Dear County and District Chief Business Officials and Charter School Administrators:
The software for completing the 2013–14 budgets and interim reports and the 2012–13 unaudited actual financial reports, including both the Standardized Account Code Structure (SACS) financial reporting software and the Charter School Unaudited Actuals Financial Report—Alternative Form (Charter School Alternative Form), are now available on our Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/sf/fr/.
This year our efforts were primarily focused on required changes, with some enhancements. There are also some changes to forms, processes, and technical review checks in the software to ensure that the data the California Department of Education (CDE) collects are accurate. The most notable changes are described below. Please see the "What's New" section of the SACS2013ALL Software User Guide for additional information on the changes made to the software.
The SACS2013ALL software has not been modified to reflect any of the changes related to the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) included in the recently enacted 2013–14 Budget. The CDE is in the process of evaluating the effects of the LCFF on SACS coding and the SACS software.
While we are working as quickly as possible to determine the necessary changes and issue guidance, clarification and/or legislative clean-up is needed on various provisions of the LCFF statutes that may delay the issuance of guidance until after the 45-day budget revision requirement.
We expect that our guidance, including updates to the SACS software, will be forthcoming in time for the first interim reporting period.
The SACS2013ALL software has been modified to reflect changes related to Proposition 30, The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012, with the addition of the Education Protection Account. For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/ac/ac/sacsfaq.asp.
Effective fiscal year 2012–13, Fund 09 (Charter Schools Special Revenue Fund) became no longer valid for separately reporting charter schools only. A separately reporting charter school should report a general fund and not a special revenue fund. The software has been modified to remove interim Form 09I for separately reporting charter schools. This change does not apply to county offices of education (COEs) or districts that use Fund 09 to report their charter schools within their own financial statements.
CDE has recently been notified by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services that the local expenditures only method using any base year earlier than the preceding fiscal year is not appropriate. Due to time constraints, the CDE cannot make changes to the SACS2013ALL software to eliminate the local-only base year options from the maintenance of effort calculation worksheets (LMC-A, SMC-A, LMC-B, SMC-B, LMC-I, and SMC-I). However, local educational agencies (LEAs) and Special Education Local Plan Areas are instructed to not use the local-only base year option to demonstrate compliance with the MOE requirements.
To assist you in using new SACS account codes added since the 2011 edition of the California School Accounting Manual was released, any new codes added this year have been included in the SACS Software User Guide “What’s New” section, under “Revised Fund Forms.” Descriptions and other relevant information on new resource codes can be obtained from our SACS Query Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/ac/ac/.
Prior year ending balances from 2011–12 unaudited actual data (including funds, assets, debt, juvenile court and county community schools reserved for economic contingencies and reserves for capital outlay and lottery), Gann Limit, No Child Left Behind Maintenance of Effort, and first and second prior year indirect cost rate information have been preloaded into the software.
In addition, to the extent possible, general ledger Fund 01 and Fund 17, attendance, and revenue limit from 2010–11 and 2011–12 unaudited actuals, as well as the California Basic Educational Data Systems data, have been preloaded in the software for use in the Criteria and Standards Review form.
As in last year's software, the prior year ending fund balances from the Charter School Alternative Form have been crosswalked to the equivalent SACS fund and object codes and included with the prior year ending fund balances from the SACS submissions, to ensure consistency of the data by ascertaining that current year beginning balances match prior year ending balances. This only affects charter schools that reported 2011–12 unaudited actuals in the Charter School Alternative Form and that are preparing a 2013–14 budget or 2012–13 unaudited actuals report using the SACS software.
The interim period Criteria and Standards Review form will extract applicable budget period data (July 1 single or September 8 dual adoption), if such data are available; otherwise, it will require manual input. To enable extraction of budget period data, the officially exported budget file from the SACS2013 software must be imported (official import is recommended) into the SACS2013ALL software. Be sure to save an electronic copy of your officially exported budget data file for import into the SACS2013ALL software (the software official export default directory is C:\SACS2013\Official). Once the budget data have been imported into the SACS2013ALL software, the SACS2013 software is no longer necessary and can be uninstalled.
Installing the software with the default settings will automatically copy the SACS2013ALL Software User Guide and financial reporting calendars to your C:\SACS2013ALL\Calendars and Manuals subdirectory. The user guide is accessible from the software Help menu and also by pressing F1 from within most of the forms and processes in the software.
As in the past, we will communicate any detected software bugs and their fixes or workarounds to the county office SACS software contacts via e-mail, and we will also post them to the CDE Internet. We are very interested in hearing from all LEAs regarding the overall software, forms, and instructions. Comments from charter schools regarding using SACS and/or the Charter School Alternative Form would also be helpful. Send your comments and suggestions using the Change Order form (CHG) included in the SACS software or by e-mail to email@example.com. The completed CHG form may either be faxed to 916-324-7141 or mailed to us at the address shown at the top of the form.
Please be sure to let the appropriate people within your agency know where they can access the software on our Web page. For assistance with the SACS software, districts should contact their COE, and charter schools should contact their authorizing agency. County offices may contact us by phone at 916-322-1770 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pursuant to Education Code Section 42100, each charter school must prepare an annual statement of all receipts and expenditures for the preceding fiscal year. For those charter schools not using SACS, a Microsoft Excel file containing the 2012–13 Charter School Unaudited Actuals Financial Report—Alternative Form and the related Charter School Alternative Form User Guide are available on our Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/sf/fr/. For information about using the Charter School Alternative Form, please refer to the user guide.
Each COE should complete the "Charter School Financial Reporting Status" form and return the form to the CDE by September 16, 2013. This form (attached for COEs only) lists all of the authorized charter schools within each county. The form is used to identify whether the charter school 2012–13 unaudited actual financial information is being reported: 1) within the authorizing agency's unaudited actual SACS submission; 2) as a separate SACS submission; or 3) in the Charter School Alternative Form. Please be sure that the reporting status form addresses the status of each charter school's 2012–13 unaudited actual data, not 2012–13 budget data. COEs may fax these completed forms to us at 916-324-7141.
Pursuant to Education Code sections 1628 and 42100, unaudited actual data for COEs, school districts, joint powers agencies (JPAs), and charter schools are due to the CDE by October 15, 2013. School district and JPA data must be submitted via the COE; charter school data must be submitted via the charter authorizing agency and the COE. The financial data is due to COEs and authorizing agencies (for charter schools) by September 16, 2013.
COEs must electronically certify and transfer their county's unaudited actual SACS submissions and Charter School Alternative Forms to our office via the Internet using electronic transfer (eTransfer). COEs should complete the "Request for SACS2013 eTransfer Access" form and mail it to the School Fiscal Services Division (with original signatures) by September16, 2013, at the address on the form. To comply with statute regarding certification of the data, original signatures are required on the form each year.
Only "Official" unaudited actual SACS submissions are accepted by the CDE unless prior approval from our office is granted. If prior approval is granted, please send an e-mail explaining all fatal exceptions, the reason for not using the "Official" export, and the name of the CDE contact who granted the exception, to email@example.com immediately after the unaudited actual submission (created with the "Other" export option) is eTransferred to the CDE.
Please distribute this information to the appropriate staff within your agency. If you have questions, or if we can be of further assistance, please contact us by phone at 916-322-1770 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peggy O’Guin, Administrator
Office of Financial Accountability and Information Services