“Banner” is the name of a web-based administrative software application developed specifically for higher education institutions by a company called Sungard. Lafayette has selected it for many uses across campus, including for financial and budgeting functions.

Employees who are new to Banner will start hearing what initially sounds like a foreign language on campus. For example, in Banner financial transactions are accounted for using “FOAPALs” (pronounced like “foe polls”), which are a series of numbers that uniquely and in detail identify to what aspect of the College’s operations a particular transaction is related.

Common Banner Finance Terms:

  • FOAPAL – Acronym for Fund Organization Account Program Activity Location, which together is a unique identifier for a particular financial transaction (note that the Activity and Location codes are not currently utilized at Lafayette)
  • Fund Code – A six-digit number that designates a source of the money. It can be an internal resource of the College (100xxx funds, generally), the College’s endowment (120xxx, generally), or restricted gifts (152xxx, generally)
  • Organization or Org Code – A five-digit number that designates a particular department or program
  • Account Code – A six-digit number that identifies the category of expenditure (e.g., travel, supplies, etc.)
  • Program Code – A two-digit number that distinguishes what aspect of campus operations the amount is related (e.g., academic, nonacademic, student, etc.)