Latest update includes:
- 2014/2015 Close/Open News
- FY2014-26: FY2014 GAAP Instructions
- Payroll User Group Files Posted
- MMARS Chargeback
- Purge of Rejected Documents over 75 Days Old
- MMARS Saturday Hours
- Weekly Fraud Awareness and Prevention Fact - Improving Your Cyber Security: Passwords
- Upcoming Training Sessions and Meetings
- MMARS Hint of the Week - Encumbrance Activity Report
2014/2015 Close/Open News
Contract Roll Update
The contract roll for the CT and PC is complete. The RPO Roll will take place this weekend.
CT and PC transactions were rolled if they had at least one open BFY2015 accounting line.
There are rolled transactions in reject status that need department review and correction in order to submit successfully. Most rejected Roll transactions have budget or chart of account errors. All of the rejected transactions will have SA as the UAID. Departments can locate those transactions by searching in the Document Catalog by transaction code, department, create user ID (SA) and document phase (draft).
For any rejected transaction that is corrected and goes to pending (or rejects due to the MA Service Date errors A3594, A2891, and/or A2892) departments should send an email to Comptroller Contracts (CT) Comptroller, Contracts (OSC) OSC_Contracts@MassMail.State.MA.US or Eileen Honen at OSD (PC).
All email requests must note the three letter Dept designation and "Roll Correction" in the email subject and have a completed Contract Transmittal Form with Category H checked attached. In Reason for Modification put "Correction of rolled BFY2015 lines".
As part of preparation for the contract roll, pending transactions were rejected from CTR and OSD (PC) work lists if CTR or OSD did not have the supporting paperwork or if what was submitted was insufficient to bring the transaction to final in MMARS. Departments should submit these transactions to pending status and submit the applicable paperwork to CTR or OSD for processing. Please note that, if the rejected CT/PC was a modification to an existing transaction and had an existing BFY2015 line, the rejected version became a Conflict Draft during the Roll process and the new, rolled version did not pick up the modification. Departments need to create a new modification to the rolled encumbrance. The Conflict Draft version can be ignored or deleted.
The RPO contract roll was not completed. We plan to complete the RPO roll on the weekend of the 14.
Due to CTR preparation time needed for the RPO contract roll; departments will not be able to enter, edit, validate, or submit RPO transactions from Friday, June 13 until Monday, June 16. RPO pending transactions received by the CTR Accounts Payable Bureau, Contracts Unit by Thursday, June 12 will be processed by Friday, June 13 if the paperwork has been forwarded to CTR and has been completed properly. Any remaining pending RPO transactions will be rejected from CTR work list Friday night. Also, there will be no RPO interface process on Friday, June 13.
Please contact the Comptroller Help Desk at 617-973-2468 or via email: Comptroller.Info@State.MA.US if you have any questions or concerns.
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.
Close/Open Key Dates June 14 – 21
June 16, Monday
- Last day for posting payroll time for pay period ending June 14.
June 20, Friday
- Target date for processing all customer overpayment returns (RFs).
- Departments must reconcile revenue through May using NGA208W.
FY2014-26: FY2014 GAAP Instructions
CTR Memo FY2014-26 has been posted to the CTR Web Portal. The Instructions/GAAP Package provides guidance to departments on reporting year-end activity and obligations to the Comptroller’s Office. The Comptroller’s Office is responsible for publishing annual financial reports of the Commonwealth. The due date for submitting the GAAP Package is Monday, August 4, 2014. Please note that for the GAAP Instructions and Statutory Receivable, PartnerNet will not be available until July 8.
The sixth and final FY2014 billing for the Office of the Comptroller's MMARS chargeback to support the operation of the Financial Accounting and Reporting System for the Commonwealth has been entered. Billings are sent bi-monthly. This billing is for actual usage based on transaction lines posted to the general ledger for the month of May. May actual usage was used for determining June estimated billing. The document ID will be: CTRMMARS14CHARMAYJUN. If you have any questions, please contact Susana Peck at 617-973-2401 or Fred Russo at 617-973-2610.
Purge of Rejected Documents over 75 Days Old
Rejected documents in the system accumulate in the document catalog and are removed in a regularly scheduled monthly purge of documents over 75 days old. The next purge will occur on Monday, June 16, and will delete rejected documents entered before April 1. If you have documents entered before April 1 that you would like to save, please place them on "hold".
To place a document on "hold":
- Locate the document in the Document Catalog.
- Check the checkbox to the left of the document (in the Document Catalog).
- Click "Action Menu", select "Scheduling Actions", select "Mark Document" and choose "Hold".
MMARS Saturday Hours
MMARS and LCM will be available Saturday, June 14, 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, June 16.
Weekly Fraud Awareness and Prevention Fact - Improving Your Cyber Security:Passwords
With cyber threats around the globe evolving and becoming more sophisticated, evidenced by the recent data breach at retailer Target, it is important that consumers protect themselves when using technology for sensitive information or data. There are a number of steps that individuals can take to help improve their security both on and off the internet.
One of the first and most important steps that you can take towards better security is improving your password management. An effective method is to think in terms of "pass phrases", instead of pass "words". With respect to pass phrases, longer is better – at least 16 characters is essential. Using a phrase that is personal to you creates a password that is not only easier to remember, but harder to crack. This method works to counteract one of the most popular password-breaking techniques – a dictionary attack.
As its name would suggest, this is when an attacker uses a dictionary to guess your password. If your password is a word or only a slight variation of a word, where simply an "O" is chanced to a "0" for instance, it is most likely guessable via a dictionary attack.
Secondly, it is essential that you use different passwords across all of your critical services so that in the event that one is compromised, an attacker does not immediately have access to all of your accounts. Although many claim that this process makes it too difficult to remember passwords, there are several mechanisms aimed at making password management easier, such as third party offerings (e.g., LastPass). Further, you should not hesitate to utilize the "forgot password" prompt for lesser used accounts.
Finally, take advantage of dual factor authentication logins whenever they are available. Under processes such as this, a user is required to present two data points to verify their identity. One popular method involves the user entering a password, then a separate, one-time code which can be sent via text message or phone call. It is particularly important to use two-factor authentication when utilizing a password management system, such as the ones mentioned above.
While these can be an inconvenience, they are a small price to pay for significantly improved security for your critical personal and financial information.
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.
- Intro to MMARS Warehouse – Tuesday, June 17, 9:00 A.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 through June and Payroll User Groups through 2014.
MMARS Hint of the Week - Encumbrance Activity Report
Reports NPR605SA/NPR605S0 provide a general inventory of encumbrances that display original and modified encumbrance amounts at the document line level, amounts paid to date, expenditure refunds received, and any un-disbursed payments.
The reports display the encumbrance document identification number and line number, vendor name and number, original and modified encumbrance amounts, object code, program code, out-year obligation amounts, and acceptance dates for last modification and payment actions. These reports run at the end of the month and have a retention period of 3 years.