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Bulletin No. 2017-11

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Retention: September 30, 2018

To: Heads of Government Departments, Agencies, and Others Concerned

Subject: Using the Prior-Year Adjustment Attribute Required by the Governmentwide Treasury Account Symbol Adjusted Trial Balance System (GTAS) for Reporting, Submitting, and Tracking Treasury Backdated Documents

1. Purpose

This Treasury Financial Manual (TFM) bulletin reminds Federal Program Agencies (FPAs) that they must use a U.S. Standard General Ledger (USSGL) attribute when submitting GTAS trial balances that the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) use to produce budget execution reports. In addition, this bulletin provides guidance for processing prior-year backdated transactions in CARS using OMB’s Backdated Treasury Document Request MAX community page. Using this portal streamlines the tracking and approval process for Treasury backdated documents and enables agencies to monitor the real-time status of their document requests.

2. Authority

In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3513, the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary) must prepare reports that will inform the President, the Congress, and the public on the financial operations of the U.S. Government. These reports must include the financial information that the President requires. In addition, the head of each executive agency must give the Secretary reports and information on the agency’s financial condition and operations that the Secretary requires to prepare the reports.

3. Rescission

This bulletin rescinds TFM Volume I Bulletin No. 2015-08.

4. Background

The Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service), in conjunction with OMB, has concluded that recording prior fiscal year activity during the current FY distorts budgetary reporting. OMB has shown that this practice yields a government-wide discrepancy from one year’s ending balances to the following year’s beginning balances. This results in misstatements on budget execution reports. While these misstatements are not material in the context of financial statement reporting, they are significant in the context of budget execution.

5. Using the Prior-Year Adjustment Attribute Required for GTAS Reporting 

GTAS includes a prior-year adjustment attribute. For a definition of the prior-year adjustment attribute and a list of valid domain values, refer to USSGL Part 2, Section IV. FPAs must use this attribute to report prior-year adjustments.

6. Submitting and Tracking Backdated Treasury Documents

FPAs reporting certain adjustments that impact the Fund Balance With Treasury (FBWT) also must be processed by logging into GTASRefer to the GTAS website for more information. 

Treasury backdates only prior-year transactions that round to $1 million. This range includes amounts equal to or greater than $500,000. Note that in some cases, when a prior-year adjustment transaction occurs with USSGL accounts typically associated with FBWT, FPAs may not be required to submit a backdated document. These cases typically involve reclassifying USSGL accounts, such as the following examples:

  • Recording a reclassification of an offsetting collection:

        Debit 425200 (Reimbursements and Other Income Earned – Collected)

            Credit 427700 (Other Actual Collections – Federal)

  • Recording a reclassification of an outlay:

        Debit 490200 (Delivered Orders – Obligations Paid)

            Credit 480200 (Undelivered Orders – Obligations, Prepaid/Advanced).

In both examples, there is a reclassification to the USSGL accounts; however, the type of transaction as it is categorized in Treasury’s central accounting system (that is, offsetting collection/outlay) did not change. Therefore, a backdated Treasury document would not be required even if the amount was greater than $500,000.

Treasury processes prior-year backdated documents monthly when GTAS reporting is due. Agencies must submit reporting by the third workday of the month, and before the Monthly Treasury Statement is published. Treasury processes prior-year backdated documents on a monthly basis or when the GTAS window is open.

Agencies must submit Treasury documents backdated to the prior year(s) through OMB’s Backdated Treasury Document Request MAX community page. They must enter the necessary information in CARS. The MAX community page provides guidance and detailed instructions on how to complete the required template. Agencies also can monitor the approval status of their submitted backdated documents on the MAX community page.

A MAX user ID is required to access the MAX community page. To obtain a MAX user ID, access the MAX portal and follow the instructions to register for and receive a MAX user ID.

7. References

The following references provide additional guidance to agencies on USSGL accounts and prior-year adjustments:

  • USSGL and
  • OMB Circular No. A-11.

8. Effective Date

This bulletin is effective immediately.

9. Inquiries

Direct questions concerning this bulletin to:

Department of the Treasury
Bureau of the Fiscal Service
Budget Reports Division
3201 Pennsy Drive, Building E
Landover, MD 20785
Telephone: 202-874-9966
Email: budget.reports@fiscal.treasury.gov

Date: July 27, 2017