California State Accounting and Reporting System 1981 – 2020

System Overview

Under the provisions of Government Code (GC) section 13300, the California State Accounting and Reporting System (CALSTARS) was developed to provide all agencies and departments with an automated organization and program cost accounting system to accurately and systematically account for all revenue, expenditures, receipts, disbursements, and property of the state. CALSTARS was designed to improve the timeliness and accuracy of financial information, standardize the accounting and reporting functions within and across the state agencies and departments, and expand each agency’s accounting and reporting capabilities.

CALSTARS provided uniformity between the state’s budgeting and accounting processes. It was designed to conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles as needed and to satisfy GC, State Administrative Manual, other state accounting requirements and federal accounting requirements. The system design also incorporated the state’s Uniform Codes Manual values to provide for consistency and uniformity statewide.

Mission Statement and System Capabilities

The specific mission of CALSTARS was to ensure that the system was a “…modern and complete accounting system for each agency of the state…” and provide a cost-effective and value-added service to fully support the business functions of each client agency or department.

CALSTARS was a single IBM Mainframe software solution that provided statewide uniformity and individual agency or department uniqueness through a series of tables. These tables allowed for the ‘single transaction’ input concept, which eliminated redundant coding while providing for the complete fund, appropriation, allotment, encumbrance, organization, program, project, revenue, expenditure, cost allocation, and general ledger accountability. Additional features included online update capabilities, numerous reports, online history searching, interfaces with other departmental systems, automated reconciliations and automation of year-end reporting to the State Controller’s Office.

Additional Information

CALSTARS was initially implemented in July 1981 and was retired in July 2020. The system was used by approximately 200 state agencies and departments over a 39 year period. Departments formally using CALSTARS have transitioned to the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal).

Departments may contact the FSCU Hotline at or (916) 324-0385 for additional historical information.