Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable (AP) is responsible for processing and paying vendor invoices on behalf of customer agencies. Services provided to our customers include the following:

  • Receiving vendor invoices, securing approvals and processing for payment.
  • Processing interagency bills.
  • Responding to questions from vendors and our customer agencies.

Questions on AP transactions should be referred to the Accounts Payable Unit via email at APInquiries@ogs.ny.gov or by phone at (518) 457-4272. 

Vendor invoices should be sent (one invoice per email) to the BSC electronically to AccountsPayable@ogs.ny.gov or leases to BSCLeaseInvoices@ogs.ny.gov.

Invoices can alternatively be sent by mail to:

<Insert Name of Agency>
Unit ID: xxxxxxxxx
c/o NYS OGS BSC Accounts Payable
Building 5, 5th Floor
1220 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12226-1900

 

 

 

 

 

Accounts Payable FAQs

15 Day Pay Bill - Accounts Payable

  • Q.
    What is an electronic invoice?
    A.

    Electronic invoicing (also called eInvoices and eInvoicing) is a paperless form of electronic billing.  eInvoices flow into the SFS Accounts Payable system from the vendor, then are automatically matched to Purchase Orders and receipts, then channeled for approval, and routed for payment.  This streamlines the AP invoicing process and increases process efficiency.

    Vendors will select a method of eInvoicing:

    • Self Service Invoice: manually create an invoice directly in SFS with eSettlements
    • File Transfer: XML file transfer file from Vendor Billing System to eSettlements (Vendors must contact SFS Help Desk to initiate and test the XML interface process)
  • Q.
    What is eSettlements?
    A.

    eSettlements is a module in SFS that enables vendors to submit electronic invoices (eInvoices). 

  • Q.
    What is the 15 day pay bill?
    A.

    A a legislative amendment to the Prompt Payment Law (State Finance Law section 179-f) that requires State agencies to pay qualified small businesses within 15 days after receipt of an electronic invoice or goods/services, whichever is later.  If payment is not made within 15 days, interest will begin to accrue to the small business.  (Note: interest is paid if $10 or more.)

  • Q.
    How is the 15 day pay bill amendment different from the existing Prompt Pay legislation?
    A.

    Prompt Pay legislation requires State agencies to pay vendors (also referred to as suppliers), regardless of business size, within 30 days of receipt of an invoice or goods/services, whichever is later.  If paid after 30 days, interest will begin to accrue to the vendor.  (Note: interest is paid if $10 or more.)  The amendment updates the legislation to require State agencies to pay qualified small businesses within 15 days, rather than 30 days.

  • Q.
    When did the 15 day pay bill go into effect?
    A.

             March 31, 2017

  • Q.
    What are the requirements for a small business vendor to qualify?
    A.

    A vendor must meet all of the following criteria:

    • your primary place of business is in New York State;
    • you have a significant business presence in the state;
    • you are independently owned and operated;
    • you are not dominant in your field; and,
    • you employ no more than two hundred employees.
  • Q.
    What is the definition of “primary place of business in New York State”?
    A.

    The primary place of business is the state where vendors’ owners or officers direct, control, and coordinate vendors’ activities.

  • Q.
    What is the definition of “has a significant business presence in the State”?
    A.

    A significant business presence means the business is authorized to do business in New York State and makes a contribution to the New York State economy through payment of taxes or the purchase of products or materials made in New York State, or has any payroll in New York State. 

  • Q.
    What is the definition of “is independently owned and operated”?
    A.

    In order to be independently owned and operated, the vendor cannot be a subsidiary, division, or member of another entity or otherwise be controlled by another entity.  

  • Q.
    What is the definition of “not dominant in its field”?
    A.

    In order for the vendor to not be dominant in its field, the vendor must not exercise a controlling influence on an industry in its field of operation. 

  • Q.
    Are grants paid through the Grants Gateway eligible for 15 day pay bill interest?
    A.

    Grants paid through the Grants Gateway are not eligible for 15 day pay bill interest at this time.

  • Q.
    Our agency bulkloads transactions into SFS. Can our agency participate in the 15 day pay bill?
    A.

    Agencies may request to become online SFS users to participate in making payments to qualified businesses within 15 days.  Contact the SFS Help Desk for assistance: http://www.sfs.ny.gov/index.php/contact-sfs.

  • Q.
    Are there any restrictions when a vendor can certify as a 15 day small business, for example - during a contract period?
    A.

    There are no restrictions on when a vendor can certify as a 15 day small business.  Therefore, a vendor can start a contract as a “regular” vendor, but during the contract self-certify as a small business vendor.  The eInvoices submitted after self-certifying as a 15 day small business vendor are then eligible for 15 day processing. 

  • Q.
    How will agencies know what vendors have self-certified as a 15 day small business?
    A.

    There are several ways for State agencies to identify vendors who have self-certified as a 15 day small business:

    • In SFS, agencies can review vendors’ Government Classification section.  The SFS navigation path is Suppliers>Supplier Information>Add/Update>Review Suppliers.  The certification source will be “Supplier”, and the Government Classification will be “SFL 179-F”.
    • Agencies can run the SFS Query “NY Ven Sup 15 Dy Smal Buss Qry” to view self-certified small vendors.
    • Analyze NY will be providing reporting capability of all vendors flagged as eligible for 15 day prompt payment interest.
    • The scheduled payment due date (or payment terms) of N/15 will be in SFS.  A query will be available to identify qualifying vouchers. 
  • Q.
    A vendor has self-certified that it is a 15 day small business, however, our agency has reason to believe the vendor does not meet all of the legislation’s requirements. What do we do?
    A.

    State agencies may ask a vendor to validate their eligibility for 15 day pay.  Agencies will send a letter to the vendor, which will require the vendor to complete a form.  If a vendor does not reply to agency inquiries regarding their eligibility, the 15 day small business designation may be revoked.

  • Q.
    The vendor did not respond to our agency’s request for validation. What do we do now?
    A.

    Agencies should call the vendor and discuss their need to respond. 

  • Q.
    Our agency had a vendor’s certification revoked, but we now have documentation that substantiates that the vendor is a small business. How do we have the small business certification re-established?
    A.

      The vendor can recertify through the SFS Vendor Portal. 

  • Q.
    Will existing vendors have a default 15 day small business setting?
    A.

    Existing SFS vendors will not have the government classification for 15 day small business, unless the vendor self-certifies. 

  • Q.
    Will newly-created vendors have a default 15 day small business setting?
    A.

    Newly created SFS vendors will not have the government classification for 15 day small business, unless the vendor self-certifies.   

  • Q.
    How are eInvoice numbers generated - by vendor or by SFS?
    A.

    Vendors enter their own invoice numbers for eInvoices, as would appear on their paper invoices.  Therefore, eInvoice numbers are generated by the vendor, not SFS. 

  • Q.
    Can duplicate invoice numbers be used in eInvoicing?
    A.

      Duplicate invoice numbers cannot be used in eInvoicing. 

  • Q.
    How can State agencies contribute to meeting the shortened, 15 day payment schedule?
    A.

    State agencies should automate the process to the fullest extent possible by:

    • Creating purchase orders that facilitate matching of eInvoices and receipts to the purchase orders in SFS
    • Receiving should be required on the purchase order
    • Reviewing existing purchase orders, including agency specific contract purchase orders, and identifying changes or updates that may be required
    • Reviewing the list of self-certified vendors to identify vendors that your agency does business with and consider reaching out to vendors to coordinate eInvoicing
    • Reviewing and resolving vouchers with match exceptions in a timely manner.  (SFS Query name is NY_AP_MATCH_EXCEPTIONS or EINVOICE_EXCEPTIONS_POSTATUS2).
    • Entering receiving with 24 hours of receipt
  • Q.
    How should our agency’s purchase order be set up?
    A.

    An associated purchase order is required in order for an invoice to be eligible for interest after 15 days.  A well-structured purchase order is the first step to successful processing.  Line items on the purchase order should be structured to facilitate receiving and matching of the electronic invoice that will be submitted.   

  • Q.
    Are there alternatives to paying small businesses, instead of the 15 day pay bill?
    A.

    Agencies should review their procurement card use policies, and consider utilizing the procurement card for qualified small business purchases whenever possible to ensure payment with the 15-day term.  

  • Q.
    Where can we see the small business’ invoice?
    A.

    Although invoices are in electronic format, agencies can view the SFS voucher that was created as a result of the vendor’s data submission.  Vendors can add attachments to Self Service Invoices, and the attachment is transferred to the voucher when it is built.  (Attachments cannot exceed 4 megabytes and can be viewed in the Invoice Information tab in SFS.)  However, attachments cannot be included on XML invoices.  For additional information about adding attachments, please go to vendor training on the Vendor Portal, accessed by the Help link (see topic Entering an Invoice with an Attachment).

  • Q.
    How does our agency resolve an invoicing discrepancy with a vendor who submits eInvoices?
    A.

    If agency receipts do not match with what the vendor submitted on the eInvoice, the agency contacts the vendor to solve the discrepancy.  The agency might have to adjust their receipts and/or the eInvoice may need to be deleted so the vendor can resubmit a new, corrected eInvoice.

  • Q.
    What SFS queries or reports are there regarding eInvoicing?
    A.

    SFS created new AP queries to assist with work prioritization for both eInvoicing and non-eInvoices.  Navigation: SFS Main Menu>Reporting Tools>Query>Query Viewer.  Click on the link “Advanced Search”.  Enter “NY AP User Queries” in the Folder Name and click Search.  

                          
    Query - Match Exception

    Query Name - NY_AP_MATCH_EXCEPTIONS

    Description - Provides match exceptions based upon user selected parameters


    Query - Budget Exception-NY_AP_BUDGET_EXCEPTION_QRY

    Query Name - NY_AP_BUDGET_EXCEPTION_QRY

    Description - Provides budget errors based upon user selected parameters


    Query - Vouchers Ready for Approval Workflow-NY_AP_VCHRS_READY_FOR_APPROVAL

    Query Name - NY_AP_VCHRS_READY_FOR_APPROVAL

    Descritpion - Includes all vouchers ready for submission to the approval workflow


    Query - Voucher Approval Prioritization

    Query Name - NY_AP_VCHR_APPROVAL_PRIORITY

    Description - Includes all vouchers within the approval workflow and where the voucher is in the approval workflow


     

  • Q.
    What if a self-certified small business vendor submits a paper invoice, instead of an eInvoice? Will the payment terms be proper?
    A.

    When the voucher is built in SFS, SFS will apply payment term and scheduled payment due dates for 15 day or 30 day processing, accordingly.  Therefore, if a paper invoice is submitted, the scheduled payment due date will be 30 days, because it is not an eInvoice.

  • Q.
    How are eInvoices processed?
    A.

    Promptly after goods and services are received, agencies record receiving in SFS.  When a vendor submits an electronic invoice, SFS will generate a voucher and systematically seek a matching receipt. If a match is found, the voucher can be approved by the Agency or BSC and the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) will review and pay the vendor. If a match exception or budget exception is found, the voucher will appear on the related report and the agency will need to research and resolve. Agencies must review the voucher and receipt(s) and make any necessary adjustments. Once corrections are made and matching can successfully occur, BSC will enter and approve the voucher and OSC will review/audit and pay the vendor.

  • Q.
    What is the process flow for eProcurement?
    A.

    The process flow for eProcurement is:

    • Agency creates a requisition
    • Requisition line item chartfields are entered
    • Agency sources requisition to purchase order
    • Purchase order dispatches
    • Vendor fulfills purchase order by providing goods or services
    • Agency enters receiving information
    • Vendor submits eInvoice
    • Voucher is built via eSettlement
    • Voucher, purchase order and receipts are matched, as applicable, or payment authorization is obtained
    • Vendor is paid via ACH
  • Q.
    What role mapping do agencies need for purchasing, receiving, invoicing, and matching functions?
    A.

    Purchasing:

    • NYF_AGY_PO_PROCESSOR
    • NYF_AGY_PO_PROCESOR_LVL1
    • NYF_AGY_PO_CONTRACT_PRCSSR
    • NYF_AGY_PO_CONTRACT_PRCSSR_LVL1

    Receiving:

    • NYF_AGY_PO_RECEIVER

    Invoicing:

    • NY_EM_SS_INVOICE

    Matching Functions:

    • NYF_AGY_AP_MATCH PROCESSOR
  • Q.
    What training is available to agencies?
    A.

    SFS self-paced training is available through the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS). Search for training by: SFS-9.2-SPT, and then select AP210: Advanced Voucher Processing):

    •eSettlements Invoicing
    •Vouchers Built by the SFS
    •Paying Vouchers Created by SFS
    •Viewing Vouchers Built by SFS
    •Real Estate/AP Integration
    •Real Estate Integration for OGS Managed Leases

    Note: SFS has a vendor training course available to vendors through the help link on the SFS Vendor Portal. Corresponding job aids and topics for this vendor course are available for agency reference on SFS Secure under Master SFS and Job Aids.
     

  • Q.
    What guidance has been issued?
    A.

    OSC issued guidance on the 15 day certification (Vendor File Advisory 8) and updated the corresponding section in the Guide to Financial Operations (GFO). In addition, OSC’s website has been updated adding a new page entitled “15-Day Prompt Payments for Small Businesses”. Also, OSC updated the GFO about prompt payment interest to reflect the new law in Section XII.5.I.1 Prompt Payment Interest.

  • Q.
    Can a vendor delete an eInvoice?
    A.

    Vendors cannot delete an eInvoice. However, if a vendor wants to request that an eInvoice be deleted, BSC can delete the eInvoice for BSC transactions/customer agencies. For these matters, email BSC at ogs.sm.einvoices@ogs.ny.gov with a detailed description.

  • Q.
    Can a vendor edit a submitted eInvoice?
    A.

    Vendors cannot edit a submitted eInvoice. However, if a BSC customer agency provides supporting documentation from the vendor to edit an eInvoice, BSC will edit a submitted eInvoice. For these matters, email BSC at ogs.sm.einvoices@ogs.ny.gov with a detailed description.

General Accounts Payable Questions

  • Q.
    Does the BSC process fringe benefits payments on behalf of customer agencies?
    A.

    Yes, the BSC processes quarterly fringe benefits payments upon receipt of approved interagency billings from the customer agency.  Customer agencies must additionally supply the appropriate chart of accounts coding required to process the payments in the SFS.

  • Q.
    How does the BSC retain backup documentation for transactions? How do they provide this during an audit?
    A.

    The BSC electronically retains all documentation related to each voucher processed for customer agencies.  This documentation is provided directly to auditors by the BSC with a notification to the customer agency’s Finance Liaison.  If additional information is required beyond what is available from the BSC, such as packing slips, the auditor will reach out to the customer agency Finance Liaison directly to request the needed documentation.

  • Q.
    Who addresses vendor and contractor questions regarding payments – the BSC or the customer agency?
    A.

    The BSC provides payment information when contacted by vendors or contractors.  Customer agencies should direct their vendors and contractors to reach out directly to the BSC at (518) 457-4272 with questions or concerns about payments so that we can work with them to resolve any issues.

  • Q.
    What business process does the BSC follow to process service contract invoices?
    A.

    The BSC requires Purchase Orders (POs) to be in place for all contract payments.  Vendors are notified when a customer agency transitions to the BSC that all invoices should be sent to the BSC directly for payment.  Once the BSC receives the invoice and secures approval to pay from the agency, we process it for payment against a valid PO.

Invoice Questions

  • Q.
    What should a customer agency do if an invoice is received at the agency instead of being sent directly to the BSC?
    A.

    If a customer agency receives an invoice directly from a vendor or contractor instead of it being sent to the BSC for payment, the following steps should be taken:

    1. Date stamp the invoice to reflect the date it was received.

    2. If applicable, receive the goods or services in the SFS and write the receipt number on the face of the invoice, or indicate an invoice can be paid by the BSC by writing “Approved for Payment” on the face of the invoice.

    3. Ensure the purchase order, contract number or utility account number is on the invoice or write this in if it is missing.  If this is an invoice that does not require a PO (i.e. an interagency bill, non-employee travel), the coding or template voucher to be used to pay the invoice should be written on its face.

    4. Scan and email invoice to BSC at: accountspayable@ogs.ny.gov.

    5. If it is a lease invoice, send it to: bscleaseinvoices@ogs.ny.gov.

    6. Notify the vendor or contractor to send future invoices directly to the BSC.

  • Q.
    What process is followed if a voucher fails budget check or produces a matching error in SFS during processing?
    A.

    If a budget check exception or matching error occurs during voucher processing, the BSC will notify the customer agency Budget Liaison via email so that appropriate actions can be taken by the customer agency.

  • Q.
    How is the BSC notified that an invoice is approved for payment?
    A.

    All invoices and related backup documentation received at the BSC are indexed and scanned into an electronic workflow and document retention system.  The BSC Accounts Payable research team checks for receiving of the invoiced goods or services in SFS as part of its indexing.  Any invoice that has not been received in SFS is placed into the customer agency workflow queue for its review and approval to pay.  When in customer agency workflow queue, customer agencies are also able to provide payment information and additional comments to support invoice processing.

  • Q.
    How are partial payments handled by the BSC?
    A.

    Customer agencies use the electronic workflow and document retention system to provide processing information to the BSC if an invoice should not be paid in full including the reason for nonpayment.  The BSC will send a letter to the vendor informing them of the reason that the payment has been reduced.  If the remaining balance is to be cancelled, the customer agency should submit a PO change request to the BSC Purchasing team to cancel the balance and disencumber the funds.

  • Q.
    What is the BSC‘s invoice document retention policy?
    A.

    The BSC scans and retains all invoices and supporting documents in the electronic workflow and document retention system in accordance with New York State Archives guidelines.  Paper invoices are disposed of generally three months after scanning.  OSC accepts electronic copies of voucher supporting documents from the BSC for its audits.  Agencies are responsible for any supporting documents not submitted to the BSC.

Payment Questions

  • Q.
    When is a requisition required for payment versus when a straight payment may be done?
    A.

    Straight payment transactions refer to those payments processed without a related Purchase Order in SFS.  Unless an agreement has been reached between the BSC and customer agency, all payments processed at the BSC will require a requisition from the customer agency if a PO does not already exist, with the exception of utilities processed with template vouchers, interagency bills, and non-employee travel.  This policy supports a strong internal control environment at both the customer agency and the BSC, and ensures the BSC has the appropriate payment coding information and customer agency approvals to process payment to a vendor.

  • Q.
    What process does the BSC follow to process utility invoices?
    A.

    The BSC uses SFS template vouchers to pay utility invoices for customer agencies, for utilities that are regularly recurring charges (monthly, quarterly, etc.) for services such as electricity, phone (landline, cellular, pager), internet, water, sewer, cable and natural gas.  The BSC will create template vouchers as customer agencies need them, with information including the vendor name and SFS vendor ID, utility account number, and SFS chartfield coding information that should be used to pay invoices each month.  Utility invoices are scanned into the electronic workflow and document retention system when received.  Customer agencies then have 5 business days to review invoices and provide approval to pay, information about why an invoice should not be paid (if applicable), or changes to be made to the payment voucher, including coding changes.  If no action is taken within the 5 days, the BSC will automatically pay the current charges per the utility invoice.  The BSC will notify the vendor if payment is being held for any reason.  The BSC will only pay current charges on a utility invoice, and will not pay sales tax, late payment fees, or prior amounts.  Additionally, the BSC will work with the vendor to ensure credit is applied for prior payments made by the BSC if they are not reflected on current or future invoices.

Accounts Payable Training Resources

  • FileNet - AP Agency Technical Support Sheet | Guide
  • FileNet - AP emailing from FileNet | Guide
  • FileNet - AP invoice processing | Guide
  • FileNet - AP logging into FileNet | Guide
  • FileNet - AP opening & navigating | Guide
  • FileNet - AP searching for invoices | Guide
  • FileNet - Searching and Filtering Invoices | Guide
  • FileNet User Guide | Guide