Description of Accounts Relating to Financial Operations
Scope and Applicability
This chapter describes accounts that are to be used by Federal Accounting Agencies (FPA) for financial operations.
Title 31 United States Code 3513 prescribes authority to the Secretary of the Treasury to organize the accounting functions and procedures and financial reports to develop an effective and coordinated system of accounting and financial reporting that integrates and consolidates the accounting results of the federal government.
- Account Setup
Entities should submit all account action requests to the appropriate Fiscal Service contact as early in the current month as possible to allow for timely entity reporting the following month. Fiscal Service assigns account symbols and titles, fund groups, and fund account definitions per the principles and guidelines in the Title 7 of the General Accounting Office's (GAO) Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies. Due to the multi-level approval process on new accounts, Fiscal Service will not process new accounts from business day three to business day eight of each month.
For new account actions pursuant to authorizing legislation, Entities must submit a letter of request to Fiscal Service, Budget Reporting Branch, Budget and Appropriations Analysis Section (BAAS) at email@example.com. Steps for Entities to establish these new accounts include:
- Contacting their OMB representative for OMB approval (see OMB Circular No. A-11, Section 79.4a), and
- Submitting a request letter to Fiscal Service, Budget Reporting Branch, Budget and Appropriation Analysis Section (BAAS) at firstname.lastname@example.org signed by the appropriate personnel, which must include the following information:
The type of fund,
The proposed account and account title (with period of availability),
The statutory authority,
The entity and bureau needing the account,
A statement affirming whose Audited Financial Report (AFR) this account will be reported under,*
Effective date of account establishment (will be the beginning of a fiscal year),
Requested date for the account to be activated,
An entity contact name, number, and email, and
Signature verifying agency approval.
*"Example of wording (The activity within this TAS will be included in ___ AFR for FYXX and beyond."
New Custodial Accounts
For new account actions related to custodial clearing accounts, related to custodial collections for a Treasury Account Symbol (TAS) other than the General Fund of the U.S. Government, Entities must submit a request to the BAAS at email@example.com. Steps in establishing the new custodial clearing account include:
A description of the custodial collection,
The statutory authority,
The entity and bureau needing the account (the collecting entity),
The entity account(s) to which the collection will be transferred (the receiving entity),
U.S. Standard General Ledger (USSGL) posting logic (please note that all possible USSGL accounts should be listed as these accounts are protected by validation to ensure only allowable custodial activity is reported in them, and
The effective date of account establishment.
- Submitting a request via email to BAAS which includes the following information:
- After information provided has been researched and deemed acceptable by the Intra-governmental Transaction and Reconciliation Branch (ITRB), a "New Custodial TAS" form will be returned to the requesting entity for review and signature.
- When the requesting entity has signed and returned the "New Custodial TAS" form, it will be submitted to the Director of Financial Reports and Advisory Division for approval.
- If approved, a copy of the signed form will be sent to all parties as well as to OMB.
- Finally, the form will be submitted to the Budget Reporting Branch for TAS creation.
Federal Account Symbols and Titles (FAST Book)
Fiscal Service, in collaboration with OMB and the relevant administrative entity assigns, amends, and discontinues account symbols and titles. Treasury Account Symbols (TAS) represent individual appropriation, receipt, and other fund accounts for Entities and bureaus. These accounts are collected and published in the FAST Book, which is updated periodically. It is a supplement to Volume I of the Treasury Financial Manual (TFM).
- Receipt, Appropriation (Expenditure), and Fund Account Descriptions
Treasury Account Symbols are the cornerstones for reporting the government’s financial transactions. Fiscal Service classifies receipt or expenditure accounts and assigns them to a fund group based on their characteristics, as well as the nature of the transactions they support. Fund groups for receipt and expenditure accounts are detailed in subsections 1530.10 and 1535.10, respectively. Fiscal Service and OMB classify transactions within fund groups by categorically assigning numeric or alphanumeric account/symbols (or combinations thereof). Fiscal Service assigns account symbols to Entities after considering the government’s relationship to the accounts, the source of the receipts, and the availability of the funds for expenditure. Within the Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS), Fiscal Service classifies receipt and expenditure accounts as described in the subsections below.
General Fund Receipt Accounts
Fiscal Service credits general fund receipt accounts which are not classified as dedicated collections as defined by law for a specific purpose.
Special Fund Receipt Accounts
Fiscal Service credits special fund receipt accounts with receipts from specific sources collected by law for specific purposes. At the point of collection, these receipts either are available immediately or unavailable for expenditures depending upon statutory requirements (see subsections 1530.20 and 1530.30).
Trust Fund Receipt Accounts
Fiscal Service credits trust fund receipt accounts with receipts generated by the terms of a trust agreement or statute that designates a fund as a trust fund. At the point of collection, these receipts either are available immediately or unavailable for expenditure, depending upon statutory requirements, the terms of the trust agreement, and other provisions of law (see subsections 1535.20 and 1535.30).
Clearing, Default, and Custodial Accounts
Fiscal Service establishes clearing, default, and custodial accounts. An "F" preceding the last four digits of a fund's TAS identifies these accounts. The clearing and default accounts temporarily hold unidentifiable general, special, or trust fund collections that belong to the federal government until they are classified to the proper receipt or expenditure account by the receiving entity. Refer to TFM Bulletin "Reporting Suspense Account Activity Using F3875 and F3885 and using Default Accounts F3500 and F3502 as a Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) Reporter" for additional information. Custodial Accounts, a special type of clearing account introduced in FY 2019, are a subset of clearing accounts used for custodial collections on behalf of a TAS other than the General Fund of the U.S. Government. Clearing and default accounts consist of the "3600-3800" series fund group preceded by the three-digit entity identifier. Entities should use the following accounts:
Budget clearing account (suspense), __F3875, to temporarily credit unclassified transactions from the public when there is a reasonable presumption that the amounts belong to their Entities,
Undistributed Intra-governmental Payments account, __F3885, to temporarily credit unidentified or unclassified transactions between federal entities, including Intra-governmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) transactions, and
Custodial clearing account, _F36XX, to temporarily hold funds collected as well as account for accruals and transfers related to funds collected on behalf of a TAS other than the General Fund of the U.S. Government.
Although all three of the above described accounts are under the category of clearing and default accounts, it should be noted that unlike the other accounts, custodial clearing accounts are not expected to close in the same way nor are they subject to the same scoring processes as the other accounts. For example, while the custodial clearing accounts will be required to have a zero balance in USSGL 101000 Fund Balance with Treasury, they could have balances in accrual-related USSGL accounts that carry over from month-to-month or year-to-year. As such, they will not be graded in the same way as clearing and default accounts. As outlined in Section 1525.10, these accounts will not be created until the entity and Fiscal Service, in collaboration with OMB, have been made aware of and agree in writing, on the type of custodial activity that will be reported in the account.
General Fund Expenditure Accounts
Fiscal Service establishes general fund expenditure accounts to record amounts appropriated by Congress for the general support of the government.
Consolidated Working Fund Accounts
Fiscal Service establishes consolidated working fund accounts to receive (and subsequently disburse) advance payments from other Entities or bureaus through provisions of law.
Management Fund Accounts
Fiscal Service establishes management fund accounts, which are working fund accounts authorized by law, to facilitate accounting for the administration of intra-governmental activities other than a continuing cycle of operations.
Revolving Fund Accounts
Fiscal Service establishes revolving fund accounts to record funds authorized by specific provisions of law to finance a continuing cycle of business-type operation. The receipts are credited directly to the revolving fund as offsetting collections and are available for expenditure without further action by Congress. Fiscal Service classifies the receipts as:
Public enterprise funds where receipts come primarily from sources outside the government, for
Intra-governmental funds where receipts come primarily from other appropriations or funds.
Special Fund Expenditure Accounts
This is a type of TAS which Fiscal Service establishes to record amounts appropriated from special fund receipts. Entities may expend these receipts for special programs according to specific provisions of law.
Trust Fund Expenditure Accounts
This is a type of TAS which Fiscal Service establishes to record amounts appropriated from trust fund receipts. Entities may expend these receipts for specific purposes or programs according to the terms of a trust agreement or statute.
Trust Revolving Fund/Trust Non-Revolving Fund
This is a type of TAS which Fiscal Service establishes when a statute authorizes such funds. The period of availability may determine whether they are revolving or non-revolving (see subsection 1525.45).
This is a type of TAS that is used to received and subsequently obligate and disburse allocations treated as non-expenditure transfers. These accounts carry symbols identified with the original appropriation from which monies were advanced. An allocation account is symbolized by adding the receiving entity's three-digit entity identifier in front of the original appropriation or fund account symbol. A bureau sub-account may be used to identify that the transfer is to a particular office or bureau within the receiving department. For example, 14 20X1234.010 represents a transfer of funds that was initially appropriated to entity 20 (Treasury) and allocated to Bureau 10 (National Park Service) within entity 14 (Interior).
- Receipt Account Classification
Normally, receipt account symbols consist of seven digits, except for receipt clearing accounts and available receipt accounts. The first three digits identify the entity administratively responsible for the receipts. The last four digits identify the account within the fund group. Receipt accounts fall within the following categories: governmental or budget, proprietary, and intra-governmental. Governmental or budget receipts arise from the sovereign and regulatory powers unique to government. Proprietary receipts are derived from market-oriented or business-like activities. Intra-governmental receipts are payments from one government account to another. For further detail on the types of receipts, refer to OMB Circular No. A-11, Section 20.7. The following is an example of the numbering scheme generally associated with available receipts:
Three-digit Entity identifier (AID) 020–(Treasury) Account symbol 8790 Sub-numbers
001 (Gifts and Bequests)
002 (Earnings on Investment)
Receipt Account Symbols by Fund Groups and Major Classes
Fiscal Service classifies receipt accounts and assigns symbols by fund groups and major classes as follows:
Fund Group General fund Receipt Accounts: Major Class Taxes 0100 Customs duties 0300 Gains resulting from government participation 0400 Receipts from monetary power 0600 Fees from regulatory and judicial services 0800 Fines, penalties, and forfeitures 1000 Restitutions, reparations, and recoveries under military operations 1100 Gifts and contributions 1200 Interest 1300-1400 Dividends and other earnings 1600 Rent, including bonuses 1800 Royalties 2000 Sale of products 2200 Fees and other charges for services and special benefits 2400 Sale of government property 2600 Negative subsidies and downward re-estimate of subsidies 2670-2799 Realization upon loans and investments 2800–2900 Recoveries and refunds 3000 Custodial clearing accounts 3600 Clearing and default accounts 3800 Special fund receipt accounts 5000–5999 Trust fund receipt accounts 8000–8999
Available receipts are special or non-revolving trust fund receipts that, pursuant to law, are available as appropriations to a single entity for expenditure without further congressional action. An available receipt account carries the same attributes as its corresponding expenditure account.
Unavailable receipts are receipts that, at the time of collection, are not appropriated and not immediately available for expenditure. This is because Congress has limited the amount available for expenditure.
Unappropriated receipts held in special and non-revolving trust fund receipt accounts are unavailable for expenditure until appropriated pursuant to specific legislative provisions.
- Expenditure Account Classification
Expenditure account symbols consist of eight or more digits. Using the string TAS format, the first three digits identify the entity responsible for the account. The next digits or characters represent the period of availability for obligation. The last four digits identify the specific account by fund group. The following example illustrates the various parts of a Treasury Account Symbol for Buildings and Facilities for the Department of Agriculture:
Three-digit Entity identifier (AID) 012– (Dept. of Agriculture) Period of availability
20 (Fiscal 2020 annual year account)
20/21 (Fiscal 2020/2021 multiple year account)
X (No-year appropriation)
Fund group 0117
Expenditure Account Symbols by Fund Groups
Fiscal Service classifies expenditure accounts and assigns symbols by fund groups as follows:
Fund Group Major Class General fund: 0000–3899 Management and consolidated working funds 3900–3999 Revolving funds: Public enterprise 4000–4499 Intra-governmental 4500–4999 Special fund 5000–5999 Deposit fund 6000–6999 Trust non-revolving fund 8000–8399 and 8500–8999 Trust revolving fund 8400–8499
Identifying the Period of Availability
The account symbol designates the period of availability for incurring obligations as follows:
Annual appropriations—This refers to budget authority that is available for obligation during only one fiscal year or less. Annual appropriations are identified within the TAS using two digits (00 through 99) indicate the fiscal year of availability for incurring obligations of a one-year appropriation (012 20 0117).
Multiple-year appropriations—This term refers to budget authority or the authorization of the appropriation in which all or some portion of the amount available for obligation is for specified period of time in excess of one fiscal year.
Multiple year appropriations are identified within the TAS using two digits separated by a slash (/) to indicate a multiple-year appropriation for incurring obligations for a definite period in excess of one fiscal year. The digit preceding the slash indicates the first fiscal year of availability, and the digit immediately following the slash indicates the final fiscal year of availability (012 20/21 0117).
No-year appropriations—This term refers to budget authority or the authorization of the appropriation in which all or some portion of the amount is available until expended.That means the entity can incur obligations against it indefinitely. No-year appropriations are identified using an 'X' to indicate that the appropriations are available for obligations for an indefinite period of time (012X0117).
- Deposit Fund Accounts
Deposit Fund Accounts are established by Fiscal Service to record deposits and disbursement of monies that do not belong to the federal government. Deposit funds are a liability in the government’s central summary general ledger since those assets do not belong to the government. They are not intended to be used as an operating account or budget account as defined in OMB Circular A-11 Sec 20.11(f). Amounts that are donated to the federal government are deposited in a special or trust fund account (OMB Circular A-11 Sec 20).
The deposit fund account (liability) classification is proper for any account that meets one of the following three criteria:
Monies withheld from government payments for goods and services received. Entities may treat this transaction as a deposit fund liability only when they have charged a budget account and the government is holding the funds pending payment (for example, payroll deductions for savings bonds or state income taxes).
Monies the government is holding awaiting distribution based on a legal determination or investigation. This category includes monies in dispute (between the government and outside parties) where ownership is in doubt and there is no present basis for estimating ultimate distribution.
Deposits received from outside sources for which the government is acting solely as a banker, fiscal agent, or custodian. This includes certain cash and investments held outside of Treasury. Also, refer to Volume I, Part 2, Chapter 3400, for additional information.
Ordinarily, a negative balance in a deposit fund would not result in an Anti-Deficiency Act violation. However, if a federal disbursing officer over-disburses a deposit fund, the disbursing officer must consult with that entity's legal counsel to determine if an Anti-Deficiency Act violation should be reported. Deposit funds are not covered in the Treasury and do not become public money. Therefore, they can be expended without an appropriation. A negative balance in any account is an adverse position which should be assessed by the entity with their legal counsel.
Proper Classification and Reporting
To maintain accountability, Entities must establish separate deposit fund accounts to hold non-government monies for individual statutory authorizations or programs. Deposit funds, which are for monies not owned by the federal government, are not included in the federal budget. If an entity is uncertain about the ownership of monies, it should ask its Treasury and OMB contacts for guidance.
Need for Regular Periodic Reviews
Each entity should review its deposit fund accounts periodically, but at least quarterly, and should take whatever corrective action may be necessary to address problems identified. At a minimum, these reviews should determine whether all monies held in a deposit fund account are consistent with the title of, as well as the legal authority for, the account, and that the account has a positive balance. If a federal disbursing officer over-disburses a deposit fund, an Anti-Deficiency Act violation has occurred and must be reported to OMB promptly. See Volume I, Part 6, Chapter 3000 for procedures on reviewing unclaimed money accounts, such as escrow accounts for loans.
Deposit Funds Available to All Entities
The following deposit funds are available to all Entities:
Advances without orders from non-federal sources (X6500)—This account is for advances without orders from non-federal sources.
Small escrow amounts (X6501)—This account is used for small escrow amounts held less than one year, when the entity’s balance is less than $1 million.
Employees Payroll Allotment Account, United States Savings Bonds (X6050)
Withheld State and Local Taxes (X6275)
Other federal payroll withholding, allotments (X6276)—This account is used only when federal payroll withholding amounts, not including deductions for U.S. Savings Bonds, must be held to make monthly payments.
Federal Financial Management Standards
- Functions and Activities
Budget Setup and Maintenance (FFM.010.010)
Establish and maintain budgetary resource reporting attributes
Receive agency spend and operating plan
Establish and maintain appropriated fund subdivisions before any of the appropriated funds are expended, according to OMB apportionments and agency spend and operating plan
Set up the funds control structure, levels, and accounting segments
Record the Treasury Accounting Fund Symbol (TAFS)/ Program/ Project/ Activity (PPA) information and organizational information for allotment and allocation
Includes setting up direct, reimbursable, revolving, contract, borrowing, financing, liquidating, advanced appropriation, anticipated collections, and nonexpenditure transfer funds
Includes recording appropriation warrants, apportionments, allotments, allowances, allocations, reapportionments, transfer allocations, continuing resolutions, rescissions, and reprogramming actions
- Federal Financial Management System Requirements
Recording Budget Authority (2.2.1)
Provide budgetary resource reporting attributes (for example, Treasury Account Fund Symbol, expired, and unexpired) consistent with the budget execution activities as defined in OMB Circular No. A-11.
Determine appropriated fund subdivisions, apportionments, reapportionments, and allocations before any of the appropriated funds are expended consistent with the budget execution activities as defined in OMB Circular No. A-11.
Provide budgetary authority and resource data required to post GL transactions consistent with USSGL transaction codes, transaction categories (for example, funding)and transaction subcategories (for example, budgetary resources other than collections) as defined in the TFM.
- Use Cases
- Treasury Financial Manual (TFM)
TFM Volume I, Part 2, Chapter 1500; Description of Accounts Relating to Financial Operations
- Contact Details
Direct inquiries concerning account establishments to:
Budget Reporting BranchPO Box 1328
Bureau of the Fiscal Service
Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328
This page was last updated on August 05, 2021.