Comptroller Fiscal Year Memo Letter Head


To:Chief Fiscal Officers, MMARS Liaisons, and Payroll Directors
From:Martin J. Benison, Comptroller
Date:April 27, 2011
Re:Expenditure Classification HandbookComptroller Memo

Executive Summary

This memo announces the release of the updated Expenditure Classification Handbook (ECH). Good Internal Controls require a regular review of all policies and guidance to assure that underlying business practice, law and regulation changes are properly reflected. A general review of the ECH has been conducted and it was determined that no sweeping changes to the structure or content of the book was necessary. This schedule is effective for May 2011 and forward.

The Office of the Comptroller (CTR) is required to establish a schedule of object classes and object codes pursuant to M.G.L. c. 7A §8 to be used in all accounting transactions for expenditures under the Massachusetts Management Accounting and Reporting System (MMARS). The object codes contained in this Expenditure Classification Handbook indicate the types of goods and services for which Commonwealth funds are expended. This policy applies to all departments in all branches of state government, regardless of whether the payment is to vendors, employees, contractors, individuals, recipients, sub-recipients, beneficiaries, political sub-divisions or another department.

To streamline the accounting process, improve the financial reporting requirements and to meet the business needs of the Commonwealth, CTR will continue to update the Expenditure Classification Handbook. A general review of all object code data and references was performed. There have been clarifying edits to several object code descriptions in response to department requests since the last ECH issue date. The most noticeable change in the Expenditure Classification Handbook is the addition of an Object Code Revisions Tracking Log as Appendix A which replaces the previous Section V: Object Code Changes. The tracking log illustrates any changes to object codes since 2007. In the future, every time we create, inactivate or modify an object code we will update the tracking log. Departments will be sent an e-update notification of the object code change.

In 2009, H78, M78, N78 and U78, were created to report sub-recipients. In 2010 B11 was created to report Employer Refund of Non-Tax Benefits. Minor edits have been made to several of the other object classes: AA, CC, EE, JJ, MM, NN and PP (object code's Descriptions, Oversight Department and Tax Forms have been updated as necessary). Effective immediately, please disregard the previous version (September 2009) and use this Handbook (May 2011) for all transaction processing.

Most importantly, these changes do not effect the applicable procurement and contracting requirements or the required MMARS documentation. Existing contracts will not have to be re-executed or amended. All new obligations and applicable encumbrance documents will utilize the new or revised object codes and follow the applicable procurement and encumbrance guidelines outlined in the Expenditure Classification Handbook effective with FY2011 business.

The Expenditure Classification Handbook provides accurate primary legal authority, oversight department, agreement types, encumbrance/payment request documents and tax reporting requirements for each object code. However, departments are responsible for full compliance with all applicable state and federal statutes, rules, regulations and requirements governing the expenditure of funds, whether or not specifically cited in this Handbook. Departments are advised to seek additional assistance from their legal and fiscal staffs.

The Expenditure Classification Handbook doc format of Expenditure Classification Handbook
file size 1MB can be found on the CTR Web Portal.

Departments should contact the Help Desk at 617-973-2468 with any questions or concerns.

cc:General Counsels
Internal Control Officers
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