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Small Agency Services Bulletin - November 2016

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November 2016

Important Dates Important Messages Small Agency Financial Services News Travel Tips Contact Us

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Important Dates

November 30

  • Open enrollment closes.

December 7

  • November invoices and travel reimbursement requests are due to DES Accounts Payable for them to reflect in your agency's monthly financial statements.

December 9

  • DES will transfer Combined Fund Drive (CFD) deposits in fund 525 to the Office of the Secretary of State.

December 20

  • The Governor's 2017-19 biennial and 2017 supplemental budget proposals are required by statute to be submitted to the Legislature.

December 27

  • Due date for agencies that file monthly Department of Revenue (DOR) Use Tax.

December 29 & 30

  • Accounts Payable will not be processing payments in preparation for the 2016 IRS 1099 reporting. Payment processing will resume Jan. 3.

January 6

  • January 6 - IRS 1099-MISC upload deadline (Statewide).

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Important Messages

OFM Accounting says farewell to staff

The Office of Financial Management (OFM) has said farewell to two accounting consultants this fall. Suzanne Coit, an OFM accounting consultant for more than nine years, has accepted another position outside of OFM. Her last day with OFM Accounting was Oct. 27. Julie Rupe, an OFM accounting consultant since March 2016, also accepted a position outside of OFM. Her last day was Sept. 30. Agency assignments will be finalized soon and will be updated on the OFM Accounting Consultant list once complete.

Inclement Weather – Are You Ready?

We just had a wind advisory in October, but inclement weather could arrive to your work site any time during Autumn and Winter. It's time to be prepared!

Does your agency have a policy that outlines the procedures during inclement weather events or other natural disasters? Check out the attached policy template on Inclement Weather Suspended Operations.

Are your employees ready? Check out and forward to your employees information on:

  • Preparing for winter storms
  • What to do during a winter storm
  • What to do if a storm hits while you are in your vehicle

Need guidance resolving personal and workplace issues?

The DES Employee Assistance Program (EAP) helps state government employees and their family members resolve personal or work-related problems. The EAP has provided employee assistance services to state agencies for over 40 years. The program is voluntary, confidential and available at no cost to employees and their family members. Learn more about the EAP program.

Basics guidelines (if DES/SAFS handles your cash receipting) for transferring Combined Fund Drive fundraising proceeds

Please submit your agency Combined Fund Drive (CFD) deposit on a separate A45 from your normal deposits and indicate "Combined Fund Drive." Submit your CFD Fundraising form along with your deposit to DES. Your Fundraising Transfer Form MUST match the total amount transferred to Office of the Secretary of State (OSOS). Complete a separate form for credit card fund-raiser income. CFD Deposits will be posted to your agency (fund 525) and transferred by DES to SOS on Dec. 9.

If you need additional information please see Volunteer Resources on the CFD Webpage.

DES presents successful Travel Workshop

Our Nov. 3 Travel Workshop, had 38 attendees representing 17 agencies. Special thanks to presenters Sandy McGough from OFM, Sean Gilliland from the State Auditor's Office, and Ryan Olson from DES. The workshop covered State Administrative and Accounting Manual (SAAM) rules, meals/lodging, prior approval, travel audits, and Travel and Expense Management (TEMS) system basics.

Here is some of the feedback received:

  • Alicia McClendon from the State Conservation Commission said: "Great information – provided great resources for employees that are new to TEMS system. Excited to take the online TEMS training through LMS."
  • LaDell Lockwood from the Department of Services for the Blind said: "A lot of good background info on the travel policies that I was previously unaware of. Very helpful to know before my "travel season" begins. Everyone was very knowledgeable and described their topics clearly."

View the presentation including Q&A's and the handout from the workshop.

Calendar year end 2016 approaching

The end of the calendar year is quickly approaching, and our payroll office has a few important reminders:

  • Ensure all timesheets and leave slips are submitted timely and accurately by Dec. 15. This will ensure your 2016 W-2s are correct.
  • Update your W-4: Only if there are any changes in your dependent or marital status. Find your current withholding status in the top right corner of each earnings statement.
  • Update your address: Have you moved? Now is a good time to update your address. Update your address in Employee Self Service or send an email to the Human Resources (HR) office.
  • Review Beneficiary: Now is a good time to review your beneficiary information for your life insurance, retirement, deferred compensation program, and your Health Savings Account.

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Small Agency Financial Services News

Open Enrollment period lasts Nov. 1 to 30

Employees have the opportunity Nov. 1 to 30 to make changes to their benefits for 2017. Some of the changes employees can make include:

  • Change medical and dental plans
  • Enroll a dependent
  • Submit their spousal attestation to avoid a monthly surcharge
  • Enroll/Reenroll in a Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) and/or Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)
  • Take advantage of a one-time only opportunity to enroll in optional life insurance coverage
  • Name beneficiaries for their life insurance coverage (ALL employees must do this)

For more information, visit Public Employee Benefits Board (PEBB) Employee Changes 2017.

DES Accounts Payable statistics for October

  • A total of 1,948 payments were processed.
  • 1,803 non-travel invoices paid.
  • 145 travel reimbursements for employees and board members/commissioners paid.
  • 18 percent of the non-travel invoices were paid using delegated authority letters provided by agencies.
  • 87 percent of travel reimbursements were submitted and processed through the Travel and Expense Management System (TEMS).

Payroll statistics for October

  • 7 New Hires/Rehires
  • 6 Transfers (in/out)
  • 22 Separations
  • 1 Walk Thru
  • 1 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 (SAAM).

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 travel.safs@des.wa.gov.
  • 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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