Frequently Asked Questions


Budget vs Actual Expenditures FAQs

Vendor Payments FAQs

Budget vs Actual Expenditures Statements

Why choose Budget vs. Actual Expenditures?

To view a comparison of current budget to year-to-date actual expenditures for either a specific general fund department or a specific fund for the fiscal year and month selected. In addition you will be able to drill down to see certain categories of expenditure (e.g. compensation, capital outlay).

What is the fiscal year for the County of Fairfax?

The County's fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30.

Why can’t I view data prior to FY 2013?

Shortly before the start of FY 2013, the County completed its implementation of a new financial and accounting system.  Due to disparities in the format and structure of financial data between the old financial system and the new one, the transparency tool was developed to utilize the new financial system.  The intent is to display 3 fiscal years of data going forward from FY2015 (i.e. FY2013, 2014, 2015).

What is an expenditure line item/expenditure category?

The County uses the term "expenditure line item" to describe a particular set of similar expenditures. For example, purchases of pens, pencils, and paper would be coded to the expenditure line item "Office Supplies".  An "expenditure category" is simply a collection of similar expenditure line items.

Can I use this tool to view information related to revenues received by the County?

Currently, the transparency database is displaying data for expenditures only.

Why can’t I see general fund employee benefit expenditures by individual agency?

The County budgets and expends its General Fund employee benefits in a central funding location; individual agencies are not budgeted or charged for employee benefit costs.

Why are the budget and actual expenditures listed under the “Work Performed for Others (WPFO)” expenditure line item group negative?

Expenditure line items in the “Worked Performed for Others” group are used when one County agency performs work on behalf of another.  The agency executing a WPFO request is reimbursed for the cost of the goods and services consumed by the work.  This reimbursement shows up as a “negative” expenditure to the executing agency.

Why am I seeing a negative amount in some expenditure accounts?

If you are viewing data for a period near the start of the fiscal year, certain expenditure accounts may appear negative as a result of the County’s year-end accrual process.

Why is the budget different than what is shown in the County’s published budget documents?

The transparency tool reflects the current budget in real-time (Revised Annual Budget Column). These may include budget adjustments between expenditure line items or groups not shown in the County’s published budget documents.  Prior to the start of each fiscal year, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors formally approves that fiscal year’s Adopted Budget.  The Adopted Budget for past fiscal years can be found on the Department of Management and Budget website.  During the course of the fiscal year, the County has two budgetary reviews (Carryover and Third Quarter) during which the Board takes specific action to approve budgetary adjustments.  Agencies may elect to reallocate budget among expenditure line items with no net impact to the bottom-line, but outside of these quarterly reviews no changes may be made to the bottom-line budget for a General Fund agency or fund.  However, certain non-appropriated funds in which the appropriation control resides with an autonomous board, such as the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Park Authority Board, and the Alcohol Safety Action Program Policy Board, may make bottom-line budget adjustments outside of the two review periods listed above.

Is the financial data presented in the transparency application considered audited?

Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the data being presented, it should be considered "unaudited."

Vendor Payments

Why choose Vendor Payments?

Selecting Vendor Payments allows a user to view year-to-date payments made to vendors doing business with the County Government or the Public Schools in the fiscal year selected.

I know that a specific vendor has conducted business with the County, but I cannot find it in the transparency application. Why?

There could be several reasons.  If the nature of the vendor or of the County’s business with that vendor falls under one or more privacy/sensitivity restrictions, that vendor will not be shown in this database.  If the vendor has provided goods or services to the County but has not yet received payment for those services during the current FY, then the vendor will not appear in this tool. 

Additionally, please consider the following when searching

  1. Do not use wildcards (*,?,”).

  2. Check your spelling, and consider alternative spellings of the vendor name.

  3. A vendor will not be displayed unless the County has activity with the vendor through the selected fiscal month and year.

Are vendors doing business with the County’s discretely presented component units available on this site?

Payments made to vendors doing business with the County’s discretely presented component units, and are not restricted by sensitivity disclosures, will be displayed. Please view the Fairfax County Public Schools Transparency application to view schools information.

How are disbursements made through Procurement Card shown?

Payments made for purchases against a Procurement Card will be shown against vendor JP Morgan Chase Bank NA.

Do payments shown to a Vendor represent all the payments that were made to them for the selected period?

Only payments that were made directly to them are reflected. However if the vendor was paid by Procurement Card, that data will not be included. Procurement Card payments are made directly to JP Morgan Chase Bank NA.

What are the various methods of disbursements?

Payments to Vendors can be made via Check, Automatic Clearing House (electronic ACH), Wire Transaction, or Procurement Card.

Why are there multiple names for one vendor?

Payments can be made to different subsidiaries or entities of one vendor. These different subsidiaries could represent different stores or corporate offices.


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