Agency Establishment

Financial Operations Startup Procedures for New Federal Entities


Scope and Applicability

This Treasury Financial Manual (TFM) chapter addresses startup procedures for new federal entities 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.


According to 31 United States Code (U.S.C.) 3513, the Secretary of the Treasury must prepare reports on the financial operations of the U.S. Government. This code 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.

Requests and Access for Financial Operations Startup Procedures

Requesting Treasury Account Symbols and Titles

Fiscal Service, in collaboration with OMB and the relevant administrative entity, assigns, amends, changes, and discontinues account symbols and titles. Treasury Account Symbols (TAS) 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 account symbols. Entities will also use the account symbols to report to Treasury and OMB.

Fiscal Service establishes or changes new Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbols (TAFS) derived from appropriation bills without an entity request. TAFS refer to the separate Treasury expenditure accounts for each appropriation title based on the availability of the resources in the account. The TAFS are a combination of the TAS and the availability code (for example, annual, multi-year, or no-year). TAFS refer only to the appropriation fund accounts and exclude the receipt accounts.

For new account actions pursuant to other legislation, entities must send a letter of request. To establish new accounts, entities must:

  1. Contact OMB for approval (see OMB Circular No. A-11, section 79.4).
  2. Submit a letter of request to Fiscal Service, Budget Reporting Branch, Budget Appropriations and Analysis Section (BAAS) signed by the appropriate personnel, requesting a new account(s), including the following:

A statement indicating that OMB has approved the account(s),

The type of fund,

The proposed account title,

The statutory authority,

The name of entity and bureau needing the account,

The effective date of establishment (will be the beginning of a fiscal year),

Requested date for the account to be activated, and

An entity contact name, number, and email address.

Entities should submit all account action requests to Fiscal Service 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 law and in collaboration with OMB. 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 each month.

These accounts are collected and published in the Federal Account Symbols and Titles (FAST) Book, which is updated periodically. It is a supplement to Volume 1 of the Treasury Financial Manual (TFM).

Requesting an Agency Location Code (ALC)

A four- or eight-digit Agency Location Code (ALC) which uniquely identifies each entity that reports payments and collections is required for an entity to obtain a Treasury Account Symbol. An ALC is like a bank account number and must appear on all documentation sent to 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.

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 applications are available through CARS:

Nonexpenditure Transfer (NET) Application for NET transactions,

Appropriation Warrant Application,

Account Statement Application for undisbursed Fund Balance With Treasury (FBWT) data,

Classification Transactions and Accountability (CTA), which replaced the Partial 224, and

Borrowings and NET Applications for borrowings.

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

Arranging for Access to Governmentwide Treasury Account 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.

For additional information on accessing GTAS, the systems requirements, and the reporting requirements, see TFM Volume I, Part 2, Chapter 4200.

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.

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:

TFM Volume I, Part 6, Chapter 8500, Cash Forecasting Requirements, or

TFM Volume I, Part 5, Chapter 9000, Securing Government Deposits in Federal Entity Accounts.

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

Record to Report

Treasury Financial Manual (TFM)

TFM Volume I, Part I, Chapter 2000; Financial Operations Startup Procedures for New Federal Entities

Contact Information

Contact Details

Direct inquiries concerning the establishment of Treasury Account 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

Operational Accounting Lifecycle

This page was last updated on August 05, 2021.