Princeton Financial Glossary - C


The set of reporting tools used in the Information Warehouse to define and generate queries and standard reporting.

CRV (Cash Receipt Vouchers)

All cash deposits are entered into the General Ledger by a cash receipt voucher. The number of the voucher is a unique identifier for the underlying documentation.

Candidate for a degree

An undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at a college or university who is pursuing studies or conducting research to meet the requirement for an academic or professional degree or a full-time or part-time student (not enrolled in a degree program) attending an educational organization described below, as long as the education organization: offers a program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's or higher degree; is authorized by state or federal law to provide such a program; and is accredited by a nationally recognized accreditation agency.

Capital Equipment

An article of nonexpendable, tangible property having a useful life of more than one year, and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit.

Capital cost

The net invoice price of the equipment plus expenditures necessary to place it into operation, including taxes, duty, transit insurance, freight, and installation.


To record an expenditure as the cost of an asset, where the expenditure (such as refurbishing a machine to extend its useful life) yields benefits over a period longer than one year.


The individual who is authorized by the Department Head or Chair as a purchasing agent for the department, and ultimately for the University.

Cash Equivalence

The market value of a non-cash asset if it were sold for cash.

Cash Receipt Voucher

See CRV.

Certificate of Insurance

A document issued by an insurance broker or agent providing details regarding insurance maintained by the insured. The document is provided to a third party to satisfy certain contractual requirements.

Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust is a trust funded by a donor that makes annual payments to the University for a specified number of years. The annual payments may be a specified percentage of trust assets (Charitable Lead Unitrust) or a fixed-dollar amount (Charitable Lead Annuity Trust). Upon termination of the trust, the remainder is paid to beneficiaries selected by the donor.

Charitable Remainder Trust

A charitable remainder trust is a trust funded by a donor that makes annual payments to the donor (and/or to beneficiaries selected by the donor) until a specified event, usually the donor's death. At that time the trust terminates. Upon termination, the trust principal is paid to the University and used in accordance with the expressed wishes, if any, of the donor. The annual payments may be a specified percentage of trust assets (Charitable Remainder Unitrust) or a fixed-dollar amount (Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust).

Chart of Accounts

The chart of accounts is the coding structure that defines an organization’s operations in financial terms, and serves as the building block of the general ledger and financial reporting.


A distinct category of financial information that is used to classify accounting data in Prime Financials.  Princeton University uses seven distinct ChartFields; Department, Fund, Account, Program, Site, Project and Activity.


A combination of ChartFields that allows for finer levels or reporting detail.

Check Run

A process that is run twice a week to generate payments relating to unpaid accounts payable vouchers.

Child Support Withholding

The process of withholding amounts from an employees compensation to satisfy a child support order from a court or state child welfare administrative agency. The employer is responsible for withholding the amounts and paying them over to the party named in the withholding order.

Circular A-21

This circular, produced by the Office of Management Budget, OMB, sets forth the rules governing the eligibility and calculation of costs in support of federally sponsored research.

Circular A-110

This circular, prepared by Office Management Budget, OMB, sets forth standards for consistency and uniformity among federal agencies in the administration of grants to and agreements with institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations.

Circular A-133

This circular, prepared by Office of Management Budget, OMB, sets forth standards for consistency and uniformity among federal agencies for the audit of states, local governments, and non-profit organizations expending federal awards.


The transfer from an active to an inactive status of a sponsored project by taking the necessary administrative action, after delivery and/or performance have been completed, to assure that all contractual obligations have been met, no pending items remain unresolved, and final payment can be authorized.


A codicil is an amendment to a will.


Library books, works of art, historical treasures, or similar assets that meet all of the following criteria:

(a) They are held for public exhibition, education, or research in furtherance of public service rather than
       financial gain,

(b) They are protected, kept unencumbered, cared for, and preserved, and

(c) They are individually inventoried and tracked by the owning Princeton department.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

Optional insurance coverage offered at the time of an automobile rental.

Commitment Control

The process by which PeopleSoft verifies that all submitted accounting transactions pass budgetary controls. Formerly called Budget Commitment Module, BCM.


All cash and non-cash remuneration given to an employee for services performed for the employer.


All information technology equipment, including high-end mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers (microcomputers used by a single user such as desktops, laptops, PDAs, iPads, or other communication devices), and mobile communication devices regardless of the dollar value. Computers include the hardware and software components needed for operation.

Contract (General)

A legally binding exchange of promises or an agreement between parties that is enforceable by law.

Contract (Purchasing)

A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between the University and a specific supplier that the law will enforce, typically establishing fixed pricing or discounts for the University.

Contract Supplier

A contract supplier is one with which purchasing has negotiated special pricing and terms, and which has agreed to comply with all of Princeton's conditions of doing business on campus.

Cost Transfer

A cost transfer occurs when a cost is moved to a different project grant from the one to which it was initially charged. For the purposes of this policy, a cost transfer is defined as the reassignment of an expense to a federally-funded sponsored project after the expense was initially charged to another sponsored project or nonsponsored project.

Cost Transfer Justification Form

The form used to document and request approval for a cost transfer to a federally-funded sponsored project that is initiated more than 90 days after the month in which the cost was originally incurred. All four questions must be completed relating to: the nature of the error; why the charge is allowable; the reason for the delay; and why an effort certification was signed, if applicable.

Covered Account

A consumer account that involves multiple payments or transactions, such as a loan that is billed or payable monthly. Covered accounts include arrangements in which an individual establishes a continuing relationship with the University as a creditor.


An accounting entry that increases liabilities and revenues and decreases assets and expenses. It appears as a negative number on a journal voucher or other entry in PeopleSoft financials.


Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects, and hazardous items in and out of a country.

Cy Pres

Cy pres is the legal doctrine that allows a court to modify a donor-imposed gift restriction if carrying out the terms of the gift would be "impossible, impracticable, or illegal". Certain University gift instruments include a standard clause (dubbed a "cy pres clause") that allows the University to change the gift restriction, without going to court, to a use that closely approximates the original use where the original purpose cannot be carried out as described. Any change in use under such a clause must be approved by the Office of the Provost and reviewed by the Office of General Counsel.


Tel (609) 258-3080
Fax (609) 258-0442

Princeton University
Office of Finance & Treasury
701 Carnegie Center
Princeton, NJ 08540

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7 New South
Tel (609) 258-3080
Fax (609) 258-5040
Open Monday through Friday,
8:45 am — 5:00 pm


Customer service, cashiering,
check pick-up, financial system access


The General Ledger is your link to updates on people, policies, and other information related to financial transactions at the University.

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