Account / Appropriation Account (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Account / Appropriation Account

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Hearing: Environmental Protection Agency Budget


Account: A separate financial reporting unit for budget, management, and/or accounting purposes. All budgetary transactions are recorded in accounts, but not all accounts are budgetary in nature. Some accounts do not directly affect the budget but are used purely for accounting purposes. Budget accounts are used to record all transfers within the budget, whereas other accounts (such as deposit fund, credit financing, and foreign currency accounts) are used for accounting purposes connected with funds that are nonbudgetary in nature. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), assigns account identification codes reflecting appropriations as enacted in appropriations laws. Treasury establishes and maintains a system of accounts that provides the basic structure for the U.S. Standard General Ledger Chart of Accounts.


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Appropriation Account: The basic unit of an appropriation generally reflecting each unnumbered paragraph in an appropriation act. An appropriation account typically encompasses a number of activities or projects and may be subject to restrictions or conditions applicable to only the account, the appropriation act, titles within an appropriation act, other appropriation acts, or the government as a whole. An earmark is an amount set aside within an appropriation account for a specified purpose. A shift of budgetary resources from one appropriation account to another, as authorized by law, is a “transfer“. Shifting funds from one program to another in the same appropriation account is a “reprogram“.


Also see: Expired Account / Expired Appropriation Account (; Earmarking / Earmarks; Chapter 7. Legislating in Congress: Federal Budget Process, in Congressional Deskbook; The Federal Budget Process; Chapter 7. The Congressional Budget and Other Special Cases in Congressional Procedure.







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