Create an Internal Sales Journal

An Internal Sales Journal (ISJ) is a type of Actuals Journal. It is one of the solutions available to Northwestern University staff to record the sale of goods or services from one NU unit to another NU unit. Internal sales with the University are sometimes called RDX sales or recharges. Departments and units with a low volume of internal sales may use the actuals portal to create the sales transaction. Units with a high volume of internal sales may contact Accounting Services to explore the option of journal spreadsheet uploads.


Navigate to the NU Actuals Journals

Select the Internal Sales Journal from the list of journals

Consider this scenario. While making copies for a presentation, the Anthropology department copier breaks. The History department volunteers the use of their copier to finish the job. To cover the expense of the copies, the History department creates an internal sales journal to charge the Anthropology department for the expense and create internal revenue for the History department.

You may click Create Journal instead of Create Journal Via Wizard if you would like to limit data entry to one page.

Graphic: the Actuals Journal Creation section of the NUPortal with the internal sales journal selected

  1. Select Internal Sales Journal.
  2. Click Create Journal via Wizard.

Result: the journal appears in a new window (below).

Step 1: Check the journal date

The purpose of Step 1 is to select the Journal Date.

The Journal Date determines the accounting period in which the journal will post. The default is todays date and the current period. You may back-date the journal only if the prior period is still open. This may be the case during the first few days of each month. For example, in early September, you may change the Journal Date to August 30th. Do so only if the journal truly belongs in the prior months financial activity. You may future-date the journal to fall within an accounting period that is not yet open and extend the time to gather approvals. If you do, the journal will not post until the period opens.

You may click Close to exit the journal without saving your work.

Graphic: page one of the internal sales journal, wizard view

  1. Enter the Journal Date.
  2. Click Next

Step 2: Specify the purpose and reason

The purpose of Step 2 is to confirm the Journal Purpose and enter the reason.

Click Previous to navigate to the prior page.

Graphic: the journal purpose and reason sections of the internal sales journal

  1. Confirm the Journal Purpose is New Sale or Service Provided.
  2. Click Next.
Journal Rules

At the top of Step 3 are Journal Rules that provide guidance for completing the journal.

  1. Be aware that the 90-day rule applies to internal sales. An ISJ more than 90 days after the sale date requires justification.
  2. Only accounts in the 5 and 7 series are allowed on the journal.
  3. If you are correcting a prior internal sale, refer to Correcting an Internal Sale for help on that topic.
  4. Workflows include approval levels for projects and departments, as applicable, and a final level for Accounting Services. ISJs containing grant chart strings are also routed to ASRSP.
  5. Debits and credits on the journal must balance.
    • Finally, rules 6 and 7 make it possible for non-accountants to use the journal successfully.
  6. Use Rule 6 to increase accounts.
  7. Use Rule 7 to decrease accounts.
    • Expenses refer to accounts in the 7 series.
    • Revenue refers to accounts in the 5 series.
Graphic: journal rules explained on the internal sales journal

Step 3: Specify the date of the sale or service

The purpose of Step 3 is to complete the journal. First, you must specify the date of the sale or service, or date range.

You may bill a sale or service on the day that it occurs or after. Charges that occur more than 90 days after the date of sale or service may require a justification. For sales or services that occur over a period of time, the best practice is to charge monthly. Enter the date range in the Period fields. If you do not know the exact date of the sale, you may select the accounting period in which the sale occurred.

Graphic: the Date or Period of Sale or Service section of the internal sales journal

  1. Enter the Date or Period of the sale or service.

Step 4: Enter the seller's information

It is a best practice to identify the seller in Line 1 of the journal.

Graphic: line 1 of the internal sales journal

  1. Enter the seller's base chart string.
  2. Enter an internal revenue account code in the 5 series.
  3. Enter the increase in revenue with a negative sign (credit).
    •   Note: You are following Rule 6 To increase revenue, enter a negative amount (credit).

Step 5: Enter the buyer's information

Identify the buyers in subsequent lines of the journal.

Graphic: line 2 of the internal sales journal

  1. Click Insert Line. Result: Line 2 appears.
  2. Enter the buyer's base chart string.
  3. Enter an internal revenue account code in the 7 series.
  4. Enter the decrease in expenses with a positive sign (debit).
    • Note: You are following Rule 6 To increase expenses, enter a positive amount (debit).

Step 6: Attach supporting documents

You may attach scanned electronic documents, if required from Approvers, for the transaction. For example, you may attach a bill, if it is part of normal business procedures.

Graphic: the file attachment feature of the internal sales journal
  1. Click Attach. Result: The File Attachment dialog appears.
  2. Click Browse. Result: A browser appears that enables you to locate the scanned file on your computer.
  3. Browse to and select the scanned file.
  4. Click Open > Upload. Result: The document is attached and the file name appears (as shown above).
  5. You may click View to see the document in a new window and verify.

Step 7: Validate the journal

After entering the date and Journal Lines and attaching documents, initiate the validation.

Graphic: the internal sale journal with matching debits and credits

  1. Click Next. Result: NUFinancials performs two validations and displays the results (next page).
    • A 10-digit Journal ID appears after the journal is saved.
    • NUFinancials confirms that the chart string has a budget. If so, Budget Status is valid. If not, Budget Status is Error.
    • NUFinancials evaluates the journal and the chart string itself. If the journal is valid and the chart string properly formed, Journals Status is Valid. If not, Journal Status is Error.
    • Refer to Troubleshooting for Actuals Journals for help with Error statuses.

Step 8: Submit the journal to workflow

The purpose of Step 8 is to submit the journal to workflow for approvers to see and act upon.

Graphic: the journal after validation with the Submit to Workflow button shown

  1. Click Submit to Workflow. Result: A confirmation message appears (next page).


Graphic: Internal Sales Journal Confirmation page

  1. Click Close to dismiss the new window that opened when you started the journal. OR
  2. Click Search Page to lookup the journal with your NetID.


Start on the NUPortal by selecting the journal type Internal Sales Journal.

What happens next?

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