Restricted Accounting

About Us

Restricted Accounting is the department responsible for the following:

  • Establishing new restricted chartstrings to record University transactions
  • Providing direction to campus on allowable expenditures per donor agreements
  • Review and approval of expenditures to be charged to restricted fund chartstrings to ensure gift funds are spent in accordance with donor imposed restriction
  • Provision of financial transaction oversight to ensure compliance with applicable policies and regulations, both internal and external


Gift Restrictions Classifications


  • The donor has made no limitations or restrictions on the use of funds (gift is “for Syracuse University”).
  • Gifts with restrictions at the college or department level are generally treated as unrestricted because of a presumption that the volume of expenses incurred during a fiscal year will easily allow the restriction to be met in the same year. This practice is allowed by financial accounting standards.

Temporarily Restricted

The restriction is satisfied either by the passage of time (payment of pledges) or by actions of the organization (completion of construction).

Permanently Restricted

  • Assets that will be maintained permanently or invested in perpetuity.
  • Generally, only includes true endowments.

Simultaneous Release

Simultaneous release allows a not-for-profit organization to recognize a restricted contribution directly in unrestricted net assets if the restriction is met in the same period that the revenue is recognized. Simultaneous release is followed to reduce administrative burden for financial statement presentation purposes.  “If an expense is incurred for a purpose for which both unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets are available, a donor-imposed restriction is fulfilled to the extent of the expense incurred, unless the expense is for a purpose that is directly attributable to another specific, external source of revenue.” Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) (Accounting Standards Codification 958-205-45-11).

  1. A department has both restricted gifts and unrestricted funds in the fiscal year and the department has expenses (in unrestricted accounts) during the fiscal year.
  2. A presumption is made that the department could use the gift funds first (that is, “could have spent it”), thereby releasing the restriction. Since the restriction would be released within the same year, the gift can be recorded as unrestricted.


Contact Us

Restricted Accounting Department

640 Skytop Office Bldg.
Suite 140
Syracuse, NY 13244
Phone: (315) 443-4699