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Office of Financial Support Services

The Office of Financial Support Services (FSS) is responsible for the planning, development and technical support of the State of Alabama’s Financial Resource Management System (FRMS). As the name implies, FSS is a service organization in the business of providing information technology services to support the financial and related operations of state government. FRMS is an intricate and complex combination of online and batch computer programs and data processes that provide accounting, financial reporting, procurement, payroll, and personnel functionality to various departments and agencies of the State of Alabama.

Our primary clients or “stakeholders” are those that own, or share ownership of the data stored and processed through the systems FSS supports. These entities include: Office of Control and Accounts (Comptroller’s Office), State Purchasing, Executive Budget Office, State Treasurer's Office, State Personnel, Department of Human Resources and over 60 state agencies that use the AFNS (LGFS) accounting system.

The majority of the FRMS software is “leased” from American Management Systems (AMS), whose corporate offices are in Fairfax, Virginia. Although the software was procured as a “package”, it has been highly modified and customized to meet the unique needs of the State. The AMS products are used as follows: Government Financial System (CAS) as the statewide financial management system; 1 “copy” of the Local Government Financial System (LGFS) with 15 different applications/databases as the agency accounting systems for the majority of state agencies; and the Government Human Resources System (GHRS) as the statewide human resource and payroll system.  These systems, along with the Advanced Government Purchasing  System (known as SNAP) from INFORMS (a Montgomery, AL company), comprise FRMS for the State of Alabama. FRMS was implemented in production beginning in January 1990 with implementation mostly completed in October 1990, with final implementation completed in 1992. An extensive upgrade project was completed in 1999 that replaced the old software with new, Year 2000 compliant, versions of the FRMS systems. The EBT system was completed and implemented in production in September 1997.

Personnel within the central control organizations provide functional support of the systems, and FSS provides technical support to both the primary clients and directly to individual state agencies. Extensive global knowledge of the current and projected business processes is necessary to guide and advise our technical efforts. The highly integrated nature of the systems creates complex relationships between our clients and FSS personnel and systems. Extensive interaction and exchange of data between the FRMS components is required to produce accurate financial reports and other pertinent information related to the State accounting process. As systems and data administrators FSS must protect the data and honor the requirements of the owners of the data. In the cases of shared ownership, care must be taken to satisfy the procedures of the multiple organizations.

GFS, GHRS, AFNS and SNAP are teams of information technology professionals that maintain and support the FRMS systems referred to by the same name. In other words, “LGFS” for example, is used to refer to both the technical support team and the LGFS financial management computer system. These areas are located on the 7th floor of the Folsom Administrative Building except for the Comptroller Support area, which is located on the 2nd floor of the RSA Union Building.

Central Accounting System (CAS):  The GFS support team is a group of programmers and programmer/analysts responsible for the day-to-day technical support and data integrity of the GFS financial management system. GFS is the State level financial management system used for statewide budgetary control and financial reporting, and provides the Professional Services Contract subsystem and the Indigent Defense subsystem. It is also known as the Central Accounting System (CAS) or Comptroller's System. The system is used to control the State's appropriations and budget, track statewide revenues and expenditures, and issue and track all warrants produced for payments. Information derived from GFS is used to support the State's bond rating, produce the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), update the State's econometric model and provides monthly financial reports to the Governor's Office, State Legislature and the various state agencies. The Professional Services Contract subsystem assists the Comptroller's Office in controlling and monitoring the professional contracts set up for individuals which render services to the state. The Indigent Defense subsystem supports the payment of legal fees incurred on behalf of the indigent defendants throughout the State.

The data is co-owned by the State Comptroller's Office, the Executive Budget Office and the State Treasurer's Office.

Government Human Resource System (GHRS): A group of programmers and programmer / analysts responsible for the day-to-day technical support and data integrity of the GHRS payroll / personnel system. GHRS is the State level payroll/personnel management system used to pay all State employees. It is an integrate system whereby payroll and personnel are used in conjunction with each other. A payroll warrant (or direct deposit) cannot be issued without the proper personnel documentation established in the system. GHRS controls the number of personnel positions available statewide and by agency, tracks the history of each position incumbent, controls and maintains personnel leave balances, and ensures compliance with State personnel laws, regulations and pay plan. GHRS also accumulates, calculates and accounts for employee deductions, both mandatory (retirement, State and Federal income taxes, etc.) and voluntary (Credit Union deductions, third party insurance, etc.) and generates the appropriate W2s and 1099 forms.

The GHRS support team is also responsible for two additional systems, the garnishments and levies system and an election balloting system. The garnishments and levies system maintains information concerning garnishments and levies against an employee's earnings, keeping track of how much has been withheld and distributed to the appropriate court or legal entity. The election balloting system is used to tally and report State Personnel Board and Retirement Systems employee election results.

The data is owned jointly by the Comptroller's Office and State Personnel Department.

Agency Financial System (AFNS): The LGFS support team is a group of programmers and programmer/analysts responsible for the day-to-day technical support and data integrity of the LGFS agency financial management system.LGFS is the department level integrated financial management system, which incorporates critical capabilities such as budgeting, general ledger, encumbrance, accounts payable & accounts receivable. It also consistsof other related accounting functions such as grants accounting, projectaccounting, cost allocation, cost accounting & financial planning. Additional functionality is provided by a group of subsystems, which integrate with the base financial system but provide critical services, not necessarily accounting related (a brief description of each is provided below). The data is owned by the respective agency/agencies using the system.

  • Sales Order Subsystem - an in-house developed system that provides ordering and order tracking capabilities for the Department of Corrections' Agriculture and Industries program.
  • Vehicle Rental Subsystem - an in-house developed system that provides vehicle rental, tracking and billing for the State Motor Pool.
  • Cost Allocation Subsystem - a LGFS system that provides for the allocation of expenditures across non-budgetary entities for cost recovery and Federal funding reporting.
  • Fixed Asset Subsystem - a LGFS system that controls and accounts for the location and custodianship of State property.
  • Inventory Control Subsystem - a LGFS system that controls and accounts for warehoused, expendable goods.
  • Work Order Subsystem - a LGFS system that controls and accounts costs and materials associated with special job related construction or development.
  • Fleet Management Subsystem - a LGFS system that assists in the control and management of vehicle fleets.

The LGFS support team also has primary responsibility for the integration of data between state agencies and FRMS, and between the various FRMS components. This involves verification and validation of data received from various state agencies and maintaining the integrity of the information returned to these agencies. Also, significant volumes of data are moved between the LGFS, GFS, SNAP and GHRS systems, which is under the care and maintenance of this team.

Purchasing (SNAP): The SNAP support team is a group of programmers and programmer/analysts responsible for the day-to-day technical support and data integrity of the SNAP statewide procurement system. SNAP is the statewide purchasing/procurement system used to obtain inventory and supplies for the operation of the State. Capabilities of the system include vendor tracking, bid processing, commodity tracking and control, agency requisitioning and purchase order issuance. SNAP controls extensive vendor and commodity databases used for the procurement of goods and services by the various state agencies, colleges and universities and other governmental units of the State. The accounting data required for financial reporting and budgetary control is created during the procurement process and "passed" to the appropriate financial systems to determine budgetary authority for the procurement. Information is provided to the agency financial systems and the Central Accounting System (GFS). Once the budget authority is validated, purchase orders are generated and sent to the appropriate vendors. The State Purchasing Division of the Finance Department owns the data stored and maintained in SNAP.

Comptroller's Office  |  SBS  |  Finance  |  Purchasing  |  Personnel  |  info.alabama.gov