Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not listed below, please contact us.

STAARS stands for “State of Alabama Accounting and Resource System.” As the State’s new enterprise-wide accounting system, STAARS supports all financial, procurement, and human resource transactions. All vendor interactions—including solicitations, purchase orders, payments, and receipts—are maintained in STAARS.
VSS stands for “Vendor Self Service,” which is an important component of STAARS. VSS is designed specifically to support the needs of State of Alabama vendors. Vendors access VSS through the VSS website.
VSS provides a wealth of functionality to vendors. Registered vendors can sign up for notifications of business opportunities based on commodity codes; access real-time information regarding bids, proposals, and notice of awards; perform financial transactions; track payments and submit invoices; sign up to receive EFT payments; manage their vendor account information; and access other vendor-related information and notifications.
No. Anyone can view business opportunities and awards from the State of Alabama without a VSS account, using the Public Access button on the left of the VSS home page. However, you cannot view your company’s bids, invoices, and payments without a vendor account.
Yes. In order to do business with the State of Alabama as a vendor or customer, you must have an account.

If you were a current vendor with the State of Alabama as of July 22, 2015, your information was likely converted to VSS. However, your account must be activated in order for you to use VSS. For information, click How to Use VSS at the top of the VSS home page, and then select the Activate an Account topic.

If you were NOT a current vendor with the State as of July 22, 2015 , you need to register for a vendor account. For information, click How to Use VSS at the top of the VSS home page, and then select the Register for a New Account topic.

For more information, see the VSS Activation/Registration Quick Reference or VSS Activation/Registration Step-by-Step Guide.
The registration process is initiated when you click the Register button on the VSS home page. You will be asked to search for an account using your TIN or business name (for a business) or last name and SSN (for an individual).

• If an account is found, you need to activate the account.
• If an account is not found, you need to register for an account.

For more information, click How to Use VSS at the top of the VSS home page.
Yes, if you are doing business under your SSN. However, if you are a company with an EIN, you should use the EIN.
The VSS Guide provides information and steps for performing many tasks in VSS. For additional information, click How to Use VSS at the top of the VSS home page.
A commodity code is a numeric code assigned to describe the products and/or services the State buys. You can register commodity codes with your VSS account to get email notifications for business opportunities using those commodity codes.

See the following documents for lists of commodity codes used in the State of Alabama.

Products and Services Codes
Professional Services Products and Services Codes
You should use the commodity codes that BEST describe the goods or services you provide. Enter a general descriptive keyword followed by a wildcard (asterisk *) and click Browse.

For example, if you are searching for barber chairs or courtroom furniture, type chair* in the search field.
The State of Alabama uses email to communicate with vendors. If you have not provided your email address, or we have an outdated or incorrect address on file, you will not receive important communications regarding bids, payments, and other information.
You will begin receiving notifications once you have completed setting up your VSS account—including current email address and contact information—and have registered commodity codes appropriate for your business.
Yes, there are two ways:

1. Register a location with a new user ID and password. To do this, search in VSS using your TIN and click Add Business Location for the corresponding account.

2. Register a location using an existing user ID and password. To do this, log in to the Headquarters account. On the Business Info tab, click Add Business Location.
Log in to your vendor account and click the Addresses and Contacts tab. Click Assign/Create Addresses & Contacts. Follow the instructions to add a payment/billing/ordering address.
On the Business Info tab. Please remember to send in the proper documentation/verification. For information, see VSS Supporting Documentation Requirements.
Yes, if you have a contract, purchase order, or delivery order in VSS. To create a new invoice, go to the Financial Transactions tab and select the Agreements subtab. Select the agreement type that coincides with the appropriate agreement; then, click Create New Invoice. Complete the required fields and submit the invoice.
For questions related to payments or electronic invoices, etc., please contact the Accounts Payable department of the agency from which you are expecting payment. You can find their contact information using the State Agency Directory.

For questions related to pending or rejected vendor account updates, requesting ACH payments instead of warrants, etc., please contact the Comptroller’s Office at

For questions related to purchase orders, commodity codes, etc., please contact the Division of State Purchasing at (334) 242-7250.

For all other questions, please contact or (334) 353-9000.

Current News

Update Contact Information to Receive Orders by Email
Jan 30, 2017  -  STAARS generates a PDF copy of each newly-approved Purchase Order (PO) and Delivery Order (DO) every night. STAARS then emails the PO or DO to the Contact Email Address on the order wherever possible. POs or DOs without an email address are printed and mailed out via USPS by State Purchasing, along with a pink slip indicating that the vendor should add an email address to each of their ordering addresses in Vendor Self-Service (VSS). See the article for instructions on updating your vendor contact information.

New Security Procedures for Vendor Self Service (VSS)
Mar 1, 2016  -  The State of Alabama has implemented new security requirements for STAARS Vendor Self Service (VSS) vendor accounts. These requirements apply to all vendors, whether they are registering for a new account, activating a new account, or updating information on an existing account. See the article for more details.