Sent by electronic mail
Dear County and District Chief Business Officials and Charter School Administrators:
2020 Standardized Account Code Structure Software—Budget Release
The 2020 budget version of the Standardized Account Code Structure (SACS) financial reporting software (SACS2020 Budget) is now available on the California Department of Education (CDE) Financial Reporting Software web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/sf/fr/. This version of the software includes only those components necessary to complete the 2020–21 budget reports. A second release is planned for early July 2020 and will include, in addition to the 2020–21 budget components, the 2019–20 unaudited actual and the 2020–21 interim reporting components of the software.
This year our efforts were primarily focused on required changes, including those required by Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 84 (GASB 84). For additional information on the changes made to the software, please refer to the “What’s New” section of the SACS2020 Software User Guide.
Prior year ending balances from 2018–19 unaudited actuals (including funds, assets, debt, and lottery), Gann data, Every Student Succeeds Act Maintenance of Effort, and first and second prior year indirect cost rate information have been preloaded into the budget software, most of which will be used for unaudited actual reporting.
In addition, to the extent possible, data from 2017–18 and 2018–19 Fund 01, Fund 10, Fund 17, and attendance unaudited actual data, as well as the California Basic Educational Data Systems (CBEDS) data, have been preloaded in the software for use in the Criteria and Standards Review form.
The SACS2020 Budget software contains the most current validation tables, dated April 17, 2020.
Charter School Beginning Balances
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. This will only affect charter schools that reported 2018–19 unaudited actuals in the Charter School Alternative Form and that are preparing a 2020–21 budget or 2019–20 unaudited actuals report using the SACS software.
New Financial Reporting Requirements for Fiduciary Activities
The SACS software has been revised to incorporate changes to financial reporting for fiduciary activities as required by Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 84 (GASB 84). Many forms and processes were impacted, including Form 76, Warrant/Pass-Through Fund, Form 95, Student Body Fund, Form CEFB—Components of Ending Fund Balance, Form SIAA/SIAB/SIAI—Summary of Interfund Activities—Actuals/Budget/Projected Year Totals, and a number of technical review checks. In addition, new Form 08, Student Activity Special Revenue Fund, has been added to the software. This new special revenue fund may be used to account for student body activities that do not meet the fiduciary criteria established in GASB 84. For a detailed description of the associated software changes, please see the “What’s New” section of the SACS2020 Software User Guide.
Note that GASB 84 was originally effective beginning 2019–20. However, GASB recently announced that the implementation dates of several GASB statements, including GASB 84 and its implementation guide, may be postponed for one year. For GASB 84, the new effective date would be 2020–21. CDE will notify local educational agencies (LEAs) as soon as final guidance has been issued by GASB, expected the first week of May. Since GASB encourages early implementation, LEAs may report fiduciary activities in accordance with GASB 84 for 2019–20.
Software User Guide and Reporting Calendars
Installing the software with the default settings will automatically copy the SACS2020 Software User Guide to your C:\SACS2020\Calendars and Manuals subdirectory. The user guide is accessible from the software Help menu and also by pressing F1 from within most forms and processes in the software. The user guide has only been updated for the budget components; the unaudited actual and interim reporting components will be updated in the SACS2020ALL Software User Guide.
The 2020 financial reporting calendars are not included with the SACS2020 software release. The calendars are pending revisions associated with proposed changes to the local control and accountability plan approval process as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which were not available as of the software release date. Note that these revisions are not expected to affect existing statutorily established financial reporting due dates. As soon as the calendars are updated, they will be posted to the CDE Fiscal Calendars web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/ca/fc/. Updated calendars will be included in the SACS2020ALL software release.
Preparation for Interim Criteria and Standards
The interim period Criteria and Standards Review form will extract applicable budget period data, 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 SACS2020 software must be imported (Official import is recommended) into the SACS2020ALL software. Be sure to save an electronic copy of your officially exported budget data file for import into the SACS2020ALL software (the software’s official export default directory is C:\SACS2020\Official). Once the budget data has been imported into the SACS2020ALL software, the SACS2020 software is no longer necessary and can be uninstalled.
Software Bugs and Fixes
As in the past, we will communicate any detected software bugs and their fixes or workarounds to the county office SACS software contacts via email, and we will also post them to the CDE Financial Reporting Software web page. 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 email at email@example.com. The completed CHG form may either be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 the CDE web site.
For assistance with the SACS software, districts should contact their county office of education, and charter schools should contact their authorizing agency. County offices may contact us by phone at 916 322 1770 or by email at email@example.com.
Christine Davis, Administrator
Financial Accountability and Information Services
cc: County and District Superintendents; Charter School Authorizing Agencies