2021 FFY Cost Report Reminder

Stasia ViatorIndustry News

2021 FFY Cost Report Reminder

All LEAs that participated in the SHARS program between the dates of October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021 are required to complete the 2021 FFY Cost Report.  Unless you have qualified and have been granted a due date extension by HHSC, you are required to submit your accountability report no later than April 1, 2022.

Failure to submit your 2021 FFY Cost Report by April 1, 2022 can result in a hold being placed on your vendor payments until such time an acceptable Cost Report is submitted and reviewed by HHSC.

STAIRS URL: https://cr.fairbanksllc.com/login/

Due Date

Texas Administrative Code (TAC) rule §355.8443 requires ISDs to complete and certify their Cost Reports for FFY2021 on or before April 1, 2022.  The SHARS FFY2021 Cost Report will open on January 3, 2022.  All Cost Reports must be submitted by April 1, 2022.

Important dates

  • FFY2021 SHARS Cost Reports will open in STAIRS on January 3, 2022
  • All FFY2021 SHARS Cost Reports will close on April 1, 2022 as noted in TAC rule 8443

Reminders and additional information

  • Districts are encouraged to complete the Cost Report as soon as possible. ONWARD clients should have already provided requested information to Aprel Dobson, Director of Finance, at aprel@onwardlearning.com.   Additionally, ONWARD clients must add Ms. Dobson to their STAIRS account in order for her to be able to assist with Cost Report services.
  • We understand these changes and the timeline may impact districts. HHSC and ONWARD will communicate any related updates as quickly as possible.

 Report Submission and Preparer Requirements

  • Each district is required to submit financial and statistical information through a Cost Report for each contract held with the State of Texas.
  • It is the responsibility of each district to submit an accurate Cost Report, completed in accordance with all applicable instructions and rules.
  • In accordance with Title 1 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), §355.8443(e), each district is required to submit an annual Cost Report for all SHARS services delivered during the previous federal fiscal year covering October 1 through September 30.
  • In accordance with Title 1 TAC §355.102(d), it is the responsibility of the district to ensure that each Cost Report preparer has completed the required state-sponsored Cost Report training. Effective October 1, 2011, preparers must complete Cost Report training every other year for the odd-year Cost Report in order to receive a certificate to complete both that odd-year Cost Report and the following even-year Cost Report.
  • Preparers must complete a training webinar for each program for which a Cost Report is submitted.  In order to be qualified to complete the 2021 Cost Report, the preparer must have completed the mandatory 2021 Cost Report training.
  • Preparers who have NOTcompleted the mandatory training will NOT be added to the list of eligible preparers in STAIRS and therefore cannot be selected and assigned as the Preparer.  NO EXEMPTIONS from the mandatory training requirements will be granted.
  • A notification was distributed to all school districts via email to notify providers of the upcoming schedule of available training sessions.  This letter has also been posted on the Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC) Provider Finance Department (PFD) Website in the Training information section of each program.  Details on requirements for mandatory Cost Report training for preparers and how to register for a training webinar are available on the Provider Finance Department Website(see below).

STAIRS Website

  • Providers must submit their 2021 Cost Report through STAIRS.  STAIRS is web-based and hosted by state contractor, Fairbanks, LLC.
  • New providers will receive a separate email with their new STAIRS username and password.  Do NOT share your username and password. Preparers who have previously submitted a Cost Report via STAIRS will use the same logon information to access the 2021 Cost Report.
  • The email will be sent to the Primary Entity Contact/Superintendent designated by HHSC PFD.  Providers who do not receive an e-mail with their login information by February 7, 2022, should contact CostInformationpfd@hhs.texas.gov.
  • The Primary Entity Contact has the responsibility to assign other Contacts for their entity in STAIRS.  At a minimum, a “Preparer” who is responsible for completing the entity’s Cost Report(s) must be assigned.   Assigning a “Primary Financial Contact” is also an option.  If a Primary Financial Contact is assigned, either the Primary Entity Contact or the Primary Financial Contact has the ability to assign additional Contacts, including the assignment of the Preparer.
  • It is strongly encouraged that the Preparer be assigned as soon as possible to give the preparer access to the Cost Report in STAIRS.  They must have adequate time to prepare the Cost Report so that the entity may then complete the final Step in STAIRS to submit their Cost Report by the due date.
  • A reference material document titled Helpful Information for Contacts and Preparersis available to provide guidance in adding other Contacts or Preparers.  Reference Materials are located at the bottom of the main screen after logging onto STAIRS.
  • When logging into STAIRS for the very first time a Contact will be asked to establish a security profile for their account that will include setting up three (3) question and answer pairs that will be used to validate identity in the event the Contact forgets or need to reset their password.

Provider Finance Department Website

The HHSC PFD website contains program-specific Cost Report instructions, Cost Report training information and materials, payment rates, PFD staff contact information and web links for Cost Report training registration and support for automated reporting.  Additional information and features are added periodically.  We encourage you to visit the PFD website at: https://pfd.hhs.texas.gov

ONWARD Resources

For questions and updates on your district’s 2021 FFY Cost Report, please contact Aprel Dobson at aprel@onwardlearning.com for assistance.

All HHSC issued, 2021 FFY Cost Report training materials can be located and downloaded from your ONWARD Administration account.

HHSC and Fairbanks Resources 

Questions regarding contracts and Cost Report groupings that have been assigned to your entity should be directed to HHSC PFD at CostInformationPFD@hhs.texas.gov

Questions regarding Preparers, or the list of Preparers, should be directed to HHSC PFD at  CostInformationPFD@hhs.texas.gov

Questions regarding adding Contacts or problems with Username and/or Password should be directed to the Fairbanks, LLC, Help Desk at 877-354-3831 or info@fairbanksllc.com

Questions regarding the proper completion of your Cost Report in STAIRS should be directed to the appropriate HHSC contact for your program.  A list of program contacts can be found at: