Top 5 Most Common ABC/M Issues
Below is a listing of the five most common ABC/M issues that users encounter. This portion of the Online Help Desk will direct users to the best resources available to solve these issues. In addition, these explanations will explain the sequence in which the user should consult these resources. The diagrams below each question provide links to the appropriate help resources.
- Selecting Appropriate ABC Labor Codes
- Selecting Appropriate ABC Non-Labor Codes
- Generating Custom Reports and Analysis Using Cognos PowerPlay
- Viewing and Exporting Standard ABC/M Reports in Cognos ReportNet
- Understanding the Operations Plan
1. Selecting appropriate ABC labor codes
One common problem that many employees encounter is determining the appropriate ABC labor code when completing their T&A worksheet. In general, employees should follow these guidelines when selecting their ABC codes:
- Please code to the work done -- do not "code to budget." ABC codes are intentionally cross-functional and cross-program and are not the same as the budget. Your costs will be charged against the appropriate budget account regardless of what ABC code you use.
- Please code to the work undertaken, not the ultimate outcome of your work.
For example: If you perform office support, code 9X: Provide Office Support, even if you support a field office conducting resource work.
For example: If you Restore Wetlands, code to V2: Restore Wetlands, even if that restoration may support migratory birds.
Supervisors: Except for employee evaluation and counseling, most supervision should be coded to the actual work activity being supervised.
- Please use the FY06 Activity Dictionary to choose the best code. At the beginning of the dictionary there is guidance on selecting ABC codes.
Tip: Please read the titles and the description for each activity. Not every detail and task is captured. Select the best code that fits your work.
Tip: Please read any notes or exclusions for each activity. These may help you decide on the best code.
There is also guidance on selecting ABC codes for specific activities in the ABC/M Coding FAQs on this website. If you are unable to determine the appropriate code after reviewing the guidelines above and the FAQs, you can contact the ABC/M experts for E-mail or Phone Support.
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2. Selecting appropriate ABC/M non-labor codes
Employees also encounter difficulties determining the appropriate non-labor ABC codes. Non-labor codes are used for many items such as space rental, contracts, operations, maintenance, and repairs, building supplies, office supplies, fuel, travel, and many other items. In general, these items should be charged to the work activity they are supporting or required for.
- For example: If you purchase fuel for vehicles used to restore wetlands, code W2: Restore Wetlands.
- For example: If you incur travel expenses in the process of stabilizing burned areas, code 2L: Stabilize Burned Areas.
There is also guidance on selecting ABC codes for non-labor items in the ABC/M Coding FAQs on this website. If you are unable to determine the appropriate code after reviewing the guidelines above and the FAQs, you can contact the ABC/M experts for E-mail or Phone Support.
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3. Generating custom reports and analysis using Cognos PowerPlay
Cognos PowerPlay is a powerful tool allowing users to access FWS ABC cost and performance data and design custom reports and analysis. If you have difficulty creating custom reports or analysis using PowerPlay, the best resource is the Cognos PowerPlay - User Guide available on the FWS ABC/M site. This guide provides detailed information on PowerPlay and is written so that it is accessible to someone completely new to PowerPlay. Another resource to consult are the Cognos PowerPlay Video Tutorials which provide a quick and easy way to learn PowerPlay skills. In addition, the Technology FAQs provide step by step instructions for generating certain types of cost reports using PowerPlay. If you are unable to generate your report or analysis after reviewing these materials, please contact the ABC/M experts by sending an E-mail Support Request or using Telephone Support.
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4. Viewing and Exporting Standard ABC/M Quarterly Reports in Cognos
Cognos Report Viewer, which is a component of Cognos ReportNet, is a tool allowing a user to run, view, export, and email any of the standard quarterly ABC/M reports. If you have difficulty completing any of these tasks using Report Viewer, the best resource is the Cognos ReportNet - User Guide available on the FWS ABC/M site. This guide provides detailed information on using Report Viewer and is written so that it is accessible to someone completely new to Cognos. Another resource to consult are the Cognos ReportNet Video Tutorials which provide a quick and easy way to learn the basics of ReportNet. If you are unable to complete any of these tasks after reviewing this guide, please contact the ABC/M experts by sending an E-mail Support Request or using Telephone Support.
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5. Understanding the Operations Plan
The Operations plans for FY05, FY06, and FY07 are all available online on the ABC/M portal. You can access these plans by selecting the Performance Planning and Goal Tracking Menu and selecting the FWS Ops Plan choice.
The Operational Plan shows all the performance goals and measures for the Service and how they are connected to the Department of the Interior's (DOI) Strategic Plan. The Operational Plan shows the Service Operational Goals and Critical Success Factors (CSF) that map to each DOI End Outcome Measure. DOI End Outcome Measures are listed in red font; Service Operational Plan Goals are listed blue font; and CSFs are listed in black font. A CSF is an aggregate roll-up of the program performance measures that directly contribute to the CSF. Also, included under each CSF are other Service program measures that contribute to the achievement of the CSF, but are not included in the aggregate roll-up. The Operational Plan distinguishes DOI End Outcome measures (Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) measures), highlighted in Blue, The Operational Plan also distinguishes Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Program Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART)measures using yellow highlighting.
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