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OTCnet

Frequently Asked Questions

Basic

What is OTCnet?

OTCnet is the Treasury/Fiscal Service solution for Over the Counter (OTC) Deposit Processing and Reporting and Check Capture. OTCnet is a combination of two legacy systems, TGAnet and PCC OTC. The combined functionality improves over-the-counter collections by fully automating the collection, reconciliation, research and reporting processes into a single, secure web-based application.

Do I have to use OTCnet?

Yes, all over-the-counter deposit activity will need to be entered into OTCnet.

What is CIR (Collection Information Repository)?

TRS has been renamed to the Collections Information Repository (CIR) effective January 2013. Fiscal Service has rebranded TRS to be consistent with the naming convention for its other data repositories, such as the Payment Information Repository (PIR).

The application URL has not changed, nor have there been any changes to the functionality of the system.

How do I access OTCnet?

Visit http://otcnet.fms.treas.gov to log-in to OTCnet with your Treasury Single Sign-On account.

What are the advantages of using OTCnet?

OTCnet makes it easier for stakeholders and citizens to complete over-the-counter activity (e.g., Point-of-sale, bank deposits) with the government. OTCnet's online capabilities allow access to information and reports anytime, anywhere.

OTCnet's design accommodates check capture and deposit reporting the "Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) way". Reporting transactions and associated accounting data "the CARS way" is required under the Government-wide Accounting (GWA) modernization initiative and serves as the standard for all government agencies.

How can I make suggestions for enhancements?

Enhancement suggestions can be made by contacting the Treasury OTC Support Center at 866-945-7920, 302-323-3159, or military DSN at 510-428-6824 (selection option 1, selection option 3, then selection option 4) or via e-mail at FiscalService.OTCChannel@citi.com. We continuously evaluate enhancement requests to improve OTCnet.

What is OTCnet Offline?

OTCnet Offline enables agencies to perform check conversion activities with limited Internet connectivity. The OTCnet Offline application is available by secure download from OTCnet Online or, as needed, by CD. The Offline application locally installs on agency workstations to allow Check Capture and Batch Upload activity with limited Internet access. To learn more about OTCnet Offline, please refer to the latest release notes under "News and Updates".

Should my Agency use OTCnet Offline?

OTCnet Offline is ideal for your agency if you experience frequent Internet disruptions or have locations with limited Internet connectivity or extremely low bandwidth, such as overseas locations.

What does the term "OTCnet" mean?

OTCnet stands for Over the Counter Channel Application (OTCnet), a system that allows users to capture and process checks, and/or process deposits.

Who do I call for assistance with OTCnet?

Please call the OTC Support Center (1-866-945-7920) for all OTCnet questions, concerns, or issues, including questions related to user creation and training. The OTC Support Center is the focal point for obtaining resolution to all OTCnet issues.

Additionally, your Deployment Specialist will be able to provide any specific OTCnet information related to your agency.

Users

I have another Treasury Single Sign On (SSO) User Account. Can I use it for OTCnet?

Yes. Each agency will have a Primary Local Security Administrator and Local Security Administrator(s) (P/LSA) who will have the ability to add an OTCnet account to your existing Treasury Single Sign On (SSO) ID.

How do I unlock my password?

Contact your Primary Local Security Administrator (PLSA) or Local Security Administrator (LSA) to reset your password. If your PLSA or LSA is not available, you may contact the Treasury OTC Support Center at 866-945-7920, 302-323-3159, or military DSN at 510-428-6824 (selection option 1, selection option 3, then selection option 4) or via e-mail at FiscalService.OTCChannel@citi.com.

How do I reset my password?

If you know your existing password, you can go to "My Profile" and change the password in the Identity Manager after you’ve logged into OTCnet.

Am I limited to one role in OTCnet or am I able to have multiple roles? Which User Roles can be combined?

There are certain roles that can be combined and others that are not able to be combined. Pages 7-9 of the User Roles Guide provides an-depth explanation of role combinations for Deposit Reporting, Check Capture and FI Users.

What users can perform which functions?

A description of each User Role in OTCnet can be found on pages 1-5 of the User Roles Guide.

I am the PLSA/LSA. How do I decide which roles to provision?

Please refer to the User Roles Guide and work with your Deployment Specialist to determine the appropriate roles to provision to your staff.

I am a PLSA/LSA. How do I create a new user account?

PLSAs and LSAs can create new OTCnet user accounts by using the IBM Tivoli Identity Manager (ITIM) web-based application. P/LSAs can access ITIM by going to https://reg.fms.treas.gov/itimext and logging in with their Treasury Single Sign On (SSO) ID.

P/LSAs should first log into ITIM and perform a search to confirm the user does not already have a Treasury SSO ID to avoid duplication of user accounts. The PLSA and LSA should then initiate the "New External User Identity" task from the ITIM User interface menu.

What is the minimum number of personnel required to run OTCnet?

The minimum number of personnel required to run OTCnet is three: two personnel to serve as the PLSA and LSA to create and provision users, and one person to hold the required administrative and functional roles (e.g. Accounting Specialist, Deposit Preparer, Deposit Approver, Check Capture Administrator, Check Capture Supervisor, Check Capture Lead Operator, CIRA Viewer).

Please note that if an Agency is only using OTCnet Deposit Reporting, the minimum required number of personnel is still 3, but the individual with the administrative and functional roles will only need the Accounting Specialist, Deposit Preparer and Deposit Approver roles. Please work with your Deployment Specialist if you have questions.

Do I need separation of duties?

Separation of duties is at the discretion of your agency and will depend on your internal processes and policies. OTCnet will allow certain users to perform more than one function. Pages 7-9 of the User Roles Guide provides an-depth explanation of Role Combinations for Deposit Reporting, Check Capture and FI Users.

Transactions and Reporting

How do I process foreign checks and currency in OTCnet?

OTCnet can process foreign currency and foreign checks through OTCnet Deposit Reporting. The foreign checks must be drawn from a foreign financial institution.

Please ensure your ALC is set to process foreign currency for deposit reporting. You’ll need to set up a banking relationship with Bank of America to accept foreign currency and foreign checks, and add these to your deposit reporting set up in OTCnet.

If you need assistance with deposit reporting set up, please review the OTCnet Web Based training at: http:/www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsservices/gov/rvnColl/otcnet/training/wbt/content/course_FMSOTC/welcome.htm or contact our Customer Support team at 866-945-7920.

Do I need to take deposits to the bank on the same day that I enter them in OTCnet?

Yes, you're expected to take your deposits to the bank on the date you enter a deposit into OTCnet. Agencies are required to make an OTCnet deposit if the deposit amount is at least $5,000 or by every Thursday regardless of the deposit amount.

I use OTCnet Deposit Processing. How do I gain access to the OTCnet Check Capture functionality so I can scan my own checks without walking to the bank to make a deposit?

If you would like to begin using OTCnet Check Capture, please contact the OTCnet Onboarding Team at 703-377-5586 or Fiscalservice.otcdeployment@citi.com. The OTCnet Onboarding Team will work with you to obtain an ALC+2, scanner, and complete set up in OTCnet.

I am working with the CARS team to transition my ALCs to CARS reporting. Is OTCnet CARS (GWA) compliant?

OTCnet Deposit Reporting and Check Capture Processing allow for GWA reporting. First, you’ll need to work with the Shared Accounting Module (SAM) Team to ensure your accounting codes are TAS/BETC codes, then add your codes to OTCnet, and work with the CARS (GWA) and OTCnet Customer Support teams to finalize the transition to OTCnet CARS (GWA) reporting.

How will Financial Institutions (FIs) know if the deposit ticket was generated in OTCnet?

Deposit tickets generated in OTCnet have a header that states "OTCnet Deposit Ticket." Agency customers making deposits should provide FIs with a printed copy of the OTCnet-generated deposit ticket along with the deposit.

Can Financial Institutions (FIs) process paper SF 215 deposit slips using OTCnet?

No, FIs can only confirm deposits in OTCnet. The agency should provide FIs with a printed copy of the OTCnet-generated deposit ticket along with the deposit.

If I was submitting a bank specific deposit slip with my deposit, do I still need to do that?

Yes, some FIs have and will continue to require that you use their bank deposit slip in addition to the OTCnet generated deposit ticket. Some FIs require that you get updated deposit slips when you transition to using OTCnet.

FIs that require a customer to use a specific deposit slip when making deposits in OTCnet must make sure their local branches are aware of those deposit slips.

Training

What kind of training options are available for my agency?

The OTCnet training program offers users several tools to successfully learn the OTCnet System. These tools include a user-friendly web-based training (WBT) and paper-based resources that are available for agencies and financial institutions to use at any time.

WBT allows users to train on OTCnet when it is convenient, provides new staff with training, and lets users retake modules as needed.

WBT includes:

  • Printable Job Aids (PJAs) that provide step-by-step instructions for performing specific tasks
  • Show Me simulations that demonstrate specific system tasks you perform in OTCnet
  • Let Me Try simulations that enable you to practice specific system tasks in a safe training environment
  • User guides (UGs) that provide step-by-step instructions that include a textual description of tasks with screenshots and a wrap-up How To box providing step-by-step instructions for completing the task as appropriate
  • Job Aids (JAs) that provide you with a "quick tips" reference for Deposit Processing and Check Processing tasks such as creating Agency hierarchy, establishing depositing endpoints, processing options, etc.

Instructor-led training is also available pending Fiscal Service approval. For more information on training, visit http://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsservices/gov/rvnColl/otcnet/rvnColl_otcnet_training.htm or contact Fiscal Service Information at Fiscalservice.otcdeployment@citi.com.

System Requirements

Where can I find the latest System Requirements document?

The OTCnet System Requirements document is located on the OTCnet website at the Getting Started page under the "essential documents" step. The document is updated as the system evolves. You're encouraged to review the System Requirements document periodically and prior to any large scale IT rollouts.

How often are the system requirements updated?

The System Requirements are updated as the system evolves and as testing progresses. Normally, the System Requirements document is updated with each OTCnet release.

Does OTCnet meet my Agency's security requirements?

OTCnet is compliant with the latest Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) audit, 508 regulations, user access/provisioning, system security requirements, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive -12 (HSPD-12) and Personal Identity Verification (PIV) standards.

Does OTCnet require a Java Runtime Environment installed on a client workstation?

OTCnet requires an installed Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to enable check scanning functionality on client workstations, but does not require a JRE for deposit processing functionality.

For the latest Java compatibility information, please review the OTCnet System Requirements outlined on the Getting Started page.

Additional development and testing is required to ensure compatibility with additional JRE versions. OTCnet will continue to review future JRE updates for integration with OTCnet releases.

Hardware

What are the hardware requirements for OTCnet?

Please review the OTCnet System Requirements document for detailed information on hardware requirements for OTCnet. The document can be found on the OTCnet Getting Started page under the "essential documents" step.

Will my Agency need to use a scanner?

Your agency needs a scanner if using OTCnet for Check Capture. If your Agency only uses OTCnet for Deposit Processing, a scanner is not needed.

Are there any costs associated with the scanner?

Agencies will incur a one-time cost associated with the initial purchase of a scanner. Scanners come with a one or two year warranty depending on the type of scanner. Please reach out to your Deployment Specialist to provide additional information on hardware pricing.

Where can I find information on scanner firmware?

Information on scanner firmware is included in the OTCnet System Requirements document. The document can be found on the OTCnet Getting Started page.

OTCnet has been developed to be compatible with most users' computer systems and to be set-up with as much ease as possible.

What do I need to do when there is a new scanner firmware release?

Users will be notified in advance of firmware releases. Agency user(s) that have been provisioned the Check Capture Administrator role will be responsible for downloading the new scanner firmware release from the OTCnet web-based application and installing it on each Check Capture workstation.

What should I do if my scanner isn't working properly?

If your scanner is not working properly, please contact the Customer Support team to help troubleshoot possible problems. If the issues persist, they may direct you to contact the distributor for assistance.

OTCnet Local Bridge

What is the OLB?

The OTCnet Local Bridge, or OLB, is a new OTCnet application that is designed to remove the OTCnet application’s dependency on the Java browser plug-in. The OLB affects all users who are using OTCnet versions Release 2.5 and later. The OLB application is installed on a workstation and can be compared to an actual bridge that connects the browser with the workstation operating system. The OLB is used to support check processing and check capture tasks. Because the OLB removes the OTCnet application’s dependency on the Java browser plug-in, it eliminates the need for agencies to upgrade workstation Java versions to run the OTCnet application. The OLB application is available for download from OTCnet Online, and users do not need to download or purchase any additional software to run the OLB.

How do I download and install the OLB?

The download step is completed by the Check Capture Administrator (CCA) only. The OLB application is downloaded as a Zip file, which contains the OLB certificate file and the OLB application installation file (EXE file). As part of this step, the CCA extracts these files from the Zip file. Please see Appendix B of the OLB Webinar Presentation for step-by-step instructions. OTCnet Local Bridge (OLB) Webinar Presentation.

To install the OLB certificate, users must have the OLB certificate installed on their workstation for the OLB application to function with OTCnet. Please see Appendix C of the OLB Webinar Presentation for step-by-step instructions. OTCnet Local Bridge (OLB) Webinar Presentation.

To install the OLB Application, users need Windows Administrator privileges to install the OLB application on a workstation. Therefore, users may need to work with their Agency IT support staff to install the OLB application on the workstation. Please see Appendix D of the OLB Webinar Presentation for step-by-step instructions.

OTCnet Local Bridge (OLB) Webinar Presentation.

Creating an OLB profile allows users to save and store the credential file that is used to authenticate the OLB application in OTCnet Online. For OTCnet Offline, the CCA creates the CCA Offline logon profile, allowing them to save and store the credential file that is used to authenticate OTCnet Offline. Please see Appendix E (and Appendix F for OTCnet Offline) of the OLB Webinar Presentation for step-by-step instructions. OTCnet Local Bridge (OLB) Webinar Presentation

To start the OLB, users double click the OTCnet OLB icon on the workstation’s desktop, enter the User ID and password, and click Login. Once users have successfully started the OLB application, they can proceed to log in to OTCnet Online. Please see Appendix G of the OTCnet Local Bridge (OLB) Webinar Presentation and Start the OTCnet Local Bridge (OLB) Application printable job aid for step-by-step instructions.

Which users are impacted?

The OLB needs to be used by users performing Check Capture, Check Processing, and Terminal Configuration tasks. These users include the Check Capture Administrator (CCA), Check Capture Supervisor (CCS), Check Capture Lead Operator (CCLO), and Check Capture Operator (CCO). Please note, the OLB does not impact deposit processing users, interface users, or interface partners. The OLB has minimal impact to Offline user operations. Offline users do not need to complete the system prerequisites listed below. However, Offline CCA users need to complete the step of creating credentials.

If you are an impacted user, we strongly recommend that you attend one of our OLB Webinars, which run once a month from June 2017– June 2018. You can find a full listing of webinar dates on this page: OTCnet Local Bridge (OLB) Information and Resources If you are not impacted, you are still welcome to attend the Webinar, but it is not necessary.

What are the system prerequisites?

The OLB cannot run with the default IE configuration settings. Agencies are required to change their IE configuration settings prior to running the OLB. The agency’s IT team may be required to perform this action via group policy modification. In addition, users are required to have the OLB certificate installed on their workstations. These prerequisites are only applicable to users accessing OTCnet Online and will need to be completed when setting up the OLB.
Agencies Change Their IE Configuration Settings:

  1. Internet: There are two options for Agencies to either keep (Option 1) or remove (Option 2) the top-level domain for Treasury (i.e., *treas.gov) in the Trusted Sites Zone
    • Option 1- If the top-level domain for Treasury (i.e., *treas.gov) is in the Trusted Sites Zone, it can remain and does not need to be removed. However, the Enable Protected Mode must be disabled (unchecked) for the Trusted Sites Zone.
    • Option 2- If the Enable Protected Mode cannot be disabled (unchecked) for the Trusted Sites Zone, then *treas.gov must be removed from the Trusted Sites Zone.    and
  2. Local Intranet: Add the OTCnet URL (i.e., *.otcnet.fms.treas.gov) as a site in the Local Intranet zone.    and
  3. Compatibility View Settings: If checked, uncheck the Display Intranet Sites in Compatibility View checkbox under the Compatibility View Settings.

A step-by-step walkthrough of the IE configuration settings is covered in Appendix A: OTCnet Local Bridge (OLB) Webinar Presentation.

For the OLB application to function properly with OTCnet, users are required to install the OLB Certificate on the terminal. Note that users complete this step as part of setting up the OLB application. A step-by-step walkthrough of Installing the OLB Certificate is covered in Appendix C: OTCnet Local Bridge (OLB) Webinar Presentation.

Where can I find more information?

The OTCnet Team has made several resources available to general users regarding the OLB:

For general users we recommend that you refer to the OLB factsheet as this document provides an overview of the OLB application and how it may impact your role: OTCnet Local Bridge (OLB) Fact Sheet

In addition, the OTCnet Team is running a series of Informational Webinars from June 2017 to June 2018. Each webinar begins at 1:30PM Eastern Time and will last approximately 45 minutes. These webinars are aimed at providing in-depth information for user roles impacted by the OLB (CCA, CCS, CCO, CCLO). To register to attend, please access our registration page at the following address: http://eepurl.com/cOd3-X. If you are unable to access the link, you may RSVP via the OTCnet Deployment Team by providing the names, e-mails, and desired registration date to fiscalservice.otcdeployment@citi.com.

For users who are unable to attend any of the scheduled Informational Webinars, the OTCnet team has developed several in-depth resources that are targeted to user roles:

Central Accounting Reporting System/Government Wide Accounting (CARS/GWA) Reporting

What is Government Wide Accounting (GWA)?

GWA provides the central/financial accounting and reporting infrastructure for federal payments, claims, collections, central accounts and other financial transactions.

What is the Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS)?

CARS addresses the central accounting and reporting functions and processes associated with budget execution, accountability and cash/other asset management. This includes the collection and dissemination of financial management and accounting information from and to agencies. To learn more about CARS, please visit http://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsservices/gov/acctg/cars/cars_home.htm.

What is a Treasury Account Symbol (TAS)?

A TAS is a receipt, appropriation, expenditure and other fund account symbols and titles as assigned by the Department of the Treasury and Office of Management and Budget that identify a specific Treasury account.

For more information on Treasury Account Symbols, please consult the Federal Account Symbols and Titles (FAST) Book, located on the Fiscal Service website at http://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/ref/fastBook/fastbook_home.htm and contact your internal accounting point(s) of contact who are knowledgeable about TAS.

What is a Classification Key (C-Key)?

A C-Key is a unique agency accounting code assigned to a transaction as approved by GWA. A C-Key includes agency accounting or collection mechanism data (e.g., account code, fund code, Merchant ID), which translates directly to a Treasury Account Symbol (TAS)-Business Event Type Code (BETC).

Agencies will establish C-Keys in the Shared Accounting Module (SAM) for collection transactions that will be used to drive the appropriate values of TAS/BETC.

What is the Shared Accounting Module (SAM)?

SAM is an Fiscal Service program that allows agencies to classify all Fund Balance with Treasury transactions and adjustments to the appropriate TAS and BETC at the time the transactions or adjustments are reported to Treasury.

What are the CARS Mandates?

OTCnet Release 1.3 will support the CARS requirement set by GWA that all transactions capture standard classification information at the onset of a transaction. To do this, OTCnet Release 1.3 enhancements must meet the following criteria:

  • All CARS Reporting agencies assign a standardized classification identifier, either a TAS or C-Key, to all transactions as close to the point of initiation as possible.
  • Standard classification information will be accepted in the form of a TAS String or a C-Key, which is an internal Agency accounting code that can be translated into valid TAS/BETC(s).
  • All deposit flows (e.g., OTCnet, Pay.gov) must be flowing through TRS and the agency must have set up a cash flow profile with SAM to validate their TAS or C-Key in order to be a CARS Reporter.

What is a Business Event Type Code (BETC)?

A BETC is an eight-character code used in the GWA system to indicate the type of activity being reported, such as payments, collections and borrowings.



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