Multifamily Housing Program Financial Management Toolkit

4c. Basic Elements of Accounting Records

What Should Grantees Have in Place to Meet Regulatory Requirements?

To meet these regulatory requirements, a grantee/sub-recipient organization’s accounting system should include at least the following elements:

  • Chart of accounts: A list of account names and the numbers assigned to them
  • Cash receipts journal: A chronological listing of when funds were received, in what amounts, and from what sources
  • Cash disbursements journal: A chronological listing of how much was paid, when, and to whom payment was made
  • Payroll journal: A chronological listing of payroll amounts, benefits and payroll taxes
  • General journal: A record of all non-cash transactions
  • General ledger: A comprehensive depiction, with details by account, of the activities recorded in each account of an organization. Entries transferred to the general ledger are cross-referenced to the applicable subsidiary journal or supporting documentation to permit the tracing of any financial transaction, thereby creating what is called an ‘audit trail.’