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Digital Magazine | December 2020

C NNECT Connecting you with Technology




Feature Stories It’s Time to Clean Up Your Fiscal Files in Classic

It is time to clean up your accounts and vendors in Classic State Software. As you are aware, Classic State Software will be gone by December 31, 2022. Whether you are planning to migrate to Redesign, Tyler Munis or eFinancePLUS, there are several steps that need to be completed prior to the migration of files. • Request a Purge of data by Connect through June 30, 2015 by sending email to to create a ticket • Process PAYDEL report to delete old PAYSCNS • Process PTDRPT report to review Project to Date amounts that can be cleared • Cancel old outstanding purchase orders that will not be used • Process VALACT report to determine if you have invalid accounts • ACTCHG & FNDCHG can be used to change files in the account master file and associated transaction records • Process DELACT to run reports for accounts that can be deleted and process the deletion of accounts • VENCHG can be used to change vendor numbers or collapse vendors • DELVEN allows districts to delete vendors that have no transactions It is important to develop procedures and a schedule that support a clean chart of accounts. If you are processing any procedure that creates a batch file, please email so we can schedule during a time where there will not be a conflict with backups or nightly scheduled jobs.



New Treasurer Spotlight Colleen Aholt, Treasurer, Brooklyn City School District Colleen Aholt is the Treasurer at Brooklyn City School District. Prior to coming to the district, she worked at Polaris Career Center as the Assistant Treasurer for six years. Colleen started her career at the State Auditor’s office working in the Local Government Services section right out of college, and while working at AOS she earned her Master’s degree at Cleveland State University. She is very excited to be at Brooklyn.

Bill Parkinson, Treasurer, Bedford City School District Bill Parkinson has been a school treasurer for 20 years, with 25 years of overall professional experience. He started as Treasurer/CFO in July, 2020 in Bedford City Schools. He spent the last 8 years in WilloughbyEastlake. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from Miami University, Ohio.

Sadie Fellure, Treasurer, Avon Local Schools Sadie Fellure graduated from The University of Akron in 2009 with a B.A. in Political Science. She received her MBA from Cleveland State University in 2012. She worked at Case Western Reserve University managing subcontract awards for the School of Medicine from 2009-2011. In 2011, she started working at North Royalton Schools where she eventually became the Assistant Treasurer and obtained her treasurer’s license. In 2017, Sadie took a position with Connect in the fiscal department where she supported Connect customers utilizing ERP software. She left Connect in 2019 to pursue her first Treasurer position at Avon Local Schools. In her free time, Sadie enjoys spending time with her friends and family, including her two dogs.

Michael Pissini, Treasurer, North Ridgeville City School District Michael Pissini officially started as treasurer on October 1, 2020 at North Ridgeville City Schools. Prior to North Ridgeville, he held the position of Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer for the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake City School District and the Wellington Exempted Village School District. He also worked for the Ohio Auditor of State’s Office in Youngstown, P3 Investments, LLC in Warren and for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.




Microsoft Excel Expert Offers Trainings

By Eric Molnar, Support Specialist, Fiscal Services

The Fiscal team was happy to recently host Microsoft Excel expert Bob Howard for a training session. The team and a few members of our local treasurers’ offices were happy to see each other in-person (with proper social-distancing measures, of course), spending two full days learning 50 of the most important functions for accounting/fiscal work. Bob Howard has taught computer classes since 1984 and began teaching Microsoft Excel 1.0 in 1986 upon its initial release. For 27 years, Mr. Howard taught math and computer science in the Columbus Public Schools. For the last 12 years, he has worked as a consultant with META. Through his private consulting,, Mr. Howard has trained thousands in the fine details of Excel, as well as providing Excel solutions to numerous educational organizations and businesses throughout Ohio. The sessions began with an overview of some basic Excel functions and a number of useful shortcuts when building a spreadsheet, but quickly moved into more complicated material. By the afternoon of the first day, even those with little experience beyond the basics were creating VLOOKUPs for complex tables. Mr. Howard demonstrated how functions such as SUMIF can make calculating charges to various accounts quick and easy, constantly updating so that our treasurers’ offices can immediately know their current totals. One of the most useful tools shared by Mr. Howard was how easy salary schedules can be updated with well-considered formulas and how a carefully designed spreadsheet can automatically update teachers’ salaries as they gain more experience from year-to-year. Finally,



these employee salaries can be merged into Word to create salary notices every summer. Each participant received a 230-page workbook and a copy of all his sample files, so they can continue to learn and investigate many more topics. Mr. Howard would often repeat that Excel allows us to do almost anything we could imagine in the Fiscal team - it’s simply a matter of knowing how to do it. These two days gave us a good start at recognizing the many tools available right at our fingertips and the confidence to explore more of a software that has become an integral part of Fiscal support.

IN THE KNOW MUNIS UPGRADES Time for Munis Upgrade It is that time again… Munis upgrade! This calendar year will be the last year for W-2s and 1099s on our current version of Munis 2018.1. As of next calendar year 2021, there will be no more support for the 2018.1 version because it will be “retired” in October 2021 and thus we will need to upgrade to a newer version before 2021 calendar year end. This can always be changed by Tyler down the

By Adam Rohrabaugh, Support Specialist, Tyler Munis Service

road if they push back the retirement date; however, it is best to be prepared. We will be looking at going to 2019.1 or 2020.1, whichever version will retire the furthest down the road so that we do not have to upgrade as frequently. Let us know your feedback on when would be the best times to upgrade. Right now it seems best to upgrade after closing fiscal year 2021, so roughly August or September of 2021.

W-2s Handled Electronically One of the features of Tyler Munis is that employee W-2s can be handled completely electronically. Connect gives the option for employees to receive their W-2s in a printed copy or just in ESS (Employee Self Service). If the employee opts into receiving their W-2 only electronically, they have to fill out our W-2 consent form. Once the form is received, there is a setting in the employee master that handles how W-2s are given to this employee. The field is titled “W-2 Delivery” and is located on the payroll tab. If they are set to “P – Print Only” the W-2 will be printed but will still be in ESS. If they are set to “S- ESS Only” they will not print and will only be in ESS. Right now with COVID-19 being a major factor in the world, employees may not want to go somewhere in person to pick up their W-2 and may benefit from having it in ESS since they have the ability to view and print still.




eFinancePLUS Update Earlier this past Spring, a survey was sent out to all eFinancePLUS (eFP) users across the state of Ohio. The eFinancePLUS Advisory Committee reviewed the results at one of our meetings and they were quite impressive. The areas that were surveyed include: • ITC Support • Workflow and Reporting • Compliance • HR & Payroll • Fund Accounting • Documentation

The most impressive statistic from these results is that the satisfaction levels increased in every category! The largest increase year over year (for both ’18 to ’19, and ’19 to ’20) was in the Compliance category which entails State and Federal reporting requirements. PowerSchool continues to improve in these areas as they develop new reports. The next largest increase in satisfaction ratings was in Fund Accounting. In the survey feedback, one user commented “This software provides the opportunity for school business officials to efficiently run district operations and communicate finances like no other product used in the past.”



By Matthew Sayre, Support Specialist, ERP Services

This is not to say that the software is perfect. The eFAC committee spent time to review every comment received, both positive and critical. This allows for the ITCs and PowerSchool to continue to improve levels of support and provide software enhancements. One conclusion that was drawn from the meeting was that the longer users are on eFP, the more satisfied they become with the software. Many of the critical points usually alleviate themselves overtime as the users become more comfortable with the software and learn more of its features. We don’t like to brag, but one noticeable point was that the category with the highest rated level of satisfaction was ITC Support. The MCOECN, ITCs, and eFP user community strive to ensure that eFP districts are always satisfied. Further resources and information can be found at Specifically, at Connect, we have a new district that has elected to migrate to eFinancePLUS: BrecksvilleBroadview Heights. With the help of TCCSA, we have been working on the conversion with the district via biweekly meetings since July. They are targeted to go live on the software beginning January 1, 2021. As of now, things are running very smoothly and they are right on track for the target date. We look forward to providing service to the district as they embark on their new software journey!




REDESIGN AND EMIS CONNECTION There is an EMIS entry area in USPS-R that can be found under Core>EMIS Entry. It can be utilized to enter necessary EMIS data if not already populated in the Employee>Position screens. There are tab options available for EMIS Employee Entry (CI records), EMIS Position Entry (CK records) as well as EMIS Contracted Service Entry (CC records). If a district needs to enter in EMIS Contractor (CJ records), the EMIS Contractor Module under SYSTEM>MODULES will need to be turned on so that this tab is available under Core>EMIS Entry. There are specific Roles created that will allow an employee to read only or access and enter the EMIS data as required. These roles LEGACY-EMISREADONLY-USER or LEGACY_EMIS_USER can be granted to a user as the district deems necessary (many times used for an EMIS Coordinator).

If for some reason you need to report different data other than what is found on the Position and Compensation records for Contract Amount, Contract Workdays, Hours in the Day or FTE for an employee, you can do that. All you need to do is go into the Position record and under the EMIS Related Information section add the information that you want to be reported to EMIS for the employee. These fields are considered override fields and, if populated, will be pulled by the SIF data collector for EMIS reporting. If these fields are left blank, then the Position and Compensation records are used to pull in the specific staff data needed for EMIS reporting. The Total, Authorized and Principal Years of Experience are reported to EMIS on the Initial and Final Staff/Course (L) Collections. This means that at the beginning of the fiscal year, the Years of Experience on the Employee records will need to be updated.

Option 1 This can be easily done for Total and Authorized Years by creating a CSV file for loading and then the user can process the Mass Load program found under Utilities.

Option 2 Use the Mass Change program found under Employees simply by importing the Increment Experience JSON file that can be found at Redesign Shared Report or Mass Change Definitions. The district can filter the Employee data on the grid and then use the Mass Change process. See the New Fiscal Year/Initial L Reporting USPS-R EMIS Checklist for complete instructions on using this process.

See the New Fiscal Year/Initial L Reporting USPS-R EMIS Checklist for complete instructions on using this process.

*NOTE* To Mass Change Experience, an employee must not have null or zero experience years listed. Those records are not to be included in the filtered data and will need to be manually updated if applicable. **NOTE** Principal Years of Experience should be manually updated as required.



Exciting News There is a new canned report, EMIS Data Collection Reports, that can assist with verifying staff data for EMIS reporting. The report is available under Reports>EMIS Reports. You have the option to run the report for Employee data (CI records) or Position data (CJ records). All you need to do is click on the respective button. When choosing the Employee tab, you will get the Employee Number, Employee Name, EMIS ID and any possible errors that are occurring on the Employee records. If you choose to generate the Position Report, you will see the Employee Number, Employee Name and the Position #/Local Contract Code listed. This report will also list any errors detected for an employee Position record. There are also some reports that can be imported from the Redesign Shared Report or Mass Change Definitions page that can assist in verifying that there is data populated in the necessary EMIS element fields that are pulled in through the SIF data collection. The following report definitions can be downloaded and imported into your instance. • EMIS Demographic Data Report.rpd-json, • EMIS Active Positions Report.rpd-json, • EMIS Inactive Positions Report.rpd-json, • EMIS Active Contract Compensation Report.rpd-json, • EMIS Active Non Contract Compensation Report.rpdjson, • EMIS Inactive Non Contract CompensationReport. rpd-json.

“Implementing the USAS Redesign software has taken a change in thinking. Change is Good! The Connect Staff has been wonderful, knowledgeable, and supportive as we have implemented and learned the Redesign software. I have found the report and query functions to be more flexible and able to be customized.” - Paul Smith, Ohio Schools Council

The links for these reports along with the elements contained in the reports can also be found in the EMIS Checklists.

Speaking of the EMIS Checklists... There is a new section in the documentation called USPS & EMIS Connection with available USPS-R/EMIS Checklists. The New Fiscal Year/Initial L Reporting USPS-R EMIS Checklist will assist in getting the staff data ready for the new fiscal year for the Initial L EMIS reporting. The other checklist, Final L Reporting USPS-R EMIS Checklist will assist with making sure that staff data is ready for the Final L SIF data collection. See Upcoming Events Page for Staff and Course Reporting Deadlines We are so pleased with our LERC redesign conversion process. The Connect team was willing to forgo dual-processing for LERC and provide the support we needed to go live. The time the Connect team spent before our conversion was evident as moving to Redesign could not have gone smoother. We only had a banking issue that needed to be resolved that has nothing to do with Redesign. The day of conversion two members of the team were on-site and the rest of the team were working diligently in the background to ensure a smooth transition. I am very impressed with the Connect Redesign Conversion Team. They are very focused, professional and worked together for a smooth transition. Their preparation and knowledge has given us the motivation to continue to improve our department processes.” - Angela Dotson, CPA Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer Educational Service Center of Lorain County




REDESIGN IMPLEMENTATION UPDATES Why is Classic State Software going away? Classic State Software is dependent on an operating system and associated applications and hardware that are obsolete and being retired by the companies that created and supported them for decades.

When is Classic State Software going away? Classic is retiring at the end of December 2022. After that date, no updates to the software are anticipated, including all tax forms and tables. Of course, W2s and 1099s for 2022 will be available in early 2023. Additionally, SSDT is continuously developing a capability for accessing archived data for historical purposes after 2022. What is the replacement software solution for the retiring Classic system?

Redesign State Software At least 283 Ohio school districts are already running their fiscal operations live on Redesign. We are currently in Wave 6 of the established ten waves of the Statewide migration schedule with four remaining timeslots. Each wave is 6 months long with migrations starting either in January or July. Please see the list of districts and implementation statuses and the wave they are scheduled to migrate from Classic to Redesign.

Redesign Status 283


Sites Live on Redesign

Total Wave 6 Sites



Participating ITCs

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Total Districts Participating

Status of District Implementations through Wave 6 ending December 31, 2020 Implementing: The ITC is running test imports and balancing reports on the entity. The district and ITC are working to schedule dates to begin dual processing and go live. ESC of Northeast Ohio, North Ridgeville, Polaris Career Center Paralleling: The entity is inputting all production transactions into both Classic and Redesign. ESC of Lorain County Live: The entity is using Redesign for production processing; no parallel processing is being performed; Classic is available in ‘read-only’ mode North Royalton, Rocky River, Brooklyn, Garfield Heights, Ohio Schools Council, Lake Erie Regional Council

Future Wave Schedules WAVE 7 January-June 2021 Avon Lake, Bay Village, Westlake

WAVE 8 July-December 2021 Avon, East Cleveland, Independence, Keystone, Lorain JVS, Midview, Intergenerational Schools

WAVE 9 January-June 2022 Lakewood, Highland, Breakthrough Schools, Cuyahoga Valley Career Center

Recent Enhancements Accounts Receivable (AR) Live!

How do we implement the Classic Accounts Receivable Facility (ARF) in the Redesign?

These report bundles are triggered to automatically generate reports when certain events are processed in Redesign. The reports that are generated are sent to a File Archive page where employees can download, view, and print the reports at their convenience. The File Archive pages are organized based on the time period or type of reports included and each shows a description, filename, and timestamp.

Connect will assist you with the implementation. There will be a test import of your Classic ARF data to ensure everything migrated correctly. The Connect Fiscal Team will compare Redesign reports against your Classic data. After the test import is successful, Connect will run the import in your live data and once fully balanced, you may begin using AR.

In addition to the standard Monthly Report Bundle and Payroll Report Bundles, districts can add custom report bundles to schedule their own reports to run at the same time as the standard reports. This is as simple as creating a new report bundle, and scheduling it to run based on the same event as the standard Report Bundle. These supplemental reports can be sent to the same File Archive folder or emailed.

If your district used a third party Accounts Receivable software solution and would like to implement the Accounts Receivable option in Redesign, please contact Connect to install the module. Once installed, you may begin using AR.

The Classic MonthlyCD and PayrollCD historical reports can now be imported by Connect to the File Archive in USAS-R or USPS-R.

Please refer to the Accounts Receivable documentation in the USAS-R user manual for more information on the options and reports available under the AR menu.

REPORTS The Monthly Report Bundle and Payroll Report Bundles are available in USAS-R and USPS-R to replicate the functionality of the Classic Monthly CD and Payroll CD.

Upcoming Features The Inventory Module is scheduled to be completed summer of 2021. However, SSDT has written a program for the Classic system to take an extract from the Redesign and apply the data to the Classic EIS pending file. Users will be able to migrate to the Redesign for USAS and continue to use Classic's EIS program. Click here for detailed information on how to get the inventory information from the Redesign into Classic EIS.

FISCAL SERVICES CALENDAR OF EVENTS Classic Calendar Year End Meeting (Zoom) Wednesday, December 9, 2020 9-10 AM USAS 10:30 AM-NOON USPS

Tyler-Munis Calendar Year End Meeting (Zoom) Wednesday, December 9, 2020 9-10:30 AM PAYROLL 11-NOON USAS

Redesign Calendar Year End Meeting (Zoom) – Wednesday, December 9, 2020 1–2 PM USAS-R 2:30–4 PM USPS-R

Fiscal Open Lab - Wednesday, December 16, 2020 9–10 AM CLICK HERE for link for EMIS Reporting




WHAT’S NEW FOR 1099s FOR 2020 Beginning with Tax Year 2020, there will be an additional Form 1099-NEC. That will be used to report payments of nonemployee compensation (NEC) previously reported in box 7 on Form 1099-MISC. The 1099-MISC has been redesigned due to the creation of Form 1099-NEC.

Form 1099-NEC

Form 1099-MISC

The Form 1099-NEC will be used to report nonemployee compensation. If the following four conditions are met, you must generally report a payment as nonemployee compensation:

The Form 1099-MISC will be used for each person to whom you have paid the following in the course of your business during the year:

1. You made the payment to someone who is not your employee. 2. You made the payment for services rendered in the course of your trade or business (including government agencies and nonprofit organizations). 3. You made the payment to an individual, a partnership, an estate or, in some cases, a corporation. 4. You made payments to the payee of at least $600 during the year. Common examples of nonemployee compensation include payments to independent contractors, fees paid for professional services such as of attorneys and accountants, and commissions paid to nonemployee salespersons that are subject to repayment but not repaid during the calendar year. Employers are required to furnish Form 1099-NEC to the payee and file with the IRS by January 31 (February 1 in 2021, since January 31 falls on a Sunday).

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• At least $10 in royalties or broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest. • At least $600 in the following: • Rents. • Prizes and awards. • Other income payments. • Generally, cash from a notional principal contract to an individual, a partnership or an estate. • Any fishing boat proceeds. • Medical and health care payments. • Crop insurance proceeds. • Payments to an attorney. • Section 409A deferrals. • Nonqualified deferred compensation. Employers must furnish the Form 1099-MISC to the payee by January 31 and file with the IRS by February 28 (March 31 if filing electronically). For 2021, the due dates are February 1 to the recipient and March 1 to the IRS.











Please email to start a ticket in Cherwell.

If you need immediate assistance, please call the Fiscal Support Team at Connect at 216-520-6900 ext. 5010.






I love this recipe! It’s time consuming but family, friends and coworkers always request this.

I am enjoying my newest role working with the Fiscal Staff at Connect coming from Retirement as a Treasurer/ CFO and being a grandma. recipes/7-layer-gelatin-salad/

During my retirement, I discovered the Virtual Library app OverDrive, which connects directly to your Library Card! My most recent book was actually an Audio Book version of “WHO MOVED MY CHEESE” by Spencer Johnson, MD. If you don’t have much time for reading, audiobook is worth trying. After working in a school finance environment for over 33 years, I was rarely able to carve out time for reading. The OverDrive option is the best of both worlds of eBooks and audiobooks. My Cheese has unexpectedly changed several times over the years. Many of you have experienced the same changes. However, this refreshing parable, which reveals some profound truths about change, helped me refocus my attitude toward change. It is a gentle reminder that change CAN be good. The pandemic has certainly brought change, yet we still move forward. What other changes do you foresee in your future? Enjoy your reading and listening, and don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it!

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TAMMY KOSTURA - PRESTI’S BAKERY Located on 12101 Mayfield Road in Cleveland’s “Little Italy”, Presti’s Bakery has been a staple in the neighbohood since 1903, and has become one of my family’s favorite places to go in Cleveland! My kids and I love their wide selection of delicious handmade desserts, which include cakes, cookies, donuts, pastries, and much more! But with an expanded menu of deli salads, pizza, stromboli, lunch and dinner specials, and catering options, they are far more than just a bakery! Visit their website at https:// to learn more about them and view their full menu, or stop in the shop in Little Italy for a sweet Cleveland experience!

Follow us on social media! @ConnectOH




A Strong Alliance to Serve our Members ESC of Northeast Ohio Providing support and leadership that enables local schools, ESC of Lorain County agencies, governments, and communities to achieve their ESC of Medina County objectives through innovative and cost-effective Ohio Schools Council shared technology solutions. Connect There is no wrong door Increased strength • Unwavering service to enter when you need Reduced costs • Effective & Efficient Information service! Technology • Greatest educational experience possible for your students

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A Strong Alliance to Serve our Members ESC of Northeast Ohio ESC of Lorain County ESC of Medina County Ohio Schools Council

There is no wrong door to enter when you need service! 5700 West Canal Road Valley View, OH 44125 216.520.6900 1885 Lake Avenue Elyria, OH 44035 440.324.3185

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INFORM - Fiscal Services December 2020  

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INFORM - Fiscal Services December 2020  

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