Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2009 Edition
NCES 2009-325
June 2009

Chapter 6: Account Classification Descriptions — Balance Sheets/Statement of Net Assets

Balance sheet accounts and statement of net asset accounts are used to track financial transactions for each fund. Such financial statements report assets, liabilities, and equity accounts only and are considered "snapshots" of how these accounts stand as of a certain point in time. Each classification is presented by a code number followed by a description.

Assets

101Cash in Bank. All funds on deposit with a bank or savings and loan institution, normally in non-interest bearing accounts. Interest-bearing accounts, however, that do not meet the definition of an investment (e.g., demand deposits that are interest-bearing) should be recorded herein as well.
102Cash on Hand. Currency, coins, checks, postal, and express money orders, and bankers' drafts on hand.
103Petty Cash. A sum of money set aside to pay small obligations for which the issuance of a formal voucher and check would be too expensive and time consuming.
104Change Cash. A sum of money set aside to provide change.
105Cash With Fiscal Agents. Deposits with fiscal agents, such as commercial banks, for paying matured bonds and interest.
111Investments. Securities and real estate held for producing income in the form of interest, dividends, rentals, or lease payments. Investments should be presented at fair value as of the reporting date. Gains from changes in the fair value of investments are recorded using revenue account 1530. Losses from changes in the fair value of investments are recorded using expenditure object code 930. Alternatively, gains and losses may be netted and recorded in revenue account 1530 . The account does not include capital assets used in school district operations. Separate accounts for each category of investments may be maintained.
112Unamortized Premiums on Investments. The excess of the amount paid for securities over the face value that has not yet been amortized. Use of this account is restricted to short-term money market investments.
113Unamortized Discounts on Investments (Credit). The excess of the face value of securities over the amount paid for them that has not yet been written off. Use of this account is restricted to short-term investments.
114Interest Receivable on Investments. The amount of interest receivable on investments, excluding interest purchased. Interest purchased should be shown in a separate account.
115Accrued Interest on Investments Purchased. Interest accrued on investments between the last interest payment date and the date of purchase. The account is carried as an asset until the first interest payment date after the date of purchase.
121Taxes Receivable. The uncollected portion of taxes that a school district or government unit has levied and that has become due, including any interest or penalties that may be accrued. Separate accounts may be maintained on the basis of tax roll year, current and delinquent taxes, or both.
122Allowance for Uncollectible Taxes (Credit). The portion of taxes receivable estimated not to be collected. The account is shown on the balance sheet as a deduction from the taxes receivable account to arrive at the net taxes receivable. Separate accounts may be maintained on the basis of tax roll year, delinquent taxes, or both.
131Interfund Loans Receivable. An asset account used to record a loan by one fund to another fund in the same governmental unit. It is recommended that separate accounts be maintained for each interfund receivable loan.
132Interfund Accounts Receivable. An asset account used to indicate amounts owed to a particular fund by another fund in the same school district for goods sold or services rendered. It is recommended that separate accounts be maintained for each interfund receivable.
141Intergovernmental Accounts Receivable. Amounts due to the reporting governmental unit from another governmental unit. These amounts may represent grants-in-aid, shared taxes, taxes collected for the reporting unit by another unit, loans, and charges for services rendered by the reporting unit for another government. It is recommended that separate accounts be maintained for each interagency receivable.
151Loans Receivable. Amounts that have been loaned to persons or organizations, including notes taken as security for such loans, where permitted by statutory authority.
152Allowance for Uncollectible Loans (Credit). The portion of loans receivable estimated not to be collected. The account is shown on the balance sheet as a deduction from the other loans receivable account.
153Other Accounts Receivable. Amounts due on open account from private persons, firms, or corporations for goods and services furnished by a school district (but not including amounts due from other funds or from other governmental units).
154Allowance for Uncollectible Accounts Receivable (Credit). A provision for that portion of accounts receivable that is estimated will not be collected. The account is shown on the balance sheet as a deduction from the other accounts receivable account.
171Inventories for Consumption. The cost of supplies and equipment on hand not yet distributed to requisitioning units.
172Inventories for Resale. The value of goods held by a school district for resale rather than for use in its own operations.
181Prepaid Items. Expenditures/expenses paid for benefits not yet received. Prepaid expenses differ from deferred charges in that they are spread over a shorter period of time than deferred charges and are regularly recurring costs of operation. Examples of prepaid expenses are prepaid rent, prepaid interest, and unexpired insurance premiums.
191Deposits. Funds deposited by the school district as a prerequisite to receiving services, goods, or both.
192Deferred Expenditures/Expenses. Certain disbursements that are made in one period but are more accurately reflected as an expenditure/expense in the next fiscal period.
193Capitalized Bond and Other Debt Issuance Costs. Represents certain bond and other debt issuance costs, including lease-purchase debt issuance costs, that are capitalized for the purpose of accounting for the cost/valuation basis of capital assets. This account is used only in proprietary funds, fiduciary funds, and in the business-type activities of the government-wide financial statements.
194Premium and Discount on Issuance of Bonds. Represents amounts to be amortized as debt premium/discount in connection with the issuance of bonds.
199Other Current Assets. Current assets not provided for elsewhere.
200Capital Assets. Those assets that the school district intends to hold or continue to use over a long period of time. Specifically, capital assets include land, improvements to land, easements, buildings and building improvements, vehicles, machinery, equipment, works of art and historical treasures, infrastructure, and all other tangible or intangible assets that are used in operations and that have initial useful lives that extend beyond a single reporting period. This account is used only in proprietary funds, fiduciary funds, and in the government-wide financial statements.
211Land and Land Improvements. A capital asset account that reflects the acquisition value of land owned by a school district. If land is purchased, this account includes the purchase price and costs such as legal fees, filling and excavation costs, and other associated improvement costs incurred to put the land in condition for its intended use. If land is acquired by gift, the account reflects its fair value at the time of acquisition. Further, permanent improvements to land, such as grading and fill, should be accounted for in this account.



Land and land improvements are considered nonexhaustible assets owing to their significantly long expected useful life. Nonexhaustible assets are not to be depreciated. Therefore, assets classified by asset code 211 should result in no depreciation expense.
221Site Improvements. A capital asset account that reflects the value of nonpermanent improvements to building sites, other than buildings, that add value to land. Examples of such improvements are fences, retaining walls, sidewalks, pavements, gutters, tunnels, and bridges. If the improvements are purchased or constructed, this account contains the purchase or contract price. If improvements are obtained by gift, it reflects the fair value at the time of acquisition.



Site improvements are improvements that have a limited useful life. Because these improvements decrease in their value/usefulness over time, it is appropriate to depreciate these assets. Therefore, all capitalized site improvements should be depreciated over their expected useful life.
222Accumulated Depreciation on Site Improvements. Accumulated amounts for the depreciation of land improvements.
231Buildings and Building Improvements. A capital asset account that reflects the acquisition value of permanent structures used to house persons and property owned by the school district. If buildings are purchased or constructed, this account includes the purchase or contract price of all permanent buildings and the fixtures attached to and forming a permanent part of such buildings. This account includes all building improvements, including upgrades made to building wiring for technology. If buildings are acquired by gift, the account reflects their fair value at the time of acquisition.
232Accumulated Depreciation on Buildings and Building Improvements. Accumulated amounts for the depreciation of buildings and building improvements.
241Machinery and Equipment. Tangible property of a more or less permanent nature, other than land, buildings, or improvements thereto, that is useful in carrying on operations. Examples are machinery, tools, trucks, cars, buses, computers, purchased software, furniture, and furnishings. Appendix E provides criteria to distinguish whether a purchase is a supply or a piece of machinery or equipment.
242Accumulated Depreciation on Machinery and Equipment. Accumulated amounts for the depreciation of machinery and equipment.
251Works of Art and Historical Treasures. Individual items or collections of items that are of artistic or cultural importance.
252Accumulated Depreciation on Works of Art and Historical Collections. Accumulated amounts for the depreciation (as applicable) of works of art and historical treasures.
261Infrastructure. A capital asset, network, or subsystem that has a useful life that is significantly longer than those of other capital assets. These assets may include water/sewer systems, roads, bridges, tunnels, and other similar assets.
262Accumulated Depreciation on Infrastructure. Accumulated amounts for the depreciation of infrastructure assets.
271Construction in Progress. The cost of construction work undertaken but not yet completed.

Top

Liabilities

401Interfund Loans Payable. A liability account used to record a debt owed by one fund to another fund in the same governmental unit. It is recommended that separate accounts be maintained for each interfund loan.
402Interfund Accounts Payable. A liability account used to indicate amounts owed by a particular fund for services rendered. It is recommended that separate accounts be maintained for each interfund payable.
411Intergovernmental Accounts Payable. Amounts owed by the reporting school district to another governmental unit. It is recommended that separate accounts be maintained for each intergovernmental payable.
421Accounts Payable. Liabilities on open account owing to private persons, firms, or corporations for goods and services received by a school district (but not including amounts due to other funds of the same school district or to other governmental units).
422Judgments Payable. Amounts due to be paid by a school district as the result of court decisions, including condemnation awards paid for private property taken for public use.
423Warrants Payable. Amounts due to designated payees in the form of a written order drawn by the school district directing the school district treasurer to pay a specific amount.
431Contracts Payable. Amounts due on contracts for assets, goods, and services received by a school district.
432Construction Contracts Payable—Retainage. Liabilities on account of construction contracts for that portion of the work that has been completed but on which part the liability has not been paid pending final inspection, the lapse of a specified time period, or both. The unpaid amount is usually a stated percentage of the contract price.
433Construction Contracts Payable. Amounts due by a school district on contracts for constructing buildings and other structures and other improvements.
441Matured Bonds Payable. Bonds that have reached or passed their maturity date but that remain unpaid.
442Bonds Payable—Current. Bonds that have not reached or passed their maturity date but are due within 1 year or less. This account is used only in proprietary or fiduciary funds, as well as in the government-wide financial statements.
443Unamortized Premiums on Issuance of Bonds. An account that represents that portion of the excess of bond proceeds over par value and that remains to be amortized over the remaining life of such bonds. This account is used only in proprietary or fiduciary funds, as well as in the government-wide financial statements.
451Loans Payable. Short-term obligations representing amounts borrowed for short periods of time, usually evidenced by notes payable or warrants payable.
452Lease Obligations—Current. Capital lease obligations that are due within 1 year.
455Interest Payable. Interest due within 1 year.
461Accrued Salaries and Benefits. Salary and fringe benefit costs incurred during the current accounting period that are not payable until a subsequent accounting period.
471Payroll Deductions and Withholdings. Amounts deducted from employees' salaries for withholding taxes and other purposes. District-paid benefits amounts payable also are included. A separate liability account may be used for each type of benefit.
472Compensated Absences—Current. Compensated absences that will be paid within 1 year.
473Accrued Annual Requirement Contribution Liability. A liability arising from payments not made to pension funds. This amount represents any difference between the actuarially determined annual required contribution and actual payments made to the pension fund.
481Deferred Revenues. A liability account that represents revenues collected before they become due, or receivables or revenue collected that do not meet either the availability or earnings criteria.
491Deposits Payable. Liability for deposits received as a prerequisite to providing or receiving services, goods, or both.
499Other Current Liabilities. Other current liabilities not provided for elsewhere.
500Long Term Liabilities. Obligations with a maturity of more than 1 year. These accounts should be used only with proprietary and fiduciary funds, as well as at the entity-wide level of reporting.
511Bonds Payable. Bonds (includes general obligation, asset-backed, or revenue-backed) that have not reached or passed their maturity date and that are not due within 1 year.
512Accreted Interest. An account that represents interest that is accrued on deep discount bonds. This account should be used by school districts that issue capital appreciation bonds. Such bonds are usually issued at a deep discount from the face value, and no interest payment is made until maturity. Under full accrual accounting, the district is required to accrete the interest on the bonds over the life of the bonds. Accretion is the process of systematically increasing the carrying amount of the bond to its estimated value at the maturity date of the bond. To calculate accreted interest, the district should impute the effective interest rate, using the present value, the face value (or the future value), and the period of the bond, and multiply the effective interest rate by the book value of the debt at the end of the period. Accreted interest is usually recorded as an addition to the outstanding debt liability.
513Unamortized Gains/Losses on Debt Refundings. An account that represents the difference between the reacquisition price and the net carrying amount of old debt when a current or advance refunding of debt occurs. This account should be used only when defeasance of debt occurs for proprietary funds. The unamortized loss amount should be deferred and amortized as a component of interest expense in a systematic and rational manner over the remaining life of the old debt or the life of the new debt, whichever is shorter. On the balance sheet, this deferred amount should be reported as a deduction from or an addition to the new debt liability.
521Loans Payable. An unconditional written promise signed by the maker to pay a certain sum of money 1 year or more after the issuance date.
531Capital Lease Obligations. Amounts remaining to be paid on capital lease agreements.
551Compensated Absences. Amounts remaining beyond the period of 1 year to be paid on compensated absences balances.
561Arbitrage Rebate Liability. Liabilities arising from arbitrage rebates to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from bond financing.
590Other Long-Term Liabilities. Other long-term liabilities not provided for elsewhere. This account represents amounts due after more than 1 year from the balance sheet date for advances from other funds and certain miscellaneous liabilities, including workers' compensation, self-funded insurance, special termination benefits, and legal claims and judgments.

Top

Fund Balances/Fund Net Asset

711Reserve for Inventories. A reserve representing that portion of a fund balance segregated to indicate that assets equal to the amount of the reserve are invested in inventories and are, therefore, not available for appropriation. The use of this account is optional unless the purchases method of accounting for inventory is used.
712Reserve for Prepaid Items. A reserve representing that portion of a fund balance segregated to indicate that assets equal to the amount of the reserve are tied up and are, therefore, not available for appropriation. The use of this account is optional.
713Reserve for Encumbrances. A reserve representing that portion of a fund balance segregated to provide for unliquidated encumbrances, including those automatically carried over from prior years by law. Separate accounts may be maintained for current encumbrances and prior-year encumbrances.
714Other Reserved Fund Balance. A reserve representing that portion of a fund balance segregated to indicate that assets equal to the amount of the reserve are obligated and are, therefore, not available for appropriation. This would include funds that have met the availability criteria, as well as any other provider provisions that may be required, but have not yet been expended. It is recommended that a separate reserve be established for each special purpose. Examples of a special purpose is a restricted state or federal program. This account may be used with project/recording codes to differentiate various grants-in-aid.
720Designated Fund Balance. A designation representing that portion of a fund balance segregated to indicate that assets equal to the amount of the designation have been earmarked by the governing board or senior management for a bona fide purpose in the future.
730Unreserved Fund Balance. The excess of the assets of a fund over its liabilities and fund reserves.
740Invested in Capital Assets, Net of Related Debt. This account is used to record the net asset component invested in capital assets, net of related debt, which represents total capital assets less accumulated depreciation less debt directly related to capital assets. This account is to be used in proprietary funds only.
750Restricted Net Assets. This account is used to record the net assets component—restricted net assets—which represents net assets restricted by sources internal or external to the organization. This account is to be used in proprietary funds only.
760Unrestricted Net Assets. This account is used to record the net asset component—unrestricted net assets—which represents net assets not classified in accounts 740 and 750. This account is to be used in proprietary funds only.

Top


Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.