Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Definitions, Instructions, & Procedures

Guidance from the California School Accounting Manual (CSAM) for accounting and financial reporting by local educational agencies.
2016 Edition

We are pleased to announce the availability of the 2016 edition of the California School Accounting Manual (CSAM). Updated procedures were approved by the California State Board of Education on March 9, 2016.

CSAM Highlights:

The 2016 edition of the CSAM includes fifty-three updated procedures. The changes included in CSAM 2016 are summarized in the following:

2016 Summary of Changes to CSAM

Ordering CSAM:

This publication is available to be viewed, printed, or downloaded from this Web site at no charge.

Viewing CSAM:

California School Accounting Manual (CSAM) - 2016 Complete (PDF; 5MB) PDF format for online viewing, searching, and printing of the complete manual. This file is formatted for printing double-sided. It contains the blank pages necessary between some sections to ensure that when the file is printed, all sections begin on the correct page. NOTE: The entire manual is quite large and may take longer than expected to load into a browser or to print.

The following is a 2016 CSAM spine label suitable for inserting into the clear pocket available on the spine of many three ring binders: 2016 CSAM Spine Label (PDF)

California School Accounting Manual (CSAM) - 2016 Updates (PDF format for online viewing, searching, and printing of only the updated sections) [not available for CSAM 2016]. Because nearly every section in the 2016 edition was updated and the headers and footers in every section were modified, the customary "updates only" file is not provided.

Downloading CSAM:

Download instructions for the "2016 Complete" or the "2016 Updates Only" PDF versions: Use the links above, then use the "File/Save As" command to save CSAM to your desktop for viewing, searching, and printing.

Download instructions for only the individual procedures of the 2016 manual, for viewing and printing: Use this link: California School Accounting Manual (CSAM) - 2016 Individual Procedures (EXE; 4MB) to download a self-extracting zipped file named "csam2016procedures.exe" to a default folder on your "C" drive named C:\CSAM2016Procedures. Click "Run," then "Unzip," to place the 61 individual PDF documents into the default folder. These 61 files do not constitute the complete manual.

© California Department of Education CSAM Copyright Information. Permission is granted in advance for reproduction and use of these CSAM resources for school fiscal management purposes. To obtain permission to reproduce the information (text or graphics) contained on this Web site for any commercial purpose, visit the CDE Copyright Statement Web page and submit the specifics of your request in writing to the Copyright Program Office, California Department of Education, CDE Press, 1430 N Street, Suite 3705, Sacramento, CA 95814. Email:

Questions:   Financial Accountability & Information Services | | 916-322-1770
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Recently Posted in Accounting
  • Bid Threshold Adjustment Letter (added 14-Jan-2019)
    Letter dated December 1, 2018, detailing the 2019 annual adjustment to bid threshold for contracts awarded by school districts.
  • Liability Limit for Willful Pupil Misconduct (added 14-Jan-2019)
    Letter dated December 1, 2018, to County and District Superintendents, Chief Business Officials, and Charter School Administrators with the Willful Pupil Misconduct Liability Limits.