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ctcLink Accounting Manual | 10.10 College Administrative Systems

10.10 College Administrative Systems

The college core administrative systems are maintained by SBCTC. In 2022 the community and technical colleges in the State of Washington 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. The colleges also use several auxiliary systems for functions ctcLink does not handle or does not handle well.

The remainder of this section describes the major functional areas of each administrative system.

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ctcLink is intended to provide flexibility in financial reporting, allowing colleges to meet OFM reporting requirements, College system reporting, IPEDS reporting requirements and financial statement reporting standards. The core financial systems were developed to provide the system with a modern integrated platform to comply with:

  • 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.
  • Community and Technical Colleges policies and reporting requirements
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). 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.
  • Financial Statement Reporting. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is 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..."

The ctcLink system is built on a PeopleSoft platform and consists of three pillars: Finance (FIN), Human Capital Management (HCM) and Campus Solutions (CS). Each pillar has a number of modules. SBCTC has also developed dataLink which is used for system and college reporting.

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.

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.

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: 8/23/23, 12:11 PM

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