Budget Systems Newsletter: AMA and BPAS Updates

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July 13, 2018

Budget Systems Newsletter

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

AMA Offline, BPAS and DE Portal Links Closed on July 13

Beginning at 12:00 noon today, July 13, the Appropriation Maintenance System (AMA) will be taken offline so that it can be integrated with BPAS version 2.0 . This work is expected to be completed Friday evening; AMA will be available again at the start of business on Monday, July 16.

Access will be closed to both the Departmental Earnings (DE) system and the legacy Budget Planning and Analysis System (BPAS) at the end of business on Friday, July 13. The BPAS link will remain in the Statewide Systems Portal menu, but will be inactive until BPAS version 2.0 is opened to users on August 22. The DE portal link will reopen in early October.

AMA System Updated

Updates to AMA installed this week include the following changes which were recommended by members of the BPAS User Group and respondents to the 2017 Statewide Systems Survey:

SWIFT Transactions to Modify an Existing Appropriation 

  • "G” Budget Authority won’t be cleared from nonfederal fund appropriations with Type Code 04 that have been approved for cash flow assistance. AMA edits restrict G budget authority to federal fund appropriations, and these edits will still apply when creating a new or copying an existing appropriation. Nonfederal fund appropriations require submission and approval of a Cash Flow Request Form 0301-01.5F for each budget period; MMB SWIFT Module Support will change the budget authority to G in SWIFT.
  • An existing appropriation’s Budget Status field value of “H” or “C” won’t automatically be reset to “O”. When creating a new or copying an existing appropriation, AMA will continue to populate the Budget Status field with “O,” which is the system’s default value. Budget Status shows if the budget is open (“O”), on hold (“H” – allows payments against open encumbrances only), or closed (“C” – no accounting transactions can be processed).

Approval Screen Display

  • The color of the “Approval” pop-up’s illustration has been changed from red to green; the “Deny” pop-up’s graphic remains red.
  • Amount field values greater than 999.00 are displayed in comma-separated format.

Edit and Approval Screen Transaction Lists

  • When using the vertical scrollbar to review a list, the screen will not scroll back to the top of the list after a checkbox is selected. The screen may “jump” as the screen refreshes; but if it does, the last checkbox selected will remain visible.

Developers continue to work on a recently-discovered system issue that allows agencies to inadvertently create duplicate AMA entries when selecting and submitting appropriations from the Entry Screen. Until a fix is installed, is here is what agencies can do to avoid it: 

  • Take care to click the “Send to Edit” button only once. Double-clicking the “Send to Edit” button will create a duplicate transaction for each selected appropriation. 
  • Review the Edit screen and delete any duplicate entries. 

AMA will not allow users to select an appropriation on the Entry Screen while there is a transaction for that appropriation/budget period still in process. Once the transaction has been given final approval and uploaded into SWIFT, the appropriation can again be selected on the Entry Screen and a new entry submitted for approval.

BPAS Version 2.0 Prepares for Launch

After the legacy budget system closes, FY 2016 and FY 2017 actual data exported from the “old” BPAS will be available in version 2.0. MMB has also archived actuals for Fiscal Years 2012 through 2015 at the appropriation and account level; this data will be available upon request. FY 2018 actuals and  FY 2019 budgets will be uploaded into BPAS from SWIFT at hard close the weekend of August 10.

When BPAS version 2.0 is linked with the Appropriation Maintenance Application (AMA) (see AMA Announcement, above), MMB Budget Operations will be able to upload from AMA new appropriation IDs and changes to existing appropriations after they are posted to SWIFT.

The remaining project work underway includes linking BPAS with the Departmental Earnings (DE) system and building the Budget Book Publisher, which will combine external documents with system-generated reports to create agency budget documents.

BPAS 2.0 Preview: Change Module Description Screen

The Change Module comprises six screens: two are used by MMB in developing and preparing the governor’s budget recommendations; and four are used by agencies to enter budget change items:

  • Change Item Entry (see June 2018 Newsletter)
  • Description
  • Funding Summary
  • Relevant Base

After adding change items on the Entry screen, agencies will enter narratives describing each request on the Description screen. This screen can be opened from the left navigation menu or from the Entry Screen by clicking on any change item’s ID field, which is a hyperlink to the Description screen:

Change Description Screen

On the Description screen, users will select a change item and then enter its description in a textbox, which has a rich text editor toolbar and a  2,000 character limit; a counter in the margin of the textbox keeps a running count of the number of characters available:

Change Item Rich Text EditorChange Item Text Box Character Count

The Description screen also has a second textbox field, the optional “Notes” panel, and an attachment upload panel. This new feature allows agencies to attach supporting documentation for each change item in Word, Excel, PDF, JPG, and PNG file formats:

Change Item Description Screen Optional Notes Panel


Look for a preview of the Change Module’s Funding Summary screen in the next edition of the Budget Systems Newsletter. 

Budget Systems User Training Calendar

MMB Budget Operations is offering instructor-led BPAS 2.0 agency user training sessions Tuesday, July 31 through Tuesday, August 14 in the Columbine Room of the Centennial Office Building.  Registration for the sessions is available in Enterprise Learning Management (ELM in Self Service).  Certified BPAS users should have received an email with registration information. If you are a certified BPAS user and have not receive a training invitation, please email budget.finance.mmb@state.mn.us.

Departmental Earnings (DE) training dates are scheduled for October 18, 23, 24, and 25; FNTS user training will be held December 4, 5, 7, and 12. MMB will notify certified system users by e-mail when registration for these instructor-led training sessions is open in ELM.

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.