Overview of Oklahoma Checkbook
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.
There are five reports available. In this article, we will walk through the three transactions reports:
- Payment Card Transactions gives an exhaustive list of all the items that an authorized list of state purchasers have made using the Oklahoma's purchase cards, commonly referred to as P-cards. You can think of this list like the state's itemized credit card bill. The report allows you to view and filter by the description of the purchased item, the merchant it was purchased from, and the name of the purchasing cardholder, among others. For more information about the state's P-cards, click here.
- Payroll Transactions is a list of all the paychecks that the state cuts to its employees. This primarily consists of regular salary and wage payments, but also includes overtime pay and less common payments like incentive bonuses or severance payouts. Each transaction shows the paid amount, number of hours logged, type of pay, paying agency, and the payee's abbreviated name (last name, first/middle initial). For more information, click here.
- Vendor Payments is a log of payments that the state has made to its numerous vendors. The report shows which vendors were paid, how much, who paid them, and includes a brief description of the goods or services provided. All vendor payment transactions also include state accounting codes which indicate information like the fund from which a vendor was paid, the type of expense (e.g., technical consulting vs. legal services), or associated state program. For more information, click here.
Curious how vendor payments are different than P-card transactions? In the Vendor Transactions, you might see large payments to a bank in order to pay off the accrued balance on one of the state's P-cards. For an itemized look at the individual purchases on that month's bill, look at the P-card report.For information about using the General Ledger Annual/Monthly Summary reports, please see this article.
Transaction site layout
- The links to each of the five reports are listed in the top left corner (just below the OK.gov 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, in this case payroll totals. 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 the payroll subtotals for various agencies.
- 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.
- At the bottom of the screen, there is a table of all the transactions details related to the current view. As you apply filters to the report, the transactions will filter to show only those which apply.
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.
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. This will most commonly show "Amount," but the Payroll report will also let you graph the number of hours noted on employees' paychecks.
The "Broken Down By" menu allows you to choose how the financial totals you are viewing are sliced up, based on the column titles in the transactions table at the bottom of the screen. For example, you could break payroll information down by the name of the employee, the type of pay they are receiving, the agency paying them, and more.
Clicking "Filters" will bring up a menu that allows you to apply various types of filters to any column in the transactions dataset. Some examples that you could use the filters to identify:
- Select for P-card transactions of more than $1,000.
- Show all paychecks received by an individual employee.
- Show all vendor transactions paid by an single state agency within a window of time.
When adding a new filter (or editing an existing one), you must first select the column to apply the filter to (such as Post Date, Agency, or Amount in the example above).
Then, select the type of filter ("at most", "at least", "equal to"). Clicking on any of the filter types brings up a menu of the different filter options.
After making any changes, press Apply to see the results from your new filters.
Quick Filter using table
Clicking on any cell within the table will also allow you to quickly apply a filter for the information in that field.
For example, clicking on "Best Western Hotels" will prompt you to filter for all transactions with that description.
Vendor Transaction check details
In the Vendor Transactions report, you can see the check details for any payment made to a vendor.
Clicking on a row of the transactions table will reveal an additional option to "View Check Details."
Clicking on the "Check Details" option will open a menu from the right side of your screen, and display an image of a check populated with the relevant information about the particular transaction.
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.