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Frequently Asked Questions


Read/Download the Service Costing Manual (pdf, 2.1 mb)

Read/Download the CAP Manual (pdf, 850 kb)


Download Version 4.30 of the Software.

This is a completely new install of the software and it creates "dummy" data in the data subdirectory.

IMPORTANT!!! - Back up your data before installing this version then over-write the files in your "data" subdirectory with your backed-up data files.

If you already have an earlier version of the software installed, you can download this Update Version to 4.30 which just changes certain files and does not affect the data subdirectory.

Download a Demonstration Copy of the Software.

This is a fully operational version of the software with limits on the amount of data input allowed. This will allow you to test the software.


Where is a good place to start if I'm starting from scratch?

  • Your best bet is to go to the help screens in either the Direct or Indirect Module. Both places provide theoretical as well as practical information.

What is a subpool?

  • A subpool is a service that is provided by one department to other departments within the City. It is these services that are being spread in the Indirect Module.

What happens if the city does not differentiate between tax supported and fee supported services? How will this affect calculations completed by the software?

  • The system does not care if something is a fee service or a tax service. It is more of a political distinction of who pays for the service: the taxpayer or a fee payer. For instance, police patrol and street maintenance are tax services because these are services which one expects taxes to pay for. On the other hand, planning applications, building permits, or water service are services which either are, or could be, paid for by fees charged to the applicant or service user. By setting these up as fee services, it allows you to calculate the cost of this service and set the fee accordingly.


Why when assigning services are some suborgs assigned CAP coded services, while others are O/H or ISF?

  • We generally will assign all General City overhead to a CAP service in the Indirect Module (such things as City Manager and Finance). Department overhead (i.e. department heads and department clerical staff) will general get assigned as an O/H service in the Overhead Module. And internal services that are directly charged to departments, such as Information Services or Vehicle Maintenance, will generally be set up as an ISF service in the Internal Services Module. Now with all of that said, it is up to you how you actually set it up. You can set up everything as a CAP center if you want to. The important distinction is how the costs get spread. A CAP service allocates the cost based on a specific allocation factor which has re-allocations between departments with CAP services. An ISF has a specific allocation factor but does not do the multiple step re-allocations that a CAP service does. And an O/H service merely creates a percent by dividing the O/H cost over the salaries for the affected departments.


How does the Fund, Org, Suborg structure work?

  • The cost system is set up in a tree structure to make grouping of like things easier. The fund is obviosuly the fund, the org ususally corresponds to a department, and the suborg usually corresponds to a division. As an example:

              Fund - General;
              Org - Police; and,
              Suborg - Patrol.
If your organization does not have separate orgs and suborgs, just repeat the org as the suborg.


How do I backup last year's data before I start again this year?

  • In the main menu, go to the Backup Option and backup your files. When you get to the point where it askes you where you want to put the backup, select someplace where you know what it is, such as in a folder titled something like 99DATA. You can choose a floppy also, but floppy disks have a way of failing and then you don't have anything. Once you have done that you are ready to start updating the current information.

How can I view last years data without having to restore?

  • There are two approaches: (1)Have the software installed twice on your machine in separate directories so that you can view data from two years by opening different copies of the software. (2) You could move the data files from "holding" subdirectories to the data subdirectory when you want to view them. This approach requires that you carefully copy the files back and forth.


Is it possible to print to an Adobe PDF file?

  • Yes it is possbile. First you need to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat which installs the Adobe Distiller as one of your printer options, not just the read only version. Or, you can use one of the freeware programs that does this (e.g., doPDF, CutePDF). Once you have the "printer" installed, change the default printer to the distiller in the Windows Control Panel. Then print the report you want in the program and provide the file name and location to save it.


HOW DO I . . . ?

How do I set up a Cost Allocation Plan service?

  • You must add a CAP service (also known as a Subpool) in the Indirect Module. If you try to add a CAP service in the Direct Module as you would any other service it will tell you to go to the Indirect Module. The reason for this is that a CAP service must be assigned to a particular suborg for allocation purposes. Under Structure and Costs in the Indirect Module, select the suborg you want to assign it to, clieck the + button in the toolbar, and then fill in the information in the input screen that comes up. Just make sure that the Reference Number starts with "CAP-".

How do I allocate costs to a subpool?

  • In the same input screen where you added the new service, input either percentages or dollars for each component of cost identified. If those options are greyed out, then you need to change the program options under the Utilities Menu to the Stand-Alone Option.

How do I assign costs to the various subpools when there is no position time to allocate? I have a few suborgs where supply and service costs are budgeted but there are no positions budgeted. Some of theses costs I would like to allocate via the overhead module. Others I would like to allocate via the indirect module.

  • What you would do is allocate the costs directly to a service. This is done in the Direct Module, under the Edit Menu, under Specific Service Costs. You would then tell it which suborg you want to allocate the costs from and which service you want to apply it to. The service list to choose from will include all of your services, including the CAP and O/H services.


Is it possible to create a new Org with the same Suborg Units as another Org? Many of my Org will have 90% of the same Suborg Units.

  • It is not possible to directly copy an Org (and all of its Suborgs) to a new Org. You have to create each Org and Suborg. This is necessary to set up the relational databases correctly. However, once you create the new Suborgs, you can copy or move positions (and all of its time data) from one suborg to another.


I get an Error 47 after I upgrade and access the program.

  • The cost software is supposed to upgrade data files if GSS made any changes to the structure of the files. But in some cases when upgrading from older versions of the software, that upgrade function does not work and you get an Error 47. The only way to fix this is to contact GSS at so that they can manually upgrade your files for you.

After installation, upon double clicking the icon on the screen, the following error appears:
: FM2: Unable to Open UPG file: cause 3 Path Not Found
: Name: data\Upg.tps\!Upg2

  • This is because I had you install the member version of the software instead of the demo version. The member version assumes that you already have installed the demo version and does not create a "data" subfolder. All you need to do is create that "data" subfolder below the program folder.

I am trying to install the data onto my network but when I try to run the program I get an error message saying it can't find the network folder

  • Check to make sure that there are no spaces within the name of the Folder. For instance, "GSS Cost System" will not work, but "GSSCostSystem" will work. So change the name of the Folder itself and change the PATH statement in the GSS_Main.ini file in your Windows folder on the C Drive.


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