The Financial Management Service (FMS), a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, implemented the Vendor Express Program in July 1987. Vendor Express electronically transfers money and remittance information through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network to commercial payees of federal agencies. FMS has recently enhanced the Vendor Express Program with additional electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities to provide improved payment services that benefit both federal agencies and the commercial payees.
The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, part of (P.L. 104-134 Section 31001 (X), has, in addition to other requirements, mandated the use of electronic funds transfer (EFT) for federal payments. The legislation provides the stimulus for the federal government to move forward its goal of increased electronic commerce. The Vendor Express EFT/EDI Program plays a very important role in implementing mandatory EFT.
Currently, an SF 3881: ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form is completed to enroll in Vendor Express.
The SF 3881 may be ordered through Regional GSA Customer Supply Centers, using the national stock number 7540-01-274-9925. A package of 100 forms costs $3.96.
Features, Functions, and Formats
- EDI or Electronic Data Interchange is the computer-to-computer transmission of business information in a standardized format. The formats used are in the form of transaction sets, with one transaction set equating to one business document and identified by a unique three-digit code; e.g., the 820 Payment Order/Remittance Advice. These transaction sets are developed and maintained by the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, chartered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1979 to develop EDI transaction sets. The 820 Transaction Set, Payment Order/Remittance Advice, is used to electronically order payments to be issued and full remittance information to be sent.
- A key feature of the Vendor Express EFT/EDI Program is the use of addenda records in ACH payment formats. An addendum record contains payment-related accounting information that is transmitted along with the actual payment. Initially, Vendor Express used the Cash Concentration or Disbursement Plus Addendum (CCD+) ACH payment format, which accommodates one addendum record with 80 characters. Because of the limited addendum capability, one CCD+ Vendor Express payment can pay for only one invoice.
- The enhanced Vendor Express EFT/EDI will continue to use the CCD+ format and adds the Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX) ACH formats to issue payments. Use a current version of ASC X12 syntax for CCD+ addenda record formats. The CTX format allows for up to 9,999 addenda records with approximately 800,000 characters. Given this large addendum record capability, full and complete remittance information can be transmitted with the CTX payment. Therefore, it is possible for one CTX payment to cover multiple invoices since full remittance information will be transmitted to the vendor's financial institution together with the payment. The ACH CTX format includes an entire 820 transaction set in its addenda records.
- Input Formats:
- FMS Proprietary Payment Format - currently used to create CCD+ payments.
- ASC X12 820 Payment Orders - used to generate CTX payments.
- Flat File Payment Order - also used to generate CTX payments. The Flat File Payment Order is for non EDI-capable agencies.
Guide to Federal Financial EDI Payments 402,654 bytes)
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Invoice Processing Platform (IPP formerly PAID)
For more information on Vendor Express and the CCD+ format, please contact the Customer Assistance Staff at your servicing Regional Finance Center.
PM Call Center Announcement
FMS Payment Management Call Center 1-855-868-0151