Florida Institute of Technology - College of Business
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What is an ABTA Table?

General Purpose


The Activity Based Total Accountability (ABTA) Table - includes identification and display of total costs, activities performed (any action to accomplish something), and units produced by these activities. The ABTA Table provides each agency or entity a one-page "snapshot" of significant activities representing the outputs/services it provides to taxpayers. The following is a discussion of how the ABTA Table works.

Section 1: Budget


Section 1 presents the total amount of money set aside (as by a legislature), or "appropriated," for a specific purpose. This includes monies appropriated through general fund accounts and other legislative actions (e.g., supplemental funding measures) used to pay salaries, other operational expenditures, and capital costs (i.e., "fixed capital outlays") and improvements, over an effective date (usually a fiscal year). A state's General Fund is typically its largest fund, and covers much of state government functions. Typically, most school funding comes from the general fund, as does funding to universities, spending on the state police and prisons, Medicaid spending, money to run the governor's office, legislature and courts, and/or many other functions.

Note: This is information is not present on all ABTA tables. This is because some sources of data used by the ABTA Institute only provided expenditure information on select items and possibly not the entire budget. Rather than assume all expenditures for a given department/sector had been gathered, this section was left blank.

Section 2: Activities * Measures


The ABTA Table provides a means for displaying what a specific government entity, sector or Agency does. Section 2 presents a listing of all major activities, and associated unit and cost information, conducted by an Agency/entity. The term "activities" is generally acknowledged to refer to any actions needed to accomplish something.

Each column in Section 2 is described below and each activity line item is presented across four columns - for purposes of explanation, let us now refer to them as columns A, B, C and D. Additionally, Fixed Capital Outlays (FCO) are displayed in column E and described below.

  • Column A: Activities * Measures: Identifies the major operational activities conducted by the Agency/entity and the associated unit of measure; Ideally, units of measure should be unique for each measure. However, this data was not available in all cases and a more general number, such as state population was used.

  • Column B: FTE (Full-time equivalents): FTE is defined by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as the number of total hours worked divided by the maximum number of compensable hours in a work year as defined by law. For example, if the work year is defined as 2,080 hours, then one worker occupying a paid full time job all year would consume 1 FTE. Two employees working for 1,040 hours each would consume 1 FTE between the two of them. This information was not available in all cases.

  • Column C: Number of Units: Reflects the number of units (related to the unit of measure in Column A);

  • Column D: Unit Cost: Reflects the unit cost per activity. This is calculated by dividing column E, total expenditures by activity, by column C, total units of measure.

  • Column E: "Base Expenditures": Generally represents the total amount expended for operational/"direct" mission-related activities (excluding administrative and other support costs), incurred over a specified time period. Amounts appearing in this column can represent either "expenditures" or "expenses", based on the specific data source (please see data limitations). "Expenditures" represent the issuance of checks, disbursement of cash, or electronic transfer of funds made to liquidate a government obligations. "Expenses" represent outflows or other using up of assets or incurrence of liabilities (or a combination of both) during a period from providing goods, rendering services, or carrying out other activities related to an entity's programs and missions, the benefits from which do not extend beyond the present operating period.

  • Column F: "Allocated Expenditures": Generally represents the operational expenditures (Column E) plus the total amount expended for general/administrative activities performed in support of these operational activities. Examples of support activities can include financial management, human capital management, and other general administration (e.g., office support) and management oversight. Amounts appearing in this column can represent either "expenditures" or "expenses", based on the specific data source (please see data limitations). "Expenditures" represent the issuance of checks, disbursement of cash, or electronic transfer of funds made to liquidate a government obligations. "Expenses" represent outflows or other using up of assets or incurrence of liabilities (or a combination of both) during a period from providing goods, rendering services, or carrying out other activities related to an entity's programs and missions, the benefits from which do not extend beyond the present operating period. General/administrative activity costs are assigned to the operational activities they directly support, if feasible; if not, they are allocated. If general/administrative activity costs are allocated, they are assigned to operational activities based on a cause-and-effect or consistent, reasonable basis. For example, some general/administrative costs are allocated based on percentage of FTE per operational activity or percentage of total operational activity costs. In cases were FTEs, or any other way of allocated administrative activity, are not available Allocated Expenditures are set equal to Base Expenditures.

  • Column G: Reflects FCO. Agencies occasionally expend funds for substantial capital improvements. These costs typically benefit many activities, over many years; therefore, they are set apart from operational activities in the ABTA Table. In some instances and where feasible, FCO costs are associated on the ABTA table with to operational activities they directly support; however, they are still kept distinct in Column G. Where this assignment is not feasible, these costs are allocated based on cause-and-effect relationships or a consistent, reasonable basis (e.g., percentage of total costs) and displayed in Column G. The total of all costs- including all activities and FCO - must be reflected in the Totals Expenditures in Section 2.