Fiscal Coding and Batch Review
An agency may decide to establish a process to review invoices, billings and other transactions for proper fiscal coding and approval before actually entering batches and transactions in STARS.
A batch review process will help identify 1) the type of transactions you have; 2) the fiscal coding that is appropriate for your agency structure; 3) and what type of accounting postings will be generated by your transactions.
One general example of a process is:
Review the batch
Review the invoice or billing to determine the proper fiscal coding. Typical things to review include:
4. Idaho Code requires that vouchers submitted for payment must be for supplies or services necessary in the public service:
5. Review the Fiscal Policy Advisory Committee polices and the State Travel Policy and Procedures where applicable.
6. Deduct Idaho sales tax from invoices as allowed by Idaho Code. Taxes imposed by other states are payable. Agencies also pay city or motel taxes.
7. Check for agency approval signatures on the batch header or individual documents.
Once you have reviewed the invoice or billing, you can decide on the fiscal coding to be used for data entry in STARS or Payment Services.
Accounting transactions are entered into STARS in a batch. A batch consists of Batch Header information (which includes your Agency Code, a Batch Number, a Batch Type, signatures from other agency accounting personnel for review and release, etc.), and the actual transactions and their fiscal codes.
Most stars transactions require an eight-character Current Document and two-digit Suffix number. You typically assign a Current Document/Suffix number to each transaction on the invoice, but you can assign the same Current Document number to multiple transactions and differentiate them by assigning a different Suffix number to each. You may have more than one transaction coded for an individual invoice, but the transactions must total the invoice amount.
Each agency should set a standard for assigning document numbers. The following are examples of different ways that agencies assign document numbers:
STARS uses the Current Document/Suffix number on the Document file when the transaction code creates a document. The Document File is used for keeping track of individual records such as accounts receivables, accounts payables, encumbrances, loans, etc.
STARS also uses the Current Document/Suffix number on the Vendor Payment File, listing the payments to a vendor in alphabetical order. The Document Number can help keep the numbers in order. For example, you may want this number to be consecutive from the first of the year to the end.
Every STARS transaction requires a three-character transaction code. This code determines which General Ledger accounts and STARS files the transaction will post to. The transaction code also determines which fiscal code fields are required or which ones you can enter. The transaction codes determine whether STARS will generate a warrant, another transaction code and/or a 1099MISC record for tax purposes. See the Transaction Code Decision Table document for more information on transaction codes.
The one-character reversal (RVS) will change the debits and credits of a Transaction Code. You normally leave this field blank unless you are doing an “R" reversal. You must use the space bar to clear this field if you have entered it, but then decide not to use it on the transaction.
STARS requires most transactions to have both a five-character alphanumeric PCA and a four-character alphanumeric Index. The PCA and Index are codes used by your agency to identify certain programs (PCA) or organization (Index) structure. Agencies can be either PCA driven, Index driven, or both.
STARS can use the Indexes and PCAs to look up other fiscal codes and automatically enter them.
The system can generate different levels of reports for your agency based on the agency structure that you attach to these Index and PCA codes. Indexes and PCAs are set up at the first of each year by your agency.
STARS uses the subobjects on transactions to determine which appropriation object to charge the expenditure to. If there is not enough appropriation in the appropriate Budget Unit and Fund for the subobject, the transaction will not process.
STARS uses the four-digit revenue subobject to identify the category of the receipt received (you can also enter a two-digit detail specific to your agency). These post to the files for reporting. See the Cash Receipts document for more information on revenue subobjects and cash receipts.
You must enter a four-digit expenditure subobject (you can also enter a two-digit, agency-specific detail) to categorize the expenditure, such as an expenditure for office supplies, accounting services, etc. The expenditure subobjects are statewide (every agency uses the same), while the detail is optional and agency-specific (each agency can set them up however they wish). These post to STARS files for reporting and budgetary controls.
STARS uses the subobjects to generate additional internal processes. For example, a transaction with Personnel subobjects (4000 - 4999) require a PCN number. Some of the Capital Outlay subobjects (6000 - 6999) may require a property and component number, since the information may go to the Fixed Asset System (FAS).
The descriptions of the expenditure subobjects may help you determine which subobject to use for certain transactions.
Every STARS transaction requires an amount (maximum eighteen-digit number, including a decimal). Do not use commas, dollar signs, and negative signs when entering a transaction amount.
A transaction amount can be divided ('split') into multiple transaction amounts to be able to post to different Indexes, PCAs, Grants or Projects. The transaction can also be divided to post to different subobjects. If you do split an transaction into multiple transactions, be sure that the total of those transactions match the total of the original transaction.
STARS posts transaction amounts to various STARS files to use for reporting, as well as for cash and budgetary controls.
The fourteen-character invoice number will print on the warrant stub to the vendor that you are paying. This number helps the vendors know what the payment is for.
STARS also posts the invoice number to the Vendor Payment File. This invoice number also shows on daily reports for both expenditures and receipts as well as many other reports. For Interagency Billings (where one agency bills another), the invoice number is important because STARS uses it as the Reference Document number. See the Expenditures and Disbursements document and the Interagency Billing document for more information.
The thirty-character invoice description will also print on the warrant stub. Include enough information so either the vendor or your agency can identify the payment.
STARS also posts the description to the Vendor Payment File. The invoice description shows on daily reports for both expenditures and receipts. See the Expenditures and Disbursements document for more information.
STARS uses a nine-character vendor number and two-character suffix to look up the name and address on the Vendor Edit Table (table 21) in order to send the payment to the correct vendor and location. STARS uses the Vendor Number for tax reporting to the IRS. See the Vendors documentation for more information on Vendors and 1099MISC tax reporting.
The vendor number and suffix also determines if STARS sends the payment as an EFT or as a warrant
STARS uses the Fund code on transactions to determine which cash control fund to charge the expenditure. If there is not enough cash for this Fund within your agency, the transaction will not process.
STARS also uses the Fund code to determine which appropriation fund to charge the expenditure. If there is not enough appropriation in the appropriate Budget Unit and object for this Fund within your agency, the transaction will not process.
STARS can look up the Fund and Fund Detail automatically, based on the Index or PCA that is entered. The only time you may have to enter a Fund or Fund Detail is for entering budgetary batches. There are some transactions that only State Controller's Office can enter and they will enter the Fund and Fund Detail on those transactions.
A ten-character MPC (Multi-Purpose Code) field is for agencies to use as they need. For example, it can be used for MER (miscellaneous encumbrance requisitions) documentation when setting up an encumbrance. In conjunction with the DAFR6870 (Expenditure Report by Multipurpose Code), this can help keep track of transactions.
The one-character Disbursement Method Indicator (DMI) will sort the daily warrants. Disbursement Method “L" sorts a warrant so it can be sent to your office for mailing (for non-EFT vendors). Do not use this unless absolutely necessary. Put adequate information in the invoice number and invoice description fields so payment can be identified. Use the space bar if you need to clear this field.
For agencies that have a large volume of special program warrants, SCO can assign a unique disbursement method.
The four-digit Expenditure Subobject and two-digit Detail identifies the payment category (e.g., office supplies, accounting services, etc.).
Expenditure Subobjects are used by every agency while the Detail is set up however an agency wishes. These post to the files for reporting and budgetary controls. STARS uses these subobjects to initiate additional internal processes.
Revenue Subobject and Detail identify the category of the receipt received. The Revenue Subobjects are used by every agency while the Detail is set up however an agency wishes. These post to the files for reporting and cash controls. With the exception of the TC027 (receipts to appropriation), do not use an Expenditure and Revenue Subobject on the same transaction.
ADDR / CITY / STATE / ZIP
The forty-character Vendor Name, the forty-character Vendor Name 2, the forty-character Address, the fifteen-character City, the two-character State, and the nine-character Zip Code (zip plus 4) fields are usually automatically looked up from the Vendor Edit Table (Table 21) by the Vendor Number.
If a transaction code does not allow the Vendor Number to be entered, you must manually enter the name and address fields. STARS uses this information for tax reporting to the IRS. The Name and the Vendor Number must match the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) or SSA (Social Security Administration) files.
NOTE: The Vendor Name 2 is usually the business name for the sole-proprietor or partnership. It could also be the affiliated business name of a large corporation. STARS sends this name to the IRS for informational purposes only.
STARS has several online controls that can help detect certain types of fiscal coding errors. These controls include:
Each agency assigns an Operator Class to each employee. The Operator Class allows them to process certain transaction codes. STARS assigns this Operator Class to the batch when the batch header is created online. For those creating the batch header on STARS, only those transactions within their Operator Class range will process through STARS. Your agency's STARS administrator is responsible for identifying the Operator Class for each employee.
The operator entering the batch header must have approval to enter the transactions in the batch or the batch will error.
The batch edit mode used on the batch header determines if STARS does edit checks on the tables of financial information.
0 - No edits. No edit checks on the tables or financial balances during data entry. This mode allows you to enter a future effective date. It also allows you to enter a vendor number before the vendor number updates to the Vendor Edit Table. We do not recommend this mode, since it is difficult for the review personnel to be sure you have entered the data correctly. When using this mode, STARS updates files in batch process only during the nightly processing.
1 – Enters data with table edit checks during data entry. Used for most normal batch entries. This mode will do lookups and edits on tables such as the Index/PCA, Grant, Project, and Vendor tables. When using this mode, STARS updates files in batch process only during the nightly processing.
2 – Enters data online real-time doing both table and financial edits and updates STARS files. At this time, the State Controller's Office is the only STARS user authorized to enter batches in edit mode 2.
STARS will not let you enter an accounting transaction with data elements that do not exist, have been set up to automatically enter other fiscal codes (aka look-up), or that have an end date. The transaction code determines which data elements that are required or that you are able to enter.
IMPORTANT: STARS cannot determine if you are using the appropriate fiscal coding. That is the responsibility of your fiscal coding and review personnel.