Responsibilities of the
Fiscal Systems and Consulting Unit

Government Code (GC) section 13300 specifies the general responsibilities of the Department of Finance (Finance), Fiscal Systems and Consulting Unit (FSCU). This code section requires that Finance:

"… shall devise, install, supervise, and, at its discretion, revise and modify, a modern and complete accounting system and policies for each agency of the state permitted or charged by law with the handling of public money or its equivalent, to the end that all revenues, expenditures, receipts, disbursements, resources, obligations, and property of the state be properly, accurately, and systematically accounted for and that there shall be obtained accurate and comparable records, reports, and statements of all the financial affairs of the state."

Pursuant to GC section 13310, Finance is also charged with providing fiscal and accounting training, advice, and consulting services to state departments.   The FSCU consults with and provides specified services to state departments as well as other units within Finance. Other, usually more specific tasks, derived from other Finance statutory responsibilities, are also assigned to the FSCU.

A. Overview of FSCU Responsibilities

Other Responsibilities:

B. Specific FSCU Responsibilities

SAM Sections,
BLs or MMs



Ordering Paper Stock Checks:
Approve deviations of paper check stock designs, color, and codes.


Uniform System of Accounts:
Review and approve accounting instructions for proprietary and fiduciary funds developed by State departments and any changes made to these accounting instructions.  Maintain the UCM.


Accounting Records:
Approve the use of additional general ledger accounts that are not included in the Chart of General Ledger (GL) Accounts in SAM Section 7610.


Automated Accounting Systems/CALSTARS:
Approve requests to acquire, design, and develop an accounting system, to procure hardware or software components to modify or expand any accounting system, and to obtain support staff to implement any accounting system.


Establishment of New State Funds:
Coordinate the review of requests for new funds with the State Controller’s Office (SCO), and notify the Finance budget analysts, control agencies, and administering organization when new funds are established.

7620 to 7640

General Ledger Accounts:
Approve the use of various general ledger accounts.


Approve the use of the UCM code number for subsidiary accounts in GL Account No. 9811 and 9812.


Standard Year End Reports:
Approve the commingling of two or more funds in one set of agency statements.


Approve requests to open a centralized State Treasury System (CTS) account and approve requests to open additional CTS accounts.


Approve bank, saving and loan association, or credit union accounts to be maintained outside the CTS and notify the SCO of these outside CTS accounts.


Approve the use of fiscal agents to receive remittances and/or make disbursements on behalf of the State.


Compile the Treasury-State Agreement for administration of the CMIA.


Approve changes to the funding process for CMIA programs and request notification from State departments on federal assistance programs that receive $125 million or more in new federal funds.


Approve requests for exemption from the requirement to prepare receipts for collections of coins and currency received in person from payers who are not given press-numbered documents of fixed value (such as guest meal tickets) at the time of payment.


Approve requests for exemption from the required endorsement placement and ink color on checks, money orders, warrants, and other negotiable instruments.


Receive information on lost checks due to probable negligence by depository bank, organization transporting the checks, or any bank other than the depository bank.


Authorize deviations from the requirement for two authorized signatures on checks drawn for an amount in excess of $15,000. (See SAM Section 8001.2.)


Authorize the use of rubber stamp facsimile signatures for check signing.


Office Revolving Funds:
Approve establishment of change funds in excess of $500.


Prescribe frequency for counting change or petty cash funds that are over $2,500.


Approve institution cash payment funds in excess of $10,000.


Approve requests to increase the bank draft purchase amount from $500 to an amount not more than the $10,000 limit in the Board of Control regulations.


Approve establishment of bank draft systems, approve increases to the $500 limit,  and issue instructions for selecting a bank and for establishing and operating the system.


Issue special instructions for the accounting treatment of income.


Approve requests to disregard the fractional part of the dollar for amounts shown on forms.


Respond to questions on reportable payment identification systems from non-CALSTARS agencies that operate manual accounting systems.


Approve revisions to the Payee Data Record form to fulfill a unique reporting need of a specific program.


Issue special accounting instructions on advance payments for interagency appropriation reimbursement services.


Approve accounts to transfer funds to delay payment to the federal government and other governmental jurisdictions before the goods and services are received or costs are incurred.


Prescribe beginning and ending pay period dates.


Property Accounting:
Approve criteria for proprietary funds capitalization of property.


Respond to questions on capitalizing repair and maintenance costs.


Prescribe special rules for use of property accounting journal entries for fiduciary funds.


Prescribe special rules for standard journal entries for property accounting for fiduciary funds.


Prescribe standard journal entries for proprietary funds for acquisition of property through transfer or gift.


Central Service Costs and Recoveries:
Prepare and administer the central service costs allocation plans and determine the most appropriate workload base for each central service.


Classify special funds as billable or non-billable; calculate Pro Rata costs for all billable and non-billable funds; certify billable Pro Rata charges to the SCO; respond to questions concerning Pro Rata; and review Pro Rata deferral requests.


Prepare the annual Statewide Cost Allocation Plan and submit to the US Department of Health and Human Services for approval.


Review and approve Indirect Cost Rate Proposals (ICRPs) prior to State departments submittal to federal agencies for approval.


Review and approve ICRPs, and Cost Allocation Plans for non-CALSTARS departments, prior to State department submittal to federal agencies for approval; and receive copy of approved SWCAP transfer requests from Finance budget analysts.


Notify State departments with federal funds of SWCAP apportionment for next fiscal year; approve ICRPs before departments send proposal to cognizant federal agency, and exempt state departments with federal funding from filing ICRPs.


Accrual Method:
Approve a deviation from the method of accrual used in prior years for accruing income or expenditures that exceed $100,000.


Cost Allocation Method:
Approve cross-over process and methodology used to convert traditional line item costs to program costs


Provide information or assistance to State departments on the crossover process and methodology used to convert traditional line item costs to program costs.


Approve other types of abatements not specifically listed.

10412 to 10471

Entries for General Ledger Accounts:
Approve the use of or issue special instructions for various general ledger accounts.


Services to Employees:
Approve agreement on how employee or employee’s departments will pay for services (such as meals, laundry, living quarters) provided to the employee by another State department.


Special Deposit Fund (SDF) Accounts:
Approve the establishment of SDF accounts.


Approve the establishment of SDF accounts for depositing funds or conditional gifts not exempted under Government Code Section 11005.


Non-Treasury Trust and Agency Funds:
Approve consolidation of individual private trust funds.


Approve the deposit of money in bank accounts outside the CTS.


Approve the deposit of money in savings and loan association accounts outside the CTS.

Govt. Code
Sec. 11012

Approve State departments investment of funds and sale or exchange of securities.

Budget Letter

Late Payment Penalty Interest Rates:
Advise State departments annually of the current late payment penalty rates used for calculating interest payments according to the Prompt Payment Act.

Independent Contractors:
Advise State departments on the collection of payroll taxes for employees and the reporting requirements for independent contractor and other non-employee earnings.  

Comments or questions regarding this information should be directed to the California State Department of Finance, FSCU, at or to the FSCU telephone hotline at (916) 324-0385.

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