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About SFOpenBook - Supplier Payments

Table of Contents What is SFOpenBook?
SFOpenBook is the City and County of San Francisco’s transparency website, providing residents, journalists and others with interactive tools to understand City financial, economic and government performance data. To learn more about the other parts of this website, such as our Economic and Government Performance Barometers, budget, and actual Spending and Revenue including supplier payments, view the Frequently Asked Questions about SFOpenBook.

What is SFOpenBook - Supplier Payments?
The SFOpenBook - Supplier Payments tool is a searchable, user-friendly public site that allows you to look up payment information to City suppliers. Supplier Payment information is also part of the Spending and Revenue report, and you can also use the link Get Dataset from SF Data provided on the report to get the full dataset. The Supplier Payments and Spending and Revenue reports give you different ways to search for supplier payment information. Spending and Revenue enables you to drill down from a higher level; Supplier Payment is better if you want more information at once. See which meets your needs better.

What information can I find here?
The report consists of supplier payment data from the City and County of San Francisco's financial system. You can view citywide payments by supplier, department, and/or type of goods or services. You can also view encumbrance or voucher level payment data for up to ten suppliers at a time.

How can I use the reporting tool?
After making required and optional filter and output column selections, click GO to proceed.
  • The available optional output columns are Department, and Type of Goods or Services. Supplier is always displayed on the report.
  • Fiscal Year, Time Span, and Report Type are required selections; Department, Type of Goods or Services, and Non-profits Only are optional.
  • Supplier is optional for Summary report type and required for Encumbrance Level and Voucher Level report type.
  • Note that excluding some or all of the optional filters may cause the report to run more slowly.
  • Selecting all of the items within a filter will yield the same results as selecting no items but causes the report to run much more slowly, so the best way to retrieve all items within a filter is to not use the filter at all.
  • The Supplier Search function can be used to find suppliers by name. Enter the beginning of a keyword (or use the "Options" submenu to specify different search logic) and click Search to retrieve the matching results. Then, select the desired suppliers from the list of results and click Insert to add those suppliers to the filter.
What are the definitions of the various output columns?
  • Supplier Name: An organization that the City pays in return for goods or services.
  • Non-profit: A supplier that is a non-profit organization as defined through the City's business tax process.
  • Department: Departments are the primary organizational unit used by the City and County of San Francisco. Examples include Recreation and Parks, Public Works, and the Police Department.
  • Type of Goods or Services: Type of spending such as Building & Construction Supplies.
  • Encumbrance: An Encumbrance is a document that reserves a specific amount of money for payment to a supplier for a specific purpose. Purchase Order is another commonly used name for this.
  • Voucher: A Voucher is a request for payment. This can either be a payment using funding reserved in an Encumbrance, or it can be a Direct Payment where there is no encumbrance.
  • Fiscal Year: An accounting period of 12 months. The City and County of San Francisco operates on a fiscal year that begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year. The Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2012 is represented as FY2011-2012.
  • Payments: Checks or electronic payments issued to suppliers for goods and services. This includes for-profit and non-profit organizations.
  • Pending: The payments that have been requested but not yet paid. If looking at a 5-year period, this is the payments requested but not yet paid as of the most recent year shown.
  • Remaining Balance: The unused portion of an encumbrance document. If looking at a 5-year period, this is the remaining balance as of the most recent year shown.
What information will I not find here?
To protect confidentiality as legally required, certain activity is excluded from the supplier payments report such as payments to employees (reimbursements, garnishments) and jury members, revenue refunds, payments for judgments and claims, witnesses, relocation and rehousing, and a variety of human services payments.

How far back does the data go?
Data is available from July, 2006 forward.

How often is the website updated?
SFOpenBook - Supplier Payments is updated weekly every Sunday night.

Do timing differences exist between the Supplier Payments report and other City financial reporting?
SFOpenBook Supplier Payments reporting is based on actual payment date, and do not reflect accrual adjustments, e.g. when June work is invoiced to the City department in July and paid subsequently. For financial statement reporting, payment accruals are booked to move the amount equal to the July payment back to the June, to match the payment to the year the expense was incurred.