Agency Establishment

Financial Operations Startup Procedures for New Federal Entities


This chapter outlines the necessary steps to begin financial reporting for a new entity.

Section 2010—Scope and Applicability

This Treasury Financial Manual (TFM) chapter addresses startup procedures for new federal entities and/or commissions with regard to fiscal accounting and reporting, and certain financial operations. Within each section, as applicable, users may be directed to other relevant TFM chapters and sections.

Section 2015—Authority

Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3513, the Secretary of the Treasury must prepare reports on the financial operations of the U.S. Government. This section also requires that each executive agency furnish information and report its financial condition and operations as required by the Secretary of the Treasury.

More information on entity reporting requirements may be found by accessing the U.S. Standard General Ledger (USSGL) website.

Section 2020—Requesting Establishment of New Entity/Commission

Upon written request, Fiscal Service, in collaboration with OMB and the relevant administrative entity, creates the new entity in the Centralized Accounting and Reporting System (CARS) pursuant to authorizing legislation. Requests should be submitted to Fiscal Service, Budget Reporting Branch, Budget and Appropriations Analysis Section (BAAS) at

Entities should submit all account action requests to Fiscal Service as early in the month as possible to allow for timely establishment and coordination. Once the entity is established, accounts, Agency Location Code (ALC), and access will need to be requested for proper reporting. See Sections below.

Section 2025—Requesting Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbols and Titles

Fiscal Service, in collaboration with OMB and the relevant administrative entity, establishes and assigns, amends, suspends, unsuspends, discontinues, and re-activates account symbols and titles. Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbols (TAFS) represent, by entity and bureau, individual appropriations, receipts, and other fund accounts. Fiscal Service posts appropriations or spending authorizations granted by the Congress to these accounts. Entities will also report these accounts to Treasury and OMB.

Fiscal Service establishes new TAFS according to TFM Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 1500 Section 1525.

These accounts are collected and published in the Federal Account Symbols and Titles (FAST) Book, which is updated periodically throughout the year.

Section 2030—Requesting an Agency Location Code (ALC)

An Agency Location Code (ALC) which uniquely identifies each entity that reports payments and collections is required for an entity to obtain a Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbol. An ALC is like a bank account number and is used with Fiscal Service to ensure proper reporting.

Entities that do their own disbursing [and submit an SF 1218: Statement of Accountability (Foreign Service Account) or SF 1219: Statement of Accountability] are assigned a four-digit ALC. See TFM Volume I, Part 4, Chapter 6000, for detailed instructions.

Entities not performing their own disbursing must submit a written request, via electronic mail, to the Central Accounting and Reporting Division (CARD); please see Contacts. Upon approval, CARD assigns an eight-digit ALC and notifies the entity in writing of the ALC assignment. The assignment process takes approximately 30 days.

See TFM Volume I, Part 4A, for more information on payment-related activities.

Section 2035—Arranging for Access to Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS)

Fiscal Service has automated many of its accounting and reporting tasks via the Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS). The following modules are available through CARS:

  • Non-Expenditure Transfer (NET),
  • Appropriation Warrant,
  • Account Statement Application for undisbursed Fund Balance With Treasury (FBWT) data,
  • Classification Transactions and Accountability (CTA), and
  • Borrowings and NET module specific for borrowings.

Entities should refer to the CARS website for information about accessing CARS.

Section 2040—Arranging for Access to Governmentwide Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbol Adjusted Trial Balance System (GTAS)

Fiscal Service has automated many of its accounting and reporting tasks via the GTAS application. Entities can access several of the Fiscal Service required reports as well as information through GTAS. It is imperative that entities establish GTAS access as quickly as possible, because once a TAFS is established reporting is required the following month.

For additional information on accessing GTAS, the systems requirements, and the reporting requirements, see Year-end Closing Bulletin.

Section 2045—Making Deposits

Federal entities receiving public money from any source are statutorily required to deposit these funds into the U.S. Treasury, unless otherwise specifically authorized by law.

Imprest funds are an exception to the general rule. See 31 U.S.C. 3302. Before an entity considers establishing an imprest fund, the entity should first discuss that option with Fiscal Service to determine if an alternative approach might be more suitable. Entities should send guidance requests to Fiscal Service's Payment Management Policy and Oversight Division. Guidance will be provided on a case-by-case basis.

See TFM Volume I, Part 5, Chapter 4100, for more information on using depositories to hold public money.

See TFM Volume I, Part 4A, Chapter 3000, for more information on holding funds outside of Treasury.

Section 2050—Additional Information

Volume I, Part 6, provides important procedural guidance concerning specific government financial operations. Entities should review Part 6 for entity-specific requirements. In particular, the following chapters may apply to most federal entities:

Contact Us

Detailed Contacts

Direct inquiries concerning this chapter, the establishment of Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbols, and the FAST Book to:

Budget Reporting Branch 
Fiscal Accounting 
Bureau of the Fiscal Service

PO Box 1328 
Parkersburg, WV 26106


Direct inquiries concerning the Classification Transactions and Accountability (CTA), SF 1219, SF 1220, and eight-digit ALCs to:

Cash Accounting Branch 
Fiscal Accounting 
Bureau of the Fiscal Service

PO Box 1328 
Parkersburg, WV 26106


Direct inquiries concerning GTAS to:

General Ledger and Advisory Branch 
Financial Reports and Advisory Division 
Fiscal Accounting 
Bureau of the Fiscal Service

PO Box 1328 
Parkersburg, WV 26106


Direct inquiries concerning four-digit ALCs to:

Philadelphia Financial Center 
Bureau of the Fiscal Service

13000 Townsend Road 
Philadelphia, PA 19154


Direct inquiries concerning Imprest Fund and non-Fiscal Service or State Department disbursing, contact:

Bureau of the Fiscal Service 
Payment & Management 
Chief Disbursing Office

3201 Pennsy Drive, Building E 
Landover, MD 20785



Direct inquiries concerning deposits to:

Bureau of the Fiscal Service 
Revenue Collections Management 
Bank Policy and Oversight Division

3201 Pennsy Drive, Building E 
Landover, MD 20785