0201 Overview

This chapter establishes the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) financial policies relative to cash and Fund Balance with Treasury (FBWT), including imprest funds and funds deposited in non-Treasury general accounts.

Key points covered in this chapter:

  • VA will record in its accounting system cash transactions held by Treasury and those invested outside of Treasury;
  • VA will reconcile FBWT per the accounting system with Treasury’s Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) balances;
  • VA will report FBWT in the Annual Financial Report (AFR) in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-136 (Financial Reporting Requirements) and Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFAS) No. 1, Accounting for Selected Assets and Liabilities; and
  • Office of Financial Policy must review requests for the establishment of any imprest funds other than those for Agent Cashiers.

0202 Revisions

See changelog.

0203 Definitions

Agency Location Code (ALC) – A numeric symbol assigned by Treasury to identify an agency accounting and/or reporting office.

Cash Held Outside Treasury – Funds under the custodial responsibility of Federal government agencies and/or their employees, officers or agents that are deposited in non-Treasury accounts or held on station for business operations.

Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) – Handles accounting and reporting for all Federal agencies. CARS is the electronic system of record for the government’s financial data which provides streamlined agency reporting and supports government- wide standardization.

Fund Balance with Treasury (FBWT) – The aggregate amount of funds on deposit with Treasury, including general funds, deposit funds, trust funds, special funds, and revolving funds. FBWT is an asset of the VA and a liability of the General Fund of the Treasury. FBWT does not represent a net asset to the Government as a whole.

Imprest Fund – A fixed or petty-cash fund in the form of currency that has been advanced to a cashier.

Treasury General Account – The account maintained by financial institutions with appropriate designation and authorizations for deposits and processing of collections by U.S. Government agencies.

0204 Roles and Responsibilities

Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, and Other Key Officials are responsible for ensuring compliance with the policies set forth in this chapter.

Accountable Officer, receives and maintains public funds, certifies vouchers, or maintains or draws checks upon accounts of the United States, including those in depositary banks designated by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Administrations/Offices with FBWT and cash activity perform timely recording and reconciliation of FBWT, CARS reporting, and cash related transactions.

Agent Cashier is designated as a cashier by an approving official and is authorized to disburse cash or carry out other cash-related activities. Principal agent cashiers who are authorized to make payments from funds advanced to them are regarded as a category of disbursing officers.

Approving Official is responsible for designating disbursing officials.

Financial Service Center (FSC) is responsible for FBWT reconciliations and approvals.

Office of Financial Policy is responsible for the review and approval of requests to establish imprest funds.

Office of Financial Reporting (OFR) is responsible for the FBWT reconciliation on the agency’s financial reports.

0205 Policies

  1. VA will furnish the Secretary of the Treasury with such reports and information, as required by 31 U.S.C. § 3513, to carry out its central accounting and reporting responsibilities.
  2. VA will follow Treasury Financial Manual (TFM) Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 3400 in handling cash transactions.
  3. VA accountable officers who hold funds outside of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) will only do so pursuant to 31 U.S.C. Chapter 33 and when payment by electronic funds transfer is waived in accordance with the provisions of 31 C.F.R. § 208.4.
  4. Prior to establishing an imprest fund, VA will review all other payment options available to ensure an alternative approach is not available.
  5. Administration and Staff Offices will submit requests and justification for exceptions to Treasury’s moratorium on establishing imprest funds to the Office of Financial Policy. OFP will review and submit requests for exceptions to the Department of Treasury for consideration.
  6. VA will report cash, FBWT and imprest funds in the Agency Financial Report in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-136.

020502 Accounting for Cash, FBWT, and Imprest Funds

  1. VA will follow Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards No. 1, Accounting for Selected Assets and Liabilities pertaining to cash, FBWT and imprest fund transactions.
  2. VA will follow the instructions in TFM Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 5100, in handling Fund Balance with Treasury (FBWT) accounting, reconciliation, and reporting transactions, as well as providing reports and information about its financial condition, operations and reconciliations to agency management, auditors and Treasury.
  3. VA will post transactions impacting FBWT, imprest funds and cash deposited, held and/or invested outside of the Treasury in accordance with the USSGL to ensure all transactions recorded within the subaccounts that roll up to the FBWT account are properly reported to Treasury.
  4. VA will submit an adjusted trial balance, inclusive of FBWT USSGL accounts, to Treasury through the Governmentwide Treasury Account Symbol (GTAS) reporting process on a monthly basis.
  5. VA will record the appropriate Business Event Type Code on all FBWT transactions.

020503 Reconciliation of Cash, FBWT, and Imprest Funds

  1. In accordance with TFM Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 3400,VA will reconcile, on at least a quarterly basis, cash held outside Treasury per reports received from financial institutions with VA accounting records and related statements.
  2. VA Administrations and Staff Offices with FBWT and cash activity will perform reconciliations throughout the year, including reconciling FBWT to the Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) Account Statement monthly in accordance with TFM Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 5100. FBWT is an intra-governmental asset with Treasury. Differences in the balance of FBWT submitted to Treasury compared to what is shown in CARS is reported as an Intragovernmental Transaction difference that needs to be reconciled in accordance with VA Financial Policy Volume I, Chapter 11 – Intragovernmental Transactions.
  3. FSC and VBA will prepare, review, and approve FBWT and cash reconciliations for VA programs, fund symbols and budget clearing accounts (or suspense accounts). Amounts per VA’s accounting system will be compared with amounts per Treasury’s Fiscal Service records (i.e., CARS Account Statement; Expenditure Transactions Report; and Available, Unavailable, and Unappropriated Receipt Account Reports). At a minimum, reconciliations will occur on a monthly basis, but can be performed more frequently if needed. Differences must be researched, documented and resolved in a timely manner.
  4. OFR will perform a FBWT reconciliation, that ties the cash balance on the Management Information Exchange (MinX) Adjusted Trial Balance (ATB); SF 133 budgetary cash information; and CARS.         
    • On a monthly basis OFR will post a temporary adjustment to align VA cash with that of CARS at the VA level, except for VBA TAS.
    • MinX adjustments for VBA TAS will be posted by VBA’s Office of Financial Management.
    • The adjustments represent valid timing differences that will occur at the end of each month. A subsequent reconciliation will be performed by OFR for VA year-end reporting.
  5. Changes to the FBWT account will be recorded with Fiscal Service through CARS reclassification submissions. 
  6. After reconciliations are prepared, reviewed and approved any adjusting entries will be made by the organization that conducted the reconciliation.
  7. Reclassifications of FBWT are completed as needed, and adjustments to Cash and FBWT will be properly documented, researched and traced to supporting documentation.
  8. Imprest funds will be reconciled monthly in accordance with VA Financial Policy Volume VIII, Chapter 3 – Agent Cashier Accountability Policy.

0206 Authorities and References

0207 Rescissions

VA Financial Policy, Volume V, Chapter 2 – Cash and FBWT, March 2022.

0208 Policy Approval

This policy was approved by the VA Chief Financial Officers’ Council on November 16, 2023.