Princeton Financial Glossary - S


The Development Office system used to record gifts received, maintain donor files, and track scheduled pledge payments or stewardship needs.

Salary Budget

The total salaries of approved FTE's as reported in the frozen file. The frozen file is the backup for salary budgets maintained by the budget office.

Salary Certification Form

Forms completed by the principal investigators certifying the accuracy of salary costs charged to their sponsored research project accounts.

Sales Tax Exemptions

Princeton University has been granted an exempt status for state sales Tax by 27 states.


The process of converting paper documents into an electronic form, to be stored, shared, and retrieved at a later date. The primary purpose while complying with industry and government regulations is to improve on operational efficiencies.


A scholarship generally refers to an amount paid to, or on behalf of, an undergraduate student in pursuit of studies. It includes tuition as well as attendant expenses. It does not include payments made in exchange for services, such as compensation received from a campus job. A scholarship can be either "qualified" or "non-qualified" for tax purposes.

Science Fund

A central fund, controlled by the Provost's Office that supports research costs of faculty members and academic departments not only in the sciences but also in the humanities, social sciences, and engineering. Typical expenses include startup packages and required cost-sharing on grant proposals. Depending on the category of need, Science Fund monies are administered by the Provost, the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of the School of Engineering, or the Director of ORPA.

Secondary Pool

The secondary pool (082 prefix) is that portion of the University's short-term investment portfolio that is invested in a way comparable to a money market fund. Secondary pool income is simply the fund’s monthly balance multiplied by the interest rate in effect for that month.


The performance of duties or work.

Ship-to Location

A purchasing term used to describe the physical location of a department for the delivery of goods or services they have purchased.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)

An Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) with special participation requirements that is available to certain small employers.

Single or Selected Source

A purchase where there are multiple sources of supply, and a capability to solicit competitive bidding.


ChartField that tracks buildings and properties that have a need to capture income and expenses (i.e. property or building where the revenue is generated and costs incurred and/or being performed).

Small Business Concern

A small business that is independently owned and operated, and is not dominant in its field of operation.

Social Security

The Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) component of FICA.

Social Security Administration (SSA)

The federal government agency that administers Social Security. It is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Social Security Number (SSN)

A tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service to those people who are allowed to work in the United States. Consists of nine digits (xxx-xx-xxxx).

Sole Source

A purchase where only one supplier is capable of providing a product or service.

Sole Source Justification

A sole source purchase is one where there is only one vendor capable of providing an item or service, and therefore it is not possible to obtain competitive bids. A single source purchase is one where there are multiple sources of supply, but for specific reasons the item or service is being requested from one specified vendor. Those items considered sole/single source or proprietary must be properly justified by the requisitioner on a Sole Source Justification Form.

Spendable Funds

Spendable funds is a term generally used to refer to unspent investment income that a department has accumulated and chooses to reinvest in the primary or secondary pool. Spendable funds also refers to other unspent income, including gift income.

Spendable Income

Spendable income is the amount of investment income generated by primary and secondary pool funds and external trusts that is distributed for spending in a given fiscal year. Spendable income for a givenfiscal year is based on balances (primary and secondary pool) and receipts (external trusts) in the preceding investment year, which runs from June 1 through May 31. For example, a gift invested in June 2006 (investment year 2007) will earn income for 12 months, to be posted as spendable income in July 2007 (fiscal year 2008).

Spending Authority

On University financial reports, spending authority shows activity in all income account codes (1XX). For fund 10 project grants, spending authority usually only contains budget appropriations (105-109 codes). For funds other than fund 10, "spending authority" includes not only current-year income and transfers, but also the accumulated, prior-year balance on account code 101. Sources of income included in "spending authority" may include the following major income categories: non-invested gifts (13X); sponsored program income to fund 40/60 PGs (14X); miscellaneous other non-gift income (150-189); and investment income (198 and 199).

Spending Distribution

The spending distribution represents the dollar amount of funds made available for expenditure from each unit of the endowment for a given fiscal year, as governed by the spending rule.

Spending Rate

The spending rate is a statistical measure calculated by dividing the total fiscal year spending distribution per unit by the market value per unit in effect at the beginning of that fiscal year. The Trustees have set a policy band that allows the spending rate to range from 4% and 5.75%. The spending rate calculation does not apply to secondary pool (082) or external trust (056) accounts.

Spending Rule

The spending rule is the policy set by the Trustees to govern the amount of primary pool spending distribution available for a given fiscal year. The standard spending rule directs the spending distribution per unit to increase by 5% per year. The spending rule may be modified by the Board of Trustees for a given year if, for example, the standard rule results in a spending rate that falls outside of the recommended spending rate band.

Sponsored Project

All project grants belonging to funds 40 and 60. In general, sponsored projects are funded externally by foundations, industry, government agencies and occasionally by miscellaneous income. Sponsored project have limitations imposed by their originators with respect to their spending amounts, expenditure types, and timeframe of expenditures.

Sponsored Project Report (SPR)

Displays inception to date (ITD) summary information for a specified sponsored project by budget category through a specified fiscal year and accounting period.

Sponsored Research Accounting (SRA)

A section of the Office of Finance and Treasury that assists, guides and supports principal investigators and departmental administrators in the financial administration of their Princeton University sponsored research projects.

State Income Tax (SIT)

State taxes paid by employees of the University to the state in which they work unless there is a reciprocal agreement between New Jersey and the state in which they reside.

State Unemployment Insurance (SUI)

A quarterly tax paid to a state unemployment agency.

Statutory Employees

Special groups of employees identified by law (i.e., full-time life insurance salespeople, certain home workers) whose wages are not subject to FIT, but are subject to FICA and FUTA.

Straight Time

The standard number of work hours during a workweek for which an employee's regular rate of pay will be paid.

Student Voucher

A form used to reimburse students for costs they personally incurred for their theses or study grants, or for other non-travel related business expenses incurred on behalf of the University.

Substantial Presence Test (SPT)

A calculation that determines the residency status of a foreign individual for tax purposes in the United States. The SPT test must be applied on a yearly basis.


Documentation to support an incurred business expense that includes the original receipt, documentation of business purpose, names of persons in attendance, and appropriate expense report for the incurred cost.

Supplemental Wages

Bonus or supplemental wages are compensation paid to an employee in addition to regular wages. They may include bonuses, commissions, overtime pay, accumulated sick leave, severance pay, awards and prizes, back pay, retroactive wage increases, and payments for nondeductible moving expenses.


An external party that maintains an ongoing relationship with the customer to provide relatively common or standard goods, or services.

Surplus Equipment

Equipment that has passed its useful life and is no longer in service.

Survey Participants

Individuals who participate in a research study and who may be reimbursed for their participation.

Swift Code

A network identification used for international banking transactions.


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