Fund Balance with Treasury
Agency Reconciliation of Fund Balance with Treasury
The Fund Balance with Treasury (FBWT) is an asset account that reflects the available budget spending authority of federal agencies. Collections and disbursements by agencies will, correspondingly, increase or decrease the balance in the account. Agencies report changes to this account to the Financial Management Service (FMS), Department of Treasury through monthly reporting on Statements of Transactions (FMS 224, 1220, or SF 1221) and Statements of Accountability (FMS 1219 and SF 1218). FMS is the Federal Government's Financial Manager and is responsible for providing accurate financial information to Congress and the general public. To ensure the integrity of the receipt and disbursement data submitted by agencies, FMS compares agencies' fund balance reporting with comparable data submitted by financial institutions and Treasury Regional Financial Centers. Agencies are notified of any discrepancies on a monthly Statement of Differences report (FMS 6652). Agencies are responsible for investigating and resolving these differences and reporting any required adjustments on their monthly reports.
GAO has identified these unresolved differences as an indication of internal control weaknesses and grounds for providing a qualified audit opinion. FMS is committed to assisting Federal agencies in resolving fund balance differences. FMS is dedicated to creating awareness and seeking solutions to improve the reconciliation process. The Governmentwide Accounting's Cash Accounting Division (CAD) and Treasury Agency Services, both in FMS, are working together to achieve improvements in the integrity and control of the FBWT accounts.
In March 2002 CAD established the Governmentwide Reconciliation Initiative Team (GRIT) to ensure the timely and accurate reconciliation of FBWT differences. CFOs were asked to appoint an agency representative to the team. Agencies that agreed to participate in GRIT are listed below. As a result of team efforts, 95% of the 1,713 agency designated ALCs had less than four unreconciled differences after year end FY 2003 reporting.
Accelerated Reporting of FBWT
The President's Management Agenda calls for improving financial performance by providing timely, reliable, and useful information. In accordance with this principle, OMB significantly accelerated financial reporting due dates for yearend and quarterly reporting. In consideration of the accelerated financial reporting due dates, Governmentwide Accounting accelerated the reporting due dates for the Statement of Transactions (FMS 224, FMS 1220, and SF 1221) and the Statement of Accountability (FMS 1219 and SF 1218). Beginning with the accounting month of January 2003, the due dates for these reports were accelerated in increments from the 7th workday to the 5th workday until the final acceleration to the 3rd workday beginning with the accounting month of October 2003 (reports submitted in November). FMS issued a TFM announcement in September 2002 alerting agencies of the change in reporting requirements.
The table below reflects the percentages of Accountability and Transaction reports received on the 3rd workday after the effective date of acceleration.
Changes in FBWT Reporting Requirements
In October 2002, FMS issued TFM Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 3400, Accounting for and Reporting on Cash and Investments Held Outside of the U.S. Treasury. This chapter required that agencies begin to report to Treasury monthly, via FMS 224, FMS 1219/1220 or SF 1218/1221, all cash that is not in a Treasury General Account (TGA) and investments in non-federal securities.
In anticipation of Treasury's future plans to eliminate FMS 224, FMS 1219/1220 or SF 1218/1221 reporting as it currently exists, the TFM chapter also required that agencies no longer maintain ending accountability balances (line 5.4 of the 224 and line 5.0 of the 1218 and 1219). All transactions are required to be classified to a Treasury Account Symbol. The TFM chapter provides guidance on how to clear these balances.
Access the GWA website at www.fms.treas.gov/gwa for detailed information on FMS plans to modernize reporting requirements and to improve the timeliness in which data is made available to agencies. For more information, please call the Cash at (202) 874-9810 or e-mail us at Fund.Balance@fms.treas.gov