when processing journal vouchers will aid in their accuracy, timeliness, and the creation of a clean audit trail:

  • Record Journal Vouchers in the Correct Fiscal Year and Accounting Period: Record journal vouchers in the fiscal year and accounting period in which the transaction occurred.
  • Process a Separate Journal Voucher for each Unique Accounting Transaction: Use a separate journal voucher for each unique accounting transaction to distinguish it from other entries and aid in identification of its purpose.
  • Correct Journal Voucher Errors: To correct erroneous journal vouchers: (1) complete a new journal voucher to reverse the erroneous entry from the original transaction, and (2) process a new journal voucher to post the entry correctly. This will help ensure a clean audit trail in case the erroneous transaction is ever selected for further review.
  • Provide Clear Documentation for Journal Vouchers: Journal vouchers should contain proper documentation to clearly explain the purpose of the accounting transaction they record.
    • The General Text Entry page (FOATEXT) for each journal voucher should be fully completed with information including, but not limited to:
      • A detailed description of the accounting transaction being recorded to ensure that a third party (such as an auditor) would be able to understand the purpose of the entry.
      • Applicable contact information (e.g., name, e-mail address, unit, and 10-digit phone number).
      • Any other relevant information that may be helpful in creating a proper audit trail, such as the Banner document number of any applicable transaction the journal voucher may be adjusting or reclassifying.
    • The Description Line on each sequence of the journal voucher should provide a clear explanation of the transaction.
      • For example, when processing a journal voucher to reclassify an expense from one C-FOAPAL to another, the Description Line on the credit sequence of the journal voucher 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.
      • When reversing an erroneous journal voucher 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 journal voucher was to reverse a previously completed journal voucher. 
  • Confirm Journal Vouchers are Not Used to Complete Certain Types of Transactions: Unit-generated journal vouchers should not be used to complete certain types of transactions. See below for examples:
    • Unit-generated journal vouchers should not be used to process budget adjustments for state funds, institutional funds (such as indirect cost recovery or administrative allowance), or service plan funds. These types of entries should be processed by the applicable budget office instead. Refer to 3.1 Adjust a Budget for further details.
    • Unit-generated journal vouchers should not be used to process labor redistributions that transfer payroll expenses from one C-FOAPAL to another. Refer to Labor Redistribution Job Aids for further guidance.
    • Unit-generated journal vouchers 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.).

Related Policies and Procedures

3.1 Adjust a Budget

Additional Resources

Journal Voucher Processing Certification
Journal Voucher Processing training series
Labor Redistribution Job Aids

Last Updated: May 16, 2022 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: January 15, 2020