Latest update includes:

FY2013-23: Department Head Annual Approval - Statewide Enterprise Systems Security 
CTR Memo FY2013-23 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.  

Annually, Department Heads are asked to review and confirm employees (1) they have authorized to access, process and approve transactions in enterprise systems on their behalf, and (2) any other individual who can approve obligations and expenditures (execute contracts, approve payroll, incur obligations, authorize payments, etc.) on behalf of a Department Head, even if said individual does not access enterprise systems themselves.

Users Advised to NOT UPGRADE to Internet Explorer 9 or 10
Users running Internet Explorer may receive a notification through Windows Update about Internet Explorer 9 or 10.   If you are prompted for the IE9 or IE10 upgrade through Windows Update, you should choose the “Don’t install” option. Many enterprise applications, including MMARS, are certified to be compatible only with IE 7 and 8.

Please refer to ITD’s Advisory Memorandum - Update regarding Microsoft Windows 7 and Internet Explorer v. 8.0 for additional information. Some users have reported success using IE10 and MMARS if the “InPrivate browsing” in the “tools” section of Internet Explorer is turned on.

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 on 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

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.
    2.  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 1 – 8
June 3, Monday

    • Last day to submit FY2013 Write-Off requests.
    • Clean up RE and CR not in Final status in MMARS and determine which customers will need to be sent a refund from overpayments.

June 7, Friday

  • All BGCN/BGCS for transfers must be submitted to the General Accounting Bureau.
  • Target date for finalizing routine FY2013 encumbrances and ISAs for all appropriation types.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Target date for FY2014 Ready Payments Contracts with start date of July 1 due to CTR.  
  • Target date for finalizing FY2014 ISAs with start date of July 1.
  • Final day for departments to submit invoices for 2013 departmental collection payments.

June 8, Saturday

    • Fringe, Indirect, and Payroll Tax for Accounting Period 11.

Close/Open for Beginners Training Session 
If the Close/Open procedures are new to you, please register for the following training:  Close/Open for Beginners, Wednesday, June 5, 1:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M., One Ashburton Place, Boston, 9th Floor Training Room (also available via webcast)

Register for this session or webcast 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 Saturday Hours
MMARS and LCM will be available Saturday, June 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, June 3.

Grants Available for Renewable Thermal Projects at State Facilities
The Leading by Example Program is now accepting grant applications for Renewable Thermal projects, with a total of $1 million available for state entities.  ENE is requesting applications for projects proposing one or more of the following technologies: solar thermal, biomass, air/water/ground source heat pumps, biogas, and advanced biofuels. 

Details can be found in the application form posted to Comm-PASS (PON-ENE-2013-109) as well as the Leading by Example webpage under “Related Documents” on the right hand side.  We strongly encourage entities to review the application form and contact the LBE program if you think you have a project that fits within the scope.  ENE looks forward to receiving proposals and working with departments to increase renewable thermal capacity at state facilities as a way to continue our progress toward Executive Order 484 energy and GHG reduction goals. Please contact Eric Friedman at the Department of Renewable Energy if you have any questions or would like to run ideas by us.

New Small Business Purchasing Program Contract Language
The Operational Services Division (OSD) has updated the Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP) language for use on all small procurements (valued between $5,000 and $150,000) conducted by Executive Agencies and those other entities that follow 801 CMR 21.00.  This new language, which must be included in all small procurements, will limit the percentage that a prime bidder may subcontract to no more than 20% unless the subcontractor is also a SBPP participant. This language is effective immediately.  In addition, OSD will post a Comm-PASS notification and update the quick quote template and related SBPP policies in the near future. To view the updated language, please visit: www.mass.gov/osd.

Weekly Fraud Awareness and Prevention Fact - Internal Controls
According to the Report to the Nations issued by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, one of the most important contributing factors to fraud is the lack of Internal Controls.

  • Update your Internal Control System (per Chapter 647 of the Acts of 1989), consisting of the Internal Control Plan and the policies and procedures that govern your daily activities.
  • Attend our Risk Management class for assistance in writing an effective Internal Control Plan (ICP). Participants will learn how to perform a risk assessment and how to identify control activities to mitigate risk. The class also reviews the other essential components of an Internal Control Plan and is presented with a combination of lecture and group activity. Check our Training Schedule for upcoming dates.

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

  • Intro to State Finance MMARS Navigation – Tuesday, June 4, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Payroll User Group Meeting – Wednesday, June 5, 9:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. One Ashburton Place Boston, 21st Floor Conference Room
  • Webcast Payroll User Group Meeting – Wednesday, June 5, 9:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. Online Training
  • Close/Open for Beginners – Wednesday, June 5, 1:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Webcast Close/Open for Beginners – Wednesday, June 5, 1:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. Online Training
  • Encumbrance Management – Thursday, June 6, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Payment Management – Thursday, June 6, 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • 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

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 - Zero Dollar Final Payment
Departments should not process any payments for zero dollars without guidance from the Office of the Comptroller. If your department is instructed to process a $0.00 payment to close out an outstanding balance on an encumbrance line that failed to be liquidated through the normal process, you must follow the following steps in order to prevent printing a $0.00 check or EFT:

Bring the zero dollar payment to Final status.
Go to the Disbursement Request Table (DISRQ).
Display the payment in the disbursement control section of the table.
Check "User Hold".
Select a "Hold Reason Code" of "42".
Save.

This will prevent a zero dollar payment from disbursing and creating a zero dollar check or EFT.

Note: Not all Accounts Payable users will be able to edit the DISRQ table. Only Fiscal Administrators and Accounts Payable users with the SIGENTRY role will be able to edit the DISRQ table. Users who cannot edit should request one of these staff members for assistance.