Liabilities are defined as future obligations of the University or amounts owed to creditors and others for past transactions. They sometimes have the word "payable" in their titles. The University's most significant liabilities are:
Bonds & Notes Payable
These are obligations held by the University resulting from money borrowed from investors or banks. They are normally used to fund building construction or improvements.
Accounts Payable & Accrued Expenses
Accounts Payable are payments that are due, generally within 90 days, and represent the amount the University owes for goods or services purchased on credit.
Accrued Expenses are expenses reported in the period in which they occur but for which payment is made in a subsequent period. The vast majority of the University's accrued expenses are salaries and benefits earned but not paid as of the end of the fiscal year.
Deferred Benefits include benefits to employees that are not yet paid. The largest component is the obligation the University has to its employees after retirement, including pensions and retiree health and life insurance benefits. Other significant benefits include vacation accruals, deferred compensation and medical benefit claims incurred but not yet reported.
Cornell's Total Liabilities