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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Where the Money Goes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For additional guidance, please see Where the Money Goes Requirements (FPP G.004).

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General

Why does the information differ from what appears in the State of Texas Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) or State of Texas Annual Cash Report? [+]

The Where the Money Goes database contains information about a payment at the time it was made. It does not take into account the accounting treatment of expenditure information in preparation for official presentation. The CAFR is shown on an accrual rather than cash basis and includes adjustments to reflect generally accepted accounting principles reporting requirements. In the case of the Cash Report, the database does not reflect all the correcting transactions that are included in that publication.

How do I reconcile Where the Money Goes to my agency’s financial records? [+]

That is not possible. HB 3430 was written from the perspective of a public view of the state’s check register. The legislation sought to make the state’s daily expenditures transparent down to the ultimate payee. As a result, Where the Money Goes reflects entries one would record in a checkbook register at the time they occur, and not what a financial report would ultimately contain.

Where the Money Goes includes:

  • Direct payments from the Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS)
  • USAS payment cancellations
  • Expenditure refunds (like refunds sent back from a vendor and deposited back into the State Treasury)
  • Reimbursement payments (like purchasing card payments shown under the credit card vendor — the payee who was paid)
  • Fiduciary fund expenditures that might not be considered state expenditures under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) or Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) guidelines

It does not include:

  • Journal corrections or adjustments
  • Expenditure transfers
  • Asset liquidations that offset the purchase of securities
  • Revenues of any kind
  • Payee details for confidential payments

Do corrections to expenditures made after the payment was disbursed appear in the database? [+]

No. The database is a snapshot of the state’s payment register as of the time the payment was made. Subsequent corrections that do not result in an additional payment or payment cancellation do not appear.

If only payment information appears in the payment transaction search tools, why are there credit or negative amounts when there’s no such thing as a negative payment? [+]

Payment cancellations and expenditure refunds show as negatives. When a payment is canceled before clearing the Texas Treasury, the cancellation shows as a negative. Expenditure refunds received from vendors also appear as negatives.

If a payee returns the excess amount of an overpayment, will this amount be displayed? [+]

Yes. A refund of expenditure received from a payee will be displayed as a negative amount on the date the agency deposited the refund.

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Database Elements

Do payments from trust accounts appear on the database? [+]

Yes, Texas has fiduciary or custodial responsibilities for many client groups. Payments made on their behalf are shown in the database, but may not be included in the CAFR or Cash Report as part of the state’s own financial activity.

If a payee receives a refund, will the refund amount be displayed? [+]

No. Payments that are refunds of state revenue are not displayed.

Why are some payments from public universities not displayed? [+]

Only payments made from the Treasury are displayed. Institutions of higher education frequently make payments from funds held outside of the Treasury.

Are there plans to display the state employee payroll at an employee level? [+]

No. Payments made for employee payroll are displayed at a summary level with "Employee" displayed as the payee name.

Is detailed payment history displayed for payments made before Sept. 1, 2007? [+]

No. Payments made before Sept. 1, 2007, do not display payee names or specific payment dates.

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Confidentiality

Why are certain payments marked confidential? [+]

Under state and federal law, some payees must be kept confidential. Payments made under certain objects of expense are considered confidential for general public disclosure based on the high number of confidential payees paid under that object. In addition, state agencies may determine and mark other transactions as confidential.

If a payee is concerned about a payment being displayed as public information, who should the payee contact to discuss having this payment be confidential? [+]

Contact the agency issuing the payment to discuss any confidentiality concerns.

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Other Questions

Please email statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov if you have other questions.

Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov
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