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Unit Defined Commitments

M-Pathways Unit Defined Commitments (UDCs) provide a method for University units to record planned expenditures or revenues (i.e., encumbrances) until the actual payment or receivable occurs. Entering UDCs for your department or project/grant allows you to see more accurate "bottom-line" amounts on financial reports.

What makes up a UDC?

A Begin Date, a ChartField combination, and an Amount are all that is required to record a commitment in M-Pathways. We also recommend using the Reference and/or Description fields to help identify the purpose of the UDC.

Image of M-Pathways UDC page

There are two ways to enter a UDC in M-Pathways:

  • Online: best used to enter a single UDC
    • This method allows you to select a ShortCode* as a way to enter the ChartFields for the UDC.

      *If you use a ShortCode, don't forget to enter the Account value.

  • Upload: best used to enter multiple UDCs or to update the ChartFields for multiple UDCs
    • Download and save the reusable UDC Load Template to your computer.

      Template last updated: 09/25/12
      This template includes macros. To change or review your macro security level, select Macro > Security from the Tool menu in Excel. We recommend setting macro security to Medium.

Image of the UDC Excel Spreadsheet Template

UDCs and Sponsored Project/Grants

To facilitate project/grant budget reporting, M-Pathways Unit Defined Commitments automatically creates a corresponding commitment for indirect cost (IDC) when you enter a UDC for a sponsored project/grant (i.e., those beginning with F, N, or M). The amount of the auto-calculated IDC UDC is based on the IDC Rate of the project/grant.

Avoid double-counting! Enter the direct cost as the amount of your UDC only.

Releasing UDCs

Releasing a commitment removes the encumbered amount (and related indirect cost commitment) from various financial reports. The M-Pathways Manage Unit Defined Commitments grid offers a quick online method for managing your UDCs; including amounts, dates, and releases. Links provide access to an individual UDC for additional edits.

Image of the M-Pathways UDC page

Three release options:

  • Enter a Commitment End Date
  • Release as of Today
  • Release from the last month closed

You must release a UDC to avoid double-counting the committed amount and the actual revenue or expense. Instructions for entering a UDC (online or upload) and for using Manage UDCs are in My LINC.

UDC Data on Financial Reports

The Commitment Begin Date and End Date determine whether the UDC is active. Active UDCs appear on monthly financial reports when the end date is:

  • Not specified (i.e., blank)
  • Between the last day of the closed month and the current date

If the end date is prior to the last day of the closed month, the UDC will not appear on the report for that month. E.g., if the Commitment End Date is 09/28/12, it will not appear on the September financial reports.

Image of the M-Reports Project Grant Budget Status report highlighting UDC data

Check out the UDC data on reports in:

  • M-Reports or M-Pathways (Project Grant Budget Status)
  • M-Pathways nVision (Income Statement reports)
  • BusinessObjects
    • CMB Project Grant Budget Status with Estimates
    • CMB Reporting Bdgt Ledger NonSponsored Reconciler by FundDeptPrgm
    • CMB Summary of Project by Project Director with Estimates

UDC data is refreshed hourly in M-Reports and BusinessObjects.


For M-Pathways UDC access, request the GL UNIT DEFINED COMMIT USER role in the Online Access Request System.

ITS Financial Business System Analysts (FIN BSAs) can assist you with determining how best to use the Unit Defined Commitments functionality. For a free demo, contact

The M-Pathways Unit Defined Commitments functionality is one tool within the Real-Time Financials toolkit. See the Real-Time Financials pages for more information.