How to Use Oklahoma Checkbook Summary Reports

A walk-through and how-to of the site summary financial reports

Overview of the Transparency Portal

Gov. J. Kevin Stitt made a commitment to Oklahomans to improve transparency and make information accessible and understandable.

"We need to change how Oklahoma’s 400 agencies and commissions are comprised," the governor says on his state website. "We will work with the legislature in order to deliver needed oversight measures; we will put Oklahoma’s checkbook online; we will audit every state agency; and we will deliver Oklahomans the transparency that they deserve."

Oklahoma Checkbook is a part of that effort. To access Oklahoma's transparency portal, click here.

General Ledger Summary Reports

There are five total reports available. In this article, we will focus on the two Ledger Summary reports:

  • General Ledger Annual Summary shows the total expenditures, revenues and assets of the state in each fiscal year dating back to FY 2010. The report allows viewers to navigate that summary data by any or all of six criteria, from the state agency to the individual expense or revenue type. For example, you could use it to filter and see year-over-year travel expense totals for the governor's office.
  • General Ledger Monthly Summary shows the same data as the Annual Summary while also affording viewers the ability to break the ledger totals down to the month. You can view all of the monthly totals within a given fiscal year (month over month), or choose to compare how much was spent in a given month of multiple fiscal years (year over year). For example, the Monthly report could be used to compare the Department of Transportation's overtime wage payments in August, the height of road construction season, over multiple fiscal years.

For a guide on how to navigate the three Transactions Reports, please see this article

Main site layout

The image above is a snapshot of the Transparency portal. You can click on that image to access the portal. At a glance, please note:

  • The links to each of the five reports are listed in the top left corner (just below the logo). The report that you are viewing at any given time will be indicated as blue.
  • The center of the screen shows a graph of financial information. The x-axis shows time (either year or month) while the y-axis shows the amount of money spent or received during that period.
  • The graph's bars are multicolored, each color indicating a different part of the total amount. The legend on the right side indicates what those colors represent. In the example above, we can see that the state's total expenses are comprised of Travel costs, Administrative Expenses, and other expense type subtotals.
  • The graph is interactive. Mousing over a part of the graph will show a thumbnail of the amount and % of that portion, as well as the total.
  • Clicking on a part of the bar will drill down into that portion of the data, revealing any sub-categories or items nested under that category. See below for an example.

Saved views

Towards the bottom left of the Transparency Portal page, you will see a list of Views that have been created by Oklahoma for easy viewing. These allow one-click access to graphs that address questions that citizens often have about the state's finances. Clicking on any of these views will refresh the graph and filter it accordingly.

Drilling down for greater detail

In the graph above, we can see all of the high-level expense types within Oklahoma's accounting structure.

Clicking on Personnel and Professional Services drills down into that category, revealing subcategories below like Salary Expenses, Professional Services, FICA Contributions and others. You will notice when doing drilling down into this category that the total shown is now the total for Personnel and Professional Services rather than for all expense types.

Using the Filters menu

If you want to explore the state's summary financial information in greater detail, you can click on the Filters tab, just to the left of Views.

Beginning from the top, the Show drop-down menu allows you to control what information is being graphed. You can select either Expenses, Revenues or Assets here to explore different segments of the state's financial information. There is also an Expenses vs. Revenues option, which gives a visual comparison of the two in one graph.

The Broken Down By menu allows you to choose how the financial totals you are viewing are sliced up, based on the state's accounting code structure. You can break the totals up by the categories that state accountants use to track financial transactions. Choosing Expense from this menu will show which expense types contributed to total expenses; choosing Agency shows how much was expended by each state agency.

Clicking on any of the items in the list under the Filtered By header (Agency, Funds, etc.) will bring up a menu showing all of the items in that category. You can expand the categories and drill down to select or exclude individual items by using the check-boxes. Hollow check marks indicate that some but not all of the items within a category have been selected. In the example to the left, we have selected to include all of the agencies within Energy & Environment except Interstate Oil Compact Comm. and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Bd.

Monthly report options

All of the filtering and breaking down functionality is identical for the Monthly Summary report as it is for the Annual Summary.

The Monthly Summary also has additional options to control whether the graph shows the same month's expenses over multiple years, or all months within a single year. You can also control whether data shows incrementally (in March, the state spent $XX) or cumulatively (by March of a given year, the state spent $XX).

To access these options, click on the Presentation button in the bottom left corner of the screen, then select Monthly Report Options from the menu that appears.

In that menu, you will see two drop-downs – one for month over month vs. year over year, and a second for cumulative vs. incremental. Changing either of those options will refresh your report view accordingly.

Table view

At the bottom of the Ledger Summary reports (both Monthly and Annual), there is a table presentation of the information displayed in the graph above. The largest amounts are at the top, with others following in descending order. This provides a quick visual glance of the item or category totals.

As with the Filtered By menu, the black triangles to the left side of any entry in the table can be expanded in order to show the amounts for the items making up that category's subtotal. In the snapshot below, Personnel and Professional Services has been expanded to show its subcategories. Please note that using the black triangles to expand a category in the table will not refresh the graph, but clicking on the text of any item in the table will drill down to show that information within the graph above.

Graph style

In the top right corner of the screen, just above the graph's legend, there are a series of buttons that allow you to control the style of graph you view. Oklahoma's Transparency Portal supports bar, pie, line and other types of graphs. Each of these has the same interactive functionality described above, with the ability to drill down into the data with a click.

Export & share

Also in the top right corner of your screen, there is a Share button which gives several options to share the report you are viewing on social media or by email.

The download options allow you to save a snapshot of the graph to your computer, or export the table at the bottom of the page to a spreadsheet for analysis in Excel.