Reconciliation and Attestation Definitions

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Account Balance

An account balance on the Statement of Financial Position represents the balance of an asset, liability or net asset at a point in time (Assets – Liabilities = Net Assets).

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Account Balance Attestation

Account balance attestations are forms that are signed by Attestation Owners, University finance officials and staff that have been designated by the University Controller's Office, to verify that all conditions on the Balance Sheet Reconciliation Review Attestation form have been met for account balances under their authority. See Overview: Account Balance Attestations at Stanford for more information.

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Account Balance Reconciliation

A balance sheet account reconciliation is the comparison of one or more asset or liability balances on the Statement of Financial Position (aka balance sheet) to another source of financial data, such as a bank statement, a sub-ledger or another system. See Overview: Balance Sheet Account Reconciliations at Stanford for more information.

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Assets

An asset is a resource controlled by an organization as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the organization. In other words, an asset is something with substantial future economic value that the University owns.

The University's assets on the Statement of Financial Position include:

Assets are designated with a 1XXXX series object code in the University's Chart of Accounts.

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Attestation Owner

University finance officials and staff that have been designated by the University Controller's Office as responsible for reviewing reconciliations and attesting to account balances.

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BlackLine

BlackLine is a cloud-based tool for account reconciliations and transaction matching.

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Chart of Accounts

The structure of account names and numbers used at Stanford to classify and record financial transactions. See Account Structure: Chart of Accounts.

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General Ledger

The final repository of all financial transactions and balances (i.e., assets, liabilities, fund balances, revenue, and expenses). The general ledger is used to create the financial statements. Oracle is the system that houses the general ledger.

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Liabilities

A liability is a present obligation of an organization arising from past events, the settlement of which is expected to result in an outflow from the organization of resources embodying economic benefits. In other words, a liability is something that the University owes in the future.

The University's liabilities on the Statement of Financial Position include:

Liabilities are designated with a 2XXXX series object code in the University's Chart of Accounts.

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Net Assets

Net assets are the residual assets after deducting liabilities. In other words, net assets equal assets less liabilities.

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Object Code

The object code is the segment of an account number in the Chart of Accounts that determines the financial statement line on Stanford's Statement of Financial Position. See Object Code Listing Active Only.

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Reconciling Item

The difference between asset and liability balances recorded in the general ledger and other sources of financial data are reconciling items. Reconciling items may be caused by timing differences, general ledger errors (e.g., sub-ledgers errors) or errors in the other sources of financial data (e.g., bank errors).

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Statement of Financial Position

The University's Statement of Financial Position, also known as a Balance Sheet, is a financial statement that reports the balance of the University's assets, liabilities and net assets at a point in time (Assets – Liabilities = Net Assets).

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