GL Account: sometimes called a cost category because of its purpose. In accounting, the word “account” is used for these categories, and the accounts are rolled up into the general ledger (GL). At MIT, GL account numbers are always six digits. Those beginning with a 4 are for expenses, while those beginning with an 8 are for revenues and transfers. Some expense categories, including EB, Facilities and Administrative (F&A), and MIT Facilities charges, begin with a 6.

Cost collector: commonly referred to as accounts at MIT.  There are three main types of cost collectors at MIT. Their category names are not intuitive because they were put in place more than 20 years ago when MIT adapted SAP for its accounting. MIT cost collectors always have seven digits. The three types are:

  • Cost Centers these cost collectors are usually funded from MIT’s General Institute Budget and do not incur any F&A (indirect costs) or vacation accrual. They are often used for faculty start-ups. In Physics and MKI, the majority of these cost collectors start with a 15 followed by five digits.
  • Internal Orders these cost collectors are used for gifts, scholarly allowances, MKI KRIF awards, and other discretionary funds. MIT’s Fund Fee and F&A policies on these can be complicated, so feel free to contact Jack or Kara if you have questions. In Physics and MKI, most internal orders start with a 265 followed by four digits. However, older ones sometimes start with 20, 27, or 28.
  • WBS Elements are for research programs. The term (work breakdown structure elements) was borrowed from large projects with multiple tasks; however, even observing grants with only one cost collector are treated as WBS Elements in SAP.

MTDC stands for Modified Total Direct Costs, and is the base on which MIT calculates its F&A (indirect costs). The MTDC base is also used in the monthly calculation of MKI’s Lab Allocation, with the further exclusion of all Employee Benefits from the base. Any GL account showing the tag  -not MTDC in your statement is excluded from the base. Click here for more information about these rate bases.

Reading Summary Statement balances in SAP can be complicated because MIT accounts for various revenue and budget sources in different ways. In the summary statements that you are receiving from MKI, we have used Cognos query calculations to solve that problem. Each cost collector has its own section in the reports, with totals for the unexpended balance, purchase order commitments, and uncommitted balance. As in SAP, the commitments column shows only PO commitment amounts, but not salary or travel commitments.

Research projects with child cost collectors are sectioned in the report so that the total unexpended balance, commitments, and uncommitted balance are summed. The parent cost collector also shows at the top of the section with its own subtotals.