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UCOA Cost Estimate Survey Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE SURVEY?

The purpose of the Uniform Chart of Accounts (UCOA) Cost Estimate Survey is to estimate the statewide cost impact of adopting and implementing the Uniform Chart of Accounts pursuant to Chapter 215.89, Florida Statutes.

In 2011, the Governor passed legislation requiring uniform reporting of government financial information to promote accountability and transparency in the use of public funds. To accomplish uniform reporting, the legislation directed the State’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to provide a “mechanism” for obtaining detailed, uniform reporting of financial information from state agencies, local governments, educational entities and entities of higher education (collectively referred to as the “Reporting Entities”).

In January 2014, DFS will present a UCOA recommendation to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The recommendation will include a chart of account listing, reporting requirements, and estimated statewide cost for implementing the UCOA. DFS has engaged KPMG to administer an electronic web-based survey to collect, analyze and validate, and summarize UCOA cost estimates from Reporting Entities. The survey will collect one-time and ongoing UCOA reporting costs according to one of two implementation methods: (1) Crosswalk your existing chart of accounts to the UCOA reporting structure, or (2) Modify your existing financial accounting system to align with the UCOA.

WHO SHOULD COMPLETE THE SURVEY?

The Uniform Chart of Accounts will apply to the following governmental entities as defined in Section 215.89 (2), Florida Statutes:

  • Educational Entities – State universities, State or Florida College System institutions, and any other entities created by an entity of higher education as well as school districts and any entities created by a school district
  • Local Governments – cities, counties, water management districts, special districts, and any other entities created by one of these units of local government
  • State Agencies – executive and cabinet agencies, judicial agencies, Public Service Commission, Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation, and Florida Housing Finance Corporation

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) has identified a list of Reporting Entities that can be viewed here. Please note that Component Units (CU’s) or Direct Support Organizations (DSO’s) – either “blended” or “discretely-presented” – may be required to complete the survey separately. If your organization includes CU’s or DSO’s, please refer to the list to determine if the CU / DSO cost estimates should be reported separately via the survey.

ARE NON PROFIT CUs AND DSOs REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH THIS REQUIREMENT?

The statute includes any entity that is “created by the reporting entity”. We have interpreted the statute to mean that the DSOs and Component Units will also have to comply.

WHAT TIMEFRAME WILL I NEED TO COMPLETE THE SURVEY?

The UCOA Cost Estimate Survey will be available for completion beginning September 16, 2013, and ending October 25, 2013. We anticipate the survey will take 30-60 minutes to complete. We suggest Reporting Entities prepare for the survey in advance of completion.

HOW SHOULD REPORTING ENTITIES PREPARE FOR THE SURVEY?

To facilitate an efficient and timely completion of the survey, Reporting Entities should conduct the following preparation activities prior to survey completion:

  • Review Draft UCOA and Crosswalk
  • Compare your existing chart of accounts to UCOA reporting structure
  • Understand effort required to implement UCOA
  • Choose the most cost effective UCOA implementation approach for your organization – there are two primary UCOA implementation options: (1) Crosswalk your existing chart of accounts to the UCOA, or (2) Modify your financial accounting system to align with the UCOA

Regardless of the UCOA implementation approach, Reporting Entities should have the following information readily available while completing the survey:

  • Most recent audited financial statements
  • Current chart of accounts
  • List of Component Units and Direct Support Organizations, if applicable
  • Estimate of one-time level of effort for UCOA planning and implementation
  • Estimate of recurring level of effort for UCOA reporting and LOGER entry
  • Estimate of technology costs such as acquisition costs and licensing fees, if applicable

HOW OFTEN IS MY REPORTING ENTITY REQUIRED TO REPORT TO THE STATE UNDER THE UNIFORM CHART OF ACCOUNTS LEGISLATION?

You will be required to report monthly as well as annually based on the financial information being reported. Please see table below for further detail.

Account Type Reporting Frequency Basis of Accounting Reporting Level
Assets Annual Modified or Full Accrual Entity and fund level
Liabilities
Equities
Revenues Monthly Cash, Modified, or Full Accrual (determined by reporting entity’s accounting system) Lowest operational level recorded for the organization and fund
Expenditures
Other Sources & Uses

HOW WILL THE SURVEY INFORMATION BE USED?

In January 2014, DFS will present a UCOA recommendation to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The recommendation will include a chart of account listing, reporting requirements, and estimated statewide cost for implementing the UCOA. The UCOA Cost Estimate Survey is the method to collect, analyze and validate, and report the statewide cost impact of UCOA implementation.

DFS has engaged KPMG to administer the survey and analyze and validate the survey results. As part of this process, KPMG professionals may contact Reporting Entities to obtain additional information on the assumptions and data used to complete the cost estimates. Reporting Entities are strongly encouraged to maintain documentation supporting cost estimate assumptions and calculations.

WHERE CAN I FIND HELP IN COMPLETING THE SURVEY?

There are three primary methods to obtain assistance in completing the UCOA Cost Estimate Survey:

  1. UCOA Webcast Series – this two-part, pre-recorded video webcast will include a 10-minute overview of the UCOA Project (Part I) and a 20-minute tutorial on how to complete the survey (Part II). DFS will upload this webcast series to the Chart of Accounts Project website before the survey launch date of September 16, 2013.
  2. “Live” Q&A Webcast Series – DFS and its survey administrator, KPMG, will be hosting three “live” 90-minute webcasts to allow for Reporting Entities to pose questions. Two of the Q&A webcasts will occur the week of the survey launch (the week of September 16th and the week of September 23rd). The third webcast will occur mid-way through the survey period (October 3rd). DFS will email additional information to Reporting Entities about how to participate in the live Q&A webcasts.
  3. UCOA Help Desk – DFS has established a help desk to answer general and technical inquiries about the UCOA project and survey. Please contact the help desk via email at ChartofAccounts@myfloridacfo.com.

HOW CAN I PRINT THE SURVEY PRIOR TO COMPLETING IT?

Due to the different survey paths, you cannot print a blank survey. The survey will only print questions you have answered using the print link found at the bottom of each survey page. We recommend you select a survey path (crosswalk or modify), complete the questions in draft form, and select print prior to submitting the survey. This method will allow you to print the survey path selected for your organization, and you will be able to disseminate the printed survey to others in your organization for input.

You may also print your survey responses after submitting the survey.