format_list_bulleted Topic Overview

Purpose and Use of Org Codes

Organization (org) codes are a way of defining Stanford's multilevel organizational structure. This page provides an overview of the purpose and use of org codes. To learn about the tool used to view and manage updates to the hierarchy, view Learn About: Organization Code Hierarchy Tool.

The university is made up of a hierarchy of many organizations all working together in fulfillment of the university’s mission of research, education, and service.

The university’s financial account structure identifies each organization by a four-character alphabetical organization code (org code). The basic function of the Stanford University org code hierarchy is to define parent-child organizational relationships and group information, such as employees and financial data. 

Note: The organization code hierarchy is different from Stanford University organizational charts (org charts), which show the officers reporting to Stanford’s president and provost and are documented in the Administrative Guide policies 9.1.1: Organization Chart: President and 9.2.1: Organization Chart: Provost.

Systems throughout the university, such as Oracle Financials, PeopleSoft Human Resource Management, Tidemark Budgeting, and Middleware and Integration Services (MaIS), use the org code hierarchy to organize their information.

Org codes are used to:

  • Prepare detailed business unit budgets.
  • Assign staff or accounts (also known as PTAs) to an organization.
  • Report on receipts, transfers, expenses, and fund balances for an organization.
  • Consolidate and report university financial statements.
  • Manage the scope of granted authorities in Authority Manager.

All financial activity is posted to PTAs and each segment of a PTA (the project, task, and award) needs to be assigned to a leaf org, otherwise Oracle Financials and PeopleSoft transactions will not work properly and downstream systems will be impacted.

Several resources are available, including the Organization Code Hierarchy Tool, to help the Stanford community find and interpret org codes. Refer to Topic Overview: Find Existing Org Codes.

Changes to the university org code hierarchy must be carefully planned and executed. For this reason, only authorized budget officers may submit change requests. To learn about types of org code change requests, request deadlines and planning considerations, the request process, and impacted systems, refer to Topic Overview: Organization Code Hierarchy Change Requests.

Last Updated: Jul 29, 2023