Budget Systems Newsletter - May

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May 16, 2023

Budget Systems Newsletter

For users of the Appropriation Maintenance Application (AMA) and Budget Planning and Analysis System (BPAS).

Capital Budget System (CBS) Open

The Capital Budget System (CBS) is open for state agencies and local governments to enter and submit their capital project requests for the 2024 Capital Budget. For help or tips while using the system, refer to the training materials listed below. If you experience technical issues with CBS, email budget.finance.mmb@state.mn.us.

CBS Training Materials 

Capital Budget Instructions

Instructions for the 2024 Capital Budget process are posted on the MMB Capital Budget Instructions webpage at https://mn.gov/mmb/budget/budget-instructions/capbud/.

Save the Date: CBS FAQ Sessions

The Capital Budget Coordinator will be hosting two online FAQ sessions, one for agencies and one for local governments. If you are interested in attending the FAQ session, please note the time below. Further information and webinar links will be emailed soon.

  • State Agency Session: Tuesday, May 30, 2023, from 1:00 – 2:00 pm
  • Local Government Session: Wednesday, May 31, 2023, from 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Budget System User Survey Closed

Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback about the 2024-25 Biennial Budget Process and Budget Systems; the survey is now closed. Budget Operations will review survey results for guidance on process improvements and communication efforts. Budget System feedback is always welcome and users can submit their feedback to budget.finance.mmb@state.mn.us.  

Best Practices for Establishing 2024-2025 Appropriations in AMA

Best Practice: Establish appropriations for the next biennium with the AMA Excel export and upload option. Using this feature on the AMA Biennium Entry screen you can export an Excel file of established appropriations and update their statutory citations, amounts, and other chart fields offline, instead of editing them one-by-one on the Edit screen. For more information, read the AMA User Guide Chapter V. Things to remember when using the Excel export and upload option:

  • The Excel export file is protected but you can remove the protection lock to add rows for new appropriations or formulas to total Amounts. Do not add columns or worksheets, change headers, or modify cell formatting, especially if you circulate the file among agency colleagues or your EBO for review. Changes to the Excel file structure or formatting will trigger an error when uploading the file back into AMA.
  • Biennium appropriations uploaded from an AMA Excel export file will display SWIFT Status “Not Submitted – Staging” and won’t have a transaction number. The transaction number will be added when you click the pencil icon next to the appropriation to validate it. After correcting any errors flagged, you can save the entry and its checkbox is opened, ready to select and submit for approval.

Best Practice: Make sure your AMA amount entries tie to the appropriations in Session Law before submitting transactions for approval. Use the SUM function in Excel to tie out appropriations to the session law. Be sure to delete any formulas before uploading the file back into Excel. You can also use the total calculation that displays in the header row of the AMA Edit screen above the Amount field. The calculation summarizes all transactions’ Amounts and updates when you filter the Edit list, for example, by Legal Cite 1, Appropriation Type, and/or Fund.

Best Practice: Follow the legal citation formats as shown in the AMA grids and glossary for session law. See the legal citation examples below, when entering legal citations that do not have articles and/or sections and/or subdivisions

  • Regular Session: Minnesota Laws of 2023, chapter 13, article 1, section 11
  • Regular session without article or subdivision: Minnesota Laws of 2023, chapter 8, section 1
Legal Citation Screenshot

Best Practice: use the AMA Glossary for help with fund balance classification codes. Appropriations in funds 1000-2999 are required to have a fund balance classification. The drop-down list for this field in AMA will display the valid code or codes. For guidance about which classification to select when the fund has multiple valid codes, refer to the AMA Glossary Fund Balance Classification Table for descriptions on how to classify.

Budget Systems Tip of the Month: Copying Previous Capital Budget Requests

CBS allows users to copy requests from previous request years into the current request year which is a great way to save time and steps when setting up requests for consideration in the 2024 Governor’s Capital Budget.

The Copy Previous Requests function will copy the project name, narrative entries, and any prior year funds appropriated or committed, and prior year costs incurred into a new request for the current year. Users can update the project name and edit fields after the request has been copied. The system does not copy the previous request’s request year funding sources and project costs, statutory requirements responses, or uploaded document files.

Refer to the Agency User Guide or Local Government User Guide for step-by-step instructions on how to copy previous year requests in CBS.

AMA and BPAS Resources

MMB Budget Operations has many resources available to assist agencies with using AMA and BPAS.

Budget Systems are unavailable during the statewide systems maintenance window, every Sunday from 6:00 AM - 2:00 PM.

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.