Comptroller Treasury Joint Letterhead


To:                  Chief Fiscal Officers, MMARS Liaisons and Payroll Directors

From:              Martin J. Benison, Comptroller                        
                        James A. MacDonald, Deputy Treasurer

Date:               November 17, 2011 

Subject:           Banking Transition of Emergency Advance Checking Accounts                          Comptroller Memo FY #2012-12

Executive Summary 

The Treasurer’s Office has announced Sovereign Bank as the apparent successful vendor for the department Emergency Advance Checking Accounts (also referred to as DYNACash accounts).  It is expected, effective January 1, 2012, the new accounts will be active for any emergency payments.  The purpose of this memo is to provide transitional guidance to all departments in closing all TD Bank emergency accounts as well as steps to open new accounts at Sovereign Bank.  We have compiled and attached a list of frequently asked questions to assist you in this transition.

All TD Bank emergency (also referred to as DYNACash) accounts will be closed to the issuing of checks at the close of business December 31, 2011.  Any notification of an issued check that is not received at TD Bank by January 6th will not be honored.  In other words, checks presented for payment, that have not been recorded as issued by TD Bank by January 6th, will be returned to the payee as ”unpaid / account closed”.  Checks issued on or prior to December 31st, with proper notification to TD Bank, will be honored.

The procedures for processing advances in MMARS will not change.  The cost to departments will remain the same – no cost.  To cash a check, the Sovereign’s Interactive Reporting & Initiation Services (IRIS), their on-line banking system, will require the immediate notification and recording of checks issued, referred to as Positive Pay.  This improves reconciliation and provides an additional and necessary level of security to the Commonwealth.  Webinar training will be held in December.  In addition, a demo is being planned for the Payroll User Group on November 30, 2011.                                                                                                  

In order to begin the process of establishing your Sovereign account and activating the web application IRIS, the form in Attachment A xls format of FY12-12 Attachment A
must be completed, signed by an authorized signatory of the Department Head and returned to the Office of the Comptroller, One Ashburton Place 9th floor, Boston, MA 02108, attention: William Smith, Payee and Payment Manager no later than November 22, 2011.

The following information needs to be entered on the Attachment A spreadsheet:

Heading: Department Code - the 3 letter MMARS Code

Part A: Check Order Information – where checks will be delivered

1. Address (Line One)
2. Address (Line Two) if applicable
3. City
4. State
5. Zip
6. Telephone Number
7. Starting Check Number
8. Annual anticipated number of issued checks (the minimum order is 200)
9. Check stock requirements – options include the following:

  • Executive Desktop  - checkbook with 3 checks and stubs per page
  • Laser Printer Checks, 1 check per sheet.  Check on bottom and Remittance Information on top.
  • Intuit Quicken/QuickBooks ® 1 check per sheet.  Software and hardware required.

10. Special Request (i.e. checks over a $ limit require 2 signatures)
(if necessary please attach any special request or examples to Attachment A).

Note - All checks will include the text “Void 90 Days After Issue Date”.

Part B: Signer/Contact Data – DHSA Check Signers and eStatement Contacts (may be same or different)    

1. Authorized Signer (First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name)
2. PPAY (Positive Pay) Alert Contact (Name, telephone number, e-mail)
3. eSTATEMENT Contact (Name, telephone, e-mail)

Note:   Sovereign will mail department account signature sheets directly to the department CFO.
            This form should be completed and returned to Sovereign.  A copy should be kept with the department’s account records for reference.  
            Good Internal Controls dictate that signature authority should be reviewed at least annually and updated whenever necessary.

Part C: IRIS Permissions - Information needed to be set up on Sovereign’s IRIS System
The Sovereign Bank on-line account system, IRIS, allows you to manage your account via internet access.  IRIS lets you view account balances, monitor account activity, place stop payments, view check images and provide Positive Pay check issuance files to Sovereign.  IRIS Webinars will be provided to each agency as requested.

Sovereign Assignments is for you to provide the name(s) of your staff that you would like to have Access to Sovereign’s Interactive Reporting & Initiation Services (IRIS).   The functions that need to be assigned are:

  • Account Activity and Stop payment permissions - Account Activity provides views of current and previous day’s transactions.
  • Positive Payment Permissions - electronic verification of checks.  Positive Payment must be done before any check can be cashed. 

Balance Inquiries - All users will have this functionality. 

Once the required information is submitted by departments, CTR and TRE will coordinate with Sovereign Bank to set up the new bank account to start business as of January 1, 2012.  Any department with emergency payroll needs for the payday of January 6th should use the Sovereign account.

Prior to the activation of the new Sovereign Bank account, all TD Bank advances must be returned or expenditures of advance must be processed in MMARS.  Notification from the CFO that final deductions are being processed in the current pay period may support an exception to the process.

Attachment B doc format of FY12-12 Attachment B
(Inactivating TD Bank Emergency Advance Account) must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Comptroller, One Ashburton Place 9th floor, Boston, MA 02108, attention: William Smith, Payee and Payment Manager.

On or about May 23rd, 2012, any remaining un-cashed checks over one year old need to be turned over to the unpaid check fund.  The disposition of the un-cashed TD Bank checks issued within the past year will be determined by Treasury at that time.

The Comptroller’s Office will provide emergency check writing assistance to any department unable to meet the deadlines for closing the advance on their TD Bank account.

Contact information

Checking Account Information - Gail St. Cyr, 617-367-9333, extension 530

Attachment B (Inactivating TD Bank Emergency Advance Account) - William Smith, 617-973-3555  

Future changes to IRIS Permissions – William Smith, 617-973-3555   


Attachment A xls format of FY12-12 Attachment A
Attachment B Frequently Asked Questions doc format of FY12-12 Attachment B