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Alma Acquisitions Resource Guide

This guide covers all aspects of the Acquisitions process, which includes setting up funds, ordering, receiving physical items, activating e-resources, and invoicing. This guide also covers Serials patterns and arrival/check-in.

Overview of Ledgers and Funds


To perform Acquisitions tasks in Alma, at least one ledger and associated fund need to be active for the current fiscal year. While a fund represents money in an account, a ledger is a collection of funds. In alma, funds can be in two categories, summary and allocated. A summary fund is not used for ordering or invoicing, but is a reporting tool for a group of funds. Multiple allocated funds can be added to a summary fund. An allocated fund contains money that has been paid out or reserved (encumbered) for an open purchase. While at least one ledger and allocated fund are necessary in Alma, summary funds are optional. 

When setting up ledgers and funds, visualize how budgets are organized at your institution and create funds and ledgers in Alma accordingly. FLVC recommends a simple ledger and fund structure, to streamline acquisitions processes. Reporting codes can be added to orders and invoices to provide robust reporting of funds expenditure. 

Examples of fund and ledger hierarchies


The relationship between Ledgers and allocated funds are parent/child:

Example 1: 

One ledger with two allocated funds, and no summary funds.

Example 2:

One ledger, 3 summary funds based on physical/electronic material types, 3 allocated funds based on continuity type (books, serials, DVDs and media etc.)


Example 3:

1 ledger, with summary funds based on funding source, and allocated funds assigned to summary funds.


Example 4: 

One ledger, nested summary funds and some standalone allocated funds. Shipping, processing and access funds are added to an "Overhead" summary fund.




Creating Ledgers

  1. Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > Funds and Ledgers
  2. Add Ledger
  3. Fill in the mandatory fields and select a Fiscal period > Activate. 


Creating Funds


  1. On Ledger’s Summary Details page > Funds tab 
  2. On Funds List page > Add Fund > Allocated fund 
  3. On Summary Details page, enter all mandatory fields and select Fund Type Regular > Activate. 
  4. The next step is to allocate money to the fund. To do so, go to your newly created fund > Transactions tab > Allocate Funds. 
  5. Enter the amount of money in your budget into the Allocation amount field and enter additional pertinent details, such as reference numbers, notes and reporting codes (if set up) > Add allocation transaction
  6. An “Add Allocation Confirmation” pop-up window will appear, click Confirm if the allocation you entered is correct. 

Searching for funds and ledgers

  1. Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > Funds and Ledgers.
  2. Utilize the filters on the left side Facets to narrow your search. You can also clear the status and Fiscal Period filters from Active and current fiscal year (defaults). 

Managing Funds

Funds Structure

Types of Funds

There are three types of fund records:

  • Ledger(s): top-level record; you can have a single ledger for the entire campus, or separate out ledgers for schools or departments to mirror your actual financial structure
  • Summary funds: used to group funds together for reporting purposes; if you are using a very simple fund structure, you do not need to have summary funds
  • Allocated funds: these records have money associated with them, and are the funds used for placing orders and paying invoices


Choosing a Fund Records Structure

Each campus can set up a financial structure that mirrors their local budget structure. The fund hierarchy should be as simple as possible to streamline ordering; additional information can be included in POLs using the order reporting codes.

Example 1: Budget is separated by schools or departments, then subject areas

Example 2: Fund structure is based on funding sources



Viewing Funds Records

To find fund records:

  • Go to Acquisitions >> Acquisitions Infrastructure >> Funds and Ledgers
  • Choose the search type Funds and leave the search box empty to see a list of all funds
  • Choose the search type Funds and a criteria to find a specific fund
    • If you're using a fund code, you can use the asterisk wildcard at the beginning, end, or beginning and end of the search term

What's in a fund/ledger record?

  • Summary (at the top): this is a summary of information about this fund and contains the details, reports, and rules for the fund. (this is different than a Summary Fund record type)
  • Funds tab (Ledger or Summary fund): view the Summary and Allocated funds associated with a ledger or summary fund
  • Transactions tab (Allocated fund): view the transactions applied to an Allocated fund
  • Notes tab: lists any internal notes on the use or restrictions for that fund
  • Attachments tab: contains any attached files related to that fund


Follow the Financial Path

With just a few clicks you can see a large number of related records within the Acquisitions infrastructure.

  1. Start with a Ledger and review the basic information about it
  2. Click on the Funds tab
  3. Click on a Summary fund from the list and review that information
  4. Click on the Funds tab
  5. Click on an Allocated fund from the list and review that information
  6. Click on the Transactions tab
  7. Click on a PO Line # or an Invoice Line # from the list and review that information
    1. If you're viewing an Order, you can get to any related invoices on the Invoices tab
    2. If you're viewing an Invoice, you can get to the related order(s) on the Invoice Lines tab, by clicking on the number in the PO Line # column

You can also do this sequence in reverse, starting with an invoice and following the funds path back up to the ledger. It's a convenient way to see the impact of any single purchase on a budget.

Managing Funds

To Add Money or Transfer Money Between Funds

For Allocated Funds

  • Under Acquisitions>> Funds and Ledgers select the Allocated Fund that you need to add money to. 
  • Open the Allocated Fund by clicking on the title. 
  • Go to the Transactions tab and select Allocate Funds. If you need to move money between Allocated Funds, select Transfer Funds instead. 

For Summary Funds and Ledgers 
You can not add money to Summary Funds or Ledgers.  Instead, you move the necessary Allocated Funds to the desired Summary Funds or Ledger. 

  • Under Acquisitions>> Funds and Ledgers select the Allocated Fund you wish to move and hover over the ellipses 
  • Select Move Fund.

Creating Funds and Ledgers

After the initial set-up or migration, adding additional ledgers and funds is straightforward. Make sure you have all the information you'll need to enter available to you before you begin.


Adding Ledgers

  1. Go to Acquisitions >> Acquisitions Infrastructure >> Funds and Ledgers
  2. Click + Add Ledger
  3. Summary tab: Fill out the form, choosing from drop-downs or adding information as needed
    1. General section: Basic information about the ledger
    2. Reports section: Controls which reports you see when you view the ledger record
    3. Rules section: Set rules on encumbrances, expenditures, transfers, and grace periods for this fund
    4. For details on the options in these sections, view the reference tables provided by Ex Libris.
  4. Click Save
  5. You’ll return to the Funds and Ledgers screen. If you need to add funds, continue with the next step.


Adding Allocated or Summary Funds to a Ledger

  1. Click on Edit for a ledger record
  2. Click on the Funds tab
  3. Click on + Add Fund
  4. Choose Summary Fund or Allocated Fund
  5. Fill out the details for your fund
    1. Fund records have the same three sections as Ledgers
    2. For details on the options, view the reference tables at here. 
  6. Click Save