Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I contact if I have questions about specific payments to a specific vendor by an agency?
Call or e-mail the agency directly. For a listing of agency phone numbers, website and other information, use the State’s agency directory.

Who do I contact for general information about the spending portion of Open.Alabama.Gov?
If you have any questions about spending, or suggestions on improving the reporting of Alabama state government finances, please contact opengov@Comptroller.Alabama.Gov.

How often is the checkbook updated?
The data on this website is updated Tuesday-Saturday mornings.

What if I see more than one payee with the same name?
Because is a virtual checkbook, all transactions are recorded by the payee exactly as it appeared on the check. Thus, there could be several payees with the same name and all are different payees, having different payee identification numbers. The State also does business with companies that have multiple branch addresses which we pay as separate payee numbers but the payee name is the same.

What does the parenthesis around an amount mean?
It means that the amount is negative. This could be due to a refund, reimbursement or correction of a payment.

Why is detail information by payee not always available?
The payee information is on the payment voucher at the time the payment is made. However, agencies often use journal vouchers to reclassify groups of like payments to different funds and sub-categories in order to comply with a variety of laws, regulations, and federal grant requirements.

Is the information presented audited?
The online checkbook data is unaudited and presented on a cash basis. However, the CAFR is audited by the Alabama Examiners of Public Accounts.

How would I know what is included in a category or subcategory amount?
The user should click the (?) mark in the description column that is located next to the corresponding transaction.

Can I do a partial name search?
Yes. searches from the beginning of words. However, it will not find characters in the middle of words. Therefore, if you search for “mart” it finds “Joe Martin”, “Martha Smith”, and “James Marty Steele”, but not “Wal-mart” or “smart”.

Why would the PO/Contract # be blank?
The expenditure did not require a purchase order or contract.

When I click Download Excel, should I choose open or save?
If you want to be able to manipulate (sort, total, copy, etc.) the data in excel, you need to choose save.

Why would only the Download PDF button be available to me and not the Excel button?
The amount of information you have queried on exceeds the limit that can be downloaded to Excel.

What is included in the personnel costs category?
Gross pay before taxes and other deductions. Gross pay includes overtime, subsistence allowances for law enforcement personnel, termination and separation costs, prior period adjustments, etc. For more detail, refer to personnel cost in the chart of accounts. Gross pay may vary from paycheck to paycheck.

Why is there no gross pay for individual employees for fiscal year 2009 and 2008? does not have historical data on gross pay before October 1, 2010.


Open, Honest, and Accountable