CPPM Procedure Chapter F: Journal Vouchers
This chapter of the Core Policy and Procedures Manual describes procedure requirements and standards for internal journals including inter-ministry charges.
- F.1 Journal Voucher Approval
- F.2 Processing Journal Vouchers
- F.3 Initiating an Inter-Ministry Journal Voucher
- F.4 Inter-Ministry Chargeback System – Authorized Electronic Journal Vouchers
Accounting transfers are recorded in the Corporate Accounting System by journal voucher. By the use of journal vouchers, expenditures and other accounting data can be transferred between ministries (or within a single ministry). This also provides the means for one ministry to charge-back another ministry for goods or services.
As the charge-back type of journal voucher has the same impact on available appropriations as payments or receipts, ministries should ensure that there are appropriate controls in place over the accounting transfer. Where necessary, ministry staff with the knowledge and skills to understand the impact and effect of a proposed transfer should assist with the related transaction.
For accounting transfers the ministry expense authority should meet policy (as in CPPM 4.3.2) and ensure:
- for an expenditure leading to a charge-back, that the expenditure amount and charge initiated is appropriate and in accordance with their authority;
- for other types of journal vouchers, that a correction, allocation, accrual or adjustment is appropriate and in accordance with their authority; and
- that their monthly financial management reports are reviewed and corrective action is taken for discrepancies.
For accounting transfers, a qualified receiver in the receiving ministry should meet policy (as in CPPM 4.3.2) and, as applicable, confirm that goods or services have been received or that work has been performed.
For accounting transfers related to cost recovery transactions, approval is required by an officer in the issuing ministry with revenue authority for journal vouchers (as in CPPM 7.2.5).
Ministries should adhere to the following criteria when submitting journal vouchers (FIN 264) (PDF) (government access only):
- journal vouchers should not be raised unless the sum of all transactions exceeds $100.
- journal vouchers with total transactions of less than $100 should be accumulated and processed periodically (i.e., quarterly, semi-annually, or annually). Some exceptions may be necessary such as monthly or year-end close-out entries necessary to correct reconciliations.
- journal vouchers should be processed on a regular basis.
- a batch must be comprised of a reasonable number of journal vouchers (recommend a maximum of 30).
- a batch must contain vouchers belonging to only one fiscal year.
- journal vouchers may be accumulated over a short period; ministries with very low volumes are to process them in time for month-end cut-off.
Standard for Ministry Identifier
The two-digit ministry alpha or numeric code is the standard ministry identifier for manual journal batch headers and journal names. The alpha or numeric standard is in sync with naming conventions for Oracle budget names, AP invoice batches and security responsibility standards. The alpha or numeric identifier, followed by the two-digit fiscal year identifier, is the Oracle standard for the first four characters of all manual journal batch names. Ministries can then institute their own standards for the remainder of their batch names.
A clear and consistent batch and journal naming convention that is unique to each ministry/agency allows GL transactions to be more easily tracked and reviewed.
Ministry alpha identifiers are on the OCG intranet under Chart of Accounts/Current Client Listing (government access only).
In the event a voucher is repeatedly rejected, a copy of the voucher may be sent to the Manager, Financial Reporting and Advisory Services, OCG for assistance in clearing the item.
Where a central agency is recovering costs under a specifically assigned STOB, the receiving client's account combination will be charged with an appropriate STOB specified for that purpose. For example, recoveries under STOB 8809, Operating Costs Recovered would be charged by the receiving client to STOB 5798, Internal Transfers/Recoveries.
All exceptions to the STOB matching rules must be cleared with Financial Reporting and Advisory Services, OCG.
Inter-Ministry Transfer Errors
Procedures for correcting inter-ministry transfer errors:
- the Posting Execution report identifies the rejected inter-ministry journal voucher(s) to the issuing client (journal vouchers fed through CGI with errors will be rejected back to the ministry);
- where an incorrect account combination has been charged in error, the issuing client issues the correcting journal voucher;
- if a receiving client believes that it has been charged an incorrect amount or charged for goods and services that it has not received, the receiving client is to notify the issuing client and request a credit;
- notification may be by memorandum or electronic mail; and
- notification must be given within 60 days of the date that the client account was debited.
Dispute Resolution Process
In the event of a dispute, the resolution should follow the procedures below:
- the issuing and receiving clients are to make every effort to resolve the situation through negotiation;
- if the parties cannot agree on a resolution within 30 days of notification by the receiving client, the dispute is to be referred to the Director, Financial Reporting and Advisory Services, OCG for a decision;
- an appeal of the Director's decision may be made to the Comptroller General within 14 days of the issue of the Director's decision; and
- if the final decision is in favor of the receiving client, the Director, Financial Reporting and Advisory Services, OCG will instruct the issuing client to make the necessary adjustments (e.g., issuing a credit).
Documentation Supporting Inter-Ministry Transfers
The initiating ministry is responsible for retaining all source documents (depending upon program requirements) to ensure that the journal/invoice batch naming convention is consistent as agreed between the ministries.
The inter-ministry chargeback system is an electronic method that allows an issuing client to debit a receiving client's account for goods or services supplied. A client must be authorized to use the inter-ministry chargeback system.
Notification to CFO Council
Chargeback agencies have a responsibility to provide the CFO Council with early warnings regarding implementation of new chargeback programs, major changes to existing programs or significant increases in costs. This will provide ministries with an opportunity to examine their financial plans and possibly adjust current budget submission.