June FI$Facts

Question: What is the purpose of creating a contract in FI$Cal? It seems to be an unnecessary step if payments are put against a Purchase Order (PO).
Answer: There are several reasons to create contracts. First, when contracts link to POs the FI$Cal system automatically releases the PO encumbered amount from the contract. This helps a department track the balance of their overall contract amount. Creating a contract also helps system users to see the entire lifecycle of the acquisition. Additionally, buyers have the ability to access related documents from hyperlinks in the contract.

Questions: When I close a PO created from a contract and disencumber the PO funds, why doesn’t the unspent amount flow back to the contract shell for use in future years? Is this FI$Cal system functionality that is still coming?
Answer: Yes, an automated process was recently added to return unspent funds back to the department contract.  Buyers can use the Buyer’s Workbench to initiate this new feature. All of the steps for completing the process reside in FI$Cal Job Aid #437, posted in the Knowledge Center in ServiceNow.

Question: Blanket POs allow our department to encumber funds for estimated costs of maintenance work orders, loose-leaf law book updates, or overage usage charges for copier maintenance. Will blanket purchase orders be considered in the FI$Cal system sometime soon?
Answer: There are specific policies for departments with respect to blanket POs. Per the Department of General Services (DGS) departments must enter item details such as the amount and quantity of each line item on the PO. Buyers should defer to the State Contracting Manual and/or contact the DGS Procurement Division for assistance in understanding blanket PO policies as they relate to the FI$Cal system.