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USASR/USPSR 'opening' prior periods to post transactions

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I have yet to find a treasurer, especially those who are former AOS auditors, who like the fact that a district can re-open a previously closed period and post a transaction.  In fact, they are saying we are enabling to do things they shouldn't be doing.

The only reason I can see being able to go BACKWARDS and open a period is to run a report for totals from that month if a report needs regenerated due to loss.  They agreed.  They don't want anyone to be able to go and back post. 

Anyone have any input from their users.  Mine are 100% NO to back posting to a previously closed period, not even one month back.

:-)

Valerie
 
asked March 21, 2016 02:29 PM

 

2 Answers

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I understand your example of why a period would need to be open, but I'd have to counter a bit and say "why did the books get closed when clearly there were corrections still to make?"  Lack of Communication.  Then there are my former AOS auditors points.  If you run reports, close, then re-open to post any transaction of any type (moot point in this case), will the district remember to re-run all reports that those postings affected?

One treasurer in my last USPSr training, in particular, said when she was an auditor, she a treasurer who couldn't balance used to post transactions, close and then delete/back out the transactions.  She did this every month and when audit eventually found those transactions and saw they happened every month, she was fired and lost her license.  So, it's not always a matter of lack of communication or taking what isn't yours, but still, doing the naughty thing and posting transactions and going back and cancelling them out.  This situation was the first thing to come to mind when I mentioned the 'open previous periods'.  I would think, as a good treasurer, that they wouldn't close until they were balanced.  According to my 6 former AOS staff members, that's the way it is SUPPOSED to be.  Now, if it's a deminimus amount and they find and correct it before fiscal year end, they would just make a notation.  But they fear this new 'capability' of re-opening prior periods for anything but re-generating reports/running a new report they just wrote, is going to make audit's job harder because they can generate and keep any report they want.  Audit would really have a hard time knowing when they truly closed and what totals are the REAL totals, other than looking at the report generation date.

That's just what came to mind after thinking about your answer.  Wanted to 'brain dump' all their thoughts and such before I forgot.  Truly, I believe this ALL leans towards audit and taking a system that did have restrictions and now opening up 'new capabilities' for a district to do as they please, because you know some think they can hide every and anything. Now, we -think- it's going to be a lot easier.

Thanks for the response.  It was a good one. :-)

Valerie
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answered March 29, 2016 11:47 AM
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Valerie:

There is a difference between what the software is capable of (features), and what it should allow users to do (controls).  

In the Classic software, there were no choices.  Once you closed a period, the accumulator amounts were gone and the period could not be re-opened (required a restore operation).  Because Redesign is not based on accumulators, the software is capable of re-opening a period without affecting it's ability to produce MTD or FTD totals.

In Redesign, the "open" flag on a Posting Period only determines if new transactions can be posted into the period.  That's it, nothing else.   So far as the software is concerned, you can flip the flag on or off whenever and as often as you like.

The valid question you raise is regarding the controls around opening and re-opening posting periods.   Should a district be able to re-open a prior period?  If so, under what conditions?  How may periods back can your re-open (just the prior period, any period, only periods in the current fiscal year)?

Suppose a Treasurer closes the a month, and 30 seconds later, her assistance calls and says "But I haven't entered those last correcting entries yet!"  Under the classic software, you'd have to either restore the files or post the corrections in the next period.    Under Redesign, you (currently) have the choice of simply re-opening, posting the entries, then re-closing the period.  

We will be discussing this issue with users and the auditors in detail and evolving the rules.  It's quite possible, that you're correct and we should never allow a closed period to be re-opened.  If so, it will be easy to implement a mandatory rule which disables re-opening a period.  But it's also possible that there are legitimate and acceptable conditions where a prior period can be re-opened that the rules can allow.    If a district disagrees with the base rules we implement, they'll have the option to implement tighter controls. 

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answered March 28, 2016 12:38 PM

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