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Small Agency Services Bulletin - October 2018

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October 2018

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

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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

Oct. 25

  • Quarterly allotments adjustments due to OFM.

Oct. 31

  • Performance Measure actuals for quarter ending Sept. 30, 2018, to be entered into the Results through Performance Management (RPM) system.
  • Department of Revenue (DOR) annual unclaimed property filing due.
  • Agencies that file monthly or quarterly DOR Use Tax filing due.

Nov. 1-Nov. 30

  • Healthcare Benefits Open Enrollment

Nov. 5

  • Unique business capabilities due to your DES Budget Analyst (see explanation below).

Nov. 7

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

Nov. 8

  • DES Payroll healthcare benefits open enrollment open house (see more below).

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Important Messages

Inclement weather – Are you prepared?

Severe weather and natural disasters cause physical damage and often create health risks. Loss of power and water can make it difficult to store food or cook safely, find clean water and safely heat homes. Now is a good time to get ready for whatever might happen.

Check out the Department of Health's webpage on how to prepare for different types of severe weather and natural disasters such as:

  • Cold weather
  • Floods
  • Landslides and mudflows
  • Power outages
  • Windstorms

Department of Enterprise Services (DES) has designed a snow and ice removal plan designed to maintain operational capabilities and provide safety for public and state employees during winter weather conditions.  The purpose for the snow and ice removal plan is to:

  • Make every effort to keep the Capitol Campus and surrounding locations safe during inclement weather conditions. 
  • Provide accessible guidelines and procedures for internal and external customers.  
  • Provide reasonable driving conditions during inclement weather conditions.
  • To reduce interruption of state business on and off of the Capitol Campus.
  • To maintain clear and safe access to state buildings.

Stay tuned to local radio stations for local weather conditions and school closures.

DES Payroll “Healthcare Benefits Open Enrollment” open house Nov 8

Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) open enrollment is coming. Employees have the opportunity to make changes to their benefits for 2019 from Nov. 1-30. Watch your mailbox for a copy of your open enrollment newsletter, which will be mailed mid-Oct.

To assist with open enrollment, DES Payroll is hosting an open house on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 1500 Jefferson Street SE, Room 1213 from 1 - 5 p.m.

Stop by and learn about:

  • What's new for 2019
  • Changes in coverage for 2019
  • Where to go to compare plans
  • 2019 monthly premiums
  • Where to find local benefits fairs
  • What types of changes can be made during open enrollment
    • Change medical and dental plans
    • Enroll a dependent
    • Submit their spousal attestation to avoid a monthly surcharge (must reattest every year)
    • Enroll/Reenroll in FSA and/or DCAP

Small Agency Financial Services News

OneWashington and how DES SAFS is supporting you

As DES Accounting staff and DES SAFS staff attend the OneWa Workshops, we would like to share our experiences.

Week of Oct 1-Oct 5 Workshops

The Project Accounting workshop was attended by DES Accounting staff Kelly Diaz, DES General Accounting Manager.  Kelly shared that DES was fortunate to be included in the very first pilot of the capabilities workshops. Not only we were able to review the capabilities a new system would need to have for project accounting, we were also able to provide feedback as to how future workshops should run. This was a great opportunity to get to know the OneWa team as well as voice some of our concerns for project accounting in a new system. We met a second time later in the week as a larger group to again discuss project accounting in a new ERP. In general, the consensus of the group is excitement as a new ERP would provide so much more than we currently have available to us.

The purposes of the capabilities workshops are to identify all common capabilities state agencies will need in a new ERP tool. Specifically, for project accounting, the purpose is to identify our needs for projects we may be funded for (i.e. Capital Projects, Grants, Emergency Projects). In the new ERP, we would have the ability to track a project from beginning to end. We spent the sessions reviewing the process flows of a project and what we would need from a new system. Fortunately, the original capabilities that were provided covered much more than we currently have available to us, so there wasn’t much to add. We did voice a few concerns, but were assured that the new ERP would be able to cover our needs.

Week of Oct 8-Oct 12 Workshops

The Cash & Banking Management workshop was attended by DES Accounting staff Dawn Clowers, Revenue Management Manager and Kara Skinner, Revenue Management Supervisor.  They shared that this workshop mainly focused on local bank accounts.  We talked about the ability of a new ERP to manage and control local bank account activity and the ability to reconcile those accounts.  Other agencies at the workshop had additional capabilities requests besides those provided on the list.  The hope is that whatever system is chosen as the new ERP, it would be able to fulfill each of the capability requests.

The Inventory Management & Physical Inventory workshop was attended by DES Accounting staff Kelly Diaz, DES General Accounting Manager and Heidi Werner, Accounts Payable Supervisor.  They shared that this workshop was a great workshop that we were really able to get our concerns communicated. One concern was being able to track inventory without having the value in an inventory GL (i.e. supply room materials). It sounds like whatever ERP purchased will have capabilities to track items without running them through GL accounts. Another concern was being able to run inventory reports as of a specific date – or a historical snapshot of how it looked at a moment in time. This should also be possible. Overall, it was a great workshop that just gets us excited for what the future holds!

Week of Oct 15-Oct 19 Workshops

The Fixed Assets workshop was attended by DES Accounting staff Kelly Diaz.  She shares that it was a fairly quick workshop without a lot of concerns. Our biggest question was how the fixed asset system would interact with the accounting entries. We are hopeful that as entries are made in the Fixed Asset module that the accounting entries will automatically happen. This would create a much more streamlined process than we have now.

The Accounts Payable and Vendor Maintenance workshop was attended by Whitney Bannish, DES Accounts Payable Manager and Sarah Parker, DES SAFS Accounts Payable Supervisor.  They shared that this workshop was the largest workshop attended and had the highest volume of capabilities. There was great discussion amongst all the agencies. The ability to have all the information for vendors, purchase orders, payments, multiple levels of approval and tax reporting will eliminate duplicate efforts. One of the questions that DES had was payments to foreign vendors and the system should be able to accommodate this request. Overall the workshop was very insightful and gets us very excited for what the future may hold.

The Travel & Expense Management Travel was attended by Whitney Bannish, DES Accounts Payable Manager and Sarah Parker, DES SAFS Accounts Payable Supervisor.  They shared that the workshop was a great forum for all of the agencies to discuss common current TEMS limitations and to clarify that the ERP will be all inclusive. The system will be able to set parameters based on travel rules, regulations, and agency policies. DES was sure to clarify the need for management of board member and commissioner travel reimbursements. OFM was fully aware of the added layer of complexity boards and commissions entail.

The Accounts Receivable workshop was attended by Dawn Clowers, DES Revenue Management Manager and Kara Skinner, Revenue Management Supervisor.  She shared that the workshop went very well and was quite well attended. If the common capabilities identified prior to the meeting are included in the solution chosen we should have a system that will satisfy our accounts receivable and cash receipting needs for the small agencies and for DES. There were several very specific capabilities added for agencies like DOT, LNI and DSHS in addition to the list of capabilities previously written.  DES added one capability related to an online portal for customers to review their outstanding balances on invoices.

Oct 22 Workshop

The General Ledger & Period End Closing workshop was attended by Jamie Langford, DES Deputy CFO and Kelly Diaz, DES General Accounting Manager.  They shared that the capabilities accumulated and reviewed for this workshop were equal to and many times greater than the current capabilities agencies having using AFRS.  DES, as the representative for small agencies, did not identify any missing capabilities.  Although DES anticipates process changes due to new functionality and capability once a new system is identified and implemented, and will partner with small agencies on any changes that are necessary.

OneWashington needs your Unique Business Capabilities

The OneWA project has wrapped up the review of the General Business Capabilities workshops. Now it’s time to identify unique business capabilities that agencies may need for the state’s new integrated Finance and Procurement system. This is our opportunity to ensure your unique business requirements are identified and considered for inclusion in the development of the new systems.

Please identify unique items you are required to perform that is “beyond” the routine business operations as governed by OFM, DES, WaTech, General Federal requirements, etc. Unique capabilities as defined by OneWA are mandated by and can be verified with a documented reference to:

  • A state/federal statute,
  • A law,
  • A regulation,
  • Governor’s directive/executive order, or
  • A unique business process that is identified and may not be satisfied by configuration.

DES SAFS will be reporting to OneWa for all of our small agency customers.  We will list your unique business capabilities or that you have identified that you do not have any unique business capabilities.  Please contact your DES SAFS Budget Analyst (Diann Lewallen, Chad Johnson, Paul Bitar or Kai Matthews) by COB on Monday, November 5.  

OFM Budget Preparations are Under Way

The Office of Financial Management (OFM) is busy reviewing agency requests and preparing recommendations to the Governor on the 19-21 biennial budget and 2019 supplemental budget. Be sure to contact your DES Budget Analyst should you receive any questions or make subsequent changes to your budget submittal. The Governor's budget proposals are required by statute to be submitted to the Legislature by Dec. 20.

Fiscal note procedures will be updated by the end of December. If you have new staff members preparing fiscal notes, please be sure they have log in access to the fiscal note system and contact your DES Budget Analyst to provide new staff contact information.

DES Payroll statistics for Sept. 2018

  • 13 New Hires/Rehires
  • 5 Transfer In/Transfer Outs
  • 41 Separations
  • 3 Walk Throughs
  • 0 Overpayment

DES Accounts Payable statistics for Sept. 2018

  • 1,911 payments ($7,295,284) were processed.
  • 1,736 non-travel invoices ($7,228,866) processed.
  • 175 travel and other reimbursements for employees and board members/commissioners ($66,419) processed.
  • 25 percent of the non-travel invoices ($572,384) were paid using delegated authority letters provided by agencies.
  • 85 percent of the travel and other reimbursements were submitted and processed through the Travel and Expense Management System (TEMS).

Travel Tips

Ensure the health and safety of travelers

SAAM 10.10.35 covers health and safety of travelers being top priority.  Be aware of hazardous inclement weather and other situations that could threaten the health and safety of state personnel.  If travel plans have to be altered due to hazardous weather, promptly notify your supervisor.  If additional expenses occur due to alternate travel plans, note the reason on the traveler’s travel expense voucher.

As always, if you have any questions regarding travel: call SAFS AP at (360) 407-8183 or email travel.safs@des.wa.gov.

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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