NFC CARS Initiative
What is CARS?
Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) is adopting a new 24-position format of the Treasury Account Symbol (TAS) called the Component TAS, in lieu of the current 15-position string format. Treasury is also mandating addition of a new 8-position field called the Business Event Type Code (BETC). The BETC will be reported for the various transaction types (IPAC, Payment or Collection).
Currently, all Payment, Collection and IPAC activity is reported on a monthly basis on the SF-224 to Treasury. In order to be CARS compliant, each Payment, Collection and IPAC transaction will need to be classified (reported to Treasury) when received or initiated using the new component TAS and BETC. Treasury will not require month end reporting of transactions once the transactions are classified (reported) upon initiation using the TAS/BETC. Only Re-classifications (adjustments) will be required to be reported on the SF-224 Section 1 Bulk Upload.
More information regarding this initiative can be found on Treasury’s website.
What will be the impact to NFC?
All NFC Systems that send, receive, process, and validate accounting and produce payment, collection, IPAC and other accounting files/reports will be modified to incorporate the new Component TAS and BETC.
How is NFC working towards complying with the CARS mandate?
NFC has implemented a daily automated process to crosswalk the string Treasury Account Symbol (TAS) format to the new component TAS format, including capturing valid TAS/Business Event Type Code (BETCs) from Treasury into our Management Account Structure Code (MASC) system. (Completed August 2013)
NFC has implemented all payment files into the mandated Payment Automated Manager (PAM) Standard Payment Request (SPR) format. (Completed November 2013)
NFC has implemented changes to the IPAC bulk files from our CAPS and TIPS systems as mandated for January 1, 2014. (Completed December 2013)
NFC has completed the expansion of the internal accounting files to include the new Component TAS and BETC fields. (Completed March 2014)
NFC has coordinated with Treasury the establishment of a new deposit TAS for its use in temporarily recording collections for our Administrative Billings and Collections System (ABCO) until they can be reclassified to valid agency accounting. (Completed July 2014)
NFC has established a Collections Cash Flow Profile with Treasury and is currently a CARS Collection Pilot Reporter (as of August 1, 2014). As a Collections pilot reporter, NFC continues to report Collections via the SF-224, which is still the official posting to Fund Balance with Treasury; however, NFC TAS/BETC classification information is recorded with Treasury at the point of collection initiation. NFC is currently using this information for analysis and reconciliation of Collections and IPAC data during Production Parallel testing.
NFC has coordinated with Treasury the establishment of a new TAS for our Direct Premium Remittance System (DPRS) Line of Business and has completed conversion to this new TAS. (Completed September 2014)
NFC has completed the expansion of the weekly agency accounting files to include the new Component TAS and BETC fields for those NFC customers who have requested the CARS data. (Completed November 2014)
NFC has completed development and testing of the required SPS 440 disbursement files to report the TAS and BETC to Treasury upon initiation of payments (Completed January 2014). NFC is currently using this information for analysis and reconciliation of Payment data during Production Parallel testing.
NFC has implemented system modifications to include the TAS/BETC data on all types of transactions (Payments, Collections and IPACS). This includes modifications to more than 30 applications (systems) to become CARS compliant. System changes include incorporating the component TAS and BETC in accounting files and NFC application screens (e.g. SPPS Web). (Completed July 2014)
Although NFC has completed all system/application changes to include the TAS/BETC data, we are currently conducting Production Parallel Testing to validate the reporting of the TAS/BETC data on all types of transactions (Payments, Collections and IPACS) prior to becoming a CARS Reporter.
- NFC is currently creating the CARS versions of reconciliation reports and files such as the SF-224 bulk file, Statement of Transactions and the Abstract of Transactions (attachment 1) for use during Production Parallel Testing.
- Testing will include reconciliation between the current SF-224 and the new CARS reporting methods including the SPS 440 (Payments), Collection Pilot data (Collections and IPACS) and the revised CARS SF-224 (Re-classifications).
- Partial Production Parallel Testing is currently in progress.
When will NFC become a CARS reporter?
NFC will become a CARS reporter upon completion of Production Parallel Testing. The soonest that NFC expects to become a CARS reporter is the Spring of 2017.
What will be the impact to NFC’s customer agencies?
Effective Pay Period 15, 2015, the SPPS Web Manual Pay application was modified to require entry of a BETC on all screens that contain the accounting code field. (For additional information regarding these changes, please see bulletin MANPAY 15-02, Government-Wide Accounting (GWA) Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) in SPPS Web).
Effective Pay Period 15, 2015, NFC is automatically validating TAS/BETC against Treasury’s Shared Accounting Module (SAM) and storing valid codes in MASC. Any TAS/BETC combination not valid in Treasury’s SAM application will default to the agency’s designated default accounting that is stored on NFC’s TMGT Table065 or MASC Table 103. Agencies should ensure that valid default accounting exists on both of these tables.
NFC is in the process of modifying SF-224 reconciliation reports that currently contain the 15-position string TAS to incorporate the 24-position Component TAS and/or BETC. The new CARS versions of these SF-224 reports (Abstract of Transactions - Attachment 1, Abstract of Invalid Treasury Symbols – Attachment 5, and Summary of Invalid Treasury Symbols – Attachment 6) will be used during NFC’s Production Parallel Test. They will also be provided to agencies for review prior to NFC becoming a CARS reporter. Once NFC becomes a CARS reporter, the new CARS versions of these reports will be available via the NFC Reporting Center along with the versions that are currently available.
NFC encourages customer agencies to continue assessing their own business accounting processes and systems in preparation for CARS implementation and compliance.
As an agency, what do I need to know about the new Component TAS and the BETC?
A valid TAS is the new 24-position format and includes the addition of a new 8-position BETC.
- STRING TAS – 15 positions
- TREASURY-NUMBER: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
- COMPONENT TAS 24-positions and BETC 8-positions
- SP ATA AID BPOA EPOA A MAIN SUB BETC
- XX XXX XXX XXXX XXXX X XXXX XXX XXXXXXXX
For additional information regarding the crosswalk between the string and component TAS formats, along with their associated BETCs, please refer to the SAM website.
How will NFC’s customer be kept informed?
NFC has established a CARS Accounting Workgroup (AWG) with representatives from all NFC’s customer agencies. Members of the CARS AWG are notified in advance of upcoming meetings.
NFC customer agencies will also be notified of any system changes or impacts via NFC’s formal customer notification process.
Who can an agency contact at NFC to discuss the CARS initiative in more detail?
All correspondence, questions and concerns regarding the NFC’s CARS initiative should be submitted to the NFC’s CARS central mailbox CARS@nfc.usda.gov.