1. Attribute is a term applied to a descriptive non-dollar characteristic for an account and is maintained as an
integral part of the system's database. The primary function of attributes is to support a wide variety of
reporting techniques by removing the need to define descriptive elements in the account number. Attributes,
once entered, are stored along with the dollar data in the account master file.
Attributes are applied to both subsidiary and general ledger accounts. Although accounts in the subsidiary and general ledgers may be related in an accounting sense, they may not necessarily have the same attributes or the same values, for an attribute may not be common to both ledgers. An account will only have those attributes which are pertinent to it and necessary to summarize its data for reporting.
Attributes are not used on any input transactions for data manipulation or posting purposes. They are used, without exception, to prepare all reports from the system. This is a very significant point. Reports may be changed or new reports added, attributes may be changed or new attributes added, but input processing is unaffected.
There are three basic types of attributes used by the system:
• System processing indicators
• Report selection criteria
• Report "header" information
2. Some of the attributes are used by the system to determine how the account and the dollar records are to be processed. Some examples follow:
• Indicators of an account's fund type (i.e. State Fund vs. Contracts and Grants)
• Directives on how to process the account from one fiscal year to the next (i.e. fiscal year vs. contract (project to date) accounts)
• The general ledger account that a subsidiary ledger account will update when transactions are posted to it.
3. The following are the principal attributes for the account. They represent various classification schemes
or indicators that may be used to pull accounts together for reporting needs.
• The account number
• The department number of the account
• The funding agency for sponsored projects
• Budget code and purpose code for University and State reporting requirements
• The school or division the account reports to
• Memo bank
4. This information is usually printed on reports for "people" identification; or is important, but not used to accumulate dollars for a report. Examples of this follow:
• Account title (2 titles are available - 20 character short title and 60 character long title)
• Name of person or position responsible for account and the report mailing address
• Dates that certain reports concerning a sponsored project are due
• Report distribution number which determines where the reports are sent
A point to remember is that all attributes are available as report selection criteria - not just those so classified above. The FRS Data Element Dictionary lists the attributes used by the system and gives a definition of what they are.