Latest update includes:

Payment Collection Data Security Policy
The Payment Collection Data Security Policy has been posted to the CTR Web Portal. The Office of the Comptroller (CTR) and the Information Technology Division (ITD) have jointly issued the Payment Collection Data Security Policy to identify Department responsibilities for compliance with Data Security Standards for the collection of revenue. Departments are required under this policy to certify as part of the annual Internal Control Questionnaire (ICQ) submission, data security compliance of any PII collected or transmitted to support fiscal transactions, including the collection of revenue through electronic payments. 

Annual budgets should ensure sufficient funding to maintain continued compliance and reduction in budgeted funds will not support any failure to maintain continued compliance.  A Department merchant must halt acceptance of credit or debit cards for payments if Payment Card Industry Council compliance standards cannot be met due to budgetary constraints.

PRF56DesignatedOSC Statewide Contract for Data Security Audits
The Office of the Comptroller (CTR) has issued a Statewide Contract for Data Security Audits under PRF56DesignatedOSC to assist with data security compliance which must be used by any department in any branch of state government collecting or storing PII and any department accepting revenue through electronic payments, irrespective of whether the Commonwealth department is recording that revenue in the state accounting system MMARs or in a fiduciary capacity. 

Questions related to the Policy or the Statewide Data Security Contract may be submitted to PRF56DataSecurity@massmail.state.ma.us.

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), FY2013 will be run this Saturday, June 8. 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).

2013/2014 Close/Open News

LCM Rules Roll

The LCM Rules roll is complete. All current Position Authorized Accounting (POAA) rules have been assigned an end date of 6/30/2013. Draft POAA documents for departmental rules for FY2014 are available in the LCM Document Catalog for Departmental review and submittal.

For CTR to approve rolled rules, departments must provide the FY2014 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 FY 2014. All cross-departmental rules are assigned an end date of 6/30/2013. Departments must also reapply for any DEACC and Payroll Alternate Account (PALT) rules for FY 2014.

Closing Advances
To close the Type 05 (DYNACASH) FY2013, the following steps must be taken:

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

Departments with Emergency Payroll Dynacash Accounts
For Dynacash accounts used for emergency payroll payments at fiscal year-end, all departments must account for FY2013 advances prior to processing FY2014 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 19 – June 1 (checks dated June 7), then the recoupment of the Dynacash amount in the following payroll cycle, June 2 – 15 will be credited back to the Department’s Dynacash account on June 24.

If there is an employee check problem during the June 2 - June 15 cycle, departments will need to issue a Dynacash check on June 21. This payment must be issued from an FY2013 advance.  The recoupment of the Dynacash amount in the following payroll cycle, June 16 – 29 will be credited back to the department’s Dynacash account on July 8. Departments should close out their advances immediately after the funds have been recouped.

FY2014 requests for advance (RA) may be entered into MMARS during June in Reject status. To request immediate activation of FY2014 advances, email your request to request to Bill Smith by June 28. Funds will be available July 1 for approved requests and the transactions will then be processed on July 5.

A few departments may have FY2014 requests for July 5 payroll checks pending before the return of the FY2013 advance. In those cases, the request for the FY2014 advance must be accompanied by the CFO’s verification that a Dynacash deduction is pending for a June 21 credit.

Contract Roll Complete
The multi-fiscal year contract roll is complete.  RQS, PC, CT, and RPO transactions were rolled if they had at least one open BFY2014 accounting line.

Some Departments have rolled transactions in reject status that need your review and correction in order to submit successfully. All of these transactions will have SA as the UAID. Departments can locate those transactions by searching the Document Catalog by document code, department, create user ID (SA) and document status (rejected).

For any rejected transaction that is corrected and goes to pending (or rejects due to the MA Service Date errors A1773, A2891, and/or A2892), departments should send an email to Rita Tucker (CT and RPO) or Elaine LaMonica at OSD (PC).

All email requests must specify the "DEPT 3 letter MMARS Code - 2014 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 BFY2014 lines" and provide an explanation of the change made to the encumbrance.

Most rejected Roll transactions have budget or chart of account errors. However, there are two groups below that Departments need to give special attention:

    1. RPOs rejected with the error message "A3024 - Invalid Service Dates or Schedule":

Departments should not  try to fix these.  There is a high volume of them so we are trying to fix them with a system correction within the next two weeks. We will notify Departments if we were successful or we will send instructions for Departments to process them individually.

    1.  Transactions rejected with a Conflict Draft version:

As part of preparation for the contract roll, pending transactions were rejected from CTR (CT, RPO) and OSD (PC) work lists if CTR or OSD did not have the supporting paperwork or if what was submitted was insufficient to bring 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/RPO was a modification to an existing transaction and had a BFY2014 line, the rejected version became a Conflict Draft during the Roll process and the new, rolled version did not pick up the desired modification. Departments need to create a new modification to the rolled encumbrance. The Conflict Draft version will be systemically removed in the near future so you do not have to delete them.

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

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.

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 BFY2013 line(s), the accounting line set up should be:

Reserved Funding Flag

Accounting Line

BFY

Accounting Line

FY

Month

Accounting Line

Accounting Period

NO20132013June12
NO20132013July or August13

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

NO20142014June or July1
NO20142014August2

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.

Close/Open Key Dates June 8 – 15

June 8, Saturday

    • Fringe, Indirect and Payroll for Accounting Period 11.

June 14, Friday

  • Last date to submit to CTR completed requests to pay payroll prior-year deficiencies out of FY2013 funds.
  • Last day to submit garnishment orders (HR/CMS) to CTR Payroll staff for pay period ending June 15.
  • Higher Education GAAP Instructions distributed.

MMARS Unavailable Saturday 
MMARS will be unavailable on Saturday, June 8 due to scheduled system processing.

Weekly Fraud Awareness and Prevention Fact - Fraud Prevention - Tone at the Top
Tone at the top refers to the ethical atmosphere that is created in the workplace by the organization's leadership. Whatever tone management sets will have a trickle-down effect on employees of the company. If the tone set by managers upholds ethics and integrity, employees will be more inclined to uphold those same values. However, if upper management appears unconcerned with ethics, employees will be more prone to commit fraud because they feel that ethical conduct is not a focus or priority within the organization. Employees pay close attention to the behavior and actions of their bosses, and they follow their lead.

Your tone at the top should be written (Policies and Procedures, Memos), communicated (Meetings, Trainings), and demonstrated (Lead by Example).

Please visit the Fraud Prevention section of our Internal Controls for a link to the Toolkit for Departments to Combat Fraud, Waste and Abuse and the Combat Fraud, Waste and Abuse Brochure. 

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 Comptroller.Info@State.MA.US. To report Fraud, Waste or Abuse, contact one of the Commonwealth’s Whistleblower Hotlines.

Upcoming Training Sessions and Meetings

  • Risk Management – Tuesday, June 11, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Executive Conference Room
  • Intro to HR/CMS Payroll Warehouse – Thursday, June 13, 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Fraud Awareness and Prevention – Tuesday, June 18, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. One Ashburton Place Boston, 10th Floor Video Conference Room
  • Intermediate MMARS Warehouse – Wednesday, June 19, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Vendor Management – Tuesday, June 25, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • CIW Report Building with MS Access – Wednesday, June 26, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 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 December 2013.

MMARS Hint of the Week - Creating an Encumbrance Correction due to a Payment that Referenced the Wrong Encumbrance
Problem:  Referenced Wrong Encumbrance - the correct vendor was paid, but the incorrect encumbrance was used for the payment.

Solution: This situation can be resolved by following the instructions illustrated in the Job aid for Referenced Wrong Accounting Line  and substituting the encumbrance information in place of the wrong accounting line information.

First, verify that the accounting information will be exactly the same on both the incorrect and the correct encumbrance document. If there is any field of information that differs, an EX document must be processed prior to proceeding any further. If it is determined that an EX is needed, departments must ensure that this change in encumbrance reference to another is an actual mistake and the EX is being requested in compliance with the state finance requirements for the proper use of EXs under the Expenditure Correction Policy.
Next, use the CEC/GAEC job aid, Referenced Wrong Accounting Line.  This document will need two lines.

  • Step 1 on Line 1:Liquidate the correct encumbrance, using Event Type PR21. Use a positive number on this line and use a Reference Type of “Partial”. 
  • Step 2 on Line 2: Add money back to the incorrect encumbrance, using Event Type PR20.  Use a negative number on this line and do a Reference Type of “Inverse”.
  • Step 3: Document Comments need to be added to this document referencing both CT/PC document IDs to explain what happened.

Reminder: Even though it is inevitable that mistakes will sometimes happen, routinely following internal controls and department protocols is necessary to ensure the proper management of Commonwealth funds. While the EX document enables the proper posting of payments, the cost in labor and MMARS system costs are borne by the department, and too many mistakes can significantly impact departmental budgets and efficiency, including the costs of responding to and remediating audit findings.