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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

About FM QSMO

What is the FM QSMO?

The Financial Management Quality Service Management Office (FM QSMO) is a U.S. Department of the Treasury initiative and a key component to reaching goals under Treasury's 10-year Vision for the Future of Federal Financial Management.

Treasury's vision is to partner with agency leaders and provide agencies with access to innovative and proven financial management solutions and expert guidance that will advance government-wide financial management goals.

The FM QSMO focuses on brokering access to modern, standards-based solutions that will move agencies away from outdated systems, improve government operations and performance and advance government-wide financial management goals, including improved transparency and better use of data for decision making.

Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service manages a marketplace of solutions and services to help agencies meet their financial management needs and shared government-wide goals using an agile, customer-centric, collaborative approach with both federal agencies and industry.

How will the FM QSMO help and benefit agencies?

The FM QSMO is committed to the principles of agile development and human-centered design to enhance innovation and customer experience. Using these principles, we maintain a Marketplace Catalog as a first stop for helping agencies get standards-based financial management solutions and services.

The Marketplace Catalog is available as a resource for agencies to explore, identify, and get solutions and services that can help support financial management needs and deliver on shared government-wide goals.

The FM QSMO seeks to engage federal agencies planning financial management improvements and systems modernizations. The goal is to understand current and future needs and connect agencies with Marketplace Catalog offerings. We can also provide access to lessons learned and leading practices from the FM community.

The FM QSMO can be a valued partner for agencies during the financial system modernization planning process to discuss a path toward migration to the Marketplace core financial system cloud solution and use of other Marketplace solutions and services.

Other benefits for agencies include the following:

  • Choice and flexibility across the Marketplace offerings
  • Familiar acquisition process with pre-vetted providers to ensure compliance with standards
  • Periodic evaluation of providers and solutions to ensure quality and customer satisfaction
How is this new approach different from past approaches to expanding shared services?

The FM QSMO's approach to designing its marketplace is guided by the following principles:

  • Focus on customer experience
  • Increase the strategic value of data
  • Deliver progress using agile processes.

The FM QSMO acts as a broker between agencies and providers to help agencies and ensure easy access to standards-based solutions and other offerings in the Marketplace.

Agencies have access to commercial and federal providers in the Marketplace and are provided with a solution-centric approach, compared with the earlier more provider-centric approach to expanding shared services.

The Marketplace offers choice of and flexibility in solutions and services through a network of providers, including federal shared service providers (FSSPs) where the provider role aligns with the goals of the agency in which the FSSP resides. Agencies that pursue commercial service providers (CSPs) for core financial systems and other solutions and services benefit from those solutions’ adherence to federal standards for financial management that are built into contractual requirements at the FM QSMO Marketplace level.

What is the role of the FM QSMO?

The FM QSMO brokers access to innovative and standards-based financial management solutions through the Marketplace Catalog. We manage the Marketplace and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.

We meet with agencies to discuss their modernization plans and share lessons learned and leading practices. Our goal is to determine how the FM QSMO can best support their financial management needs. We have also created tools and resources for agencies that include a readiness assessment, a customer journey map, and Marketplace acquisition guidance.

We meet with industry to discuss how they can best support the Marketplace and we pre-vet Marketplace solutions and services for compliance with federal financial management standards and other common capabilities. These standards and capabilities are defined in the Financial Management Capability Framework (FMCF).

What are the FM QSMO shared goals and guiding principles?

The approach is grounded on a foundation of shared goals which are widely accepted across the financial management community:

  • Standardize processes and data.
  • Decrease operation and maintenance costs.
  • Modernize and automate processes.
  • Improve customer satisfaction.

The following principles are guiding the design of the Marketplace:

  • Focus on customer experience.
  • Increase the strategic value of data.
  • Deliver progress using agile processes.
What are the FM QSMO objectives?

The FM QSMO is dedicated to achieving the following objectives:

  • Offer and manage a marketplace of high-performing and standards-based solutions to respond to agency needs.
  • Partner with agencies to determine strategies and solutions that will help them reach agreed-on government-wide goals.
  • Guide and govern the long-term sustainability of core financial management services and solutions.
  • Institute a customer and provider engagement and feedback model that allows for continuous improvement and performance management of solutions; and
  • Work with customers and providers to adopt standards and comply with regulation and policy.
How are FM QSMO and the Administrative Resource Center (ARC) related?

Both the FM QSMO and the Administrative Resource Center (ARC) are organizations within Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service each having their own separate management structures.

  • ARC is a Federal Shared Service Provider (FSSP) in the Marketplace Catalog that provides financial management, and other services, to federal agencies.
  • The FM QSMO manages the Marketplace Catalog and works with all providers, both commercial and federal, to ensure that solutions and services are available to federal agencies.

The Marketplace

What is the FM QSMO Marketplace Catalog?

The FM QSMO Marketplace Catalog is a resource for agencies to explore, identify, and get solutions and services that can help support financial management needs and deliver on shared government-wide goals.

Marketplace Catalog offerings include a mix of technology, advisory, and operational solutions and services provided by:

  • Commercial vendors
  • Federal Shared Service Providers (FSSPs), and
  • Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service
What is within scope of the FM QSMO Marketplace?

The  Document Guide to FM QSMO Marketplace (903.52 KB)  includes an overview of the scope of the FM QSMO Marketplace.

What is the FM QSMO IT SIN 518210FM?

The FM QSMO Special Item Number (SIN) 518210FM, in the Information Technology (IT) Category of the General Services Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract vehicle, provides Federal agencies with access to commercial financial management solution/service offerings of the FM QSMO Marketplace and is the mechanism through which agencies procure these solutions/services. The scope of SIN 518210FM represents a subset of the total scope of the FM QSMO Marketplace (i.e., IT related solution/service offerings from commercial providers). SIN 518210FM is comprised of four (4) subgroups, as follows:

  1. Core Financial Management Solutions (Core FS)
  2. Additional Financial Management (FM) Solutions
  3. Financial Management (FM) Solution/Service Adoption and Transition Services
  4. Financial Management (FM) Technology Operations Support Services.

For a complete description of the scope of SIN 518210FM, please refer to the IT Category Attachment of the GSA MAS solicitation located on GSA eOffer/eMod.

What is the role of Federal Shared Service Providers (FSSPs) in the FM QSMO Marketplace?

Federal shared services providers (FSSPs) have both a provider and consumer role in the Marketplace. As a Marketplace provider, a FSSP offers essential core accounting and financial management services to federal agencies and is open to accepting new customers. FSSPs may also consume or use the solutions and services available in the Marketplace Catalog to support their operations and systems.

What are Bureau of the Fiscal Service Product and Service Offerings?

The Bureau of the Fiscal Service offers a variety of collections, disbursing, and reporting services to support federal financial management needs. Most of these services are used by federal agencies today—either they are required or they are systems that support government-wide processes. Several, however, are value added services and promote efficiency, streamline processes, and support expansion of electronic alternatives.

What should agencies do now if they are planning a financial system modernization or new investment for a legacy core financial management system?

Agencies planning for investments in new or legacy core financial management systems should reach out to the FM QSMO. This requirement is detailed in in OMB Memorandum M-19-16, OMB Circular A-123, Appendix D, OMB Circular A-11, and Investment Planning Guidance released by GSA's Office of Government-wide Policy.

What guidance is available for agencies considering a new investment or solicitation about a core financial system?

Under OMB Memorandum M-19-16 and reinforced in OMB Circulars A-123 Appendix D and A-11, agencies are directed to consult with the FM QSMO while planning for an investment in new or modernized core financial systems and before issuing a new solicitation. The FM QSMO Marketplace should be the first stop for agencies looking to acquire FM solutions and services. The FM QSMO will help agencies with offering a path for using the Marketplace.

If the respective QSMO and customer agency agree that solutions/services available in the Marketplace do not meet the agency’s needs, agencies should contact the FM QSMO to ask about new providers and additional offerings in the pipeline as the FM QSMO continues to onboard new providers and offerings into the marketplace. After discussing an agency’s needs with the FM QSMO, if the Marketplace still does not meet an agency’s business needs, a waiver approved by OMB will be needed. This document will help identify Marketplace shortfalls and opportunities to expand offerings.

FM QSMO meets with agencies to learn about financial system modernization plans and discuss how future solutions and services in the Marketplace can support those initiatives. If we have not yet connected with your agency, please reach out to the FM QSMO team.

How will FM QSMO work with the other designated QSMOs to ensure interoperability across functional areas?

FM QSMO works closely with the other designated QSMOs and lines of business to identify interoperability needs and areas where data and business information will need to be exchanged across systems through interfaces or integrations. The FM QSMO is also supporting work started by the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement (OSSPI) to identify common processes and approach across all the QSMOs. OSSPI is an office of government-wide policy that supports governmentwide shared services by coordinating governance and developing processes to support implementation of OMB policy as it relates to mission support services.

What will be the impact of the FM QSMO Marketplace to small agencies being serviced by FSSPs today?

FSSPs are important in providing financial management shared services today. Existing relationships do not need to change. Small agency prospective customers may reach out to a FSSP directly for more information or contact the FM QSMO team for information on how to navigate the Marketplace Catalog or research process.

What is the Financial Management Capability Framework (FMCF) and how does it apply to Marketplace Catalog offerings?

The Financial Management Capability Framework (FMCF) is the standards and capabilities that define baseline needs for solutions and services in the FM QSMO Marketplace Catalog, including cloud-based core financial systems (Core FS).

The FMCF includes the standards defined in the Federal Financial Management (FFM) Federal Integrated Business Framework (FIBF) and more capabilities defined by the FM QSMO in collaboration with federal agencies and industry stakeholders. The FMCF is used as a basis for evaluating and ensuring that Marketplace services and solutions meet baseline needs. FM QSMO's goal is to standardize and streamline what is common for agencies.

The FM QSMO and the Financial Management Line of Business (FMLoB) are responsible for maintaining the FMCF and will update it periodically to show changing policy or other requirements. To do this, we work closely with other Lines of Business and standards setting agencies, federal agencies, the vendor community, and other stakeholders.

How can small businesses participate in the FM QSMO Marketplace?

The FM QSMO encourages small businesses to participate in the FM QSMO Marketplace through SIN 518210FM of the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program. The scope of the SIN provides many opportunities for small businesses to participate by offering specific solutions and services and Core FS Solutions. Small businesses are also permitted to partner with other businesses to provide offerings under the SIN (i.e., teaming). Small businesses who provide financial management services and solutions to federal agencies will support a diverse and inclusive Marketplace that provides choice and flexibility for agencies.

Small business vendors interested in applying for SIN 518210FM should review what solutions/services are in scope, and under which subgroups they are covered, review the additional instructions and technical submission elements and submit offers or modification requests using GSA eOffer/eMod. The application period for SIN 518210FM is continuously open to provide ongoing opportunity. For more information about how to apply to SIN 518210FM, refer to vendor guidance and other resources available on the FM QSMO Resources web page.

Can vendors offer support for legacy core FS systems in the FM QSMO Marketplace?

Yes, vendors can offer support for legacy core FS systems in the FM QSMO Marketplace under the FM Technology Operations Support Services subgroup of SIN 518210FM. When federal agencies are planning for modernizations, they will continue to need support for legacy systems. Support for legacy financial systems may include a variety of different things (for example, additional software licenses under limited circumstances, software license maintenance/support, remote hosting services, O&M, DME). Specific needs will vary based on agency circumstances (for example, on-premise vs. cloud deployments, product license conditions, status of product support availability, modernization readiness/plans).

Support for legacy financial systems is intended to correspond to agency needs specific to their financial system deployments. It is not intended to offer agencies a path for getting new financial system products outside Core FS Solutions as defined and available in the FM QSMO Marketplace.

Stakeholders

Who are the FM QSMO stakeholders?

The FM QSMO interacts with the following stakeholders:

  • Federal Agencies
  • Legacy federal shared service providers
  • Industry (commercial providers of financial management software solutions and service)
  • Other stakeholders and partners (OMB, GSA, governance councils)
How will the FM QSMO partner with industry?

Partnership with industry is necessary to the success of the FM QSMO initiative. Industry is asked to bring modern, configurable, and service-oriented solutions to government to decrease any unnecessary or duplicative footprint and the risk of operating aging technology.

Also, industry is expected to bring solutions that are innovative, and FM QSMO plans to engage regularly with industry through outreach initiatives such as Program Updates, Office Hours, and other meetings.

How will the FM QSMO focus on the customers' needs and engage with them?

Agency customers guide the development of the Marketplace, and their input will be important to its future. The FM QSMO will continue to ask customers what brings the most value to them through collaborative customer experience sessions as the Marketplace continues to develop.

FM QSMO IT SIN 518210FM

How do vendors apply for the FM QSMO IT SIN 518210FM?

Vendors interested in applying for the FM QSMO IT SIN518210FM should review what solutions/services are in scope, and under which subgroups they are covered; review the additional instructions and technical submission elements; and submit offers or modification requests using GSA eOffer/eMod. Vendors may also work with resellers/partners to apply for the FM QSMO IT SIN 518210FM and offer solutions in the Marketplace.

For more information about how to apply to SIN 518210FM, please refer to vendor guidance and other resources available on the FM QSMO Resources web page.

How are vendors evaluated under the FM QSMO IT SIN 518210FM?

GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) evaluates the general administrative, technical, and pricing elements of vendor submissions. The FM QSMO conducts an evaluation of the technical elements of vendor submissions specific to SIN 518210FM to assess FMCF compliance. The FM QSMO conducts an evaluation of the technical narrative response for all proposed solutions/services. For proposed Core FS Solutions, the FM QSMO also conducts an Operational Capability Demonstration (OCD) evaluation.

For more information about evaluation criteria and the evaluation process for SIN 518210FM, please refer to vendor guidance and other resources available on the FM QSMO Resources web page.

How long does it take the FM QSMO to evaluate vendor submission packages under SIN 518210FM?

Target completion times for FM QSMO evaluation of SIN-specific technical elements vary based on the types of offerings in a vendor submission package and are as follows:

  • Packages including Service Only offerings (20 business days)
  • Packages including Service + Technology, or Technology offerings (40 business days)
  • Packages including Core FS offerings (60 business days)

These target completion times do not include time associated with GSA’s first review of vendor submission packages before those packages are provided to the FM QSMO for evaluation. It also does not include other GSA activities associated with completing award decisions (for example, negotiation of terms and conditions, price reasonableness determinations) after getting evaluation results and recommendations from the FM QSMO.

What are the evaluation criteria and process for getting products and services onto SIN 518210FM?

Understanding the GSA MAS Program is essential to participating in the FM QSMO IT SIN 518210FM. Information, guidance, and resources are available to both new offerors and current MAS contract holders through the GSA Vendor Support Center.

For more information about evaluation criteria and the evaluation process for SIN 518210FM, please refer to vendor guidance and other resources available on the FM QSMO Resources web page.

Does the FM QSMO limit the number of vendors offering the same or similar solution or service?

No. Vendors are not precluded from participating in the Marketplace, nor are their offerings restricted, based on same or similar solutions/services already being offered.

Is there a deadline for vendor proposals to be considered for the FM QSMO Marketplace?

There is no deadline for submission of packages in response to SIN 518210FM. Vendor and solution onboarding will remain continuously open to provide ongoing opportunity to new commercial market entrants and industry innovations.

Can solutions such as budget formulation or procure-to-pay be included in vendor proposals in response to SIN 518210FM?

The scope of the FM QSMO Marketplace is centered around the Federal Financial Management (FFM) functional area, as defined in the Federal Integrated Business Framework (FIBF). But, there are many touchpoints and interdependencies between FFM and other functional areas, such as Acquisition (ACQ), Budget Formulation (BFM), and Real Property Management (RPM).

Solutions and services often provide capabilities that enable or support functions and activities across many functional areas (such as the Budget Setup and Maintenance (FFM.010.010) FFM activity receiving the agency spend and operating plan from the Budget Operating/Spend Plan Development (BFM.030.010) or Budget Operating/Spend Plan Monitoring and Adjustment (BFM.030.020) BFM activities). Those solutions/services may be appropriate for inclusion in the FM QSMO Marketplace/SIN; but, the FM QSMO will only evaluate for compliance with the relevant FFM standards and capabilities.

Can vendors submit more offerings after they have joined the Marketplace?

Yes, vendors can submit several packages to add solutions/services to the SIN at any time as they are ready. There is no limit on the number of packages that can be submitted and the ongoing open/continuous nature of the MAS solicitation accommodates that approach. There is no requirement for vendors to wait and bundle all proposed offerings into one submission package.

What must be included in a vendor submission package in response to SIN 518210FM?

A complete and responsive submission package for SIN 518210FM includes the elements required by the GSA MAS solicitation and the IT Category attachment, and the SIN-specific instructions and technical elements defined by the FM QSMO.

The SIN-specific submission elements are outlined in the FM QSMO Vendor Guidance and further explained in the FM QSMO Vendor Onboarding Training, both available in the Vendor Resources section of the FM QSMO Resources web page.

What capabilities should vendors offer in Core FS Solutions to incentivize agencies to modernize financial systems and justify the investments made to enhance their products?

Agency decisions to modernize their financial systems may be driven by a variety of factors, including the ability to use modern technology and capabilities. One of the biggest opportunities for agencies to take advantage of modern technology is the transition to cloud-based solutions, which is a key requirement defined for Core FS solutions in the FM QSMO Marketplace. Nearly half the identified core financial system installations across CFO Act agencies are hosted on premise.

Also, vendors are afforded broad discretion and encouraged to identify and showcase other capabilities that promote efficacy and efficiency, cut costs, improve useability and the execution of federal financial management functions, and otherwise appeal to agency customers.

Core FS Operational Capability Demonstrations (OCDs)

These FAQs are specific to the Core FS Operational Capability Demonstration (OCD) phase of the vendor evaluation process.
Which subgroups and solution/service offerings require an Operational Capability Demonstration (OCD)?

Only the Core FS Subgroup and proposed Core FS solutions under that subgroup require capability demonstrations as part of the FM QSMO evaluation process. For more information on vendor evaluations and OCDs under SIN 518210FM, refer to the FM QSMO Vendor Guidance and FM QSMO Vendor Onboarding Training in the Vendor Resources section of the FM QSMO Resources web page.

Where can information about the data and scenarios for the Core FS Operational Capability Demonstrations be found?

Business scenarios, FFM Business Use Cases, sample data, and correlation points are specified in the Core FS OCD Execution Plan. The Core FS OCD Execution Plan is available on the Vendor Resources section of the FM QSMO Resources page.

Are vendors required to execute the OCD steps in the sequence specified in the scenarios, or can they group and perform steps in a different order?

Yes, for each scenario vendors are required to show the use cases and steps in the order provided in the scenario “Demonstration” tabs of the Core FS OCD Execution Plan. The scenarios build on one another successively.

Do vendors have discretion to define the OCD budget structures? (for example, Allotments, allocations, sub-allocations, and the like.)

For purposes of the Core FS OCD, at minimum vendors are required to define budget structures at the “allocation” level. For more instructions, please refer to the Core FS OCD Execution Plan on the Vendor Resources section of the FM QSMO Resources page.

For each Scenario shown, it requires that an opening Use Case be performed to accurately show budgeting. Does this need to be performed several times or can one budget scenario be shown that can be used for all Scenarios?

The FM QSMO would like for this to be shown and demonstrated at least 1 time during the OCD. To decrease the time required of vendors/providers, this does not need to be shown several times.

For each Use Case shown in each scenario, it requires that a funds availability check be performed. Is it required that vendors/providers show this several times, or can it be shown only once the first time and be skipped in future steps?

FM QSMO would prefer, because of timing, that these steps only be shown once. It is the FM QSMO’s intention to see that the Core FS can perform this function and seeing it once is enough.

Since outputs such as reports can be provided in advance of the OCD being performed, is it required that vendors/providers show how a report is generated live during a demonstration?

FM QSMO evaluators and agency advisors would prefer to see and understand how a report gets generated. The output can be provided ahead of time, but the process of generating a report should be performed or walked through during the OCD.

Scenario S.4 does not provide amounts for 090.FFM.L1.01 Post Payroll. Should vendors determine the amounts for this part of the scenario?

Yes, vendors shall determine the original payroll entry for Scenario S.4.

Scenario S.6 requires generating the CARS Outbound File but the scenarios do not include reclassifications that would appear in the CARS file. How should vendors proceed with generating the file?

The method for generating the CARS file is left to the vendor’s discretion. Solutions are required to produce files for full CARS reporters. The FM QSMO will not validate data, as the scenarios do not tie to the CARS file; however, demonstration that a CARS file can be generated in the correct format as prescribed in the Outbound File is required.

Scenario S.6 requires generating the 1099-C report, but the scenarios do not include data that would be reported on the 1099-C. How should vendors proceed with generating the report?

The method for generating the 1099-C report is left to the vendor’s discretion. Vendors are required to explain and show the process of generating the 1099-C. The FM QSMO will not validate the data on the 1099-C as being correct, only that the format of the report is valid.

Are agencies allowed to participate in the OCDs?

The FM QSMO allows agencies to participate in the OCDs in either an observational or advisory capacity. Agencies who are interested in participating in the OCDs should contact the FM QSMO at fmqsmo@fiscal.treasury.gov for more information.

ACQUISITIONS

How is the ordering process for FM QSMO IT SIN 518210FM different from the ordering process used today?

The FM QSMO Marketplace ordering process is based on existing and familiar GSA MAS ordering procedures.

  • Agencies may engage the FM QSMO while conducting market research and planning activities to Identify solutions and services from the Marketplace Catalog that meet their financial management needs.
  • Prior to issuing the solicitation, agencies submit their requirements through the FM QSMO Task Order Review Board (TORB) Intake Form for review and receive feedback from the FM QSMO.
  • After award, agencies email a copy of the award and provider service measures to the FM QSMO at FMQSMO-Marketplace@fiscal.treasury.gov .

The FM QSMO Task Order Review process is not intended to place more burden on agency customers nor delay agency procurement schedules. The FM QSMO is committed to expedient processing of agency requests. More information about the ordering process is available in the  Agency Acquisition Guide on the FM QSMO Resources web page.

Are agencies required to engage with the FM QSMO before issuing a solicitation for vendor-provided Marketplace offerings?

Yes. The FM QSMO seeks to reduce the number of disparate, customized solutions to better promote economies of scale, cut operation and maintenance costs, drive compliance with standards, and provide other efficiencies to agencies. To support those goals, the FM QSMO Task Order Review process was developed to ensure that agency requirements are in alignment with federal financial management standards and other common capabilities defined in the Financial Management Capability Framework (FMCF).

Through the Task Order Review process, the FM QSMO can also provide agencies with guidance, suggestions, and templates/examples and connect them with other helpful resources. The FM QSMO is also available to collaborate by conducting consultative reviews of draft task orders and requirements before an agency submitting their requirements for review. The FM QSMO Task Order Review process is not intended to place added burden on agency customers nor delay agency procurement schedules. The FM QSMO is committed to expedient processing of agency requests.

More information regarding the Task Order Review process can be found in the Agency Acquisition Guide.

Where should agencies go to get services or products offered by federal providers and Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service?

The FM QSMO Marketplace Catalog includes contact information for each of the federal providers and Fiscal Service programs, alongside the solutions and services they offer. The FM QSMO can also help connect agencies to federal providers and Fiscal Service programs.

 

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Last Modified 03/29/24