Read and sign district credit card agreement in Skyward starting October 4

Laptop computer open with a credit card in front of it on the table and hands typing

Do you have a district-issued credit card? Do you travel as part of your job? Do you manage credit cards for your program or school? Do you occasionally check out a procurement/credit card? If so, please read further.

Each October staff fill out their annual employee agreement regarding credit card use. If you use a district-issued credit card, we need you to read and sign this agreement. Beginning October 4, Skyward will prompt you to complete the 2022-23 SY CC MOU. This is a requirement to use district procurement cards (credit cards).

Please review each of the attestations carefully in order to ensure your understanding and compliance.  Acknowledgement of all items is required to use a district procurement card. 

We’d like to remind you of the following:

  • I will avoid transactions requiring a credit card fee. 
  • I will not use the card for technology purchases over $40 per item and I will ensure that digital downloaded content will be saved to a district device. (Contact the Technology Department with any questions)
  • I will not use the card for gas purchases if I am claiming mileage. Fuel purchases CANNOT be charged on travel or building/department credit cards. (Employees are “reimbursed” for fuel via claiming mileage OR when a district vehicle is in use, the vehicle includes a credit card for associated fuel purchases. Purchasing fuel with the credit card for a pre-approved rental car is OK.)
  • I will ensure food/meal purchases are completed in compliance with the district’s Group Meal Policy, including per-diem amounts.
  • I will not use the card to purchase gift cards, gas cards, postage stamps, or any other items considered cash or cash equivalent per the WA State Auditor’s Office.
  • I understand I am responsible for providing original, itemized receipts for all charges against this card promptly after purchase.
  • I am mindful that all purchases must be shipped to a Olympia School District entity/address (e.g. building address).  Therefore, shipments should never be made to a personal address.
  • I understand that failure to adhere to the above district guidelines may result in termination of the district-issued procurement card privilege.

We understand that you may have questions or concerns about items listed on the complete form. Please email help-business@osd.wednet.edu so that we may answer you directly.

Also remember, the Skyward form process is helpful because we can eliminate paper processing for the employee. However, the Skyward form system is less intuitive than other systems; after you fill out the attestations (double check that all check boxes are checked), look at the top of the screen for the red wording that states “I have completed this step.” Check that box, then select “Next” in the lower right-hand corner. On the next screen, check the box stating “I have completed this online form” and select “Finish” in the lower right-hand corner.

Submit travel expense reimbursements by August 31

Shallow view of Mac laptop

The following is a message from the Business Office:

Historical OSD procedures, and updates adopted in 2016, require that Travel Expense Reimbursement submittals be submitted within 60 days post travel. Our district must meet these guidelines to ensure that budget managers know how much budget capacity they have remaining because payments of past activity are being taken out of accounts within a predictable time period.

In alignment with our travel procedures; we will require travel expense reimbursement be submitted within 60 days post travel.  This will require prompt submissions of expense reimbursement (in Skyward) for travel expenditures incurred.

In addition to the 60 days post travel provision; law requires expenditures for travel be posted in the same fiscal year they are incurred. Therefore, expenditures for the month of June through August 2022 must be submitted in Skyward by August 31, 2022 to be posted to the 21-22 fiscal year.

Complete 2022-23 budget survey by June 3

Each spring as the district plans the next school year’s budget, students, staff, parents/guardians and community members are asked to share their priorities for how the district should spend its local and state resources.

This year, we ask that participants complete several short sections of an online budget survey to help us plan for the 2022-23 school year. The deadline to complete the survey is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 3, 2022.

Please submit one survey per person.

Take the survey

Timesheet Tuesdays

Some employees have raised concerns that they are unable to submit for their time worked in order to be paid. We do not want barriers to staff being paid. In fact, the whole purpose of the new system is to make getting paid easier and faster. Therefore, we have implemented a couple of changes and will do more as we understand what aspects of our timesheet system are a barrier and how we can improve.

  • Timesheet Tuesdays: Virtual Office hours every Tuesday morning and afternoon, through June 21, 2022. We will help you through your stack of submissions (see links at the end of this blog post).
  • One-on-one phone support. We will walk you through accessing the form and getting started, or help you with a problem submission.
  • Working through your stack and running into an issue, email help-payroll@osd.wednet.edu
  • Video tutorials, easier access: many short (1 minute) tutorials are developed for each employee group and type of time. Now there is easier access to the tutorials from the online forms intranet page.

Help: I Cannot Submit a Timesheet!

My timesheet (item) has been rejected by a supervisor or program manager.

If a supervisor or program manager rejects your timesheet item, they give a reason and that reason is emailed to you. If you understand the reason, great, you can resubmit the item. If not please seek help from the Payroll Office and they will research it for you.

I keep trying to submit, but the system will not let me.

If you are never able to submit a timesheet item (for example, your name key is not correct or the name of the person that you substituted for–Internal Substitute–is not correct) you must reach out to the Payroll Office so that they can research the problem and help you. The Payroll Office does not get notified that you have attempted to but have been unsuccessful at submitting a timesheet item. Therefore, you must reach out for help.

Please see below for the multiple options for how to get help from the Payroll Office

Virtual Office Hours, Tuesday Timesheet Help

The Payroll Office staff will offer virtual office hours with the following zoom links each Tuesday for a total of one hour, through June 21, 2022. Drop in at any point of these zooms, and they will help you as long as it takes. Others may be in the zoom also; if your question is one that you would like to discuss in private, they will create a break out room and problem solve with you one-on-one.

Please note, if you arrive into the virtual office later in the window (e.g., 7:55 am), the time will not end; Payroll will stay to help you.

Tuesdays 7:30-8 am: Tuesday AM Timesheet Help Session
Tuesdays 3:30-4 pm: Tuesday PM Timesheet Help Session

One-on-One Phone Support

Please dial 360-596-6190.  Payroll staff will send you a zoom link, share screens and walk you through help or just coach you on the phone. Office hours are typically 8 am to 4:30 pm, but may vary during breaks and holidays.

Submit an Issue and We will Research It

If you are experiencing trouble with a submission, please email the payroll office with a short description of the problem. help-payroll@osd.wednet.edu

Video Tutorials

On the online forms webpage, there is a new link to the video tutorials. These are divided by employee group and type of time. This way, as you are filling out a form, and having difficulty you can more easily access the tutorial.

Image of the district website payroll page that says "Payroll ?How to use these forms"

This link takes you to the many 1-minute videos and written tutorials:

This image shows where on the payroll page of the website to find the online tutorials. go to Olympia Education Association (OEA) Certificated dropdown, then see three tutorial videos: Type of timesleep, Allocated Hours and Internal Substitute.

New HELP Box

Next to the online forms, we have added a new box with key links for easy access to help. All of the items described above, have a reminder or link in this box.

This displays links that are next to the online forms: They are:
Submit a Timesheet
Search my Timesheets
Submit Time Off
Supervisors Approve Timesheets
The image also include a box with the email for help, which is help-payroll@osd.wednet.edu, or all 360-596-6190. It also lists the times for Timesheet Tuesday Zoom help, which are included in the text in the article

Legislature and governor delay Washington Cares Long-Term Care program

Person in a wheelchair sits outside in a courtyard. Photo is taken from behind the individual.

The information below is a follow-up, including new information, to a message shared with OSD employees in the Here’s the Scoop post on January 13, 2022.

The Washington Cares Fund law (also referred to as the Long-Term Care benefit law) was enacted by the 2019 Legislature. The purpose of the law is to set up a system for employees to save and buy into long-term care services. Seven out of 10 people will need long-term care in their elder years, and without a funding source this can cause significant hardship on the individual and their family.

By law, beginning January 1, 2022 employers must collect the premiums that fund the system from the paychecks of any employee who was not recognized as being exempt by the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD).

On December 17, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative leaders released a statement committing to make changes to the Washington Cares Fund law in the 2022 Legislative Session. Many state of Washington employees and employers provided feedback on the legislation regarding the small benefit of the program, and the inequity for employees nearing retirement and for employees who work in Washington now, but will likely never benefit from the program.

On January 27, 2022 Gov. Inslee signed legislation to delay the Long-Term Care payroll tax. Substitute House Bill 1732 will delay implementation of the legislation by 18 months.

Unfortunately, payroll for the month of January was processed on January 25, 2022 and therefore the district was required to collect the long-term care payroll tax. It was not possible to delay processing payroll and also ensure that all payments can be processed by the treasurer and banks in time to be deposited to employees by January 31.

The district will refund 100 percent of payroll tax collected with your February payroll. Please email help-payroll@osd.wednet.edu if you have further questions that we can help with.

Feb. 2 community webinar focuses on legislative priorities and 2022-23 budget planning

The community is invited to a one-hour Zoom webinar on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 to learn about OSD Legislative Priorities and 2022-23 Budget Planning.

The webinar will be held from 6-7 p.m. on Zoom (see Zoom details below).

Superintendent Patrick Murphy will be joined in the webinar by Jennifer Priddy, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Capital Planning.

After a brief introduction, Superintendent Murphy and Assistant Superintendent Priddy will address questions posed by participants during the Zoom webinar and/or emailed in advance. If you are unable to attend, feel free to email questions in advance to: communications@osd.wednet.edu.

The monthly community webinars, which started in October 2021, are recorded and posted on the district website. Listen to past webinar recordings

February 2, 2022 Zoom details:
Please follow this link to join the webinar: https://osd111.zoom.us/j/81617149259

Or One tap mobile:
US: +12532158782,,81617149259# or +16699006833,,81617149259#

Or Telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 253 215 8782 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592

Webinar ID: 816 1714 9259

International numbers availablehttps://osd111.zoom.us/u/kcwQEMpVO

Stay informed about Washington Cares Fund law

Individual sitting in wheelchair on a path outside a building

The Washington Cares Fund law (also referred to as the Long-Term Care benefit law) was enacted by the 2019 Legislature. The purpose of the law is to set up a system for employees to save and buy into long-term care services. Seven out of 10 people will need long-term care in their elder years, and without a funding source this can cause significant hardship on the individual and their family.

In fall 2021, ending on November 1, 2021, employees had the opportunity to opt out of the system by buying private long-term care insurance and applying to the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) for exemption. Beginning January 1, 2022 employers must collect the premiums that fund the system from the paychecks of any employee who was not recognized as being exempt by the ESD.

On December 17, 2021, Governor Inslee and legislative leaders released a statement committing to make changes to the Washington Cares Fund law in the 2022 Legislative Session. Many state of Washington employees and employers provided feedback on the legislation regarding the small benefit of the program, and the inequity for employees nearing retirement and for employees who work in Washington now, but will likely never benefit from the program.

Until the existing state law is amended however, Olympia School District must follow the law and proceed with collecting the WA Cares Fund premiums in January 2022. As part of the Governor’s December 17 announcement, he directed the ESD to not collect any premiums from employers until the close of the quarter in order to give the Legislature time to work on these projected modifications. This decision by the Governor and ESD does not change the underlying law that requires employers to collect the premiums from employees.  

In the event the law is amended, Olympia School District will comply with the changes and follow the new timelines identified. If premiums are required to be reversed, the district will quickly do so. Any premiums that have been collected that are not consistent with the new amended law, will be returned to employees. 

To review the WA Cares Fund benefit and provisions and see messages from Governor Inslee regarding future amendments to the law, visit wacaresfund.wa.gov.

If you have questions about this premium and/or your exemption status, please contact the ESD https://wacaresfund.wa.gov/contact-us/ .

Note:  If you applied for and received an exemption from tax from ESD, and submitted your notice to OSD Payroll Services in December or earlier, you should not see the tax/premium reflected on your pay stub. Employees have until December 31, 2022 to apply for an exemption, but exemptions will only be granted for policies purchased by November 1, 2021.

Read and sign district credit card agreement in Skyward starting October 1

Close up of person with a laptop computer and a charge card

Do you have a district-issued credit card? Do you travel as part of your job? Do you manage credit cards for your program or school? Do you occasionally check out a procurement/credit card? If so, please read further.

Each October staff fill out their annual employee agreement regarding credit card use. If you use a district-issued credit card, we need you to read and sign this agreement. This year the Acceptable Use Agreement of District-Issued Procurement Card has been updated slightly.  With the changing work environment the Washington State Auditor’s Office recommended changes to the agreement that the district uses. Beginning October 1, Skyward will prompt you to complete the 2021-22 SY MOU. This is a requirement to use district procurement cards (credit cards).

Changes include:

  • Technology purchases over $40 per item
  • Food and Fuel Purchases
  • Providing an itemized receipt to credit card custodians
  • Failure to follow guidelines may result in termination of credit card privilege

The following attestations have been added to the agreement. Acknowledgement of all items is required to use a district procurement card. New or updated attestations, bold/underline indicates new wording:

  • I will not use the card for technology purchases over $40 per item and I will ensure that digital downloaded content will be saved to a district device. (Contact the Technology Department with any questions)
  • I will not use the card for gas purchases if I am claiming mileage. Fuel purchases CANNOT be charged on travel or building/department credit cards. (Employees are “reimbursed” for fuel via claiming mileage OR when a district vehicle is in use, the vehicle includes a credit card for associated fuel purchases. Purchasing fuel with the credit card for a pre-approved rental car is OK.)
  • I will ensure food/meal purchases are completed in compliance with the district’s Group Meal Policy, including per-diem amounts.
  • I understand I am responsible for providing original, itemized receipts for all charges against this card promptly after purchase.
  • I understand that failure to adhere to the above district guidelines may result in termination of the district-issued procurement card privilege.

We understand that you may have questions or concerns about the new wording above or any of the others listed on the complete form. Please email help-business@osd.wednet.edu so that we may answer you directly.

Also remember, the Skyward form process is helpful because we can eliminate paper processing for the employee. However, the Skyward form system is less intuitive than other systems; after you fill out the attestations (double check that all check-boxes are checked), remember to scroll down to look for the “submit” button and click “submit” in two different places.

Submit travel expense reimbursements by August 31

person working on a laptop

The following message is from the district Business Office:

Historical OSD procedures, and updates adopted in 2016, require that Travel Expense Reimbursement submittals be submitted within 60 days post travel. Our district must meet these guidelines to ensure that budget managers know how much budget capacity they have remaining because payments of past activity are being taken out of accounts within a predictable time period.

In alignment with our travel procedures; we will require travel expense reimbursement be submitted within 60 days post travel.  This will require prompt submissions of expense reimbursement (in Skyward) for travel expenditures incurred.

In addition to the 60 days post travel provision; law requires expenditures for travel be posted in the same fiscal year they are incurred. Therefore, expenditures for the month of June through August 2021 must be submitted in Skyward by August 31, 2021 to be posted to the 20-21 fiscal year.

Top 12 most important financial policies

The following information is submitted by the OSD Business Office:

Below is an article published by Office of the Washington State Auditor on June 18, 2021. We are sharing as a means of providing the understanding of the foundation we use in making financial decisions and helping to ensure good financial management for our district.

According to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), it’s a best practice for governments to formally adopt financial policies. We couldn’t agree more. Financial policies create expectations for government operations, provide a foundation for making financial decisions and help ensure good financial management.

Here are the top 12 we consider essential:

Budgeting and planning – Your budget process should be formalized in writing, with methods and roles and responsibilities for finance staff and department heads. In addition, long-term financial planning processes should describe how many years will be forecasted and how often the forecast will be reviewed and updated.

Resources:

Municipal Research Services Center (MRSC) Budget policies
GFOA Long-term planning and forecasting policy template

2. Cash management and investing – These policies are crucial for delegating authority, planning for sufficient operating cash, establishing investment strategies, and ensuring monitoring controls over these high-risk assets.

Resources:

MRSC’s Investment policies
GFOA Investment policy best practices

3. Fund stabilization and cash reserves – Every organization needs some money stored away for emergencies, future projects or commitments, or general working capital to meet operating needs. This policy directs cash reserve levels and annual commitments to create or replenish them.

Resources:

MRSC Fund balance and reserve policies
GFOA Example policies for reserves

4. Cash receipting – This policy is important so cashiers, and managers that oversee them, understand their responsibilities and what they should and should not do. It should address physical security of cash receipts, as well as who can approve steps and actions related to cash receipting (such as a new receipting location or accepting credit cards), and many other items.

Resources:

State Auditor’s Office Cash receipting best practices guide
GFOA Revenue control policy best practices

5. Capital asset management – A capital asset policy should provide the foundation for making important decisions about your assets, such as a long-term strategy for maintenance and repair. It should also cover various accounting aspects, such as setting a capitalization threshold, inventory requirements, disposition procedures, and asset replacement.

Resources:

MRSC Asset management policies
GFOA Capital asset management best practices
The Budgeting, Accounting, and Reporting System, contains requirements for a capital asset policy

6. Debt management – These policies establish the framework that guide how you will incur and manage debt, for example the types of debt instruments allowed, debt limits, the process to issue new debt including selection of service providers, and the management of current debt. These decisions can impact a government’s financial well-being for 20-30 years, so it’s important to have strategies in place.

Resources:

MRSC Debt management policies
GFOA Debt management policy best practices

7. Procurement – This policy provides much needed clarity on the requirements and processes for purchasing various goods and services. Many governments have statutory requirements establishing various dollar thresholds for procurement, and those that don’t should establish their own.

Resources:

MRSC’s Procurement policy guidelines
State Auditor’s Office resource, includes guidance for establishing policies over change orders

8. Disbursement systems controls policy – This policy should cover the process and control system for each major disbursements process, like payroll and accounts payable. It should cover controls over transactions from initiation to payment, as well as the monitoring that should take place.

Resources:

Coming soon! We will be including policy development tips in our payroll and accounts payable best practices guides.

9. Expenditure authorization policies – These policies address specific types of expenditures that are allowed and the rules surrounding them. These include policies like compensation, travel, employee reimbursements, and others depending on the programs your government operates. For example, if you provide advanced travel funds or have an employee recognition program, then you should have policies in place before you process this type of expenditure.

Resources:

MRSC Travel and expense reimbursement policies
MRSC Sample document library

10. Segregation of duties – Policy should spell out which duties should be segregated, and the additional oversight controls expected if or when key responsibilities can’t be divided among employees. This policy can be more general and describe the expected high-level authorization, recording, custody of assets, and reconciliation duties that should be separated. Or, it may be specific on what certain positions should not do.

Resources:

While we don’t have a specific resource to demonstrate what to include in a policy, you might find this resource helpful: State Auditor’s Office Segregation of Duties Guide

11. Conflict of interest/ethics – Officers and employees should not have a financial interest in any transaction they authorize or are involved with (in the course of their duties). Also, they should not unfairly benefit as a result of having their position. This policy should communicate expectations and give employees several ways to report concerns to the governing body. Washington state law provides the basis for these policies and is referred to in the following resources.

Resources:

MRSC Local Code of Ethics webpage
State Auditor’s Office’s Making it easy to report concerns

12. Document retention – This policy covers your government’s requirements and methods to manage documents from creation to disposal. Some financial records must be kept for a certain period due to state retention laws. As more records are stored in electronic formats, this policy is even more important to ensure the appropriate documents are identified, securely stored and retained for the proper timeframe.

Resource: MRCS’s Electronic records policy