Budget Systems Newsletter: AMA Workshops, FNTS Resources, BPAS 2.0 Update

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April 18, 2018

Budget Systems Newsletter

For users of the AMA, BPAS, CBS, and FNTS budget systems.

Appropriation Maintenance Application (AMA)

AMA Workshops: Wednesday, May 30 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Thursday, May 31 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Budget Operations will offer two AMA workshops: on Wednesday, May 30, from 10:00 AM – Noon, and Thursday, May 31, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Agency budget staff can receive one-on-one assistance in setting up new appropriations for 2019 or preparing other AMA transactions. Note: the workshops will not provide system user training. To reserve a place, email budget.finance.mmb@state.mn.us with the subject: AMA Workshops, indicating which session you will attend. Both workshops will be held in the Columbine Room, on ground floor of the Centennial Office Building. (Note: the workshops tentatively scheduled April 25, May 9 and May 23 are cancelled.)

Fiscal Note Tracking System (FNTS)

As of April 14, 552 fiscal notes have been requested during the 2018 legislative session. Thanks to the collaboration of FNTS users, nearly 80 percent of these requests have a status of complete or inactive. With 32 calendar days remaining until the end of session on May 21, here are some pointers to keep in mind to keep the process moving efficiently.

Due Dates – Agencies, please allow time for your Executive Budget Officer to review and offer feedback before you sign off on fiscal notes. Keep in mind that the due date in the system is the day the note should be completed and delivered to the legislature. 

Remember to always view your fiscal note before signing off to ensure your agency's fiscal note is formatted appropriately and the PDF document can be opened. An error message (screen shot below)  means there are issues with the narrative’s formatting that prevent the PDF from generating. Contact budget.finance.mmb@state.mn.us for assistance.

    FNTS Error from Bad HTML in Narrative

    For a guide on entering fiscal note narratives, consult the Narrative Quick Reference Guide located on MMB's website. The Fiscal Note Worksheet is the recommended tool for creating your fiscal notes outside of FNTS prior to entering or copying the information into the system.  The worksheet's margins and fonts match the system’s PDF formatting, to ease copying of narratives into FNTS’ rich text editor. Both documents are updated for 2018.

    Budget Planning & Analysis System (BPAS)

    BPAS 2.0 Project Update

    BPAS 2.0 project is on schedule. The Appropriation and Reports modules for BPAS 2.0 are complete and the developers are now building the Change Module. Both the Appropriation Entry/Edit screens and Standard Reports received favorable feedback from agency staff who participated in user testing sessions in February and earlier this month. The Fiscal Reports, which are the reports included in the November Base and Governor’s Biennial Budget publications, have also been developed. MMB will invite agency volunteers to participate in Change Module and Fiscal Reports user test sessions that will be scheduled for Tuesday, June 5 through Friday, June 7. Look for more information in the next Budget Systems Newsletter.

    MMB’s Enterprise Resource and Planning Steering Committee will decide by May 24 whether to use BPAS 2.0 for the 2020-21 biennial budget or postpone the system’s launch until the 2020-21 supplemental budget.

    BPAS 2.0 Preview – Standard Reports

    The Standard reports menu option includes 14 reports designed to help agencies in reviewing their budget structure, reconciling appropriations, and setting their base budget; and four reports to assist agencies in reviewing their change item entries.

    BPAS 2.0 Standard Report Filters

    Each Standard report can be filtered by a set of parameters, or run with its default settings. Users can choose from three file outputs: Excel, CSV, or formatted PDF report. The Excel and CSV options give users the flexibility to create custom reports and data analyses. By selecting parameter filters, users can customize the report data. Here is a picture of the filters available for the Expenditures by Appropriation and Account report:

    BPAS 2.0 Standard Report Menu

    The BPAS 2.0 Reports menu’s second option, Agency Fiscal reports, will be previewed in the next Budget Systems Newsletter.

    Sunday Maintenance Schedule

    Sunday Maintenance – A reminder that statewide systems maintenance is scheduled Sundays between 7:00 AM and 12:00 noon. During this time, the Statewide Systems Administrative Portal and/or the applications that are accessed through the Portal, may be unavailable. BPAS will always be offline Sundays between 6:30 AM and 12:15 PM. Unlike the other budget system applications, BPAS must be shut down before, and restarted after any system maintenance is performed.

    Have a question about or a suggestion for improving the budget systems? Email it to Budget Operations at budget.finance.mmb@state.mn.us, Subject: Budget Systems Newsletter.