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The Flexible Spending Account Administration Solution

"Outside Fiscal Year" message

Q. I am getting a message that says the reimbursement request I am attempting to enter is "outside the fiscal year". What does this mean and how do I fix it?

A. There is a chance that you have not yet set up a new datafolder to contain this fiscal year's transactions, but are still trying to squeeze them into last year's data folder. We have additional, and updated, information about starting a new fiscal year

If you have set up the new fiscal year, then continue reading...

First, please note that it is normal to have both the prior and current fiscal years open for a given company - at least through the "grace period". The "grace period" is that time period - typically 75 to 90 days after the end of a fiscal year - that people can submit a reimbursement request for an expense that was incurred in the prior fiscal year. (There have been some changes in the law regarding the "use-it-or lose it" rule that extends the time that "flex" account funds are available for expense reimbursements, and these are built into the version 4.6a and higher of Fast-Flex Plus. Please be certain that you are using the
current version of Fast-Flex Plus.)

Check that your plan's fiscal year dates were initially entered correctly in Main Menu/File/Company Setup (review them now)!  We do NOT recommend changing your fiscal year dates or the computer's internal clock date in order to "trick" the system into accepting "outside of fiscal year" reimbursement requests.


One key is to realize the difference between the "Posting Date" and the "Transaction Date" on the Transaction Input Screen. Please use the "hover help", by placing the mouse cursor over the label, to see the difference, and then enter your transaction dates accordingly. Basically the "Posting Date" is the internal Fast-Flex Plus time stamp on the transaction record (when it was entered into Fast-Flex Plus), but "Transaction Date" is the date the service actually occurred as documented on the receipt for the service.


For your information, the Fast-Flex Plus program code looks for any of the following situations in order to trigger the "Outside fiscal year!" message when you enter reimbursement requests:

1. Posting Date is after the Company's Grace period end-date

2. Today is after the Company's Grace period end-date

3. The posting date is before the Company's fiscal year start-date

4. Transaction date is before the Company's fiscal year start-date


5. There is one more thing to consider.  In Main Menu/File/Company Setup, page 2 of 4, you have the option to designate that you will accept prior fiscal-year reimbursement requests during the “grace period”.  If you have selected “Yes”, then the transaction date can’t be after the grace date or you will get the “outside fiscal year” message .  If you have said “No”, then the transaction date can’t be after the end-of-fiscal–year date or you will get the “outside fiscal year” message.


Please check your dates in Main Menu/File/Company set up and be certain that they are consistent with the dates that you enter in the transaction record. 

Frequently, people forget to enter the date the transaction (normally a request) actually took place in the "Transaction Date" field. If left to its own devices, the Transaction Date" field will default to today's date, which might be outside the fiscal year you set up.