[March 31, 2020 - Lubbock, Texas]
Last week, we put out a message about Working from Home – this week’s message is about Emergency Financial Planning for City Governments. The current events with regards to the COVID-19 virus is impacting everyone, especially city governments. There are local and county resolutions, state and federal bills that are quickly turning into laws that affect your budget numbers and your bottom line. Here are a few ideas to help get your through the financial impact of the COVID-19 virus resolutions and laws:
General Ledger Preparation
• Create an Expense Account Code for COVID-19 – This will allow you to track expenses specifically tied to the impact of the virus and accompanying laws. Here are some suggested account code titles:
o COVID-19 Families First FMLA – (https://www.county.org/Risk-Management/COVID-19-Information/Families-First-Coronavirus-Response-Act )
o COVID-19 Reimbursable Expense
o COVID-19 Non-Reimbursable Expense
• Add the Expense Account to Funds and Departments using Account Builder - Once you’ve created the account code, add it to the Funds and Departments that will be bearing these costs, such as:
o PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) – masks, gloves, protective clothing
o Citizen Supplies – anything that you end up providing for citizens
o Employee Wages – some of the laws are asking employers to guarantee wages to quarantined employees; you may also need to pay for extra police protection at local grocery stores and hospitals to keep the peace
Keep in mind that having Expense Accounts in place gives you the ability to run reports when applying for FEMA, Federal and State grants to reimburse these accounts. You’ll also be able to document any budget shortfalls at fiscal year-end due to required emergency responses.
Create a new Pay Code for COVID-19 related payments to employees. You may end up with several pay codes – these are some of the things we’re seeing roll out:
• COVID-19 Families First FMLA
• COVID-19 Reimbursable – Wages paid that may be reimbursed with Federal, FEMA or state grants
• COVID-19 Non-Reimbursable – Employees pulled into meetings about COVID-19 or other items that have to be done but are not eligible for reimbursement
Leave Policies - If your city furnishes Sick Pay or other Paid Time Off – are you allowing employees to use their leave bank when quarantined? Get your policy in writing now – consult with your city attorney and the city council in a special session.
Police/Fire/EMT Employees - Are you activating retired reserve and retired police officers/fire fighters/EMTs specifically because of the COVID-19 required responses? Create a new Position Code for these folks for tracking purposes. Decide in advance if they will be treated as part-time seasonal employees, or full-time employees. This decision impacts leave accrual pay, and can also impact their existing pension with TMRS!
Our customers can check out the Help Documents in FundView, create a support ticket by e-mailing us at [email protected], or give us a call at (806) 794-3278 with specific questions!