Latest update includes:

MMARS Unavailable Saturday, Sunday, and Monday June 7-9
MMARS and LCM will be unavailable Saturday, Sunday, and Monday June 7-9 due to the annual Contract Roll (additional details below).

2014/2015 Close/Open News

Encumbrance Suspension in Preparation for the Contract Roll
As outlined in the Close/Open instructions for FY2014/2015, the Contract Roll is scheduled to begin Saturday, June 7th. Multi-year encumbrances will systemically have their fiscal year 2015 accounting lines activated in MMARS. The contract roll will impact: RQS, RPO, CT and PC transactions.

Due to CTR preparation time needed for the contract roll, encumbrance processing suspension will be in effect Thursday, June 5th – Monday, June 9th.  Departments will not be able to enter, edit, validate, or submit RQS, RPO, PC, CT transactions until Tuesday, June 10th.

CT and RPO pending transactions received by the CTR Accounts Payable Bureau, Contracts Unit by Wednesday, June 4th will be processed by Friday, June 6th if the paperwork has been forwarded to CTR and has been completed properly. OSD will do the same with PCs. Pending documents will be rejected from CTR and OSD work lists if the paperwork is not received on time or if what has been received cannot be processed.

LCM Rules Roll
The LCM Rules roll is complete. All current Position Authorized Accounting (POAA) rules have been assigned an end date of 6/30/2014. Draft POAA documents for departmental rules for FY2015 are available in the LCM Document Catalog for Departmental review and submittal.

For CTR to approve rolled rules, departments must provide the FY2015 justification in the Document Comments tab of the POAA transaction. Positions must reside in the account that provides at least 50% of the funding. An authorized signatory of the department head must submit the rule.  Departments should retain signed copies of the rules requests on file. 

Departments must reapply for any cross-departmental rules for FY2015. All cross-departmental rules are assigned an end date of 6/30/2014. Departments must also reapply for any DEACC and Payroll Alternate Account (PALT) rules for FY2015.

MMARS Processing 6/1-8/31 When Two Fiscal Years and Accounting Periods Are Open
From 6/1-8/31, two fiscal years and accounting periods are open, therefore, departments are required to enter the FY and accounting period on all accounting line(s) when modifying or entering a new transaction in MMARS. If left blank when submitted, the transaction will be directed to the CTR contracts work list and will be rejected in MMARS. The reason for the rejection will be addressed in the document comments field. An email will be sent to the MMARS Liaison, instructing the department to enter the appropriate fiscal year and accounting period.  See the charts below for guidance.

If increasing or decreasing BFY2014 line(s), the accounting line set up should be:

Reserved Funding Flag

Accounting Line

BFY

Accounting Line

FY

Month

Accounting Line

Accounting Period

NO20142014June12
NO20142014July or August13

If increasing or decreasing BFY2015 line(s), the accounting line set up should be:

Reserved Funding Flag

Accounting Line

BFY

Accounting Line

FY

Month

Accounting Line

Accounting Period

NO20152015June or July1
NO20152015August2

NOTE: The event type is PR05 for the CT, PC and RPO encumbrances. For RQS, the event type is PR02. For an Open order CT, the event type is PR51.

Closing Advances
To close the type 05 (DYNACASH) FY2014, the following steps must be taken:

    1. Process Expenditure of Advance (EA) for expenditures incurred.
    2. Deposit a check into departmental sweep account.
    3. Prepare an AR and submit it to a PENDING status.  When viewed on the document catalog, the amount must be $0.00 reflecting that this is a net zero payment.  Refer to the AR Job Aid for details on document completion.

Emergency Payroll Dynacash Accounts at Fiscal Year-End
All Departments must account for FY2014 advances prior to processing FY2015 advance requests. We recognize that there is a timing issue for Dynacash accounts and related advance processing at fiscal year-end when there have been emergency payroll payments issued.

If there is a need to issue an emergency payroll check from a department’s Dynacash account for the payroll period May 18 – May 31 (checks dated June 6), then the recoupment of the Dynacash amount in the following payroll cycle, June 1 - 14 will be credited back to the department’s Dynacash account on June 23.

If there is an employee check problem during the June 1 - June 14 cycle, departments will need to issue a Dynacash check on June 20. This payment must be issued from an FY2014 advance.  The recoupment of the Dynacash amount in the following payroll cycle, June 15 – 28 will be credited back to the department’s Dynacash account on July 7. Departments should close out their advances immediately after the funds have been recouped.

FY2015 requests for advance (RA) may be entered into MMARS during June in a reject status. To request immediate activation of FY2015 advances, email your request to the Accounts Payable Payee/Payments Unit Manager by June 27. Funds will be available June 30 for approved requests and the transactions could then be processed on July 3.

A few departments may have FY2015 requests for July 3 payroll checks pending before the return of the FY2014 advance. In those cases, the request for the FY2015 advance must be accompanied by the CFO’s verification that a Dynacash deduction is pending for a June 20 credit.

Negative Balances
Departments should review the balances on all appropriation accounts prior to the end of the fiscal year. All negative balances in accounts (negative uncommitted and/uncommitted) must be resolved by June 30. If departments need assistance resolving negative balances, please contact the Comptroller Help Desk at 617-973-2468 or via email: Comptroller.Info@State.MA.US<mailto:Comptroller.Info@State.MA.US>.

Close/Open Key Dates June 7 – 14
June 7, Saturday

      • Contract roll
      • Fringe, Indirect & Payroll Tax Period 11

June 8, Sunday

      • Contract roll                               

June 9, Monday

      • MMARS Unavailable

June 10, Tuesday

      • Department V & V of contract roll and clean-up of rejects.                                    

June 13, Friday        

      • Completed requests to pay payroll prior year deficiencies out of FY2014 funds due in the Comptroller's Office.
      • Last day to submit garnishment orders (HR/CMS) to CTR Payroll staff for pay period ending June 14.
      • Higher Education GAAP Instructions distributed.                            

Close/Open for Beginners Training Session
If the Close/Open procedures are new to you; please register for the Close/Open for Beginners trainings on Thursday, June 12, 1 P.M. – 4 P.M.

This session will be held in the Training Room on the 9th Floor of One Ashburton Place, Boston. Register for the session via the Comptroller's Training/Meeting Schedule.

If you have any questions please contact the Comptroller Help Desk 617-973-2468 or via email comptroller.info@state.ma.us.

MMARS 3.9 Upgrade News
MMARS 3.9 is now live. Visit the Comptroller Intranet and click MMARS/LCM under “Applications” to access.

The MMARS 3.9 News Page on the Comptroller Intranet hosts department communications, along with the archive of MMARS Monday newsletters, slides from weekly webcasts and the 3.9 Navigation Quick Reference Document.

Help and Support
The CTR Help Desk can be reached via phone at 617-973-2468 or via email at Comptroller.Info@state.ma.us

If you are unable to reach an analyst due to call volume, please leave a voicemail or send an email. We have additional staff dedicated to retrieving voicemail and email messages constantly throughout the day.

Browser Compatibility
Reminder, MMARS 3.9 is only certified to work with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and 9 and Mozilla Firefox 10 ESR for Windows.

MMARS 3.9 Navigation Quick Reference
A MMARS 3.9 Navigation – Quick Reference document is available on our MMARS 3.9 Upgrade News Page. We recommend sharing this document with staff and reviewing some of the new navigation features and options that enhance the user experience.

Job Aids
Updated Job Aids are now available. Visit the Comptroller Intranet and click Job Aids under “How To” to access.

Commodity Code in Encumbrance Must Match Commodity Code in MA
MMARS 3.7 allowed a Department to reference an MA on an encumbrance but use a commodity code that did not match the MA. This issue has been corrected in 3.9. When you open one of these documents in 3.9, you receive the warning ‘Commodity Code does not equal referenced document Commodity Code (A3867)’. When you create a modification to the doc, MMARS now automatically brings in the correct commodity code, causing the error ‘Commodity Code cannot be modified. (A1482)’ because the correct code is trying to replace the existing incorrect code. These encumbrances cannot be modified.

Resolution: Departments should mark the last payment against these encumbrances as Final in order to close them. If a department needs to add more money in 2014 or extend the date into 2015 they need to create a new encumbrance. The following statement must be entered in both the old and new MMARS encumbrance transaction Document Comments field: The 3.9 MMARS upgrade no longer allows a commodity code other than the code on the referenced MA. This document was created prior to the 3.9 conversion and can no longer be used. A new encumbrance – insert new doc id – has been created to encumber the extension of this contract into the next BFY or to add more funds to BFY2014. This new encumbrance replaces – insert old doc id.

Encumbrance Modifications Following a Vendor Legal Name Change
When the Legal Name for a vendor code has changed, the next modification to an encumbrance following the change will result in the error ’Legal Name is different from the latest final version of the document (A4252)’. This error message requires an override by CTR.  The request must come from an authorized Department Signatory via an email to the Comptroller Contracts mailbox.  For PC overrides contact Eileen Honen at OSD.

The following statement must be entered in the MMARS encumbrance transaction Document Comments field:

(Insert Department Name or 3 digit designation) certifies that the vendor legal name for this contract has changed since the last version of this encumbrance was entered on MMARS and has been independently validated as accurate for this encumbrance as required under the VCUST File and W-9s Policy. 

By inserting this specific document comment, a department is certifying that they are complying with all related state finance policies. Documents without this statement will not be processed to a Final phase in MMARS.

NOTE: subsequent modifications to these encumbrances will not result in the error or need an override from CTR unless the Legal Name changes again.

FY2014-25: Department Head Annual Approval - Statewide Enterprise Systems Security 
CTR Memo FY2014-25 has been posted to the CTR Web Portal Approval of transactions to "Final" status in the state financial systems serve as an affidavit from the Department Head to the Comptroller that transactions comply with State Finance Law and the documents are accurate and complete, the expenditure or other obligation is supported by sufficient legislatively authorized funds, is made in accordance with the Department's legislative mandates and funding authority, and complies with all applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures

Payroll User Group Meeting Wednesday, June 11
The next Payroll User Group Meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the 21st Floor Conference Room of One Ashburton Place, Boston. Agenda items will include: Metro Credit Union, Benefit Strategies, SmartPlan, GIC – FSA Benefits, Payroll Reminders, Payroll Tips and Tricks, HR/CMS 9.2 Upgrade Project, and PayInfo.

Register for this session via the Comptroller's Training and Meeting Schedule.

Fringe Benefit, Payroll Tax, Indirect Cost Charges for Accounting Period 11
The fringe benefit, payroll tax and indirect cost chargebacks for Accounting Period 11 (May), FY2014, will be run this Saturday, June 7. All eligible expenditures processed during Accounting Period 11 will be subject to these assessments.

Departments should ensure that the budget structure tables for appropriated (payroll tax only), federal grants and other non-budgetary accounts are properly established so these charges post without rejecting under object codes D09 (fringe benefits and payroll taxes) and E16 (indirect costs).

Weekly Fraud Awareness and Prevention Fact - Fraud is like the Flu
The intriguing thing about fraud is that it is always morphing, like a strain of flu: you can cure today’s strain, but next year it evolved into something as bad if not worse.” – Phil Ostwalt Global Coordinator for the Investigations for the Global Forensic Practice as quoted in the KPMG Global Profiles of the Fraudster. To read the full report, click here.

If you have any questions regarding this or previous Fraud Awareness and Prevention Facts, please contact the Comptroller Help Desk at 617-973-2468 or via email at Comptroller.Info@State.MA.US. To report Fraud, Waste, or Abuse contact one of the Commonwealth’s Whistleblower Hotlines.

Upcoming Training Sessions and Meetings

  • Webcast How to Run a Warehouse Starter Query – Friday, June 6, 1:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M., Online Training
  • Establishing a Federal Grant in MMARS – Tuesday, June 10, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Payroll User Group Meeting – Wednesday, June 11, 9:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 21st Floor Conference Room
  • Webcast Payroll User Group Meeting – Wednesday, June 11, 9:30 A.M. – 12:30P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, Online Meeting
  • Intro to State Finance MMARS Navigation – Thursday, June 12, 9:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Close/Open for Beginners – Thursday, June 12, 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • HR/CMS Fundamentals – Wednesday, June 18, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Fraud Awareness and Prevention – Wednesday, June 18, 1:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Encumbrance Management – Thursday, June 19, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Payment Management – Thursday, June 19, 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Webcast Interdepartmental Chargebacks – Friday, June 20, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., Online Training
  • Intermediate MMARS Warehouse– Tuesday, June 24, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Appropriation Management – Wednesday, June 25, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Intro to LCM Warehouse – Thursday, June 26, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab

Register for these sessions via the Comptroller's Training and Meeting Schedule which lists classes scheduled for the next two months and Payroll User Groups through 2014.

MMARS Hint of the Week – Access and View Document Comments
The Document Comments feature can be accessed by clicking the Drop Down arrow to the right of the “Phase” field in the Document Identifier information.  If a document already has Document Comments, the “voice bubble” icon will appear to the right of the Drop Down arrow.