U.S. Government Standard General Ledger Issues Resolution Committee (IRC) Meeting Minutes
April 23, 2009
Kathy Winchester (FMS) opened the meeting and reviewed the agenda. She mentioned that the USSGL staff currently is working on various important internal projects. Therefore, the response time for issues submitted to the USSGL staff will be delayed. To expedite the issue response process, agencies should include detailed background information when submitting issues. Also, the USSGL Division will review the scenario process and make some changes. In prior years, agencies did the bulk of scenario preparation and the USSGL staff assisted the agencies. In the future, the USSGL staff will ask agencies to do the same for USSGL projects. Before the meeting agenda was presented, Kathy introduced Holden Hogue who officially announced to the IRC that Kathy Winchester was selected as the Director for the USSGL Division.
Kathy summarized the proposal for adding USSGL account 4253, "Unfilled Customer Orders With Advance - Returned as Obligations and Outlays." According to the 2008 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-11, section 20.11, a cash advance returned must be recorded as an obligation and outlay. Currently, a cash advance returned reduces an unfilled customer order with advance and related status accounts without impacting obligations and outlays. With the new requirement, the balance in budgetary advances must still be reduced when advances are returned but the related authority must remain intact because obligations and outlays are increasing. By creating USSGL account 4253, authority can be removed from USSGL account 4222, "Unfilled Customer Orders With Advance," and reinstated in USSGL account 4253. Therefore, authority is intact in USSGL account 4253 but unfilled customer orders with advances will be reduced. Teresa Tancre (OMB) stated that this was a good time to make this change before the SF 133 realignment. OMB wants to see the return of the cash advances recorded as obligations and outlays because OMB does not want to see negative budgetary resources on the budget presentation. When resources are paid back to the paying entity, OMB wants agencies to record this activity as an expenditure transfer by recording obligations and outlays back to the paying entity. With the expenditure transfer, the agency should use object class 94 since a movement of funds occurs without providing goods and services. USSGL account 4253 will be effective for fiscal 2010. Teresa also mentioned that OMB Circular No. A-11 will address cash returned from USSGL account 4252, "Reimbursements and Other Income Earned - Collected," in the future. This type of cash return from income earned will be treated similarly to a cash advance returned.
Christine Chang (FMS) summarized two outstanding issues related to the multiline presentation from the previous meeting. The first issue was brought up by Eileen Parlow (FASAB) who wanted to know the reason OMB Circular No. A-136 changed reporting requirements for interest from a separate line item on the Balance Sheet to reporting interest with the related assets. Eileen wanted to know the reason for the change before the new interest accounts are added. Christine stated neither the USSGL staff nor FMS's Financial Reports Division found any supporting documentation that would explain the reason. Joe McAndrew (Treasury) thought the reason OMB changed the requirement was to separately identify interest related to various assets. Separately identified interest is more helpful to financial statement readers than one large lump-sum interest amount. Kathy stated that agencies already are segregating interest by different assets in order to meet the current OMB Circular No. A-136 requirements. If Circular No. A-136 changes the requirements back to reporting interest as a separate line item, then the IRC will address this issue. But, for now, the IRC needs to go forward with the multiline interest accounts. The second issue was brought up by Bruce Henshel (Commence) who requested that multiple penalties and fines revenue and administrative revenue be collapsed into one revenue account for each type of revenue. Christine stated that Bruce's request was accommodated, but there was a minor problem with the Reclassified Statement of Changes in Net Position (RSCNP) crosswalk. Gwen Marshman (FMS) will go over the RSCNP crosswalk in detail. It was noted that the crosswalk reviewed at today's IRC meeting was only for accounts from the multiline project. A comprehensive crosswalk presentation will be held at a future IRC meeting.
Keith Mertz (FMS) reviewed the proposed revenue accounts and SF 133 crosswalk.
Christine reviewed the FACTS I table and the Statement of Custodial Activity (SCA) crosswalk. She noted that SCA lines 7 and 9 should have footnote 2 included on the additional information column. Footnote 2 should state, "Interest revenue not related to the cost incurred by the collecting entity should be reported on the SCA; see SFFAS No. 7, paragraph 281." Christine noted that the updated SCA crosswalk will be presented the next time crosswalks are presented to the IRC. Also, she explained that administrative revenue (exchange revenue) is reported on the SCA. If the collecting entity incurs administrative expense that is reimbursed and reported on SCA line 14, "Retained by the Reporting Entity," then the same amount must be reported on the custodial revenue for the "Net Custodial Activity" line to net to -0-.
Gwen reviewed the Balance Sheet crosswalk, and Christine reviewed the Reclassified Balance Sheet.
Karl Foltz (FMS) reviewed the Statement of Net Cost and the Reclassified Statement of Net Cost.
Gwen reviewed the Statement of Changes in Net Position and the RSCNP. Gwen stated that proposed USSGL accounts 5320 and 5324 should be crosswalked to RSCNP lines 5.7 and 6.4. Proposed USSGL accounts 5320 and 5324 should be deleted from line 7.8 of the RSCNP. The USSGL staff are not sure why current USSGL accounts 5320 and 5329 were included on the RSCNP line 7.8. Now that USSGL accounts 5320 and 5329 are broken down by types of revenue, it is more appropriate for penalties and fines revenue to be reported on RSCNP line 6.4 rather than 7.8.
Gwen briefly mentioned that USSGL account 2690, "Other Actuarial Liabilities," was added to line 27, "Other," on the 2009 Balance Sheet. The actuarial liability in this particular case is not related to Federal employees or to the veteran's benefits, so some agencies were reporting the liability in USSGL accounts 2190 and 2990, which are crosswalked to line 27, "Other." Because of the material dollar amount involved, agencies were requested to report the actuarial amount in USSGL account 2690, and, as a quick fix, the USSGL staff added USSGL account 2690 to line 27 of the fiscal 2009 Balance Sheet. A new actuarial account will be proposed for fiscal 2011.
Rita Cronley (FMS) made a presentation on the Government-wide Treasury Account Symbol Adjusted Trial Balance System (GTAS). She stated that the IRC representatives are gatherers of information for their agencies and that they should disseminate the presentation information to their prospective agencies. Rita stated that currently the data collection systems such as the Federal Agencies Centralized Trial-Balance System (FACTS) I, Intragovernmental Fiduciary Confirmation System (IFCS), Intragovernmental Reporting and Analysis System (IRAS), and Governmentwide Financial Report System (GFRS) do not communicate with each other. GTAS will enable communication among systems (no longer "stovepipe" systems). GTAS also will give immediate feedback on edits and validations like FACTS II. It will be based on the USSGL and will help resolve some of the inconsistencies found in agencies' financial data reporting to Treasury for Warrant and Nonexpenditure Transfers (NET) transactions, as well as those found in the Financial Report of the U.S. Government. Instead of IRAS reporting using the information submitted by the agencies and their partners, which may have discrepancies, agencies will use their Warrant and transfer information from Treasury. Using GTAS, agencies can submit a quarterly trial balance for each Treasury Account Symbol (TAS) rather than having to submit data for FACTS I, FACTS II, IFCS, and IRAS. By incorporating strong accounting edits that check against central accounting data, USSGL rules, and budgetary versus proprietary rules, agencies will get instant feedback on discrepancies. GTAS eliminates redundant reporting by reducing the number of reports during the year. Treasury and OMB will use information from GTAS.
Yianting Lee (FMS) continued the GTAS presentation from a system perspective. GTAS will be available for agencies 24/7, but, unlike current FACTS I, agencies cannot have rollup accounts. Agencies must submit one full trial balance that has both budgetary (if applicable) and proprietary USSGL accounts for each TAS. Multiple users may be assigned to a TAS. There will be no online data entry, and all submissions will be done via bulk file only.
A Business Event Type Code that will determine the transaction effect on the TAS's Fund Balance with Treasury will be assigned to specific activities. Yianting further discussed the Authority Transaction Module, which is a module of the Governmentwide Accounting System with applications in the following areas: borrowing, NETs, warrants, and yearend transactions.
Melinda Pope (FMS) talked about the data standardization and Common Government Accounting Classification Structure (CGAC) perspective of GTAS. The main goal of CGAC is to standardize accounting processes and data elements. Under CGAC, allocation transfer, agency identifier, beginning period of availability, ending period of availability, and availability indicators will be changed. Also USSGL accounts will expand to 6 digits. There will be an option for agencies to add two additional spaces after the 6-digit USSGL account number. The 6-digit expansion will be effective for 2012 when GTAS goes live. GTAS will only accept bulk file transmissions, and it will include both budgetary and proprietary attributes. Melinda noted that Debit and Credit domain values do not pertain to the normal balances but to the actual balances.
Joe Bernetich (FMS) talked about edits found in GTAS. All existing edits in FACTS I and II will be incorporated into GTAS. In addition, GTAS will incorporate new edits. The use of Central Accounting Data (UCAD) will improve interagency elimination by reconciling transactions and balances directly to Treasury's UCAD. It will not eliminate all interagency differences, but it will reduce the differences between agencies and what is reported in UCAD. Currently, UCAD reports for appropriation transfers and NETs are available to the agencies via GFRS. Agencies are required to reconcile these quarter transactions and balances with UCAD starting third quarter fiscal 2009. Agencies must submit full adjusted trial balances by third quarter 2009 instead of just the "F" transactions. If agencies cannot report full adjusted trial balances, then, at a minimum, they should report USSGL accounts 1010, 3101, and 3106.
Rita concluded the GTAS presentation. She told the agencies several things they can do now to prepare for GTAS. FACTS II users can convert to bulk file submission before GTAS is implemented. Once agencies have the FACTS II data in a bulk file, Treasury can test agencies' bulk files and give agencies feedback. Agencies need to become familiar with the GTAS edits and CGAC. Rita recommended that agencies check out the GTAS Web site at http://fms.treas.gov/gtas/edits-validates.html. It provides information on edits, bulk file format and transmission, links to CGAC, and training information.
The GTAS developers need agency trial balances to test, but the data must be at the TAS level. FACTS I trial balances that roll up the TAS to the fund level cannot be used for GTAS testing. Rita asked the agencies to contact her if they could provide test files.
A UCAD link will be added to the USSGL Web site. Also the budgetary and proprietary reporting deadlines will be aligned when GTAS is implemented.
Kathy thanked everyone for coming and closed the meeting.
Kathy Winchester, FMS