CARS/GEARS: Expenditure Reporting
A "to do" list of items for working with expenditure reports
GEARS (previously called CARS) calculates payments based on costs reported by local agencies. This page will help you refresh your memory about processes - or maybe even teach you a new trick!
Local Agencies help assure timely, accurate CARS payments by submitting timely and accurate monthly expenditure reports. Local Agencies should follow the steps below:
- Submit monthly expenditure reports on time. Reports are due by the end of the month following the reporting period. Here is the . Reports submitted within the first 15 days following the end of the reporting period will be reimbursed the next month. CARS Processing Schedule through 2024
- When DHS transitions to making payments through GEARS, the expenditure report due dates will not change. DHS will continue to post the processing schedule on-line. For example: April expenses are due by the end of May. However, the CARS Unit will accept, and process April Expenditure reports as soon as May 1. April expenses submitted by May 15 will be paid in the beginning of June. Those submitted May 16 to June 15 will be paid in the beginning of July.
- Submit separate reports for each report period and agency type.
- Submit reports via email, addressed to DHS600RCARS@dhs.wisconsin.gov.
- Subject line is important. Format the email subject line as Agency #-Agency type-report MM/YY-Agency name. Verify that the Agency Type, Report Month and Year and those of the report submitted agree.
- Provide a contact name, email and phone number on each report submitted. Contact information helps us follow up promptly if we have questions on your report.
- Report expenditures in whole dollars only.
- Submit one original report per report period. Be sure to check the box indicating that it is the “Original Report” for that reporting period. It is not necessary to submit reports for months in which a local agency has no expenditures to report.
- Go low to high. List Profiles and associated expenditure information from low Profile ID to high Profile ID.
- List only those Profiles for which you have active contracts.
NOTE: Changes to reported expenditures after the original expenditure report has been submitted should be reported on an “Additional Report” for that Month-Year. Additional instructions are provided below.
The number of reports submitted will be the same for CARS and GEARS.
When corrections are needed to an already submitted report, and they invariably will be, Local Agencies should prepare and submit an Additional Expenditure Report, following the same steps as the Original Report (above), except that:
- On the [FORM NAME], the Local Agency should check “Additional Report.” List the month and the year of the Original Report with the erroneous information as the Report Period.
- Submit putting “Agency #-Agency Type-Additional MM/YY-Agency name” in the subject line.
Corrections which increase reported expenditures are entered as positive numbers and those which reduce reported expenditures should be entered as a negative number.
Example: You reported $218 on Profile #1 on your original report, but should have entered $812. To adjust this, you would enter 594 ($812 minus the $218 originally reported) in the Current Net Expense column on Profile 1 on your Additional report.
Example: You reported $515 on Profile #2. After your monthly reconciliation you found the expense had previously been reported. To adjust this, you would enter -515 in the Current Net Expense column on Profile #2 on your Additional report.
Comments are especially helpful on Additional Reports.
Periodic reconciliations of reported expenditures and reimbursements per CARS to Local Agencies’ accounting records are required by contract, but DHS encourages monthly reconciliations. This is considered best practice by DHS and will continue in GEARS. Monthly reconciliations can help reduce the number of corrections or expenditures which need to be claimed on a Final expenditure report. Because government funds are appropriated for specific periods of time, failure to report all allowable costs within the specific time period allowed by contract may result in us being unable to reimburse you.
For issues found during reconciliations which you are unable to resolve, please contact the CARS/GEARS Unit at DHSDESBFSCARS@dhs.wisconsin.gov.
Final report due dates are established in your contract. Generally, final reports are due no later than 45 days after the contract end date. However, contracts may allow a longer or shorter close-out period or set specific due date for Final reports. Please consult your contract to verify the final report due date.
Here is the 2022 Listing of CARS Profile Close Out Dates (Information on final report due dates is and will continue to be posted annually.)
Note that contracts may require submitting a Final Expenditure report instead of a report for the last month of the contract period, while others allow both an Original Expenditure report for the last month of the contract and a Final Expenditure Report. Please consult your contract for more information.
- Prepare your Final Expenditure report as you would an Original Expenditure Report. Submit only one Final Expenditure Report not later than the due date specified in your contract(s). Clearly identify the report as FINAL. Check the box for “Final Report.”
- Format the email’s subject line as Agency #-Agency type-FINAL MM/YY-Agency name, where MM/YY is the final month of your contract.