Transactions and Reporting
OTCnet Release 1.3
Q. What is OTCnet?
OTCnet is the Treasury/FMS solution for Over the Counter (OTC) Deposit Processing and Reporting and Check Capture. OTCnet is a combination of two legacy systems, TGAnet and PCC OTC. The combined functionality improves over-the-counter collections by fully automating the collection, reconciliation, research and reporting processes into a single, secure Web-based application.
Q. Do I have to use OTCnet?
Yes, all over-the-counter deposit activity will need to be entered into OTCnet.
Q. What is CIR (Collection Information Repository)?
TRS has been renamed to the Collections Information Repository (CIR) effective January 2013. FMS has rebranded TRS to be consistent with the naming convention for its other data repositories, such as the Payment Information Repository (PIR).
The application URL has not changed, nor have there been any changes to the functionality of the system.
Q. How do I access OTCnet?
Visit http://otcnet.fms.treas.gov to log-in to OTCnet with your Treasury Single Sign-On account.
Q. What are the advantages of using OTCnet?
OTCnet makes it easier for stakeholders and citizens to complete over-the-counter activity (e.g., Point-of-sale, Bank Deposits) with the government. OTCnet's online capabilities allow access to information and reports anytime, anywhere. OTCnet's design accommodates check capture and deposit reporting the "Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) way". Reporting transactions and associated accounting data "the CARS way" is required under the Government-wide Accounting (GWA) modernization initiative and serves as the standard for all government agencies.
Q. How can I make suggestions for enhancements?
Enhancement suggestions can be made by contacting the Treasury OTC Support Center at (866) 945-7920, or (302) 324-6442, or military DSN at (510) 428-6824, (select option 1, select option 2, then select option 4) or via e-mail at FMS.OTCChannel@citi.com. To improve OTCnet, we continuously evaluate enhancement requests.
Q. What is OTCnet Offline?
OTCnet Offline enables agencies to perform check conversion activities with limited Internet connectivity. The OTCnet Offline application is available via secure download from OTCnet Online or, as needed, via CD. The Offline application locally installs on Agency workstations to allow Check Capture and Batch Upload activity with limited Internet access. To learn more about OTCnet Offline, please refer to the latest release notes at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/releases.html.
Q. Should my Agency use OTCnet Offline?
OTCnet Offline is ideal for your Agency if you experience frequent Internet disruptions or have locations with limited Internet connectivity or extremely low bandwidth, such as overseas locations.
Q. How is OTCnet similar to TGAnet/PCC OTC?
OTCnet provides the same functionality as TGAnet and PCC OTC, consolidated into a single, secure Web-based application. The reports in OTCnet are the same as those previously found in TGAnet and PCC OTC. Users will see no major change in reporting. Future releases of OTCnet will incorporate enhancements; reports may be updated based on new regulations, but the inherent functionality will remain the same.
Q. How is OTCnet different from TGAnet/PCC OTC?
OTCnet combines the functionality of TGAnet and PCC OTC into a single web- based application. Therefore, the look and feel of the application is slightly different. OTCnet allows users to conduct all check capturing activities online, thus eliminating the need to download software. An offline version is available for agencies with unique needs, such as intermittent Internet access.
Q. With the sunset of CASHLINK II, what do I need to do to start using OTCnet for my depositing needs?
All agencies with over the counter deposits must report them electronically in OTCnet. All agencies have migrated all OTC deposits to OTCnet’s Depositing Reporting or Check Capture function.
If you are new to OTCnet Deposit Processing, please visit our Agency Enrollment page.
If you are a new Financial Institution, please visit our Financial Institution Enrollment page.
Q. What does the term "OTCnet" mean?
OTCnet stands for Over the Counter Channel Application (OTCnet), a system that allows users to capture and process checks, and/or process deposits.
Q. Who do I call for assistance with OTCnet?
Please call the OTC Support Center (1-866-945-7920) for all OTCnet questions, concerns, or issues, including questions related to user creation and training. The OTC Support Center is the focal point for obtaining resolution to all OTCnet issues. Additionally, your Deployment Specialist will be able to provide any specific OTCnet information related to your Agency.
Q. I have another Treasury Single Sign On (SSO) User Account. Can I use it for OTCnet?
Yes. Each Agency will have a Primary Local Security Administrator and Local Security Administrator(s) (P/LSA) who will have the ability to add an OTCnet account to your existing Treasury Single Sign On (SSO) ID.
Q. Is there a difference between PCC OTC users and OTCnet users?
Responsibilities from certain PCC OTC roles have been integrated into new OTCnet roles. The table on page 6 of the User Roles Guide explains the former PCC OTC roles and the corresponding OTCnet role. The User Roles Guide is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/pccotcconversion.html (Click on User Roles Guide).
Q. How do I unlock my password?
Contact your Primary Local Security Administrator (PLSA) or Local Security Administrator (LSA) to reset your password. If your PLSA or LSA is not available, you may contact the Treasury OTC Support Center at (866) 945-7920, or (302) 324-6442, or military DSN at (510) 428-6824, (select option 1, select option 2, then select option 4) or via e-mail at FMS.OTCChannel@citi.com.
Q. How do I reset my password?
If you know your existing password, you can go to "My Profile" and change the password in the Identity Manager after you’ve logged into OTCnet.
Q. Am I limited to one role in OTCnet or am I able to have multiple roles? Which User Roles can be combined?
There are certain roles that can be combined and others that are not able to be combined. Pages 7-9 of the User Roles Guide provides an-depth explanation of Role Combinations for Deposit Reporting, Check Capture and FI Users. The User Roles Guide is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/pccotcconversion.html (Click on User Roles Guide).
Q. What users can perform which functions?
A description of each User Role in OTCnet can be found on pages 1-5 of the User Roles Guide. The User Roles Guide is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/pccotcconversion.html (Click on User Roles Guide).
Q. I am the PLSA/LSA, how do I decide which roles to provision?
Please refer to the User Roles Guide and work with your Deployment Specialist to determine the appropriate roles to provision to your staff. The User Roles Guide is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/pccotcconversion.html (Click on User Roles Guide).
Q. I am a PLSA/LSA, how do I create a new user account?
PLSAs and LSAs can create new OTCnet user accounts by using the IBM Tivoli Identity Manager (ITIM) Web-based application. P/LSAs can access ITIM by going to https://reg.fms.treas.gov/itimext and logging in with their Treasury Single Sign On (SSO) ID. P/LSAs should first log into ITIM and perform a search to confirm the user does not already have a Treasury SSO ID to avoid duplication of user accounts. The PLSA and LSA should then initiate the "New External User Identity" task from the ITIM User interface menu.
Q. What is the minimum number of personnel required to run OTCnet?
The minimum number of personnel required to run OTCnet is three: two personnel to serve as the PLSA and LSA to create and provision users, and one person to hold the required administrative and functional roles (e.g. Accounting Specialist, Deposit Preparer, Deposit Approver, Check Capture Administrator, Check Capture Supervisor, Check Capture Lead Operator, CIRA Viewer).
Please note that if an Agency is only using OTCnet Deposit Reporting, the minimum required number of personnel is still 3, but the individual with the administrative and functional roles will only need the Accounting Specialist, Deposit Preparer and Deposit Approver roles. Please work with your Deployment Specialist if you have questions.
Q. Do I need separation of duties?
The implementation of separation of duties is at the discretion of the Agency and will depend on their internal processes and policies. OTCnet will allow certain users to perform more than one function. Pages 7-9 of the User Roles Guide provides an-depth explanation of Role Combinations for Deposit Reporting, Check Capture and FI Users. The User Roles Guide is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/pccotcconversion.html (Click on User Roles Guide).
Transactions and Reporting
Q. How do I process foreign checks and currency in OTCnet?
OTCnet can process foreign currency and foreign checks through OTCnet Deposit Reporting. The foreign checks must be drawn from a foreign Financial Institution.
Please ensure your ALC is set to process foreign currency for deposit reporting. You will need to set up a banking relationship with Bank of America to accept foreign currency and Citibank for foreign checks and add these to your deposit reporting set up in OTCnet. If you need assistance with deposit reporting set up, please review the OTCnet Web Based training at: http:/www.fms.treas.gov/otcnet/training/wbt/course_FMSOTC/index.htm or contact our Customer Support team at 866-945-7920.
Q. Do I need to take deposits to the bank on the same day that I enter them in OTCnet?
Yes, you are expected to take your deposits to the bank on the date you enter a deposit into OTCnet. Agencies are required to make an OTCnet deposit if the deposit amount is at least $5,000 or by every Thursday regardless of the deposit amount.
Q. I use OTCnet Deposit Processing. How do I gain access to the OTCnet Check Capture functionality so I can scan my own checks without walking to the bank to make a deposit?
If you would like to begin using OTCnet Check Capture, please contact the OTCnet Onboarding Team at 703-377-5586 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The OTCnet Onboarding Team will work with you to obtain an ALC+2, scanner, and complete set up in OTCnet.
Q. I am working with the CARS team to transition my ALCs to CARS reporting. Is OTCnet CARS (GWA) compliant?
OTCnet Deposit Reporting and Check Capture Processing allow for GWA reporting. First, you will need to work with the SAM Team to ensure your accounting codes are TAS/BETC codes, then add your codes to OTCnet, and work with the CARS (GWA) and OTCnet Customer Support teams to finalize the transition to OTCnet CARS (GWA) reporting.
Q. How will Financial Institutions (FIs) know if the deposit ticket was generated in OTCnet?
Deposit tickets generated in OTCnet have a header that states “OTCnet Deposit Ticket.” Agency customers making deposits should provide FIs with a printed copy of the OTCnet-generated deposit ticket along with the deposit.
Q. Can Financial Institutions (FIs) process paper SF 215 deposit slips using OTCnet?
No, FIs can only confirm deposits in OTCnet. The Agency should provide FIs with a printed copy of the OTCnet-generated deposit ticket along with the deposit.
Q. If I was submitting a bank specific deposit slip with my deposit, do I still need to do that?
Yes, some FIs have and will continue to require that you use their bank deposit slip in addition to the OTCnet generated deposit ticket. Some FIs require that you get updated deposit slips when you transition to using OTCnet. FIs that require a customer to use a specific deposit slip when making deposits in OTCnet must make sure their local branches are aware of those deposit slip.
Q. What kind of training options are available for my Agency?
The OTCnet Training Program offers users several tools to successfully learn the OTCnet System. These tools include and a user-friendly Web-Based Training (WBT) and Paper-Based Resources that are available for agencies and Financial Institutions to use at any time. WBT allows users to train on OTCnet when it is convenient, provides new staff with training, and lets users retake modules as needed.
Instructor-led training is also available pending FMS approval. For more information on training, visit http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/training.html or contact FMS Information at email@example.com.
Q. How do I access training resources?
Web-Based Training (WBT) is the primary way for users to learn how to use the OTCnet system. WBT is available to agencies on-demand via the Training page of the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/training.html. Instructor-led training is also available pending FMS approval. For more information on training, contact FMS Information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Where can I find the latest System Requirements document?
The OTCnet System Requirements document is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/index.html, under the "Conversion Toolkit". The document is updated as the system evolves. Users are encouraged to review the System Requirements document periodically and prior to any large scale IT rollouts.
Q. How often are the system requirements updated?
The System Requirements are updated as the system evolves and as testing progresses. Normally, the System Requirements document is updated with each OTCnet release.
Q. Does OTCnet meet my Agency's security requirements?
OTCnet is compliant with the latest Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) audit, 508 regulations, user access/provisioning, system security requirements, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive -12 (HSPD-12) and Personal Identity Verification (PIV) standards.
Q. Does OTCnet require a Java Runtime Environment installed on a client workstation?
OTCnet requires an installed Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to enable check scanning functionality on client workstations, but does not require a JRE for deposit processing functionality. For the latest Java compatibility information, please review the OTCnet System Requirements at http://www.fms.treas.gov/otcnet under the OTCnet Conversion Toolkit. Additional development and testing is required to ensure compatibility with additional JRE versions. OTCnet will continue to review future JRE updates for integration with OTCnet releases.
Q. What are the Hardware Requirements for OTCnet?
Please review the OTCnet System Requirements document for detailed information on hardware requirements for OTCnet. The document can be found on the OTCnet homepage at http://www.fms.treas.gov/otcnet under the "OTCnet Conversion Toolkit".
Q. If I am converting from PCC OTC to OTCnet, do I have to purchase new hardware (e.g., a scanner) to use OTCnet?
All current hardware used with PCC OTC (e.g., scanners, yes/no keypads, other peripherals) is supported by OTCnet. To learn more about purchasing OTCnet-compatible hardware, please visit the OTCnet Hardware Ordering Overview page at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/hardware.html or contact your Deployment Specialist.
Q. Will my Agency need to use a scanner?
Your Agency needs a scanner if using OTCnet for Check Capture. If your Agency only uses OTCnet for Deposit Processing, a scanner is not needed.
Q. Are there any costs associated with the scanner?
Agencies will incur a one-time cost associated with the initial purchase of a scanner. Scanners come with a one or two year warranty depending on the type of scanner. Please reach out to your Deployment Specialist to provide additional information on hardware pricing.
Q. Where can I find information on scanner firmware?
Information on scanner firmware is included in the OTCnet System Requirements document. The document can be found on the OTCnet homepage at http://www.fms.treas.gov/otcnet under the "OTCnet Conversion Toolkit". OTCnet has been developed to be compatible with most users' computer systems and to be set-up with as much ease as possible.
Q. What do I need to do when there is a new scanner firmware release?
Users will be notified in advance of firmware releases. Agency user(s) that have been provisioned the Check Capture Administrator role will be responsible for downloading the new scanner firmware release from the OTCnet Web-based application and installing it on each Check Capture workstation.
Q. What should I do if my scanner isn't working properly?
If your scanner is not working properly, please contact the Customer Support team to help troubleshoot possible problems. If the issues persist, they may direct you to contact the distributor for assistance.
OTCnet Release 1.3
Q. What is Governmentwide Accounting (GWA)?
GWA provides the central/financial accounting and reporting infrastructure for federal payments, claims, collections, central accounts and other financial transactions.
Q. What is the Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS)?
CARS addresses the central accounting and reporting functions and processes associated with budget execution, accountability and cash/other asset management. This includes the collection and dissemination of financial management and accounting information from and to agencies. To learn more about CARS, please visit https://www.fms.treas.gov/cars/index.html.
Q. What is the Transaction Reporting System (TRS)?
TRS is a collections reporting tool, supplying the latest information on deposits and detail of collections transactions to agencies. The system allows financial transaction information from all collections systems and settlement mechanisms to be exchanged in a single system. TRS has been designed to be the primary mechanism for collections data reporting. It contains detailed and summarized records of all revenue collections transactions processed by FMS systems. To learn more about TRS, please visit http://fms.treas.gov/trs/index.html.
Q. What is a Treasury Account Symbol (TAS)?
A TAS is a receipt, appropriation, expenditure and other fund account symbols and titles as assigned by the Department of the Treasury and Office of Management and Budget that identify a specific Treasury account. For more information on Treasury Account Symbols, please consult the Federal Account Symbols and Titles (FAST) Book, located on the FMS website at http://www.fms.treas.gov/FASTBook/index.html and contact your internal accounting point(s) of contact who are knowledgeable about TAS.
Q. What is a Business Event Type Code (BETC)?
A BETC is an eight-character code used in the GWA system to indicate the type of activity being reported, such as payments, collections and borrowings.
Q. What is a Classification Key (C-Key)?
A C-Key is a unique agency accounting code assigned to a transaction is approved by GWA. A C-Key includes agency accounting or collection mechanism data (e.g., account code, fund code, Merchant ID), which translates directly to a Treasury Account Symbol (TAS)-Business Event Type Code (BETC). Agencies will establish C-Keys in the Shared Accounting Module (SAM) for collection transactions that will be used to drive the appropriate values of TAS/BETC.
Q. What is the Shared Accounting Module (SAM)?
SAM is an FMS program that allows agencies to classify all Fund Balance with Treasury Transactions and adjustments to the appropriate TAS and BETC at the time the transactions or adjustments are reported to the treasury.
Q. What is an Agency Location Code (ALC)?
An ALC is a numeric symbol used to identify an agency accounting location or regional financial office on accounting reports and documents. The ALC consists of an eight-digit agency accounting station, a four-digit disbursing office symbol or a three-digit Treasury Financial Center symbol.
Q. How will OTCnet Release 1.3 enhance data sharing between OTCnet and the Transaction Reporting System (TRS)?
OTCnet Release 1.3 will expand the existing data flowing from OTCnet to TRS to include detailed Check Capture data with TAS/C-Key accounting codes. Currently, OTCnet reports summary-level Deposit Reporting data to TRS. With Release 1.3, OTCnet will continue to report Deposit Reporting summary-level data and will begin to also report Detailed-level data for Check Capture transactions with TRS. TRS users will be able to retrieve summary and detailed data for OTCnet Check Capture and can continue to retrieve summary level data for Bank Deposits in TRS reports and data files. TRS will report this transaction information to the CARS and agencies, consolidating and streamlining the transaction reporting for all over-the-counter collections. Additionally, Release 1.3 will further integrate data into the TRS and the CARS by allowing agencies to instantly capture C-Key information for Deposit Reporting and Check Capture transactions. This function will help agencies improve productivity, effectiveness and efficiency.
Q. With the implementation of OTCnet Release 1.3, two new fields have been added to the CIRA CSV File. What are these fields and where are they located in the file?
Two fields have been added to the CIRA CSV File to denote the agency accounting code and the description. These new fields are populated during Check Scanning by both CARS Reporting agencies (required) and non-CARS Reporting agencies (optional) as accounting codes and descriptions are classified for Check Transactions. The new fields are located in the CSV file at the end of the record. Previously, there was a blank field at the end of the record; this remains the last field. The new accounting code and description fields are located before this blank field (as the 2nd and 3rd to last fields in the record). Please note: agencies may need to re-format any supporting CIRA CSV file templates to align with the new fields. For more information, please reference the CIRA CSV File Reference Guide, located under “Reference” on the OTCnet website homepage at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/index.html.
Q. What changes will I see when I use the CIRA CSV Report and CIRA Query Open Ended Query?
Accounting Code information is displayed when users view check details and check history. Additionally, the TRS Transmission Status is displayed for each item that is sent at the detailed level to TRS. Additionally, the Search Date range will be refined to display up to 90 days for the CIRA Query and the CIRA CSV report. Users will be able to access records that are older than 90 days by redefining the search, using the ‘count’ function (available in both CIRA Query and the CIRA CSV Report). The ‘count’ function allows users to view the total item and amount for up to one year but does not display the records.
Q. How will OTCnet Release 1.3 help me mask Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?
OTCnet Release 1.3 will mask PII (i.e., account numbers, Social Security Numbers, Taxpayer Identification Numbers)on printed receipts and replace it with asterisk characters; masked information will include user defined fields, as well as the Account Number which appears in the bottom right-hand side of the receipt. Additionally, PII Data will be flagged when Check Capture data is reported; this fulfills TRS request to identify transmitted check capture user defined field data as containing PII or not.
Q. OTCnet Release 1.3 includes enhanced Check Capture features that help agencies comply with CARS, which is replacing the previous GWA system. What are the CARS mandates?
Q. How Do I Know If an ALC is a CARS Reporter?
GWA Reporter flag checkbox will be added to OTCnet to designate an ALC as a CARS Reporter. All roles except for Batch Approver and View Reports will be able to view the CARS GWA Reporter Flag for Check Processing. Only OTCnet Customer Service or the agency Onboarding team, in conjunction with the agency, will be able to enable the GWA Reporter Flag. This flag can only be set if the agency is providing financial reporting for all CARS Reporting and if the Cash Flow profile in SAM is set to be a GWA Reporter.
Q. With OTCnet Release 1.3, process improvements of setting up TAS Strings in OTCnet and validating them with SAM will be implemented. What are these process improvements?
The process of setting up TAS Strings in OTCnet and validating them with SAM will change to a two-step process: (1) Modify Accounting Code and (2) SAM validation of TAS strings. Accounting codes marked as TAS will be validated by SAM after a user completes the Modify Accounting Code process; previously, these two steps were conducted concurrently.
Additionally, agency users with the appropriate OTCnet roles, Accounting/Local Accounting Specialists and Check Capture Administrators will be able to upload or edit a large number of TAS-designated accounting codes at once that have been validated by SAM. Previously, one or more TAS validation errors prevented the user from completing the Modify Accounting Code process until all TAS errors had been fixed.
Q. Will I be able to classify Check Capture transactions?
Yes. Agencies will have the option to classify Check Capture transactions with a single TAS/C-Key accounting code in both online and offline mode. Agency Check Capture Operators/Lead Operators can classify individual checks with a C-Key or TAS at the time of scanning; they can update/modify the accounting code selection when editing an item. If you are a GWA Reporting agency, it is mandatory to classify checks with an accounting code.
Q. Will TAS Codes populated in OTCnet Deposit Reporting automatically be populated in OTCnet Check Capture?
If your agency configures accounting codes for an Endpoint, the codes can be used for both Check Capture and Deposit Reporting.
Q. What can I do to prepare for OTCnet Release 1.3?
There are a few steps you can take now to help prepare your agency for OTCnet Release 1.3, scheduled for September 2012. These include:
Q. What OTCnet Web-based training modules should I complete to learn more about the changes associated with OTCnet Release 1.3?
Links to the specific training modules and topics that have been updated are provided in “Table A: Updated Training Materials for OTCnet Release 1 .3.” Please note, the updates reflected in these training materials will not appear in the OTCnet system itself until after Release 1.3 is implemented. The implementation will occur at the end of September. All users will be notified when Release 1.3 is officially available for use.
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