As of September 1, all MIT financial transactions (except at Lincoln Laboratory) must use the new seven-digit cost objects and six-digit general ledger accounts (also called cost elements). These replace the old five-digit account numbers and three-digit object codes.
Computer-based financial systems that interact directly with SAP have already been converted to the seven- and six-digit format. However, the new numbering system also must be used on financial transactions such as the following: any paper requisitions (to partners, internal providers or Procurement); yellow requests for payment; travel reservations; travel advance requests and trip reports; invoice approvals, requests for personnel; and transactions at the Cashier's Office.
As of September 1, transactions not using the seven- and six-digit format will be returned to the originator for correction. Internal providers also should be aware that the old format transactions will no longer be converted by SAP and will be rejected. Anyone with questions should contact his or her department's administrative officer or financial officer.
Members of the community can continue to use the existing inventory of paper forms that refer to the old terms of "account number" and "object code" as long as they put a seven-digit cost object number in the account number field and a six-digit general ledger account number in the object code field. Web-based versions of the forms are already set up for the seven- and six-digit numbers.
During the transition to SAP, it was necessary to maintain a one-to-one mapping to MIT's old financial architecture. This permitted easy conversion between new and old formats. However, on September 1, this one-to-one mapping will be broken so that the full range of seven-digit numbers can be used. Backward compatibility to legacy account numbers will no longer be available.
A version of this article appeared in the September 11, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 44, Number 2).