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ctcLink Accounting Manual | 10.10 System Overview

10.10 System Overview

This section describes the major functional areas of each administrative system.

10.10.10 College Financial Administrative Systems

In 2022, the Washington state community and technical college system completed the implementation of PeopleSoft (known as ctcLink within the college system). ctcLink is a set of common administrative systems for the college system to manage their student, fiscal and employee affairs.

ctcLink is built on a PeopleSoft platform and consists of three pillars: Finance (FIN), Human Capital Management (HCM), and Campus Solutions (CS). Each pillar includes a number of modules. 

The college core administrative systems are maintained by SBCTC. SBCTC has also developed dataLink and metaLink which are used for system and college reporting.

The colleges also use auxiliary or third-party systems to complete certain functions ctcLink may not provide or may not perform as needed.

10.10.20 Administrative Systems in General

The core financial systems in ctcLink were developed to provide the college system flexibility in financial reporting and allow colleges to comply with OFM reporting requirements, college system reporting, IPEDS reporting requirements, and financial statement reporting standards in the following areas.

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The accounting and reporting requirements established by Office of Financial Management (OFM), the state agency with authority to establish accounting policies and procedures for Washington state agencies.

Washington state community and technical college systemwide policies and reporting requirements.

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS is a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually by the National Center for Education Statistics, a part of the Institute for Education Sciences within the United States Department of Education. IPEDS consists of twelve interrelated survey components that are collected over three collection periods each year as described in the Data Collection and Dissemination Cycle.

The completion of all IPEDS surveys is mandatory for all institutions that participate in, or are applicants for participation in, any federal financial assistance program authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) accrediting body, beginning with the 2013-14 fiscal year, began requiring all member institutions to obtain "...annual, independent financial audit by professionally qualified personnel in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards..."

Colleges may use ctcLink FIN⎯⎯Asset Management for tracking capital assets or they may choose to use DirectLine (a Megamations product).

DirectLine is used by college facilities staff but can also be used to track capital assets (including small and attractive items⎯⎯as defined by the State Administrative and Accounting Manual (SAAM) and college policy).

Both ctcLink and DirectLine calculate depreciation consistent with GASB and state of Washington guidance. However, all assets, including acquisitions, disposals and depreciation MUST be recorded at the accounting level in ctcLink.

Fiscal information generated by the colleges is summarized and cross walked in accordance with state reporting conventions and sent to OFM on a monthly basis. Based on this information and that from all other state agencies, OFM prepares a comprehensive annual financial report (ACFR) for the state, in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).  Washington state does not present higher education activity discretely in its ACFR, thus the college's activity is separated between governmental and business-type activity, based on the funds used.

The community and technical college system has been granted authority by OFM to establish its own chart of accounts. However, the data must be translated or cross-walked to OFM's Accounting and Financial Reporting System (AFRS).

The ctcLink chart of accounts uses different terminology and structure than AFRS.  SBCTC maintains a translation table and applies the translation in order to report college activity to AFRS. Recording and Classifying Accounting Data

To allow data from the colleges to be easily rolled up into a single entity, the system has determined that much of the chart of accounts coding is established at the system level. There are however, options in ctcLink for colleges to use some fields to further define and classify revenues and expenditures. State Accounting Policy Manual

Accounting policies followed by the community and technical colleges are prescribed by the state through OFM, under authority granted to them in Chapter 43.88 RCW. Those policies and procedures are presented in the State Administrative and Accounting Manual (SAAM)


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Last Modified: 3/12/24, 2:57 PM

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