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Common Questions

Basic

Users

Transactions and Reporting

Training

System Requirements

Hardware

Central Accounting Reporting System/Government Wide Accounting (CARS/GWA) Reporting

OTCnet Release 1.5


Basic

Q. What is OTCnet?

OTCnet is the Treasury/FMS solution for Over the Counter (OTC) Deposit Processing and Reporting and Check Capture. OTCnet is a combination of two legacy systems, TGAnet and PCC OTC. The combined functionality improves over-the-counter collections by fully automating the collection, reconciliation, research and reporting processes into a single, secure Web-based application.

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Q. Do I have to use OTCnet?

Yes, all over-the-counter deposit activity will need to be entered into OTCnet.

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Q. What is CIR (Collection Information Repository)?

TRS has been renamed to the Collections Information Repository (CIR) effective January 2013. FMS has rebranded TRS to be consistent with the naming convention for its other data repositories, such as the Payment Information Repository (PIR).

The application URL has not changed, nor have there been any changes to the functionality of the system.

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Q. How do I access OTCnet?

Visit http://otcnet.fms.treas.gov to log-in to OTCnet with your Treasury Single Sign-On account.

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Q. What are the advantages of using OTCnet?

OTCnet makes it easier for stakeholders and citizens to complete over-the-counter activity (e.g., Point-of-sale, Bank Deposits) with the government. OTCnet's online capabilities allow access to information and reports anytime, anywhere. OTCnet's design accommodates check capture and deposit reporting the "Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) way". Reporting transactions and associated accounting data "the CARS way" is required under the Government-wide Accounting (GWA) modernization initiative and serves as the standard for all government agencies.

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Q. How can I make suggestions for enhancements?

Enhancement suggestions can be made by contacting the Treasury OTC Support Center at (866) 945-7920, or (302) 323 -3159, or military DSN at (510) 428-6824, (select option 1, select option 2, then select option 4) or via e-mail at FMS.OTCChannel@citi.com. To improve OTCnet, we continuously evaluate enhancement requests.

Q. What is OTCnet Offline?

OTCnet Offline enables agencies to perform check conversion activities with limited Internet connectivity. The OTCnet Offline application is available via secure download from OTCnet Online or, as needed, via CD. The Offline application locally installs on Agency workstations to allow Check Capture and Batch Upload activity with limited Internet access. To learn more about OTCnet Offline, please refer to the latest release notes at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/releases.html.

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Q. Should my Agency use OTCnet Offline?

OTCnet Offline is ideal for your Agency if you experience frequent Internet disruptions or have locations with limited Internet connectivity or extremely low bandwidth, such as overseas locations.

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Q. How is OTCnet similar to TGAnet/PCC OTC?

OTCnet provides the same functionality as TGAnet and PCC OTC, consolidated into a single, secure Web-based application. The reports in OTCnet are the same as those previously found in TGAnet and PCC OTC. Users will see no major change in reporting. Future releases of OTCnet will incorporate enhancements; reports may be updated based on new regulations, but the inherent functionality will remain the same.

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Q. How is OTCnet different from TGAnet/PCC OTC?

OTCnet combines the functionality of TGAnet and PCC OTC into a single web- based application. Therefore, the look and feel of the application is slightly different. OTCnet allows users to conduct all check capturing activities online, thus eliminating the need to download software. An offline version is available for agencies with unique needs, such as intermittent Internet access.

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Q. With the sunset of CASHLINK II, what do I need to do to start using OTCnet for my depositing needs?

All agencies with over the counter deposits must report them electronically in OTCnet. All agencies have migrated all OTC deposits to OTCnet’s Depositing Reporting or Check Capture function.

If you are new to OTCnet Deposit Processing, please visit our Agency Enrollment page.

If you are a new Financial Institution, please visit our Financial Institution Enrollment page.

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Q. What does the term "OTCnet" mean?

OTCnet stands for Over the Counter Channel Application (OTCnet), a system that allows users to capture and process checks, and/or process deposits.

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Q. Who do I call for assistance with OTCnet?

Please call the OTC Support Center (1-866-945-7920) for all OTCnet questions, concerns, or issues, including questions related to user creation and training. The OTC Support Center is the focal point for obtaining resolution to all OTCnet issues. Additionally, your Deployment Specialist will be able to provide any specific OTCnet information related to your Agency.

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Users

Q. I have another Treasury Single Sign On (SSO) User Account. Can I use it for OTCnet?

Yes. Each Agency will have a Primary Local Security Administrator and Local Security Administrator(s) (P/LSA) who will have the ability to add an OTCnet account to your existing Treasury Single Sign On (SSO) ID.

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Q. Is there a difference between PCC OTC users and OTCnet users?

Responsibilities from certain PCC OTC roles have been integrated into new OTCnet roles. The table on page 6 of the User Roles Guide explains the former PCC OTC roles and the corresponding OTCnet role. The User Roles Guide is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/pccotcconversion.html (Click on User Roles Guide).

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Q. How do I unlock my password?

Contact your Primary Local Security Administrator (PLSA) or Local Security Administrator (LSA) to reset your password. If your PLSA or LSA is not available, you may contact the Treasury OTC Support Center at (866) 945-7920, or (302) 323 -3159, or military DSN at (510) 428-6824, (select option 1, select option 2, then select option 4) or via e-mail at FFMS.OTCChannel@citi.com.

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Q. How do I reset my password?

If you know your existing password, you can go to "My Profile" and change the password in the Identity Manager after you’ve logged into OTCnet.

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Q. Am I limited to one role in OTCnet or am I able to have multiple roles? Which User Roles can be combined?

There are certain roles that can be combined and others that are not able to be combined. Pages 7-9 of the User Roles Guide provides an-depth explanation of Role Combinations for Deposit Reporting, Check Capture and FI Users. The User Roles Guide is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/pccotcconversion.html (Click on User Roles Guide).

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Q. What users can perform which functions?

A description of each User Role in OTCnet can be found on pages 1-5 of the User Roles Guide. The User Roles Guide is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/pccotcconversion.html (Click on User Roles Guide).

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Q. I am the PLSA/LSA, how do I decide which roles to provision?

Please refer to the User Roles Guide and work with your Deployment Specialist to determine the appropriate roles to provision to your staff. The User Roles Guide is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/pccotcconversion.html (Click on User Roles Guide).

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Q. I am a PLSA/LSA, how do I create a new user account?

PLSAs and LSAs can create new OTCnet user accounts by using the IBM Tivoli Identity Manager (ITIM) Web-based application. P/LSAs can access ITIM by going to https://reg.fms.treas.gov/itimext and logging in with their Treasury Single Sign On (SSO) ID. P/LSAs should first log into ITIM and perform a search to confirm the user does not already have a Treasury SSO ID to avoid duplication of user accounts. The PLSA and LSA should then initiate the "New External User Identity" task from the ITIM User interface menu.

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Q. What is the minimum number of personnel required to run OTCnet?

The minimum number of personnel required to run OTCnet is three: two personnel to serve as the PLSA and LSA to create and provision users, and one person to hold the required administrative and functional roles (e.g. Accounting Specialist, Deposit Preparer, Deposit Approver, Check Capture Administrator, Check Capture Supervisor, Check Capture Lead Operator, CIRA Viewer).

Please note that if an Agency is only using OTCnet Deposit Reporting, the minimum required number of personnel is still 3, but the individual with the administrative and functional roles will only need the Accounting Specialist, Deposit Preparer and Deposit Approver roles. Please work with your Deployment Specialist if you have questions.

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Q. Do I need separation of duties?

The implementation of separation of duties is at the discretion of the Agency and will depend on their internal processes and policies. OTCnet will allow certain users to perform more than one function. Pages 7-9 of the User Roles Guide provides an-depth explanation of Role Combinations for Deposit Reporting, Check Capture and FI Users. The User Roles Guide is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/pccotcconversion.html (Click on User Roles Guide).

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Transactions and Reporting

Q. How do I process foreign checks and currency in OTCnet?

OTCnet can process foreign currency and foreign checks through OTCnet Deposit Reporting. The foreign checks must be drawn from a foreign Financial Institution.

Please ensure your ALC is set to process foreign currency for deposit reporting. You will need to set up a banking relationship with Bank of America to accept foreign currency and foreign checks, and add these to your deposit reporting set up in OTCnet. If you need assistance with deposit reporting set up, please review the OTCnet Web Based training at: http:/www.fms.treas.gov/otcnet/training/wbt/content/course_FMSOTC/index.htm or contact our Customer Support team at 866-945-7920.

Q. Do I need to take deposits to the bank on the same day that I enter them in OTCnet?

Yes, you are expected to take your deposits to the bank on the date you enter a deposit into OTCnet. Agencies are required to make an OTCnet deposit if the deposit amount is at least $5,000 or by every Thursday regardless of the deposit amount.

Q. I use OTCnet Deposit Processing. How do I gain access to the OTCnet Check Capture functionality so I can scan my own checks without walking to the bank to make a deposit?

If you would like to begin using OTCnet Check Capture, please contact the OTCnet Onboarding Team at 703-377-5586 or fms.otcdeployment@citi.com. The OTCnet Onboarding Team will work with you to obtain an ALC+2, scanner, and complete set up in OTCnet.

Q. I am working with the CARS team to transition my ALCs to CARS reporting. Is OTCnet CARS (GWA) compliant?

OTCnet Deposit Reporting and Check Capture Processing allow for GWA reporting. First, you will need to work with the SAM Team to ensure your accounting codes are TAS/BETC codes, then add your codes to OTCnet, and work with the CARS (GWA) and OTCnet Customer Support teams to finalize the transition to OTCnet CARS (GWA) reporting.

Q. How will Financial Institutions (FIs) know if the deposit ticket was generated in OTCnet?

Deposit tickets generated in OTCnet have a header that states “OTCnet Deposit Ticket.” Agency customers making deposits should provide FIs with a printed copy of the OTCnet-generated deposit ticket along with the deposit.

Q. Can Financial Institutions (FIs) process paper SF 215 deposit slips using OTCnet?

No, FIs can only confirm deposits in OTCnet. The Agency should provide FIs with a printed copy of the OTCnet-generated deposit ticket along with the deposit.

Q. If I was submitting a bank specific deposit slip with my deposit, do I still need to do that?

Yes, some FIs have and will continue to require that you use their bank deposit slip in addition to the OTCnet generated deposit ticket. Some FIs require that you get updated deposit slips when you transition to using OTCnet. FIs that require a customer to use a specific deposit slip when making deposits in OTCnet must make sure their local branches are aware of those deposit slip.

Training

Q. What kind of training options are available for my Agency?

The OTCnet Training Program offers users several tools to successfully learn the OTCnet System. These tools include and a user-friendly Web-Based Training (WBT) and Paper-Based Resources that are available for agencies and Financial Institutions to use at any time. WBT allows users to train on OTCnet when it is convenient, provides new staff with training, and lets users retake modules as needed.

WBT includes:

  • Printable Job Aids (PJAs) that provide step-by-step instructions for performing specific tasks
  • Show Me simulations that demonstrate specific system tasks a user performs in OTCnet
  • Let Me Try simulations that enable a user to practice specific system tasks in a safe training environment
  • User guides (UGs) that provide step-by-step instructions that includes a textual description of tasks, with screenshots and ends with a wrap-up How To box providing step-by-step instructions for completing the task as appropriate
  • Job Aids (JAs) that provide a designated user with a "quick tips" reference for Deposit Processing and Check Processing tasks such as creating Agency hierarchy, establishing depositing endpoints, processing options, etc.

Instructor-led training is also available pending FMS approval. For more information on training, visit http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/training.html or contact FMS Information at fms.otcdeployment@citi.com.

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Q. How do I access training resources?

Web-Based Training (WBT) is the primary way for users to learn how to use the OTCnet system. WBT is available to agencies on-demand via the Training page of the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/training.html. Instructor-led training is also available pending FMS approval. For more information on training, contact FMS Information at fms.otcdeployment@citi.com.

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System Requirements

Q. Where can I find the latest System Requirements document?

The OTCnet System Requirements document is located on the OTCnet website at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/index.html, under the "Conversion Toolkit". The document is updated as the system evolves. Users are encouraged to review the System Requirements document periodically and prior to any large scale IT rollouts.

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Q. How often are the system requirements updated?

The System Requirements are updated as the system evolves and as testing progresses. Normally, the System Requirements document is updated with each OTCnet release.

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Q. Does OTCnet meet my Agency's security requirements?

OTCnet is compliant with the latest Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) audit, 508 regulations, user access/provisioning, system security requirements, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive -12 (HSPD-12) and Personal Identity Verification (PIV) standards.

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Q. Does OTCnet require a Java Runtime Environment installed on a client workstation?

OTCnet requires an installed Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to enable check scanning functionality on client workstations, but does not require a JRE for deposit processing functionality. For the latest Java compatibility information, please review the OTCnet System Requirements at http://www.fms.treas.gov/otcnet under the OTCnet Conversion Toolkit. Additional development and testing is required to ensure compatibility with additional JRE versions. OTCnet will continue to review future JRE updates for integration with OTCnet releases.

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Hardware

Q. What are the Hardware Requirements for OTCnet?

Please review the OTCnet System Requirements document for detailed information on hardware requirements for OTCnet. The document can be found on the OTCnet homepage at http://www.fms.treas.gov/otcnet under the "OTCnet Conversion Toolkit".

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Q. If I am converting from PCC OTC to OTCnet, do I have to purchase new hardware (e.g., a scanner) to use OTCnet?

All current hardware used with PCC OTC (e.g., scanners, yes/no keypads, other peripherals) is supported by OTCnet. To learn more about purchasing OTCnet-compatible hardware, please visit the OTCnet Hardware Ordering Overview page at http://fms.treas.gov/otcnet/hardware.html or contact your Deployment Specialist.

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Q. Will my Agency need to use a scanner?

Your Agency needs a scanner if using OTCnet for Check Capture. If your Agency only uses OTCnet for Deposit Processing, a scanner is not needed.

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Q. Are there any costs associated with the scanner?

Agencies will incur a one-time cost associated with the initial purchase of a scanner. Scanners come with a one or two year warranty depending on the type of scanner. Please reach out to your Deployment Specialist to provide additional information on hardware pricing.

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Q. Where can I find information on scanner firmware?

Information on scanner firmware is included in the OTCnet System Requirements document. The document can be found on the OTCnet homepage at http://www.fms.treas.gov/otcnet under the "OTCnet Conversion Toolkit". OTCnet has been developed to be compatible with most users' computer systems and to be set-up with as much ease as possible.

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Q. What do I need to do when there is a new scanner firmware release?

Users will be notified in advance of firmware releases. Agency user(s) that have been provisioned the Check Capture Administrator role will be responsible for downloading the new scanner firmware release from the OTCnet Web-based application and installing it on each Check Capture workstation.

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Q. What should I do if my scanner isn't working properly?

If your scanner is not working properly, please contact the Customer Support team to help troubleshoot possible problems. If the issues persist, they may direct you to contact the distributor for assistance.

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Central Accounting Reporting System/Government Wide Accounting (CARS/GWA) Reporting

Q. What is Government Wide Accounting (GWA)?

GWA provides the central/financial accounting and reporting infrastructure for federal payments, claims, collections, central accounts and other financial transactions.

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Q. What is the Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS)?

CARS addresses the central accounting and reporting functions and processes associated with budget execution, accountability and cash/other asset management. This includes the collection and dissemination of financial management and accounting information from and to agencies. To learn more about CARS, please visit https://www.fms.treas.gov/cars/index.html.

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Q. What is a Treasury Account Symbol (TAS)?

A TAS is a receipt, appropriation, expenditure and other fund account symbols and titles as assigned by the Department of the Treasury and Office of Management and Budget that identify a specific Treasury account. For more information on Treasury Account Symbols, please consult the Federal Account Symbols and Titles (FAST) Book, located on the FMS website at http://www.fms.treas.gov/FASTBook/index.html and contact your internal accounting point(s) of contact who are knowledgeable about TAS.

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Q. What is a Classification Key (C-Key)?

A C-Key is a unique agency accounting code assigned to a transaction is approved by GWA. A C-Key includes agency accounting or collection mechanism data (e.g., account code, fund code, Merchant ID), which translates directly to a Treasury Account Symbol (TAS)-Business Event Type Code (BETC). Agencies will establish C-Keys in the Shared Accounting Module (SAM) for collection transactions that will be used to drive the appropriate values of TAS/BETC.

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Q. What is the Shared Accounting Module (SAM)?

SAM is an FMS program that allows agencies to classify all Fund Balance with Treasury Transactions and adjustments to the appropriate TAS and BETC at the time the transactions or adjustments are reported to the treasury.

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Q. What are the CARS Mandates?

OTCnet Release 1.3 will support the CARS Requirement set by GWA that all transactions capture standard classification information at the onset of a transaction. To do this, OTCnet Release 1.3 enhancements must meet the following criteria:

  • All CARS Reporting agencies assign a standardized classification identifier, either a TAS or C-Key, to all transactions as close to the point of initiation as possible.
  • Standard classification information will be accepted in the form of a TAS String or a C-Key, which is an internal Agency accounting code that can be translated into a valid TAS/BETC(s).
  • All deposit flows (e.g., OTCnet, Pay.gov) must be flowing through TRS and the agency must have set up a Cash Flow Profile with SAM to validate their TAS or C-Key In order to be a CARS Reporter.

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Q. What is a Business Event Type Code (BETC)?

A BETC is an eight-character code used in the GWA system to indicate the type of activity being reported, such as payments, collections and borrowings.

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OTCnet Release 1.5

Q. When will OTCnet Release 1.5 be made available?

OTCnet Release 1.5 will be made available in June 2014. A definitive date will be announced as we get closer to the release implementation.

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Q. When we close or approve a batch in OTCnet, we currently download the Batch List Report. Will we still be able to download the report in OTCnet Release 1.5?

Yes. To download the report, you will be able to click the Export button, located on the lower left hand side of the screen. You may also print a PDF version of the Batch List Report by clicking the Print PDF Report button.

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Q. Will the changes to the Close and Approve Batch screens be documented in the OTCnet Release 1.5 Notes?

Yes. The changes to the Close and Approve Batch screens will be documented in the OTCnet Release 1.5 Notes.

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Q. We do not have an Accounting Code drop-down field when we scan a check; do we need to change our configuration to set-up this feature?

To assign Accounting Codes to your endpoint, your Check Capture Administrator will need to assign the accounting code by logging into the OTCnet application, clicking the Administration tab, selecting Accounting Codes and clicking Modify, as illustrated in the figure below:

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Q. We have multiple Accounting Codes drop-down fields. How can we delete one field?

If your terminal has multiple Accounting Code drop-down fields, you may have a User Defined Field (UDF) for the Accounting Code. To delete or edit this UDF, please contact your Local Accounting Specialist/Accounting Specialist.

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Q. In Release 1.5, can an Accounting Code automatically populate in the Accounting Code drop-down field when a check is scanned?

Yes, a “sticky” Accounting Code will be made available in Release 1.5. The “sticky” Accounting Code will automatically populate based on the accounting code selected for the last saved transaction in that terminal. This will allow the user to have an Accounting Code populate without selecting the code. This feature only applies to Check Capture and does not apply to Deposit Processing.

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Q. Will the definition of the Voucher Date affect monthly reporting to the Treasury?

When Release 1.5 is deployed, the Voucher Date will be defined as the business processing day the transaction is received by Debit Gateway from OTCnet. If you are a GWA/CARS reporter, this change will not affect your statement of account. If you are not a GWA/CARS reporter, please refer to the Treasury Support Center at (877) 440-9476 or by email at GWA-CRM@fms.treas.gov for further information.

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Q. When will Historical Reports become available in OTCnet?

Historical Reports will become available in the OTCnet Online application with Release 1.5 in June 2014. When this release is deployed, you will be able to login and see this new feature. The Online application will automatically be upgraded to Release 1.5 on the back-end when the new release is deployed.

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Q. Which OTCnet users can access Historical Reports?

Users who currently have access to the CIRA CSV Report will be able to access Historical Reports. This includes users assigned to the following roles: Agency Manager, Check Capture Administrator, MVD Editor, MVD Viewer, and FMS Viewer.

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Q. What search criteria do I need to locate check records using the new Historical Reporting function?

You can search for check records using various criteria, including: OTC Endpoint, User Defined Fields (UDFs), Account Number, Bank Routing Number, and Individual Reference Number (IRN). If you run a search without specifying any criteria other than an OTC Endpoint, the search results will include all checks in the system that you have access to view.

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Q. Where can I find the Historical Reporting function in OTCnet?

Once Release 1.5 is deployed in June 2014, you will be able to see the new Historical Reporting feature under the Reporting tab of the OTCnet application. To access the Historical Reporting function, click the Reporting tab, select Historical Reports, and click Generate Historical Reports, as illustrated in the figure below:

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Q. After a check is saved to the Historical Reports database, will I be able to see the check?

Yes. You will be able to see all the check information in the Historical Report and you will be able to view the check images in the Check Image Report.

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Q. Will the EC 7000i continue to be available for purchase and compatible with OTCnet?

Yes. The EC7000i will still be available for purchase and compatible with OTCnet.

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Q. When Release 1.5 is made available, will scanners have to be reconfigured?

No. You will not have to reconfigure your scanners unless you purchase the EC 9000i or the Panini I: Deal scanners, which are check scanners that will be newly compatible to the OTCnet system with Release 1.5. Please note that for Offline users doing a fresh install of the software, it is a best practice to review the terminal configuration and confirm that all information is correct and complete.

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   Last Updated:  September 17, 2014