Maryland Courts

April 7, 2014

Hello everyone,

NEW CHANGE EFFECTIVE TUESDAY 3/25 - Please note, the field for "invoice line description" in vouchers will no longer accept the punctuation marks of a colon, apostrophe, or a slash (examples : ' \). This change was needed immediately due to a requirement change by the state for our data file that we send daily. This change will impact the voucher entry processes captured in Regular Entry, Quick Entry and Interpreter Entry. The system will issue a warning upon trying to save the voucher, if you have one of the invalid punctuation marks in the voucher line description. If you receive the warning, simply change your invoice line description removing these punctuation marks and the voucher will then successfully save.
Additional Information - Please note that PO line descriptions (both from Express PO's and DPCA PO's) default into the voucher invoice line descriptions when copying from these source documents into vouchers. Therefore, please avoid use of these special punctuation marks in these PO lines as well to avoid additional issues with the voucher.

Add / Update Receipts - An issue has recently been identified in which some users are checking a box that is not required in the receipt process. Please note the Interface Receipt check box option highlighted in yellow in the below diagram. This box should NOT be checked and it is not part of the instructions for completing a receipt. Please follow instructions as provided when performing system processes. If you are not sure of an action, please complete a help desk ticket. We are looking to remove this option from the screen. However in the meantime to minimize problems, please do not check the box.

interface receipt box

Deny Workflow - If you are an approver and have received an item in your worklist that you are not sure about, the best course of action is to contact the originator for clarification, rather than just "deny" the document. The use of the deny option stops all workflow and may require the originator to start over if the document is in fact still needed. Instead, leave the document open and in your worklist until you are sure how to proceed. This could save the originator time by being able to modify the current document and resubmit for approval. However, if you do find it necessary to deny, you should provide clear workflow comments back to the originator in the required comment field.

Duplicate Invoice Warnings - The GEARS system issues a warning for a possible duplicate invoice when the same invoice number is used with the same vendor ID. If received, the user should review the invoice to ensure the invoice was not previously processed. The message is only a warning, so after proper review, it can simply be acknowledged and the voucher will move forward in processing.

FY2014 Year-End - The team is working on our plan for year-end processes. FY15 requisitions should not be entered at this time. However, if you know of any upcoming requisition that will require solicitation by the Department of Procurement and Contract Administration, please contact their office to discuss. Further detailed information for year-end will be provided as quick as possible. In the meantime, you should be reviewing your FY14 open PO's and seeking action as needed, as well as reviewing your vouchers as noted above. This can be done utilizing the following tools:
--REQ and PO Budgetary Activity (this can be run based on your PCA)
--Main Menu -> Purchasing -> Purchase Orders -> Reports -> Req and PO Budgetary Activity
--Voucher Activity Inquiry (Instructions on this can be found in the GEARS Update emails on 3/23 and 3/3)
--Main Menu -> Accounts Payable -> Review Accounts Payable Information -> Vouchers -> Voucher Activity Inquiry

Mileage Reimbursement Rate - It has recently come to our attention that not all of our GEARS users are aware of the current mileage reimbursement rate. These mileage rate notifications are distributed by the Travel Coordinator's office as they need to occur. The GEARS project team will distribute these notices via this email method to our users upon receipt. Indented below is the most recent mileage notice distributed on December 19, 2013. Please ensure when processing any mileage expense reimbursements that you are using the most current rate. The actual miles should be documented on the lower half of the form, while the top half represents the reimbursement amounts (miles * rate). Doing so will reduce additional work and potential delays in having the documents processed for payment.

The Internal Revenue Service is decreasing the reimbursement rate for use of a privately-owned vehicle from 56.5 cents to 56 cents effective January 1, 2014. The Executive Branch is following suit. Therefore, Chief Judge Barbera amended the State Joint Travel Regulations to be consistent with the Internal Revenue Service and the Executive Branch. As of January 1, 2014, the reimbursement rate will decrease to 56 cents per mile.
Roxanne McKagan, Judiciary Travel Coordinator


Ship To Locations - Each user can have a specific ship to location set up as their default location for their user ID. However, having a default ship to location assigned for all users does not meet the individual needs of everyone. Some users want the ability to enter ship to locations as needed. With this above information in mind, if you would like a default ship to location assigned to your user ID, please complete a help desk ticket. Even with a default ship to location, it can still be modified within the actual documents at the time of creation.

Voucher in Use Message - Some of you have received a system message that states your "voucher is currently in use by a Payables batch process." This is due to a process being run in the Department of Budget and Finance (DBF) that temporarily locks vouchers from being modified. If you receive this message, simply acknowledge the message by clicking OK. The voucher will be retrieved but only in display mode. If you need to take action on the voucher, wait a minute or so and then try to pull it open again. As you should know, when DBF can no longer accept changes to vouchers due to processing, the voucher fields are grayed out thus preventing any modification.

Voucher Tips - The Department of Budget and Finance put together Voucher (Invoice) Tips to assist in processing invoices as accurately as possible. Please review the document and let us know if you should have any questions. DBF will continue to add additional information as needed.

Any questions or comments, please let me know. Keep the GEARS moving!

Thank you,

Tammy Sitar, CPA
Deputy Director
Budget and Finance
Project Director - GEARS
tammy.sitar@mdcourts.gov