Financial Accounting Management Information System (FAMIS) is the accounting system of record for members of The Texas A&M University System that use FAMIS as their primary accounting system. FAMIS was designed primarily for the Fiscal/Business Office, which is accountable and responsible for the accounting records for the member. With many members and thousands of jobs to run, planning and coordinating member interfaces is extremely important.
The focus and mission of FAMIS have always been to provide support to the Fiscal / Business Office in their fiscal responsibilities. Over the years, functionality has been added to accommodate departmental needs, but departmental offices and central offices are increasingly developing or purchasing “side systems” to better meet their departmental or specialized accounting needs. Many of these systems may be programmed to “feed” data to FAMIS. Since the Business Office must be ultimately responsible for the data that enters FAMIS, FAMIS Services needs a Fiscal / Business Office coordinator for these interfaces.
Each interface has tasks that must be addressed before it can be put into Production. The Interface Coordinator is the point of contact for both the Fiscal / Business Office (and member departments) and FAMIS Services. This person assumes the responsibility for the implementation and ongoing support of these interfaces.
Tasks for this person include:
- Be the point of contact for each interface project.
- Understand the requirements and monitor the process as the representative of the Fiscal / Business Office of the member.
- Build knowledge of how interfaces work with FAMIS, including keeping information on the various interfaces that the member has with FAMIS, keeping layouts of the various transactions that are used for each interface and understanding the schedule that each interface follows.
- Coordinate and attend the initial meeting between the Fiscal / Business Office (any member’s departments) and FAMIS Services to convey the requirements for the interface.
- Coordinate subsequent meetings, correspondence and phone calls with the Fiscal / Business Office, the department, vendor and FAMIS Services.
- Assume responsibility for the daily reports and investigate and reconcile any errors that may occur.
- Assume responsibility for the integrity of the data and give final approval for the data to enter the records of the member.
- Current Interface Coordinators may be found at FAMIS Interface Coordinators.
All submitted batch interfaces that pass the FAMIS program edits are posted into the system. These batch feeds are NOT reviewed by the FAMIS Services staff before they are posted. It is the responsibility of the Business Office to ensure that the data passed to FAMIS has been reviewed and validated as legitimate accounting transactions before being sent by file transfer protocol (FTP) to FAMIS.
New interface projects require communication between the member’s Fiscal / Business Office and FAMIS. The scope, requirements and potential issues are identified and addressed. When both parties have a clear understanding of the needs, solutions are better formulated.
The following steps are necessary for a smooth, successful process in creating your interface with FAMIS. They are divided into three sections: Preparation, Testing and Production.
- Submit a Change Enhancement form with the basic information defining the new interface. The form is available on the FAMIS website at http://www.tamus.edu/offices/famis/.
- Please provide names and UINs of the users that will be uploading the files for both Test and Production.
- Please provide the names, UINs and TAMU NetIDs for any users that will need access to the output in Laserfiche.
- If needed, schedule and hold a Requirements Meeting with FAMIS Support (this can be by phone conference) to discuss the details and process of establishing this new Interface. Topics will include the purpose and type of transactions, the frequency of feeds, the principal persons involved, etc.
- FAMIS Support will define and send the following information:
- Layout for the appropriate transactions
- Name of the file(s): files are named according to the type of data. Test files are always posted to your Training Campus. The file for testing must have an additional node added to help prevent accidental posting into Production.
Sample file names are:
- Production: K7nnXX.deptname.JE.Dyymmdd
- Testing: K156FA.K7nnXX.deptname.JE.Dyymmdd
- Batch Reference in the form of AAANNN or AAAANN (example: BUD001)
- Name of the program that will be used to post the transactions (example: XFJE1).
- FAMIS Production will prepare Training JCL and Laserfiche for the file testing.
- FAMIS Security will set up the users identified in the Change Enhancement Request with access to the Test File Transfer Portal.
- Prepare the test files and upload them through the Test File Transfer Portal located on the SSO Test Menu (sso-test.tamus.edu).
- If this is a new file feed, reply to the open ticket requesting the new feed or if this is a test of an existing file feed, please send an email to email@example.com requesting that they post the test file. Include the name of the file to post.
Above files uploaded to your server.
- FAMIS Services will post the test files to the Training Campus and notify the A&M System member of the results.
- Review the TEST posting for posting and accounting transactions accuracy and any errors that are generated by the posting program. Please send a confirmation email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ensure that users have access to Training to verify the data.
- Repeat submitting test files until both FAMIS Services and you are satisfied that the interface is ready to post in the production environment.
At this point, FAMIS Help will close the support ticket created by the Change Enhancement Request.
Transition to Production
FAMIS Help will notify FAMIS Production that the new feed is ready for Production. At this point, FAMIS Production will complete the JCL and Laserfiche set up for Production. They will also set up File Watcher to begin looking for the new files to post to Production.
- FAMIS Production will complete the JCL and Laserfiche set up for Production.
- FAMIS Production will set up File Watcher to begin looking for the new files to post to Production.
- FAMIS Security will set up the users identified in the Change Enhancement Request with access to the Production File Transfer Portal on the SSO menu.
- FAMIS Security will set up the users identified in the Change Enhancement Request with access to the File Feeds in Laserfiche.
- Users should prepare the Production files and upload file(s) through the File Transfer Portal.
File name for Production should not include the K7nnXX node (this is different than test):
- This node is being created through the FTP process; uploading to the member level folder will build the K7nnXX node before send the file to the File Watcher.
- Correct file name: ARP1.RELH.Dyymmdd.
- Incorrect file name: K702XX.ARP1.RELH.Dyymmdd.
- File Watcher will monitor and post the file based on the file name.
- FAMIS Services posts the Production file(s) and releases the output to Laserfiche.
- Users should review all output errors (something that didn’t post or has gone to suspense) and report any problems or discrepancies immediately to FAMIS Production.
- Make any manual corrections for all rejections or suspense items.
Changes to Production Files
ANY changes to an established Production interface must be retested in the training environment before proceeding to Production.