How a Warrant is Created


Expenditure, disbursement, and refund transactions usually generate a warrant to pay an outside entity or vendor. The transaction code used on these transactions will identify:


  • Whether or not to generate a warrant.
  • The impact on the General Ledger.
  • The financial files the specific fields in the financial files to post to.
  • The data elements which are required, optional, or not allowed on the transaction.

Refer to the Transaction Code Decision Table in STARS or the DAFR8640 Transaction Code Decision Table Report and the DAFR8740 General Ledger to Transaction Code Cross Reference (TCs that post to the GL) to see this information on any given transaction code.

Warrant Write Indicator

Each STARS transaction code has a warrant write indicator - WAR-WRITING.  This indicator determines how STARS will post the transaction to the Warrant File in order to create a warrant.


Below is an example of a 230 Transaction Code. The third pair of General Ledgers indicated in the example will post to Outstanding Warrants Payable in a statewide warrant-clearing fund 0649. This General Ledger will be cleared as warrants are redeemed in the State Treasurer’s Office.



 FUNCTION: R (A=ADD, C=CHANGE, D=DELETE, N=NEXT, R=RECALL)                    


GENERAL-LEDGER-  DR-1: 4200 CR-1: 1003 DR-2:      CR-2:                       

       POSTING   DR-3: 1003 CR-3: 2101 DR-4:      CR-4:                       





GEN-TC:      GEN-ACCR-TC:                                                     


The values for the WAR-WRITING indicator are:





Do not create a warrant or post a record to any warrant files.


Create a warrant and post the record to the warrant file that writes warrants.


Do not create a warrant but post a record to the warrant file that controls warrants because a warrant has already been created manually.


Redeem the warrant on the warrant file that controls warrants.


If the transaction has a Warrant Write Indictor of 1 to create a warrant, the following files are used to write and control the warrant or EFT:

  • The Warrant Write File (WW) for temporary information to process a warrant.
  • The Warrant Control File (WC) for holding place for warrant information once STARS generates a warrant.
  • The Warrant Detail File (WD) for detail information of the warrant amount in the Warrant Control file.

These files provide a method to assign bank numbers to the warrants as well as for warrant tracking and control capabilities.  All electronic payments (EFTs) to vendors also post to the warrant files indicated above.

Disbursement Method Indicators

STARS uses the Disbursement Method Indicator (DMI or DISB-METH on the General Transaction Entry screen) to sort warrants in a specific order before printing. Warrants can be printed in zip code order, agency order, pay location order, etc.  The DMI is also used for special handling of warrants, such as warrants that need dual endorsements.


The DMI field is found as the DISB-METH field on the STARS General Transaction Entry screen. The two most common DMIs are the regular (blank) and the Low (L) volume. The regular DMI sorts by zip code for mailing. The low volume DMI sorts by agency number so warrants can be returned to an agency and the agency can mail or disburse them as needed.

The controls for the DMIs are set up on the STARS Descriptor Table 57 (D57) and the valid Disbursement Method Indicators (DMI) can be viewed on that table.


Warrant Numbers Assigned by STARS

STARS assigns warrant numbers as follows:


Warrant Number Range

Warrant Type

100000000 – 999999999

Regular warrant

010000000 – 099999999

Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs)


Manual expedite

 Warrant Write File (WW)

All transaction information relating to the creation of a warrant is posted to records in the Warrant Write File (WW) File. Once the warrant is created, STARS deletes the records from the WW file. STARS will then post this information from those records to the Warrant Control and Warrant Detail Files.


Before a transaction posts to the Warrant Write file, STARS checks the amount in the Fund on the transaction – this is called a “cash edit”. If amount is sufficient to process the transaction, STARS transfers the cash from your Fund to a statewide warrant clearing fund (Fund 0649). All warrants post to the warrant-clearing fund.


VERSION 3.1                STARS--WARRANT WRITING INQUIRY                S042 

 FUNCTION: N (N=NEXT, P=PRIOR, R=RECALL)                                      


 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * DOCUMENT LEVEL DATA * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

 AGCY: 230 DOCUMENT-NO: D2830128                                              


 VENDOR-NO: 100000000  12 VENDOR-NAME: SUPPLY                              

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * TRANSACTION LEVEL DATA * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

D S                         DOC         DUE                                   

M H   TRANSACTION ID        SUF  INDX   DATE                 TC      AMOUNT   

    230200209114981000040   01   2428  100202                230       81.90  

    230200209114981000050   02   2428  100202                230      90.32- 


                                                   DOCUMENT TOTAL:     8.42- 

 Posting to the Warrant Write File

The transaction codes that post to the Warrant Write File will post a debit or credit (-) amount in the file.  Expenditure and disbursement transaction codes post a debit amount.  A reversal of an expenditure or disbursement transaction code posts a credit (-) amount. The DUE DATE will be automatically posted as the current date unless the transaction has a DUE DATE entered.


In the nightly batch processing, STARS will:


If the vendor is paid by warrant

  • Sort all of an agency’s transactions, regardless of the batch they are in, by vendor number/suffix, DMI (if applicable), invoice number, and then by invoice description.
  • Combine an agency’s transactions that have the same vendor number/suffix, the same invoice number, and the same invoice description into one transaction.
  • Send a warrant to the vendor (unless the transaction has a Disbursement Method Indicator of “L”, then a warrant is sent to the agency). The Vendor Name is forty characters.
  • Print a remittance advice (attached to the warrant) with up to 24 transactions listed on it. If there are more than 24 transactions, a separate remittance advice is printed with the additional transactions. The warrant will indicate that the invoice information is being sent separately.
  • If there are more than 24 transactions for a vendor and the transactions have a DMI of “L”, STARS will write one warrant for each group of 24 transactions. Transactions interfaced from Agency 270 that have a DMI of 'U' will be collapsed to just one warrant per vendor.
  • STARS will not issue a warrant if the total of the agency transactions to a vendor is a credit (-). All of the transactions (both debit and credit amounts) will remain in the Warrant Write file until the total of the transactions equal or exceed the credit amount.
  • If the total of all the transactions is a debit, a warrant number is assigned and a warrant is issued. The warrant information is posted to the Warrant Control file for future redemption or cancellation.


If the vendor is paid by EFT

  • Sort all of an agency’s transactions, regardless of the batch they are in, by vendor number/suffix, DMI (if applicable), by invoice number, and then by invoice description.
  • Combine an agency’s transactions that have the same vendor number/suffix, the same invoice number, and the same invoice description into one transaction.
  • Create one EFT for each group of 24 transactions. Remittance advices are not produced for EFT vendors, except for H&W.
  • If the total of a group of 24 transactions is a negative amount, then the transactions will remain in Warrant Write until their total amount is zero or a positive amount. If necessary, the agency can change the vendor payment to process a warrant instead of an EFT or can post payments that have invoice numbers in groups of 24.

Warrant Control File (WC)

When STARS assigns a warrant number, it posts the warrant summary information on the Warrant Control File. The Warrant Control File (WC) contains information regarding the status of the warrant, such as outstanding, redeemed, etc. and the total of the amount of the warrant, etc. It does not contain individual transactions that make up the warrant. See the Warrant Detail File for individual transaction information. The Warrant Control File (WC) is also used for future redemption or cancellation of the warrant.

Posting to the Warrant Control File

The Warrant Control File is used to change the status of a warrant record.  All warrants created through the Warrant Write process post to the Warrant Control File.


Every warrant number begins with an O for outstanding status.

NOTE:  The O/S IND shows the status of the warrant at the end of the previous month.



FUNCTION: N  (R=RECALL, N=NEXT, C=CHANGE)                                     

WARRANT NUMBER: 110000000                                DMI:                 

AGENCY: 230  DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION                    ISSUE DATE: 040902   

VENDOR NUMBER/SFX: 800000000    03                                            

VENDOR NAME 1: Z INC                                                    

VENDOR NAME 2:                                                                 

        NEW STATUS:        STATUS DATE: 040902    AMOUNT:            339.60   

DAILY BEGINNING STATUS: O   OUTSTANDING                            O/S IND: O 

        CURRENT STATUS: O   OUTSTANDING                                       

ABA NO:             FINANCIAL INST NAME:                                      

FINANCIAL INSTITUTION ACCT NO:                   ACCT TYPE:                   


Warrant Control Status

The warrant status shows the last activity on the warrant.  Warrant status codes are:

  • O - Outstanding Warrant. A warrant that has not been cashed. Warrants are valid for one year, after which they are sent to Unclaimed Property at the State Treasurer's Office.
  • R - Redeemed Warrant (redemption). A warrant that has been paid by the State Treasurer.
  • C - Normal Warrant Cancellation A permanent cancellation of the warrant so the warrant cannot be redeemed. For payroll warrants, see the Cancelling Payroll Warrants section.
  • C - EFT Cancellation. A permanent cancellation of the EFT transaction because the payment never made it to the bank account.
  • L - Lost Warrant Cancellation. A permanent cancellation of the warrant so the warrant cannot be redeemed because the payee indicated it was lost.
  • F - Forgery Warrant Cancellation. STO will return the warrant back to the bank as a forgery.
  • M - Miscellaneous Warrant Cancellation. When you need to cancel a warrant.
  • P - Prior Year Warrant Cancellation. Outstanding warrants that have been cancelled and the cash sent to Unclaimed Property or returned to the agency.

Outstanding Warrant

Outstanding warrants are warrants that have not been presented to a bank, etc. for deposit or cash.  They will have a status of O for outstanding.  On a daily basis, the State Controller’s Office interfaces outstanding warrant records to the State Treasurer’s Office in compliance with Section 15 of the Idaho Code 67-1001, Duties of Controller.


During daily transaction processing, STARS deducts the amounts from each agency’s fund based on the transaction information and sends this amount to the STARS statewide Warrant Clearing Fund (Fund 0649).  The warrants remain on the Warrant Control file in an outstanding status until they are cancelled, redeemed, or become void due to age.


To ensure that vendors receive all payments due from the state, carefully review the monthly STARS Outstanding Warrant Report (DAFR6880), when you receive it.  Every effort should be made to contact vendors regarding any warrants more than one month old.

Redeemed Warrant

Redeemed warrants are processed through the banking system and are sent to the State Treasurer for payment.  The State Treasurer’s Office redeems all STARS warrants.  Every day the State Treasurer’s Office interfaces warrant redemption records to the State Controller’s Office which updates the warrant status on the Warrant Control File to an R for redeemed.  This is done in compliance with Section 8 of Idaho Code 67-1201, Duties of the Treasurer.


The State Controller’s Office sends an outstanding warrant file daily to the State Treasurer’s Office. The STO compares their warrant redemptions against the outstanding warrant files to validate that the warrant is still valid and the funding source of the warrant.  At this point, STARS has already deducted the amounts from your agency’s fund and has sent the amount to the STARS statewide Warrant Clearing Fund (fund 0649). 


The STO does not deduct the amount from the State Treasury until they redeem the warrant, per Section 4 of Idaho Code 67-1201.  The State Treasurer’s Office then sends a file of all redemptions to STARS, which removes the amount of the redeemed warrant from the STARS statewide Warrant Clearing Fund.


For a copy of a redeemed warrant, contact the State Treasurer’s Office.

Warrant Write Detail File (WD)

STARS uses the Warrant Detail File (WD) to store the detailed warrant transaction information such as the budget unit, index, PCA, fund, subobject, and the transaction amounts.  If you cancel a warrant, STARS uses the information in this file to create an entry that is a reversal of the original transaction information.  This reversal will also clear the amount from the balance in the STARS statewide Warrant Clearing fund.

Posting to the Warrant Detail File

STARS transaction codes that generate a warrant and that post to the Warrant Control File will also post to the Warrant Detail File.  Each individual transaction shows on the Warrant Detail File. However, redeemed warrants are kept on the Warrant Detail File for four months.

The Warrant Detail file shows the transactions that were used to create the warrant, including the individual amounts, Index and PCA, Fund, and Grant/Phase.

You must know either the warrant number or the current document number to find information on the Warrant Detail file.



FUNCTION: N (R=RECALL, N=NEXT, S=SELECT WARRANT)                             

    AGENCY: 230     ( WARRANT: 11XXXXXXX OR  CURRENT DOCUMENT:          )     

    AGENCY NAME:  DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION                                    



                     INVOICE NUMBER  INVOICE DESCRIPTION                      

  _   D0422918 01 110000000 2024 44051 0001                             8.99  

                     597826          SO ID CORR INST