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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

The state is a large and complex organization for which the accounting is similarly complex. In addition, the accounting system is required to support financial reporting required by generally accepted accounting principles, legal compliance required by the State Constitution and state laws, management reporting required to demonstrate accountability, and other reporting requirements. As a result, the information provided in the TOP system can be confusing to persons not familiar with the state's budgeting, accounting, and legal compliance environment. Information in the TOP system has been aggregated in those instances where presenting additional detail would add to the confusion.

The following questions and answers are provided to clarify areas where confusion is anticipated. Additional questions and answers will be added as users provide feedback to the Office of the State Controller. These questions are not intended to duplicate the information provided in the instructions for using the TOP system. Users should review the website Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions before contacting the Office of the State Controller.

Why does the department total show a total amount for expenditures that is significantly greater than the amount budgeted by the Legislature?

The TOP system reports all expenditures on the state's accounting system. Some expenditures for generally accepted accounting principles are not budgeted by the legislature; examples include Federal expenditures that are estimated but not appropriated by the Legislature, Higher Education activities that are not appropriated by the Legislature, and transfers between funds that are implied but not specifically listed in the budget documents. The TOP system includes all state expenditures, both budgeted and non-budgeted.

Why are the revenue totals so much larger than the amount budgeted by the Legislature?

Revenues reported include transfers where monies may be moving from state agency to state agency, from one fund to another fund, or from one appropriation to another appropriation. Such amounts are reported as transfers in revenue source codes that start with either an "A" or an "E" . In addition, the revenues reported include internal sales of goods and/or services between state agencies and institutions. As a result, the total is significantly greater than actual inflows to the state from citizens or businesses.

Why doesn't the TOP System show salaries and wages paid to individual state employees?

The TOP system is required by Executive Order and state law to report the information available in the state's accounting system, which does not contain individual employee wage and salary information. That information is contained in a separate system called the Colorado Personnel Payroll System (CPPS), which posts aggregated payroll information to the state's accounting system after each payroll. This condition is a limitation of the state's aging accounting system which was installed in the early 1990s and was based on technology from the 1980's.

Why doesn't the TOP system show payments made to vendors providing goods and services to the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Institutions of Higher Education?

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) recently installed a modern accounting system that is commonly referred to as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System. The CDOT ERP maintains a separate list of vendors and makes payments to those vendors through a warrant process separate of the state's accounting system. The CDOT ERP feeds aggregated information to the state's accounting system for financial reporting and budgetary control, but it does not include vendor level data. Integrating a modern ERP with an outdated system, such as the state's accounting system, is a very expensive and resource intensive process. At the time of implementation, it was deemed technically infeasible and an inappropriate use of taxpayer resources to require full integration of the CDOT ERP and the state's accounting system. The same situation exists with the individual stand-alone accounting systems maintained by each Institution of Higher Education and CollegeInvest. Those systems have been installed by the institutions over an extended period of time, and in each instance full integration was determined to not be feasible.

What is the General Full Accrual Account Group (GFAAG) that is shown as a Fund in some department reports?

The GFAAG is necessary to report the state's revenues, expenditures, and current balances in the various ways that are required by generally accepted accounting principles. The major items entered in this account group are buildings and infrastructure, long-term liabilities, and adjustments to revenues and expenditures required to convert cash basis accounting to accrual basis accounting.

What do the vendor names shown as IT - INTRAGOVERNMENTAL ENTRIES, JV - ACCOUNT ENTRIES, and CR - CASH RECEIPTS represent?

In order to ensure that the TOP system would represent the entire activity on the state's accounting system as required by House Bill 09-1288, transactions that move monies within state government need to be reflected even though no external payment is made to a vendor. The title IT - INTRAGOVERNMENTAL ENTRIES is used to aggregate these transactions into a single line for presentation (IT stands for the accounting term Intragovernmental Transaction).

In addition, there are a very large number of entries recorded on the accounting system that allocate previous entries to different expenditure codes. These entries do not represent external payments and are presented under the title JV - ACCOUNT ENTRIES to ensure that the TOP system reflects all activity on the state's accounting system (JV stands for the accounting term Journal Voucher). Corrections of accounting errors are also done on JV transactions and do not involve external payments to vendors.

In the limited instances when a "payment" to a vendor occurs on a cash receipt document the title is shown as CR - CASH RECEIPTS because cash receipt documents do not identify a vendor name (CR stands for the accounting term Cash Receipt).

Why is the statewide amount paid to JP Morgan Chase NA and US Bank National Association so large?

Payments to JP Morgan Chase Bank NA represent payments to the bank that provides the state procurement card services. This arrangement is similar to a citizen paying a credit card bill. State agencies use the tax-exempt procurement credit card as a streamlined way to pay for approved small dollar purchases of goods or services. This process allows the agency to avoid the cost, environmental impact, and time delay associated with requesting a state check or warrant to make the purchase. The statewide payment amount is large because the state pays the bank rather than the individual vendors - the bank pays the individual vendors. The information regarding which vendors were paid by the bank is not available on the state's accounting system, but it is retained by each state agency.

Payments to US Bank National Association are similar to the procurement card discussed above. However, US Bank National Association provides the state a card service that is used specifically for travel and meeting costs. Similar to the procurement card, the information regarding which vendors were paid by US Bank for travel services is not available on the state's accounting system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

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