Latest update includes:

Fringe Benefit, Payroll Tax, Indirect Cost Charges for Accounting Period 7
The fringe benefit, payroll tax and indirect cost chargebacks for Accounting Period 7 (January), FY2014, will be run on Saturday, February 8. All eligible expenditures processed during Accounting Period 7 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).

MMARS Saturday Hours
MMARS and LCM will be available on Saturday, February 1, from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. The Help Desk will not be staffed and any Saturday Help Desk calls will be returned on Monday, February 3.

Weekly Fraud Awareness and Prevention Fact – Avoid Common Password Pitfalls
How secure are your online passwords?  Below is a list of common password pitfalls from the Microsoft Safety and Security Center.

Cybercriminals use sophisticated tools to rapidly crack passwords, but you can help foil their attempts. DO NOT USE:

  • Personal identity information that could be guessed or easily discovered, like pet names, nicknames, birth date, address, or driver's license number.
  • Dictionary words in any language (including the word password—the most common password in the English language!).
  • Words spelled backwards, abbreviations, and common misspellings (accommodate, remember).
  • Common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing "o" to "0" or "i" to "1" or “!”.
  • Sequences or repeated characters. Examples: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent letters on your keyboard (such as qwerty).

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.

Establishing a Federal Grant in MMARS - Revised Class
The law and regulations regarding the handling of federal grants have changed. Has your agency kept up?  This class has been revised to reflect the changes in policy and procedures that will keep you in compliance with the law regarding new and continuing federal grants.  Seats are available in the February 6 class. Join us to learn how to incorporate these changes into your current practice. Register via the Comptroller's Training and Meeting Schedule.

Upcoming Training Sessions and Meetings

  • HR/CMS Fundamentals – Tuesday, February 4, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Fraud Awareness and Prevention – Wednesday, February 5, 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Executive Conference Room
  • Establishing a Federal Grant in MMARS – Thursday, February 6, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Intro to State Finance MMARS Navigation – Tuesday, February 11, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Intro to MMARS Warehouse – Thursday, February 13, 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Intermediate MMARS Warehouse – Wednesday, February 19, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Encumbrance Management – Thursday, February 20, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Payment Management – Thursday, February 20, 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Webcast How to Run a Warehouse Starter Query – Friday, February 21, 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., Online Training

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 - Check Status
The Paid Check (PDCHK) table allows users to view the status of a payment and the date it cleared. This is particularly useful if a vendor has misplaced a check.  Checks with no cleared date indicates the bank has not liquidated the payment.

To search on the table:

  1. Click on Search and Page Search.
  2. Enter PDCHK in Page Code.
  3. Select “Paid Checks” from list.
  4. Enter the check number, alternately enter the Doc Code, Doc Department and Document ID of the disbursement in question.
  5. Click Browse.
  6. Search results will populate below the search criteria.
  7. The status column indicates if the check has been Paid (check was cashed), Stale Dated (check was not cashed and expired) or Cancelled (check was cancelled).
  8. The Clear Dated column indicates the date the payment cleared the bank.