As your city starts to experience the effects of the coronavirus COVID-19 in your community, it is critical to document any and all expenditures and possible loss of revenue your city may experience as a result of the virus
in the event you need to apply for public assistance funds. Documentation is critical to getting public assistance, and those who have clear and complete documentation tend to get approval and payment more swiftly than those who do not.
Below are some ideas on what you should be documenting and how you can use your SimpleCity Financial Accounting Modules, or “FAM,” during this time.
In addition, gWorks is offering a Webinar Series for additional information. See more below.
What to Document
Your city should be documenting any budget shortfalls, additional expenditures and wages, and any unplanned costs associated with COVID-19. This includes:
- Wages paid while offices are closed, including any benefits that are paid
- Emergency Paid Leave in compliance with the Families First Cornonavirus Response Act. Click here to view the Emergency Paid Leave Fact Sheet.
- Cost of the city’s portion of insurance paid for any employees not working
- Overtime wages paid in response to public crisis
- Cost of cleaning, essential personnel, or cleaning supplies like gloves and hand sanitizer
- Costs associated with telecommuting
- Cost to host public meetings or hearings virtually
- Possible budget shortfalls due to loss of sales tax/revenue or lodging tax
- Possible budget shortfalls due to loss of road use tax
- Budget shortfalls due to utility customer’s inability to pay their bill
How to Document
There are many features and reports across the various SimpleCity FAM modules that you can use to document and deal with the effects of the current COVID-19 crisis. Remember to keep a copy of all reports and journals that SimpleCity generates for reference.
- Use the Notes feature extensively across all modules for additional documentation. Set up note categories and run notes reports to see details.
- General Ledger
- Set up new expense lines in General Ledger and related Cost Centers in Payroll to track certain expenses like cleaning supplies, health-related supplies, telecommuting costs, virtual meeting costs.
- Add a Fiscal Note on accounts with budget shortfalls due to loss of tax/utility revenue income.
- Run the Revenue Report on a monthly basis and document any revenue shortfalls with the Attach Notes option.
- Accounts Payable
- Document any hardware costs or expenses you are charged by IT support for setting up the ability to work remotely. That includes setting up city employees with Remote Desktop, VPN, or purchasing laptops or other hardware.
- Document additional expenses that employees need for working from home like internet or phone.
- Utility Billing:
- You may choose to not shut off any services due to late or no payment. In that case, process your Utility Billing as normal but do not run the shut-off process.
- You may also opt to waive penalties for late utility payments. There are two ways of waiving penalties in Utility Billing:
- Option 1: Do not run the penalty calculation or run it in non-update mode. Save the journal or non-update penalty report that shows what penalties would have been charged. This will track the lost revenue from late payments.
- Option 2: gWorks can create a grace penalty for you that allows for a certain number of grace periods throughout the year. This grace period can be set to any number of months. In this case, you will run your normal penalty process and the journal will provide a record of which customers had waived penalties. Make sure to save these records.
- You have the option to change the wording on your delinquent or final notices to let your residents know they are still delinquent but at this time there are no consequences and they will not be shut off. Please contact gWorks for assistance.
- Use Account or History Notes to document exceptions for customers. You will also have the option to attach files for supporting documentation.
- If you plan to write off utility balances on uncollectible bills due to COVID-19, use a Balance Adjustment code to document COVID-19 related loss of income.
- If Federal or State government provides Energy Assistance for utility customers, post those monies the way you would normally post and track energy assistance.
- Set up a new comp time code to track paid leave. This can be used to track emergency or specialty sick leave that is given out for self-quarantining, those who test positive, or other COVID-19 related issues. Utilize reports to document all instances.
- Track employees who take FMLA due to COVID-19. Do this through Leave Notes and be sure to attach files for supporting documentation.
- Use Personnel or Employee Notes to document employees who were sent home on paid leave, laid off, or are still receiving health insurance.
If you have any questions, please put in a ticket through the Client Portal or call us at 888-608-7666.
COVID-19 Webinar Series
Beginning on Thursday, March 26th gWorks is offering free daily educational webinars to provide you with training on how to use and benefit from these features and capabilities. The full schedule is below. To register for these webinars, please sign up through our Events Page. The webinars are open and available to all gWorks clients and there is no limit on how many you can attend.
· Thursday, 3/26 @ 2pm – Using Notes to Document COVID-19 – 45 Minutes
· Friday, 3/27 @ 2pm – Payroll: Paying Emergency Leave & FMLA per H.R. 6201 – 45 Minutes
· Monday, 3/30 @ 2pm – Utility Billing: Tracking Penalties & Shut Offs Waived – 30 Mins
· Tuesday, 3/31 @ 2pm – General Ledger: Setting Up Expense Accounts to Track COVID-19 Expenses – 30 minutes
· Wednesday, 4/1 @ 2pm – General Ledger: Tracking Budget Shortfalls due to COVID-19 – 30 Mins
· Thursday, 4/2 @ 2pm – Utility Billing: Tracking Balance Forgiveness Due to COVID-19 – 30 Mins