Maryland Courts

FAQs

General

  1. What is GEARS?
  2. Will GEARS affect everyone at the Judiciary?
  3. What are some benefits of GEARS?
  4. Why is the system called GEARS?
  5. What is PeopleSoft?
  6. What is a Chartfield?
  7. What is a SpeedChart or SpeedType?
  8. What is a Worklist?
  9. What training is available for GEARS?
  10. How do I get/change my security access for GEARS?
  11. How do I change my default Ship To Location?
  12. If I need HELP, or have questions, who do I contact?

Commitment Control (KK)

  1. What does the GEARS Commitment Control Module do?
  2. What element of the Budget does the Budget Checking process review?
  3. Can I move budget funding from one Object Class to another Object Class?
  4. How do I see my budget appropriation for a given fiscal year?
  5. Is workflow approval required for a Commitment Control Budget Journal?

General Ledger (GL)

  1. What does the GEARS General Ledger Module do?
  2. What is the Fiscal Year?
  3. What is an Accounting Period?
  4. What report will show my recorded expenditures?
  5. Is workflow approval required for a General Ledger Journal Entry?

Order to Cash (OTC)

  1. What does the Order to Cash Module do?
  2. How do I find and correct Billing Interface errors?
  3. How do I process a Bad Check?
  4. How do I create a Revenue Deposit?
  5. How do I create an Accounts Payable Revenue Refund?
  6. How do I create end-of-month Local Revenue Disbursements?
  7. How do I make FAR Corrections?
  8. How do I make Post-FAR Adjustments?
  9. How can I find the list of bills and charges I processed for the month?
  10. Where can I find the list of valid Charge ID’s (allocations) for my Business Unit?

Procure to Pay (PTP)

  1. What does the Procure to Pay Module do?
  2. Do we need to have timesheets for contractors signed before attaching to the GEARS Receipt?
  3. How do I find the PO number and Receipt number for a voucher?
  4. How do I find the buyer assigned to my Requisition?
  5. How does the workflow approval process work?
  6. How do I route my workflow to an alternate user?
  7. What do I need to know about Blanket Purchase Orders/Contracts?
  8. How do I know whether to create an eProcurement Requisition or an Express Purchase Order?
  9. Why do I need to create another Requisition if there is already a Blanket Purchase Order/Contract?
  10. Should the Express Purchase Order or Purchase Order be by Quantity or by Amount?
  11. What happens after I create an eProcurement Requisition?
  12. What happens after I create an Express Purhase Order?
  13. Can I enter a receipt for less than the full Quantity or Amount?
  14. Can I create multiple Receipts and Vouchers against the same Purchase Order or Express Purchase Order?
  15. Can I create a Voucher without a Purchase Order?
  16. Can I create a Voucher without a Receipt?
  17. What is Matching?
  18. What should I do if my Budget Check fails?
  19. What do I do if my transaction is rejected by the Approver?
  20. How do I know who needs to approve my transaction?
  21. What do I need to know about Interpreter Invoices?
  22. What do I need to know about Quick Invoice Entry (District Court Only)?
  23. What do I need to know about Expense Vouchers (Non-District Court)?
  24. What do I do if the vendor is not in GEARS, or the information needs to be changed?
  25. Should I enter Freight on my Voucher?
  26. Should I change the Pay Terms on the Voucher?

General

1. What is GEARS?

GEARS stands for General Enterprise and Resource Support.  It is the state-wide integrated accounting system used to capture and record all financial records for the Judiciary.  This includes accounts payable, budgeting, procurement and revenue, as well as support of Local Court Accounting for Circuit and District Courts.

2. Will GEARS affect everyone at the Judiciary?

In some way, yes. Many people in several departments and locations throughout the Judiciary will use the system to perform their job functions. Even if you do not use the system directly to do your work, some of the ways you accomplish tasks may change.

3. What are some benefits of GEARS?

Some of the benefits of GEARS are::

  • Centralized data and information with Maryland Judiciary-wide access
  • Refined and simpler processes to match purchase orders with invoices
  • Ability to verify your budget limit before submitting a requisition
  • Data is entered and is accessible in real-time
  • Improved flow of information, transactions and reports
  • Greater flexibility for future changes if needed
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4. Why is the system called GEARS?

GEARS stands for General Enterprise and Resource Support. It is the name the Judiciary has selected for the project out of more than one hundred entries in a “Name the Project” contest held in March, 2012. The winning name was submitted by Kim Cummings from the Dorchester County Circuit Court Land Records Office.

5. What is PeopleSoft?

PeopleSoft is a world-renowned product owned by Oracle Corporation, the global leader in database Enterprise Resource Planning. The PeopleSoft software is designed to create comprehensive business process solutions that increase productivity, accelerate performance and allow for a lower cost of ownership.

6. What is a Chartfield?

Chartfields in GEARS make up the Judiciary's Chart of Accounts.  There are nine chartfields in GEARS: Program Cost Account (PCA), Batch Agency, Fund, Program Code, Approp Number, Approp Year, Account, Project (limited use), and Activity (limited use).  These bits of information (fields) are critical to correctly represent the accounting on each transaction that is entered into the system.  To assist the user in entering the correct chartfields, GEARS has been configured to automatically populate the Batch Agency, Fund, Program Code, and Approp Number when the user enters their PCA in the SpeedType or SpeedChart field (where available).  When used, the only other required fields are Approp Year and Account.  

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7. What is a SpeedChart or SpeedType?

A SpeedChart or SpeedType is a code representing a combination of chartfield values used to simplify entry of chartfields commonly used together.  The SpeedChart /SpeedType to be used is the same as your PCA.  GEARS has been configured to automatically populate the Batch Agency, Fund, Program Code, and Approp Number when the user enters a PCA in the SpeedType or SpeedChart field (where available).  When used, the only other required fields are Approp Year and Account. 

8. What is a Worklist?

A worklist is an automated to-do list.  From the worklist, you can directly access the pages you need to perform an action (i.e. approve a transaction).

9. What training is available for GEARS?

There are a number of ways to learn how to use GEARS:

  • Instructor-led (classroom) courses - provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and have a hands-on experience. 
  • Tip Sheets - provide quick, step-by-step instructions for common GEARS transactions, and are available at http://mdcourts.gov/gears/tipsheets.html.
  • The GEARS Team also conducts demos, information sessions, and workshops. 

Training materials are available on the GEARS Training page. For more information about upcoming training opportunities, please watch the GEARS website or email GEARS@mdcourts.gov.

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10. How do I get/change my security access for GEARS?

The GEARS Security Access Form and the associated instructions are available at http://mdcourts.gov/gears/forms.html.  Please contact the Help Desk if you have any trouble completing the form.  Once approved by AOC or DCHQ, the GEARS project team will send an email when the request has been completed.  

11. How do I change my default Ship To Location?

Your default Ship To Location is included in the setup of your GEARS User Preferences.  Please contact the Help Desk to request that your default be changed.

12. If I need HELP, or have questions, who do I contact?

If you have a system issue, please contact the Help Desk at 410-260-1114 or helpdesk@mdcourts.gov.  For general questions, email GEARS@mdcourts.gov.  You can also contact:
Tammy Sitar, GEARS Project Team -  tammy.sitar@mdcourts.gov

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Commitment Control (KK)

1. What does the GEARS Commitment Control Module do?

See an explanation of the Commitment Control (KK) Module on the Acronyms web page.

2. What element of the Budget does the Budget Checking process review?

The Budget Checking process evaluates funding at the Object Class level (i.e. 09 Materials and Supplies).  Effective February 1, 2014, a change was made to the method of budget monitoring to allow more flexibility and to reduce the potential for receiving budget errors.  Basically, GEARS will be tracking your expenses against your “total” budget at the PCA level, rather than controlling the budget at the Object Class level.

What does this mean for you?  GEARS will continue to track pre-encumbrances, encumbrances, and expenditures against the existing budgets when the transactions are budget checked, but the system will no longer be enforcing the existing budget amounts against expenditures at an Account or Object Class level.  (Transactions still need to be budget checked.)  As an example, if you have a total object-level budget of $100, GEARS will allow you to create an expense or other type of transaction against that budget for $101 without causing a budget error (assuming that you have other budget funding available in another object class).  Please note, two pop-up warnings will display, but you just have to click OK to acknowledge the messages.  When warnings are received, the budget status will still be "valid."  Also note, a budget error will still happen if a transaction is processed for an account in which a budget has not been established at all.  The exception language will state "no budget exists."

If you have documents (i.e. voucher, requisition, PO) that are in a current budget error, please re-budget check the document and if still in error, click on the “Error” Hyperlink next to the Budget Check and a new window opens explaining the error.  Contact DBF Budget for further assistance, if needed.

3. Can I move budget funding from one Object Class to another Object Class?

No, this is not necessary.  Please contact the budget unit in the Department of Budget and Finance with any questions.  Your request will be reviewed, and if it is authorized the Department of Budget and Finance will process the transaction in GEARS.

4. How do I see my budget appropriation for a given fiscal year?

There are Tip Sheets available for Running a Budget Overview and Running a Budget Status Report

5. Is workflow approval required for a Commitment Control Budget Journal?

Effective 02/2016 - Commitment Control Budget Journal Approvals - This notice only applies to DCHQ and DBF staff, as they are the only users performing this function. This change will modify the GEARS approval process for budget journals to now require GEARS online approval, before completion of the journal process. All manually entered budget journals will route to the DBF Unit Director of Budget, as well as the DBF Director and Deputy Director, for approval before completion of the journal process. Once approved, the journal will then need to be posted.

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General Ledger (GL)

1. What does the GEARS General Ledger Module do?

See an explanation of the General Ledger Module on the Acronyms web page.

2. What is the Fiscal Year?

The Fiscal Year for the Judiciary runs from July 1 through June 30 of each year. Each fiscal year has twelve Accounting Periods (one for each month).   When GEARS went live on July 1, 2013, this took place in Period 1 of Fiscal Year 2014, August is Period 2, September is Period 3, and so on. The Fiscal Year is different than the Appropriation Year.

3. What is an Accounting Period?

Each fiscal year has twelve Accounting Periods (one for each month).   When GEARS went live on July 1, 2013, this took place in Period 1 of Fiscal Year 2014, August is Period 2, September is Period 3, and so on.

4. What report will show my recorded expenditures?

There are Tip Sheets available for Running the AOC Detail Trial Balance Report and Running the Trial Balance Report.

5. Is workflow approval required for a General Ledger Journal Entry?

Effective 02/2016 - General Ledger Journal Entry (GLJE) ApprovalsThis notice does not apply to the local District Court staff, as the journal entry functionality is not initiated by these users, but would apply to District Court Headquarters (DCHQ), as well as all others.  For everyone, but local DC staff, GLJE’s will now require GEARS online approval, before completion of the journal process.  For all GLJE’s, the journal will route to the same local approver (based on your PCA) which exists currently for vouchers and then it will route to DBF for approval.

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Order to Cash (OTC)

1. What does the Order to Cash Module do?

See an explanation of the Order to Cash Module on the Acronyms web page.

2. How do I find and correct Billing Interface errors?

Please contact the Help Desk for assistance.

3. How do I process a Bad Check?

There is a Tip Sheet available for the Bad Check Process.

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4. How do I create a Revenue Deposit?

There is a Tip Sheet available to Daily Revenue Deposit Process.

5. How do I create an Accounts Payable Revenue Refund?

There is a Tip Sheet available to Create an AP Revenue Refund.

6. How do I create end-of-month Local Revenue Disbursements?

There is a Tip Sheet available to Create EOM Local Revenue Disbursements.

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7. How do I make FAR Corrections?

There is a Tip Sheet available on How to Make FAR Corrections.

8. How do I make Post-FAR Adjustments?

There is a Tip Sheet available on How to Make Post FAR Adjustments.

9. How can I find the list of bills and charges I processed for the month?

The query AOC_Charge_ID_Allocations can be run with a date range (i.e. 11012013 through 11302013) for your business unit.  This will provide a list of all charges processed throughout a given month.

As an alternative, you can run AOC_Charge_ID_Alloc_1Code for a single date or a date range (i.e. 11012013 through 11302013) for just one charge id. 

Queries can be downloaded to Excel for sorting, filtering and subtotaling.

10. Where can I find the list of valid Charge ID's (allocations) for my Business Unit?

There are two places to find this information:

  • Main Menu>Setup Financial/Supply Chain>Product Related>Billing>Setup>Charge Code.  Populate the Set Id field with your business unit (i.e. JUD02) and click Search.
  • Run the Query: AOC_Charge_ID_Listing
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Procure to Pay (PTP)

1. What does the Procure to Pay Module do?

See an explanation of the Procure to Pay (PTP) Module on the Acronyms web page.

2. Do we need to have timesheets for contractors signed before attaching to the GEARS Receipt?

Yes.  Contractor timesheets should be signed prior to attaching to the GEARS Receipt.  Maryland Judiciary Internal Audit Department best practice is for vendor/contractual professional timesheets to be completed, dated, and signed prior to review, approval, and payment processing. 

3. How do I find the PO number and Receipt number for a Voucher?

Please see instructions for How to Find the PO Number and Receipt Number for a Voucher.

4. How do I find the buyer assigned to my Requisition?

Please see instructions for How to Find the Buyer Assigned to My Requisition.

5. How does the workflow approval process work?

There is a tip sheet available on Understanding Workflow and using the Worklist. There is also a flowchart of the various Workflow Approval Levels and Dollar Thresholds applicable to each type of PTP transaction (eProcurement Requisitions, Express Purchase Orders and Vouchers).

Effective 02/2016 - Express Purchase Order ApprovalsThis notice does not apply to District Court (DC), as their threshold for procurement approval is set at a lower amount and will remain in place.  For everyone else, the current procurement policy authorizes courts and departments to procure up to $2,500 without approval from the AOC Department of Procurement, Contracts and Grants Administration (DPCGA).  This system change simply modifies the current online GEARS approval process for Express Purchase Orders to align with the existing policy.  In doing so, the GEARS team removed the current system requirement for local court/department approval for those Express PO’s < the $2,500 threshold.  For any Express PO > $2,500, the PO will route to the same local approver (based on your PCA) which exists currently for vouchers, and then it will route to DPCGA for approval.

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6. How do I route my workflow to an alternate user?

Please see instructions for How do I Route my Workflow to an Alternate User?

7. What do I need to know about Blanket POs/Contracts?

Our typical Judiciary-wide blankets (such as Rudolph’s and MD Rubber Stamp) exist in GEARS. However, they are in GEARS as contracts and are labeled with a Blanket PO Number.  Please review the List of Contracts that can be found on the GEARS site for specific guidance as to whether an Express PO is required. 

There is a tip sheet available for Creating an Express PO. Department-specific POs have been entered in GEARS as well.  If a Department-specific PO exists against a Blanket PO/Contract, there is no need for an Express PO.  You can receive and voucher against a Department-specific PO directly. 

8. How do I know whether to create an eProcurement Requisition or an Express PO?

For Goods covered by a Blanket Purchase Order/Contract, please refer to the List of Contracts on the GEARS site for specific guidance on whether an Express PO is required: 

If you find that an Express PO is required, there is a tip sheet available for Creating an Express Purchase Order.

An Express Purchase Order is NOT required when a Department has already created a Purchase Order from the Blanket Purchase Order/Contract, specific for their use. In cases like this, the Department-specific Purchase Order would already include that department's accounting distribution codes.

For Goods/Services NOT covered by a Blanket Purchase Order/Contract:
If the amount of your order is $2500 or less (or $500 or less for District Court), and the goods/services are NOT covered by a Judiciary Blanket Purchase Order/Contract, you may create an Express Purchase Order, although it is NOT required.  If needed, there is a tip sheet available for Creating an Express Purchase Order. Because an Express Purchase Order is NOT required in this case, you can instead simply create a non-PO Voucher when you receive the invoice from the vendor.  There is a tip sheet available for Creating a Non-PO Voucher.

If the amount of your order is more than $2500 (or more than $500 for District Court), and the goods/services are NOT covered by a Blanket Purchase Order/Contract, you will need to create an eProcurement Requisition so the Purchasing Department (DPCGA) can source the Requisition to a Purchase Order.  There is a tip sheet available for Creating an eProcurement Requisition.

Finally, if in the past you required a Purchase Order from the Purchasing Department (DPCGA) for similar goods, you will need to create an eProcurement Requisition so the Purchasing Department (DPCGA) can source the Requisition to a Purchase Order.  There is a tip sheet available for Creating an eProcurement Requisition.

For Purchase Orders created by DPCGA:  Receipts are optional for services, but required for goods.  If you have purchases from a vendor for both goods and services, create separate lines on your Requisition.  If you want to receive on services, please request it on your Requisition.

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9. Why do I need to create another Requisition if there is already a Blanket PO/Contract?

You do NOT need to create a Requisition if the goods/services are covered by a Blanket Purchase Order/Contract.

10. Should the Express Purchase Order or Purchase Order be by Quantity or by Amount?

For Express Purchase Orders, you can decide whether to order goods and services by specifying the quantity (and price), or the amount.    If you plan to receive and voucher by amount (full or partial), the Express PO must be “by Amount”.  To do this, the “Amount Only” Checkbox (on the Attributes Tab) must be checked.

For Purchase Orders generated by the Purchasing Department (DPCGA), the decision on the method of receiving will be made by DPCGA based on the Goods and Services to be ordered, and the contractual terms and conditions. DPCGA will determine whether the PO will be by quantity or by amount.

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11. What happens after I create an eProcurement Requisition?

The requisition is reviewed by the Budget and Finance Department (DBF).  If changes are required, you will be notified and then you should review the Tip Sheet Creating an eProcurement Requisition for assistance.  Once approved by DBF, the requisition automatically routes to the Purchasing Department (DPCGA).

DPCGA will notify you when the Requisition has been sourced to a Purchase Order.  When the goods or services have been delivered, you may need to create a receipt in GEARS.  There is a tip sheet available for Creating a PO Receipt. NOTE: Receipts are optional for services, but required for goods. 

Once the invoice is received from the vendor, you’ll need to create a GEARS voucher so the invoice can be paid.  If you’ve entered a receipt, there is a tip sheet available for Creating a PO Receipt Voucher. If you have not entered a receipt, there is a tip sheet available for Creating a PO Voucher.

Remember that Purchase Orders and Express Purchase Orders must be Approved, Budget Checked and Dispatched before you can create a receipt and a voucher. Contact the buyer if you need assistance dispatching a Purchase Order.

12. What happens after I create an Express Purchase Order?

If approval is required, you will be notified when the Express Purchase Order has been approved.  You will then need to Budget Check, and Dispatch the Express PO.  When the goods or services have been delivered, you may create a receipt in GEARS, although it is NOT required. Exception:  Receipts are required for Express POs for District Court.  If needed, there is a tip sheet available for Creating a PO Receipt.

Once the invoice is received from the vendor, you will need to create a GEARS voucher so the invoice can be paid.  If you’ve entered a receipt, there is a tip sheet available for Creating a PO Receipt Voucher. If you have not entered a receipt, there is a tip sheet available for Creating a PO Voucher.

Remember that Purchase Orders and Express Purchase Orders must be Approved, Budget Checked and Dispatched before you can create a receipt and a voucher.  Contact the Purchasing Department (DPCGA) if you need assistance dispatching an Express Purchase Order.

13. Can I enter a receipt for less than the full Quantity or Amount?

You can receive for the full or partial quantity/amount.  However, if your receiving method is by Amount, you cannot change the Receipt Quantity.  The Receipt Quantity will default to 1.  If your receiving method is by Quantity, you cannot change the Receipt Amount.  The Receipt Amount will be calculated, based on the Quantity and Price.

If your receiving method is incorrect, contact the Purchasing Department (DPCGA) for assistance.

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14. Can I create multiple Receipts and Vouchers against the same Purchase Order or Express Purchase Order?

Yes, you can create additional Receipts/Vouchers for the same PO or Express PO, up to the full Quantity or Amount.  Note that there should be a corresponding voucher (for same quantity and amount) for each receipt.

15. Can I create a Voucher without a Purchase Order?

If the amount of your order is $2500 or less (or $500 or less for District Court), and the order is NOT covered by a Blanket Purchase Order/Contract, you can simply create a non-PO Voucher when you receive the invoice from the vendor.  There is a tip sheet available for Creating a Non-PO Voucher.

16. Can I create a Voucher without a Receipt?

Receipts are optional for Express POs (other than for District Court), and optional for POs for services.  Receipts are required for Express POs for District Court, and for POs for goods.  For Express POs and POs without a receipt, you can simply create a PO voucher when you receive the invoice from the vendor.  There is a tip sheet available for Creating a PO Voucher.

17. What is Matching?

Matching is the process of applying system rules against the voucher, purchase order, and receipt to determine whether a voucher can be paid.  The quantity/amount ordered must match the quantity/amount received, and must also match the quantity/amount of the vendor’s invoice before a voucher is issued for payment.  The best way to ensure successful Matching on your voucher is to “Copy from Source Document” using the Receipt ID.  This will copy the line and payment information from the receipt (and PO) into the voucher.  In most cases the Action you will run on your voucher is the “Match, Doc Tolerance, Budget Check”.  The voucher’s Submit for Approval button is enabled after successful matching.  There is a tip sheet available for Creating a PO Receipt Voucher.

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18.What should I do if my Budget Check fails?

Click on the “Error” Hyperlink next to the Budget Check and a new window opens explaining the error.  Contact DBF Budget for further assistance, if needed.

19. What do I do if my transaction is rejected by the Approver?

If your Requisition, Express Purchase Order or Voucher is rejected by the Approver, read the comments, make the necessary adjustments, and resubmit the transaction.

20. How do I know who needs to approve my transaction?

Click on the “View Approvals” hyperlink to see the names of the people in your approval routing.

21. What do I need to know about Interpreter Invoices?

Interpreter invoices are entered in GEARS to pay for the services of court interpreters.  You will need to select payee information, and enter line information to capture the details of the compensation (hours) and expenses to be paid.  By default, each interpreter invoice contains one invoice line for compensation (Expense Type: INT-COMP01), and one line for other expenses (Expense Type: INT-EXP00).  Choose the appropriate expense type and enter the number of hours or the expense amount.  You can delete the second line of the invoice if not needed.  You can also add additional lines.  Your interpreter invoice will need to be saved and submitted for approval.  If your invoice is denied, you can correct the same invoice and submit it for approval again.  There is no need to create a new invoice.  Note: Source documentation is required.  You cannot save an interpreter invoice without an attachment.  There is a tip sheet available for Creating an Interpreter Invoice.

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22. What do I need to know about Quick Invoice Entry (District Court Only)?

The GEARS Quick Invoice Entry page is used by District Court to enter travel expense reimbursements, as well as appointed attorney invoices. Once saved (and Build Status is “To Build”), Quick Invoice Vouchers are routed to District Court Headquarters for approval and processing.  NOTE: If you do not know the Vendor information or Chartfield values (i.e. accounting codes), DCHQ will take care of this for you.  There is a tip sheet available for Creating a Quick Invoice.

23. What do I need to know about Expense Vouchers (Non-District Court)?

The Regular Entry page is used by all courts/departments EXCEPT District Court to enter expense vouchers and employee reimbursements in GEARS. There is a tip sheet available Creating an Expense Voucher. Please remember to Save and then Budget Check your expense voucher BEFORE you Submit for Approval.  NOTE: Matching is not done for expense vouchers (as there is no PO/Receipt). 

24. What do I do if the vendor is not in GEARS, or the information needs to be changed?

Complete the GEARS Vendor Maintenance form that can be found on the GEARS site, (http://mdcourts.gov/gears/forms.html), and submit as indicated on the form. 

25. Should I enter Freight on my Voucher?

Please do not break out the freight costs in the voucher header section for routine non-PO invoices. This field only needs to be used when your invoice is associated with a PO and the PO does not include freight in the PO line charges. In this case, freight should be itemized on the voucher header to prevent a match exception.

26.Should I change the Pay Terms on the Voucher?

Please do not change the Pay Terms on the voucher.  Pay terms should always remain as NET00.

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