Accounting at York

Information about accounting at the University, including some basic accounting principles (account codes and work orders), top tips and supporting resources.

Information about the University's investments and annual accounts are publically available.

The Accounting Basics

  1. We use Agresso (Unit4) as our primary accounting system. Supporting resources:
  2. The University financial year is 1 August-31 July.
    • It is split into calendar months and after each month end, we aim to issue reports to budget holders on about 7th working day after month end.
    • The monthly accounting timetable shows Agresso close dates, financial Report dates and committee meeting dates. 
  3. Every transaction in Agresso has an account code and a work order. These are explained further below.

Account codes

Account codes are 4 digits (eg 1234) and are used to identify what you are spending money on, for example, computers. The main groups of account codes are:

Account CodeActivity
1000-1999 Staff costs
2000-2999 Non staff costs/other operating expenditure
4000-4999 Income
3000-3999 and 5000-5999 Overheads
9000-9999 Balance sheet
9805 Budget transfers
A full list of all account codes can be found by logging into Agresso and selecting Reports from the menu, then Valid Account Codes in the Account Codes folder. Click search to return the full list of account codes.

Work orders

Work orders (8 characters) are linked to activities, projects, departments and cost centres that incur University expenditure or income. Work orders are a key building block of the Agresso coding.

Contact us

Group Financial Accounts
Group Financial Accounts, Heslington Hall

York has many departments, and research is a big part of University life. However, the University also:

  • organises studentships (both centrally and departmentally)
  • maintains buildings
  • arranges workshops
  • invests in the estates development
  • collaborates with other international organisations
  • is given funding for specific projects from councils, government departments, private companies and other universities

These activities all have their own income and expenditure.

Every department and cost centre within the University has to record these activities against a project code. Each project code has a budget and, depending on the source of funding, it may have several aspects to the award, fund or grant within the project. This then filters down to become work order(s).


Raising a new project code or work order

Guidance about raising project codes: 

After reviewing the Project Code Type Guide you will need to contact your department’s Finance Business Partner if you want a new project or work order.

Top tips when requesting new projects and work orders

  • Complete the form in full
  • Project managers must be Agresso users
  • Start dates and end dates affect the posting of transactions - work orders are only active between start and end dates

How to correct spend or income that is wrongly coded

Journals are used to correct coding errors and input accruals and prepayments. Journals can be entered manually or from a spreadsheet (templates below). Please contact your departmental business partner to post correcting Journals. 

Journal input - this is normally done by departmental business partners who should complete the BIF training course and who should use these templates:

Accruals and Prepayments

 The University follows the normal UK accounting conventions for accruals and prepayments:

  • Prepayments - Purchase Invoices are recorded on Agresso now, but goods/services are to be supplied at a later date
  • Accruals - Purchase Invoices to be recorded on Agresso in the future but goods/services are supplied now. Accruals are only done where the goods or services have been delivered, ie they are not done if you have only raised a purchase order and have not received the goods/service.

Contact us

Group Financial Accounts
Group Financial Accounts, Heslington Hall