(New: 10/2020)

Listed below are the terms and definitions commonly used in the statewide accounting and fiscal policies and procedures in chapters 7000 to 19000 of the State Administrative Manual. 


Agency/Department: Includes every state office, agency, department, division, bureau, board, and commission in the State of California.


Accounts Payable: Liabilities owed to individuals and business entities for goods and services received by the State. This does not include amounts due to governmental organizations.

Appropriation: An appropriation is an authorization from a specific fund to a specific agency/department to make expenditures or incur liabilities for a specific purpose, period and amount.

Allotment: A part of an appropriation, to be expended for a particular purpose during a specified time period.  An allotment is generally authorized on a line item expenditure basis or by program.

Claim: A payment request prepared and submitted by a state agency/department to the Controller for payment to the claimant.   A claim includes vouchers with supporting invoices and documents submitted in the FI$Cal system and claim schedule forms (STD. 218) submitted with supporting invoices and documents.


Encumbrances: The commitment of all or part of an appropriation. Encumbrances represent valid obligations related to unfilled purchase orders or outstanding commitments and contracts. Outstanding encumbrances are recognized as budgetary expenditures in the individual agency’s/department’s budget documents and their individual annual financial reports.


The Financial Information System of California (FI$Cal): The state’s integrated financial and administrative information technology system that supports accounting, budgeting, cash management, and procurement functions.


Vendor: A person or business entity that sells goods or services to the state.  A vendor is also known as a supplier.


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