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Small Agency Services Bulletin - Feb 2016

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February 2016

Your feedback is important

Please send your feedback about the Department of Enterprise Services’ (DES) Small Agency Financial Services (SAFS). Your feedback helps us improve and better meet your needs. Finance welcomes your feedback at any time.

Important Dates

Feb. 26 –

  • Vendors requesting a correction to their 2015 Internal Revenue Service 1099 tax forms should contact DES Accounts Payable at (360) 407-8119 no later than noon on Feb. 26.

Mar. 9 –

  • February invoices and travel reimbursement request are due to DES Accounts Payable for them to reflect in your agency’s February financial statements.

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Important Messages

DES presents Public Disclosure Workshop

More than 35 attendees representing 18 agencies attended the Jan. 25 Public Disclosure Workshop. Special thanks to presenters Harold Goldes from the DES Public Records Office and DES Budget Analyst Chad Johnson. The workshop covered what to expect throughout the disclosure process, including timelines and cost reimbursement situations. Lynn Eccles from the Environmental and Land Use Hearings Office said, “Very thorough, and answers questions on a personal basis. Very clear and gave great examples. I will be able to use this information when a public disclosure request comes up.” To see training materials and handouts, visit our Agency Policy Workshop webpage.

DES seeks workshop ideas

DES Small Agency Finance has been presenting educational workshops for our customer agencies since September 2014. We have had great turnout and feedback from the workshops.

We are aiming to have workshops in April and May, and would like to hear from you. Please share with us any topics you would like us to cover or revisit.

Here is a list of the prior workshops:

  • Travel and TEMS Demo – Sept 2014
  • State Auditor’s Office – Nov 2014
  • Cash Management / Handling – Jan 2015
  • Policies – Mar 2015
  • Year End Accounting Close / Biennium Budget Build – May 2015
  • Records Management – Sept 2015
  • Technology Leasing – Nov 2015
  • Public Records Requests – Jan 2016

DES SAFS customer survey

Thank you for completing our SAFS Customer Service survey.

Your feedback is vital to our continued improvement and success, and we sincerely value the information you have provided.

The results from the survey directed us to focus on a couple of important areas:

  • Staff turnover
  • Mitigating the effects of staff turnover on our customer agencies

To address staff turnover, we have interviewed staff who have left through exit interviews, and have begun interviewing existing staff using a “stay interview” approach. As a result of those interviews, we are implementing cross training between work units, promotional and challenging opportunities, and improved staff recognition.

In an effort to better understand and discuss the effects of turnover on customer agencies, we would like to meet with you. We have found that direct face-to-face interviews are the best way to get constructive feedback. We will be reaching out to you soon to schedule a good time to meet. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Thank you again and remember that we always welcome your feedback!

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Small Agency Financial Services News

DES Accounts Payable statistics for January

  • A total of 1,586 payments were processed.
  • 1,463 non-travel invoices paid.
  • 123 travel reimbursements for employees and board members/commissioners paid.
  • 19 percent of the non-travel invoices were paid using delegated authority letters provided by agencies.
  • 78 percent of travel reimbursements were submitted and processed through the Travel and Expense Management System (TEMS).

Payroll statistics for January

  • 15 New Hires/Rehires
  • 9 Separations
  • 8 Transfers (in/out)
  • 0 Walk Thru
  • 0 Overpayment

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Travel Tips

Travel reimbursement is a complicated issue. The Small Agency Services Bulletin regularly highlights travel rules listed in the Office of Financial Management’s State Administrative and Accounting Manual.

Avoiding common mistakes that will cause delays in a traveler’s reimbursement

Over the years SAFS Accounts Payable has seen many travel reimbursement payments delayed due to preventable omissions of information or misunderstandings of what the state requires a traveler to submit per SAAM. If a traveler wants to be paid a promptly as possible, avoid the following common mistakes:

  • Submitting travel reimbursement without sending in receipts of more than $50 promptly to DES
  • Submitting travel without preapproved authorization for out-of-state travel
  • Submitting lodging receipts that are over the per diem without the documents showing preapproval for exception to maximum allowable lodging rates
  • Claiming meals that do not meet the three-hour rule
  • Submitting two, three or more months’ worth of travel all at once

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Contact Us

If you have suggestions or feedback about the Small Agency Services Bulletin, please send your comments to SmallAgencyBulletin@des.wa.gov.

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