Latest update includes:

FY2014-28: FY2014 Higher Education Audit Guidance
CTR Memo FY2014-28 has been posted to the CTR Web Portal. This memo advises Institutions of Higher Education as to accounting and reporting guidance for FY2014.  PartnerNet is currently in development and should be available to the Institutions of Higher Education on or around July 7. Updates on this will be posted to the Daily MMARS News.

FY2014-27: Earnings Codes Processing During Split-Year Pay Period
CTR Memo FY2014-27 has been posted to the CTR Web Portal. This memo informs departments of the methodology for distributing and recording payroll charges in HR/CMS and LCM/MMARS during the Split-Year Payroll Period.  The Split-Year Percentage for most payroll charges will be 10% to FY2014 and 90% to FY2015.  All reimbursements will charge to FY2014 as will the other exceptions discussed in this memo.

Updated Prior Appropriation Continued (PAC) Form
CTR has issued a new Prior Appropriation Continued (PAC) Form for departments to use to request a legislatively-authorized balance forward of funds. The new form features a Budgeting Worksheet to assist in determining the PAC amount available.  Forms may not be accepted with incomplete information.

The new PAC form must be sent via email (instructions on form) from the Department Head or Authorized Signatory; hand-written forms will not be accepted via fax or regular mail.  The email coming from the signer is sufficient for authorization; hand-written signatures are no longer required.

2014/2015 Close/Open News

Contract Roll for RPO Complete
The contract roll for the RPO is complete.

RPO 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 Comptroller.contracts@massmail.state.ma.us.

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".

Please contact the MMARS Help Desk at 617-973-2468 if you have any questions or concerns.

Close of FY2014 Encumbrances 
The official last day for processing any FY2014 encumbrances in MMARS is Monday, June 30. All contract submissions must be received by noon July 1 to CTR's Accounts Payable Bureau (APB) Contracts Unit.

Any FY2014 encumbrance transaction after June 30 is a late encumbrance. The ANF Platform should no longer be used. For further guidance, see the late encumbrance section starting on page 47 of the Close/Open Instructions.

There are three types of net zero dollar adjustments that are allowed from 7/1-8/31. (See explanation on page 48 of the Close/Open Instructions). All zero dollar adjustment requests should be emailed to Comptroller.contracts@massmail.state.ma.us.

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.

FY2014 Encumbrance Corrections (CEC and GAEC) Processing Deadlines

Monday, 7/21/2014:

    • PR22 [credit memo] Event Type CEC and GAEC

Friday, 8/22/2014

    • PR20/PR21 Event Type CEC/GAEC corrections
    • Zero Dollar PR20 Event Type to reopen an inadvertently closed encumbrance transaction.

See policy on Encumbrance Correction for further guidance.

Close/Open Key Dates June 21 – 28

June 27, Friday

    • Last day to process FY2014 Revenue transactions requiring CTR approval.    

MMARS Saturday Hours
MMARS and LCM will be available Saturday, June 21, 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 23.

OSD - COMMBUYS Readiness Information for Executive Departments
As of July 1, all Executive Departments (MMARS Level 1 Departments) will be required to use COMMBUYS for purchasing and procurement activity.  What does it mean to be ready to use COMMBUYS? Here is a snapshot of what readiness looks like for purchasing organizations:

  • Those on staff making simple catalog purchases (for example, ordering office supplies) are familiar with the ordering process, know how to search for items in catalogs, and have login access to COMMBUYS.
  • Those on staff needing to collect quotes prior to purchase understand the Open Market Requisition process and have login access to COMMBUYS.
  • The Organization Administrator has set up approval paths to ensure that requisitions are properly approved, converted to POs and sent to the vendor.
  • Procurement staff understand how to prepare and post a bid and can manage the lifecycle of the bid online.
  • Contract administrators have enabled their departmental contracts in COMMBUYS.

Follow these links to helpful resources by department role.

Do you buy from contracts?

Training Classes

Webcasts

Job Aids

Do you prepare and manage bids?

Training Classes

Webcasts

Job Aids

Do you administer departmental contracts?
OSD has prepared a toolkit for departments to use in making sure their departmental contracts are ready and available in COMMBUYS. You will find more information here.

Would you like to learn more about COMMBUYS?

Visit the COMMBUYS Readiness for Executive Departments web page to access other helpful resources.

How to Get Help - The COMMBUYS Help Desk is here to support agencies and vendors by phone and email!

Phone: 1-888-627-8283

Email: commbuys@state.ma.us.

Weekly Fraud Awareness and Prevention Fact - Improving Your Cyber Security: Hardware
Connections to wireless networks can be a source of security vulnerability. When setting up a wireless network at home, it is important to always require a security key to enable connection. In addition to potentially letting others use your connection for free or slowing down your service, an unprotected network can allow them to intercept data that you transmit over the network.

Going a step further, when connecting to a public network such as a coffee shop, you should be cautious regarding the type of information that you access using such a portal.

With the increasing proliferation of mobile devices, they have become an increased target for attackers. In addition to connecting to secure networks, as stated above, it is important to always utilize a security PIN to lock your phone. This is particularly important when the device is used to access email, which likely contains a trove of personal information. Many devices now support biometric authentication mechanisms, such as fingerprints, which provides a high level of security and eliminates the need to remember a password. When downloading apps, be wary of those from lesser known or obscure developers, as these apps can sometimes pull personal information from your device.

Finally, be sure to keep your operating software as up-to-date as possible. In addition to fixing bugs, many updates patch security flaws that have been discovered in the programs. This came to the forefront recently after a severe security flaw was found in iOS 7.

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 Interdepartmental Chargebacks – Friday, June 20, 1:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M., Online Training
  • Intermediate MMARS Warehouse– Tuesday, June 24, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 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
  • Intro to State Finance MMARS Navigation – Tuesday, July 8, 9:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Risk Management – Wednesday, July 9, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Executive Conference Room
  • Intro to MMARS Warehouse – Thursday, July 10, 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 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 - Changing Department Contact Information
Sometimes departments move, or have new key contacts. The following tables may need to be updated, to do so fill out a Table Change Request Form links to Rich Text Format fileand submit to The Office of the Comptroller.

  • Contact Table (CNTAC): This is the table to change MMARS contact codes, which are commonly a department contact and telephone number. These codes are attached to many different documents, for example, the disbursed paper checks and EFTs (electronic funds transfer). Look in the Department table (DEPT) in MMARS to find out which contact code is linked to the disbursements. The main contact code can also be found there.
  • Department Billing Profile (DBPRO): The department billing profile is used for receivables. The organization/contact information, as well as the contact code can be changed.
  • Billing Instructions table (BINST): This table contains billing instruction codes used for dunning notices. They often contain specific instructions on where to send payments.
  • Procurement Location (PLOC): The procurement location table contains billing and shipping location codes used in encumbrance documents.