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NFSMI FUNDamentals - Frequently Asked Questions
Introductory Information
Setup Information
Additional Information

 


Can anyone use the NFSMI FUNDamentals software package?

Any school foodservice administrator can use the software. NFSMI FUNDamentals is a tool that will assist school foodservice administrators in interpreting the financial outcomes to aid in financial management decision making. It is designed to be broad in scope so all sizes and types of school foodservice programs can use it across the nation. Just remember that the software is designed to be used by individuals with a working knowledge of accounting and bookkeeping.


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What is different about NFSMI FUNDamentals versus other financial software analysis packages?

NFSMI FUNDamentals is a financial management software package developed for school foodservice administrators. A Task Force of state and local school foodservice administrators and school business officials from across the nation, along with representatives from NFSMI and USDA, developed the model for the software. The software uses standardized formats, formulas, account classifications and is designed to analyze individual school sites as well as the school-wide district.


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Why should I use NFSMI FUNDamentals?

NFSMI FUNDamentals uses standardized terminology and item classification based the National Center for Education Statistics accounting handbook, Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems, 1990. The advantages to using a national uniform system are as follows:


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What if I already complete financial records for my school foodservice program?

Many school foodservice programs compile and calculate financial data in differing formats and varying amounts of detail. The NFSMI FUNDamentals software is designed as either a stand alone analysis program or it can be used to supplement analysis procedures already being used.


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Is there a cost associated with using NFSMI FUNDamentals?

There is no cost for the NFSMI FUNDamentals software. You may download after completing the NFSMI FUNDamentals Download Request Form.


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How do I get started?


  1. Request the school district's registration code number by filling out the NFSMI FUNDamentals Download Request Form
  2. Upon submission of the Download Request Form, you will be directed to the NFSMI FUNDamentals Software Download page with links for the NFSMI FUNDamentals instalation as well as Installation Instructions and directions for getting started. Download the Installation and read the Suggested Documents.
  3. Visual Solutions will contact you at the email address provided in the Download Request Form and provide your district's NFSMI Registration Code and further instructions on installing the software including the Installation Password.
  4. Install the software per the instructions provided.
  5. Start the NFSMI FUNDamentals software by double-clicking the new shortcut on your desktop
  6. Click the New Setup button and enter your NFSMI Registration Code
  7. The software will guide you through the initial setup process. If you are setting up a public School Food Authority site, the software will recognize the registration code number and load key demographic school information automatically into the data entry screens. Should you have a school that recently opened you may have to add that school's information directly. Private and parochial schools will receive registration codes from NFSMI, but will need to enter the demographic information into the appropriate data screen.

For more detailed information, refer to the User's Guide.


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Can I use the NFSMI FUNDamentals software on a network?

Multiple users can enter information in the NFSMI software. Each user must have the software installed locally on their computer. The software will automatically install a copy of the database on the installation computer and set the location of the database to the installed database. The database can be copied and housed on a network drive for all users to share. For more detailed information on changing the location of the database to a shared database, refer to the User's Guide.


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How can I transfer financial data from my SFA accounting system?

NFSMI FUNDamentals can accept imports from a SFA financial accounting system. The SFA financial accounting system software provider can provide a text document with summary data for revenues, expenditures, and fund balance information. The specific format for these data can be found in the User's Guide.


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What reports can I print using NFSMI FUNDamentals?

The NFSMI FUNDamentals software currently prints over 35 reports and charts. All reports and charts can be printed by school site or summarized by the school district. For types and examples of reports, refer to the User's Guide.


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How were the formulas used to analyze operational performance determined?

A nationwide 25-member Task force composed of state directors, district school foodservice administrators, school business officials, an accountant and a computer software designer defined the numeric measures of performance used in the NFSMI FUNDamentals software. The performance measures were evaluated by a 70-member national panel of school foodservice experts and then validated in 12 school districts as financial indicators that provide crucial information about the effectiveness of an operation. Performance measures calculated in NFSMI FUNDamentals include the following:

If you would like more information about a specific formula see the Financial Management Information System Preliminary Report.


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What if the NFSMI FUNDamentals formulas differ from the ones used by my state agency? Can I change the formulas?

You can set your own user-defined formulas to match your local district or state agency requirements in the SFA level of the software. Data submitted to NFSMI reflect the national performance measures and cannot be changed.


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Can I run reports that reflect both the NFSMI performance measures and the SFA user-defined performance measures (i.e., breakfast meal equivalents)?

You can run reports that reflect perfomance measures. For sample reports see the User's Guide.


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Can I transfer in point of sale data?

NFSMI FUNDamentals can accept imports from a SFA or school point of sale system. The SFA point of sale software provider will provide a text document with summary data for meal counts by program type. For details of the layout and rules required for meal count import, refer to the User's Guide.


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I have over 200 schools. Is there a limit to the number of schools that the software can handle?

The software does not have a limit in the number of schools that can be maintained.


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