New Hanover County Schools Accounting Summer Update. July 2015

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1 New Hanover County Schools Accounting Summer Update July 2015

2 Agenda What s New in Accounting? Coming Soon. Accounting FAQ Where do I find. Who to contact

3 What s New in Accounting? Employee Expense Reimbursements and In-County Travel are now processed WEEKLY. Direct deposited into Employee bank accounts on Fridays. Pending deposit information can be viewed in the Employee Portal after the check run on Tuesday. Reminder: All Travel-related expenses must be submitted within 30 days of the travel, per Board Policy.

4 What s New in Accounting? New Rates for Mileage and Daily Subsistence Reimbursements! January 1, mileage reimbursement increased to 57.5 cents per mile July 1, daily subsistence increased 2.2% for meals and lodging Forms updated on the Finance website. Instructions updated and expanded! Open in Excel, and see the 2 nd Tab. Reminder: All Travel-related expenses must be submitted within 30 days of the travel, per Board Policy.

5 Coming soon.. Online training used in many schools already. Modules can be assigned based on the employee s individual needs customized! Assignments can be completed over a period of time, especially important for a new hire so they don t become overwhelmed by too much information at once. Will begin with Accounting topics, and expand to include all functional areas of Finance. New Hire, New Role, Update, Refresher, and Annual Training.

6 Coming soon. Exploring paperless possibilities for Employee Expense Reimbursements and In-County Travel. Some systems can be accessed from internet, anywhere, anytime. Electronic approval. NO FORMS!! Employees enter information into systems, and upload receipts to document purchases. We plan move to a paperless system within 2 years.

7

8 Travel

9 Q: Why don t I get reimbursed for lunch when I go to a day meeting in Fayetteville? A: This is a state travel regulation that we have to follow as a state agency. Lunch is reimbursed only when the travel involves an overnight stay. Breakfast and dinner can be reimbursed if you leave home before 6:00 AM or return after 8:00 PM.

10 Q: Why was the amount I received for my travel reimbursement different from what I requested? A: There are several reasons this might happen: Outdated form with the incorrect mileage or meal rates Calculation error Ineligible expense or insufficient documentation for expense Being reimbursed from state/federal funds and exceeded state rate for hotel but didn t get preapproval to do so (Excess Lodging Form) Expense not approved for reimbursement by director/principal No Professional Leave Form was completed in advance to get travel pre-approved We will try to do a better job at letting you know when and why Finance makes a change to your reimbursement request. If an approving director/principal makes a change, they need to initial the change and let you know why it was made.

11 Q: I m helping a Teacher who is attending a conference. I m not sure which form to use for which expense. Can you give me some guidelines? A: If an employee paid for something themselves, and needs to be reimbursed, use the Employee Expense Reimbursement Form. Usually after the event, unless an Advance is being requested. If we need to pay a vendor directly, use a Vendor Check Request. Usually before the event to pay for registrations or hotel.

12 Discussion: A Teacher is attending a week-long conference in Atlanta in two months. We want to pay for it using centrally budgeted funds. Costs will include hotel, airfare, airport parking, meals, taxi, souvenirs and conference registration. How would you handle this? (There are several right answers!)

13 Q: I bought my hotel/airline reservation online through a discount site. The hotel/airline couldn t give me a detailed receipt with my purchase price on it. How can I get reimbursed? A: You will need to provide AP with both the receipt from the booking site to show how much you paid, and the receipt from the hotel/airline to document that you used the room/flight you purchased.

14 Discount sites are popular, because prices are low. The problem is, these are rooms/flights the hotel/airline has sold to someone else who then sells them to you. Therefore, the hotel/airline doesn t receive any information on how much you paid the discount site, and can only verify that you stayed in the hotel or took the flight. Discussion: What might be some risks of using discount sites to purchase hotel rooms or airline tickets? Is it better to pay a little more to avoid these risks?

15 Disbursements

16 Q: Why do some things we buy require a PO and some things require a Contract with a PO but sometimes a Contract without a PO? Plus, there are some things that don t require either one! I m so confused! A: You re right, it can be confusing! Let s sort it out.

17 First things First. Q: Why are there so many rules about using central funds to buy things? A: Under law, NHCS employees are not allowed to agree to an obligation to spend central funds unless they are budgeted. Requiring POs and/or Contracts is one way we comply with the law. We also protect you by requiring POs and/or Contracts for all large purchases and most small ones, because you can be held personally liable for purchases made without approval.

18 Q: When is a Purchase Order Required? A: Purchase of Goods Purchase of Services (unless the check will be immediately processed see next slide) Procurement Card Purchases (money must be encumbered in advance via Purchase Order) Did you know? A Requisition becomes a Purchase Order, which, if accepted by the Vendor, becomes a Contract.

19 Q: When is a Contract Required, but Purchase Order NOT Required? A: Service Contracts for which checks will be immediately processed. Example: External staff development presenters or Arts performances for which payment is to be made on the day of the event to the presenter/performer.

20 Q: If I don t have a PO, how do I get a check to pay the Vendor? A: Be sure to get the contract in place with the vendor in advance (make sure it comes through Finance for approval). 3-4 weeks before the event, send a Vendor Check Request form with a copy of the contract attached to Finance. We will cut the check for you to pick up and give to the presenter/performer.

21 Q: When is no Purchase Order or Contract Required? A: Employee Reimbursement for Food or Supplies under $100, OR travel advances (use an Employee Reimbursement Request Form) Vendor Check Requests for non-good/non-services such as utilities, postage, fees, fines Vendor Check Requests in advance of travel expenses like hotel and workshop registrations, renewable annual contracts such as maintenance agreements, insurance policy payments, and institutional memberships School Fund Reimbursement for specific items (use a Vendor Check Request made payable to the School). Only includes vendorprovided staff development, postage, or athletic travel. Legal Services approved by Board Attorney, Superintendent or designee

22 Q: What is an Emergency Purchase? A: An allowable purchase made without following the approved purchasing procedures, when there is no time to do an emergency PO or execute a contract. Only permitted in cases of: Pressing needs arise from unforeseen causes including, but not limited to, delay by contractors, delay in transportation, breakdown in machinery, or unanticipated volume of work. (Late planning, last minute decisions, or lack of communication don t necessarily result in a pressing need.) Genuine emergencies are situations that endanger lives, property, or the continuation of a vital program and which can be rectified only by immediate on the spot purchases or rental of apparatus, supplies, materials, equipment or services. Interesting Fact: Most emergency purchases from central funds are incurred by Departments, not Schools. Why do you think this is true?

23 Discussion: Emergency Purchase, or Not? What are your options? A Principal going to a conference has a weather-delayed flight resulting in an overnight stay at a different hotel than originally planned. The only copier in the building breaks down and won t be fixed until tomorrow. You have a parent s curriculum information meeting tonight and need to make copies of the agenda. You are holding a pre-k registration event tonight, and 100 more people than anticipated show up. You ran out of giveaways and don t have enough food. Vandals break an exterior door and it cannot be secured by the custodian. A Teacher needs 80 books for their lesson next week and didn t tell you until today. The money you need to use is centrally budgeted. Barnes and Noble is the only place that sells these books. You called the store, and they say they can ship them in time.

24 Q: How can I avoid a Disbursement Violation? A: When a PO or contract is required, encumber funds prior to purchase using a PO, or get a contract in place before the work is performed. Tips: Become very familiar with the rules about which purchases require Purchase Orders (POs) or contracts and which ones don t. When you have questions about whether or not you need a PO or contract, ask Purchasing before you commit to buy! Review the Disbursement Procedures in the Finance Budget Manual for additional guidance.

25 Discussion A 3 rd grade Teacher attends a conference and purchases books with their own money that they plan to use in the classroom. The books cost $475, and they planned to get reimbursed for them from centrally budgeted instructional supply money. You find yourself facing a Disbursement Violation because this is over the $100 limit for employee supply reimbursements. Options?

26 Q: You sent me an invoice through DocAgent. I sent it back and said it was OK to pay. Why are you still asking me to enter receiving in SunPac? A: DocAgent is just an electronic file cabinet and a way to share information. The official Receiving document has to be created in SunPac, where all our official Finance data is stored, including POs and our General Ledger. When we send an invoice to you in DocAgent, it is our way of prompting you to enter the Receiving in SunPac. Did you know? Accounts Payable processes an average of 1,300 documents for payment each week! This is only possible through your support and tools like DocAgent that streamline our document workflow.

27 Q: My purchase has arrived, but I don t have the invoice and you haven t sent it to me in DocAgent. Can I go ahead and enter Receiving in SunPac? A: Yes! When we get the invoice, as long as it matches both the PO and Receiving, we will just pay it without bothering you. It will still be scanned and stored in DocAgent so you can look at it later.

28 Q: Why is this OK? A: Accounts Payable requires a Three Way Match to pay an invoice. 1. PO approves purchase and encumbers funds 2. Receiving document created when keyed in SunPac confirming goods or services received. 3. Vendor provides accurate invoice. ALL THREE ARE REQUIRED TO PROCESS PAYMENT PO Check Receiving Invoice

29 Year End

30 Q: Year-end deadlines only apply to certain departments don t they? A: It is important that everyone to try to meet year-end deadlines for many reasons, not limited to these: Certain funding sources may have no carryover funds, especially Grants, Federal, and State funds. Many funding sources that carryover often don t make money immediately available for use in a new fiscal year. Money may not carryover the way you expect it to, and you will have to find another way to pay for your expense.

31 Q: I know I missed the year-end deadline for sending you my reimbursement. But its now July and I still don t have my money. Why is it taking so long? A: Many things have to get done at year-end, and unfortunately some things that come in late may have to wait up to 6 weeks. It takes weeks to calculate and load new year information into SunPac. Some things can t be paid until that process is complete. The State has strict deadlines for closing out at year-end. Items received after the June deadline may not be paid until mid-july. Money may carry over, but expenses still have to be moved (accrued) to the correct fiscal year, and carry-over reduced. This manual, time consuming process takes time away from things. The more invoices we can pay in the correct fiscal year, the fewer accruals we have. (This year, we paid 1,287 invoices between July 2-7 that were from the previous fiscal year and had to be accrued back.)

32 Fraud

33 Q: Staples has a rewards program, and sent me a debit card that contained the rebate earned when I bought supplies for the office. It has my name on it. What should I do with this? A: Apply it to future school/department purchases. Fact: It is never OK to make personal use of rebates, refunds, or rewards earned through the use of NHCS funds. This includes applying points earned from NHCS purchases to personal rewards accounts or linking a personal rewards program code to an account used for NHCS purchases. This is fraudulent activity. You are acting as an agent of NHCS when you make purchases on NHCS s behalf.

34 Q: A vendor sent me an invoice for toner and insists we purchased it. We didn t. What should I do? A: Send the invoice to Finance. We will verify that it doesn t belong to anyone else, and if necessary will forward it to Wayne Bullard (Attorney) for additional action. This year we had several attempts to trick us into paying fake invoices. Everyone did a great job at catching these! Please remain vigilant, and make sure you only pay for things you actually ordered and received.

35 Where do I find.. Travel Procedures Disbursement Procedures Reimbursement Procedures Workshop Procedures General Fund Guidelines Fixed Asset Information Forms AP Schedule DocAgent Chart of Accounts

36 Who to contact? Rhonda Turner, Director of Finance x4239 Dawn George, Accounting Supervisor Returned Checks, Sales Tax, 1099s, W-9s, Escheats, NHCS Scholarships, Training x4354 Tonice Brewer, Finance Computer Operator - Finance software technical support, issues and installation ( contact is best) Accounting Support Associates Pam Edens - Accounts Payable Vendors M-Z, SunPac Receiving and DocAgent User Support x4251 Lori Green - Accounts Payable Vendors A-L, SunPac Receiving and DocAgent User Support x4341 Malita Lane - In-County Travel, Fixed Assets, Capital Assets x4324 Jim Sinclair - Accounts Receivable (Travel Tracker, CN Catering, 509s), Employee Expense Reimbursements, Check Requests, Journal Entries x4250

37 Questions? Thank you for attending our training!

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