All Frequently Asked Questions

Agency Administrators

Accounts Payable

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.

Purchasing

  • Q.
    Will the BSC conduct the initial shopping and specification development required for a requisition on behalf of the agency?
    A.

    No, the BSC will assist the potential requisitioner on the requisition process and provide guidance on purchasing rules and regulations.  The agency employees will need to source quotes and research the items required, prior to processing a requisition in SFS. Agencies need to submit the quotes and research in SFS when processing the requisition.

  • Q.
    What is the purpose of the two purchasing email addresses?
    A.

    OGSpurchasingunit@ogs.ny.gov is the address agencies use to make changes and/or inquiries regarding standalone purchase orders.  Contractpos@ogs.ny.gov is for requests, changes to, and inquiries regarding purchase orders that encumber funding for agency specific contracts.

  • Q.
    Will the agency, the BSC, or another entity prepare bid packages and materials and postings for purchases requiring a competitive solicitation? Who will conduct the bid openings, conduct evaluations and submit recommendations for award?
    A.

    The BSC will issue Invitation for Bids (IFBs) for one time purchases when requested to do so. Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Requests for Quotes (RFQs) and IFBs resulting in C or T contracts remain the Agency’s responsibility.

  • Q.
    Are requisitions required for all purchase orders(POs)? Can we do a requisition for blanket purchase orders?
    A.

    The BSC requires a requisition for POs.  A requisition should be done for blanket orders as well.  Blanket orders can be for any part of the fiscal year depending on funds available and the seasonal nature of the order.  If the agency is going to do quarterly POs, then the BSC will need a requisition each quarter or a PO change request.

  • Q.
    A requisition was created for a small dollar amount but was “pushed back” by the BSC, why?
    A.

    For small dollar amounts agencies should use credit cards.  If the vendor will not take the credit card or the agency, for some other reason, does not want to use it, an explanation should be noted in SFS.  The credit card should be used whenever possible as it is the least expensive and most efficient payment option for NYS.

  • Q.
    Do I process a requisition in SFS if I am placing an order on a p-card?
    A.

    No, do not process a requisition in SFS if you are placing an order on a p-card.

  • Q.
    Will agencies retain the responsibility for securing the appropriate DOB Attachment-A/B and other approvals?
    A.

    Agencies are required to obtain appropriate approvals.  On a requisition, the information is added to the "additional information" area.  Copies of approvals should be scanned and attached to the requisition in SFS.

  • Q.
    Can requisitions be edited through the various levels of approvals?
    A.

    Requisitions can be edited by the originator and at the budget approver level.  However if a change is made, the workflow is reset and the requisition must go through the approval process again.  Once a requisition is sourced to a PO, no changes can be made to the requisition.

  • Q.
    How will the BSC handle confirming orders?
    A.

    When a confirming order is done, the agency should complete a requisition and attach the invoice to the requisition, indicating that it is a confirming order.  The BSC would like to reiterate that confirming orders are not exempt from State Finance Law.  Preferred sources, state contracts, etc. should be used where appropriate.  When they are not, an explanation should be provided.

  • Q.
    When it comes to procurement records, do we transfer the original or do you want scanned copies?
    A.

    Originals are not required.  Whenever possible, procurement record documents should be attached to the requisition electronically in SFS.

  • Q.
    How should the agency map the requisition approval process?
    A.

    All roles stay with the agency except the last approval role, which is held by the BSC.  The agency should map their roles according to their process.

  • Q.
    How does an agency require inspection?
    A.

    If an agency wants this requirement on a PO, it can indicate so on the requisition.  When creating a requisition in SFS, on the final tab (review and submit) go to the line level, line defaults, item detail, inspection required check box, and save.  This must be done for each line.

  • Q.
    How will the BSC determine where to send POs?
    A.

    The requestor should indicate on the requisition how and where the PO should be delivered.  Email is the preferred method of PO delivery.  The requisitioner and anyone else designated on the requisition will receive a copy of the PO at the same time it is sent to the vendor.

  • Q.
    If Purchase Orders will be issued by the BSC, who signs the PO (an agency designee or BSC designee)?
    A.

    Once the PO is approved by the BSC, it is authorized electronically.

  • Q.
    When OSC approves a contract and requests a PO, does the agency or the BSC submit the PO?
    A.

    The BSC submits the PO based on a requisition provided by the agency.

  • Q.
    Why does it take the BSC several days to issue a PO given that agencies usually approve the PO in a day?
    A.

    The BSC has a service level agreement with agencies to process POs in 3 business days.  If a PO needs to be processed quickly, please contact the BSC Purchasing Unit.

  • Q.
    Depending on availability of funds, an initial PO‘s coding may need to change after the PO is issued but before payment of the invoice. How is that handled?
    A.

    For stand alone purchase orders, the agency should send an email request to OGSPurchasingUnit@ogs.ny.gov.  The email should include specific information as to the changes to line items, dollar amount and coding.  For changes to lease related POs, the agency should send a request to ContractPOs@ogs.ny.gov.

  • Q.
    What types of purchase orders require receiving?
    A.

    Most POs issued by the BSC will require receiving.  The types of transactions that do not require receiving are: leases, confirming purchase orders, agency specific contracts for service, utilities and direct pay transactions.

  • Q.
    Where can I learn about receiving in SFS?
    A.

    The BSC is offering training classes that customer agencies can sign up for through SLMS. More information can be found at https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/training-events. Users can also refer to the Job Aids in SFS Secure under the receiving section located here: https://www.sfs.ny.gov/index.php/master-sfs/sfs-job-aids/category/37-rec.

  • Q.
    How do I receive on an amount only purchase order?
    A.

    Receiver should create a receipt in SFS indicating the total dollar amount that has been completed against the purchase order.

  • Q.
    How do I receive on a quantity based purchase order?
    A.

    Receiver will need to create a receipt indicating the total quantity of goods received against the purchase order.

  • Q.
    What will happen if I don’t put receiving required on my requisition?
    A.

    The BSC will contact the agency to advise that the purchase order will be set up with receiving required, and make the change on the purchase order.

  • Q.
    What do I do if I need an invoice paid in an emergency and I cannot perform SFS receiving?
    A.

    Agencies can reach out to ogs.sm.ogspurchasingunit@ogs.ny.gov, and indicate receiving needs to be removed due to an emergency. This should only be intended for “true emergencies”.

  • Q.
    Should receiving be completed for Pcard purchases?
    A.

    Purchase orders for Pcards are defaulted to not require receiving. Receiving is not required for these transactions.

  • Q.
    Is receiving required for an eMarketplace purchase order which uses a credit card?
    A.

    No, receiving is defaulted to “not required” for purchases using a credit card in the eMarketplace. However, the purchase order will still need to be linked to the credit card transaction when reconciling.

  • Q.
    Is receiving required in SFS for purchase orders linked to agency specific contracts?
    A.

    Receiving is not required in SFS for purchase orders linked to agency specific contracts for services. Receiving is required for agency specific quantity based contract purchase orders.

  • Q.
    How long after I received a good or service do I have to enter receiving in SFS?
    A.

    It would be best practice to enter the receipt immediately or as soon as possible. The receipt indicates your agency’s “ok to pay”. This will allow the BSC to bypass agency review, and voucher against the invoice when it is initially received.

  • Q.
    If I enter receiving in SFS, will the voucher appear in Agency Review in FileNet for an OK to Pay?
    A.

    The receipt will indicate your agency’s “ok to pay”. As long as receipts are entered timely and match to what is invoiced, the BSC will automatically voucher the invoice without having to direct invoices to your agency review queue. Agency Review will only be needed if there are exceptions with the invoice that do not match to what is received, or if the receipt has not been added to SFS yet.

  • Q.
    If I enter receiving in SFS, do I need to enter the receipt number in FileNet?
    A.

    If the receiving is entered timely and accurately, the invoice should bypass Agency Review. If an invoice has been sent to your Agency Review, and the receipt(s) were entered subsequently, you can simply respond with the receipt number for processing. 

Employees

Benefits

CSEA Employee Information

  • Q.
    What forms do I need to complete to enroll in the dental and vision benefits through CSEA?
    A.

    You will need to complete the CSEA Employee Benefit Fund Enrollment Form which enrolls you in the Plan(s) negotiated for you.  If you have not already done so, you can obtain an enrollment form by calling the Fund at 1-800-323-2732.  You can also visit www.cseabf.com to use the “enroll online” option.  You can also download an enrollment form from the website for later submission.  You can submit your form directly to:  CSEA Employee Benefit Fund, P.O. Box 516, Latham, NY 12110-0516.

  • Q.
    How do I know if I am enrolled in CSEA dental and vision benefits?
    A.

    Once your enrollment is processed, typically within 7-10 business days, you should receive a benefits card in the mail.  To check on the status of your enrollment, contact CSEA directly at 1-800-323-2732.

General Questions

  • Q.
    What if my question is not found?
    A.

    If your question is not listed, it may be addressed in the BSC Information Series publication: New Employee Guide to Filling Out Forms & Understanding BenefitsThis New/Transfer Employee Guide is an overview of information and guidance on Benefits available to New York State employees, and include everything an employee needs to know when completing onboarding forms.

  • Q.
    How can I submit my New Employee forms and documents to the Business Services Center?
    A.

    Forms can be sent to the BSC by one of the following methods:

    NYS Office of General Services
    Business Services Center HR, Attn: Benefits Unit
    1220 Washington Ave, Bldg. 5, 4 Floor
    W.A. Harriman State Campus
    Albany, NY 12226

    PLEASE NOTE:  Originals are required for the I-9 Employment Verification form and MC Life Enrollment forms.  Please mail these forms to the address above.

  • Q.
    Who completes and certifies Section 2 of the I-9?
    A.

    A representative in your agency will complete the certification portion of the I-9 and attach a copy of the proof you provided. Original forms must be mailed to the Business Services Center at: 

    NYS Office of General Services
    Business Services Center HR – Attn: Benefits Unit
    1220 Washington Ave, Bldg. 5, 4th Floor
    W.A. Harriman State Campus
    Albany, NY 12226

  • Q.
    I am transferring from one state agency to another. Do I need to complete a new I-9?
    A.

    Anytime an employee transfers from one agency to another, an I-9 is required.  For employees transferring between BCS customer agencies, an I-9 may not be required.  If your I-9 is on file with the BSC from your previous agency, you will not be required to complete a new I-9.

    For a list of current BSC customer agencies, click here.

  • Q.
    I am transferring from one state agency to another. Do I need to complete a new Oath of Office Statement?
    A.

    Yes, it is the BSC’s policy to obtain a new Oath of Office statement for all employees. Please note that this form must be signed on both signature lines in order for the BSC to accept it. 

Health Insurance

  • Q.
    What health insurance benefits are available to me as a new state employee?
    A.

    Medical, dental and vision benefits are available to new employees who are in benefits eligible positions. An employee must meet all the eligibility requirements for medical coverage in order to be eligible for dental and/or vision coverage, however, they do not need to enroll in NYSHIP medical coverage.

    If you are unsure if you are in a benefits eligible position, please refer to Page 3 in the Department of Civil Service’s General Information Booklet

  • Q.
    How many days after the start of my employment does it take until my benefits become effective?
    A.

    CSEA:  If the PS-404 and supporting documentation is submitted by the deadline, medical coverage for CSEA employees will be effective on the 43rd day after the effective date of the hire.  Dental and vision insurance will be effective on the 29th day after the hire. (Additional forms are required for enrollment in CSEA dental and vision coverage. For additional enrollment information, please see the section below titled, “Dental & Vision (for CSEA employees)”.  

    PEF: If the PS-404 and supporting documentation is submitted by the deadline, medical, dental, and vision coverage for PEF employees will be effective on the 57th day after the effective date of hire.

    M/C: If the PS-404 and supporting documentation is submitted by the deadline, medical and vision coverage for M/C employees will be effective on the 57th day after the effective date of hire. Dental insurance will be effective on the 1st of the month following 6 full calendar months of continuous employment.

    All employees should submit their Health Insurance Enrollment Form (PS-404) and supporting documentation as soon as possible and before the date their insurance will become effective.  Employees must submit their PS-404 and supporting documentation by the deadline indicated on their Employee Enrollment Deadlines and Insurance Effective Date Form in order for insurance to be effective on the dates listed above.  Submittal beyond the deadline will result in an additional waiting period before insurance will become effective.

  • Q.
    Why is my health insurance premium deducted before my effective date of coverage?
    A.

    Health insurance premiums are deducted from employees' paychecks two pay periods (28 days) prior to the effective date of coverage.  When you leave State service, your health insurance coverage does not expire the same day you leave. Your health insurance continues for 28 days from the last day of the last pay period in which you work.

    To avoid having retroactive "special health insurance adjustments" deducted from your paychecks, please provide the completed Health Insurance Form (PS-404) and all supporting documentation to the BSC before the 42 or 56 day wait. We suggest that you submit your paperwork to the BSC within 10 days from your hire date to alleviate the need for any retro deductions.

  • Q.
    Where can I find a list of acceptable Proof of Eligibility to enroll or add a dependent to my coverage?
    A.

    Required proof of eligibility can be found in the list of acceptable documents requirements located at:  https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/sites/default/files/PS_404_Documentation_Required_V2.pdf.

  • Q.
    I changed agencies/positions, why am I being asked to complete a new PS-404 Health Insurance Transaction Form and supply the required proofs again?
    A.

    If an employee becomes newly eligible for coverage through a position change or negotiating unit change, they must complete a PS-404 and submit proof of eligibility to be enrolled.  For employees that experience a Negotiating Unit change, a PS-404 and proofs are required to enroll in dental and vision coverage if the change involves transferring from a negotiating unit that is not covered by NYSHIP Dental and Vision (CSEA, DC-37 or UUP).

  • Q.
    What is the difference between waiving medical benefits and opting out of medical benefits?
    A.

    Waiving medical benefits is a declination to enroll in any medical benefits. 

    Opting-Out is enrollment in the Opt-Out Program which allows eligible employees who have other employer-sponsored group health insurance to opt-out of their NYSHIP coverage in exchange for an incentive payment.
    To qualify for the Opt-out Program, you must be covered under an employer-sponsored group health insurance plan through other employment of your own or a plan that your spouse, domestic partner or parent has as the result of his or her employment. New York State employees cannot opt out of NYSHIP if they are covered under NYSHIP as a dependent through another NYS employee. Since the Opt-Out Program is considered a NYSHIP option, an individual cannot opt out through one employer and be enrolled in NYSHIP health benefits in his or her own right through his or her other employer.  If the employee is covered as a dependent on another NYSHIP policy through a local government or public entity, he or she is eligible to receive the Individual incentive payment, but not the Family incentive payment.

  • Q.
    My child is graduating from high school soon, how will this impact my benefits?
    A.

    Dependent Children are eligible for medical coverage up to the age of 26 regardless of marital or student status. Your unmarried dependent children are eligible until the end of the month in which they reach age 19 for dental and vision coverage. Your unmarried dependent children who are age 19 or over, but under 25 are eligible if they are full-time students at an accredited secondary or preparatory school, college or other educational institution which grants a degree or diploma.  They continue to be eligible until the first of the following dates:  the end of the month following the third month in which they complete course requirements for graduation, or the end of the month in which they reach age 25.  Employees should notify the BSC Benefits Unit when their dependent is no longer eligible for coverage to ensure dependents are removed from their benefits and receives a COBRA application. 

  • Q.
    I am moving soon, what do I need to do to update my benefits information?
    A.

    To keep your benefits enrollment up to date, you must complete and sign a Personal Data Change Form, and send by e-mail to BSCPersonnelAdmin@ogs.ny.gov, by fax to (518) 457-1879, or by mail to BSC Personnel Administration, 1220 Washington Ave, Building 5, Floor 4, Albany, NY 12226-1900. 

    BSC staff will update your personnel records including your paycheck and health insurance records.  In addition, there are several employment-related organizations which you must contact directly to advise of this change. The contact information for these additional agencies and organizations can be found on the second page of the Personal Data Change Form.

  • Q.
    If I move outside my HMO’s service area what happens to my health insurance coverage?
    A.

    If you move permanently out of your current HMO’s service area or your job location changes and is no longer located in your current HMO’s service area. To keep NYSHIP coverage, you must complete a PS-404 and choose The Empire Plan or a different HMO that serves your new area (This is done by completing the information under #13 on the PS-404 form).

  • Q.
    As part of my newly acquired legal guardianship for my grandchildren, what benefits are they eligible for?
    A.

    A child other than your natural child, stepchild, a child of your domestic partner, or your legally adopted child, including a child in a waiting period prior to finalization of adoption may be eligible for NYSHIP coverage.  Other children who are eligible are those that are chiefly dependent on you, reside with you, or are those for which you have assumed legal responsibility for in place of the parent.  This criteria must be met before the child reaches age 19.

    Acquiring an “other child” may result in a change to your family status, and by gaining a dependent, may mean that you need to change your health insurance coverage from Individual to Family.  If you submit a timely request after a change in family status, you may make this change outside the Option Transfer Period without experiencing a waiting period. To enroll an “other child”, you must complete the form, Statement of Dependence (PS-457), verify eligibility and provide documentation upon enrollment (this must be completed every two years thereafter), and submit a NYS Health Insurance Transaction Form (PS-404) with the eligibility proofs required and forward to the BSC.

  • Q.
    How will my health insurance coverage work after retirement and how will I pay for it?
    A.

    You and your eligible dependents may continue NYSHIP coverage upon your retirement, if you meet all of the requirements.  Information regarding eligibility requirements can be found in Civil Service’s General Information Book.  Please be sure to read this information carefully.  You will not be eligible to continue NYSHIP coverage as a retiree if you do not meet the requirements outlines in this section, and submit all required material. 

    You will retain the same level of medical benefits into retirement as you did as an active employee. You will be billed monthly by the NYS Department of Civil Service for your health insurance premium until payments can be deducted from your pension check.

    If you have a sick leave credit, your monthly premium will be offset by that amount. 

    COBRA coverage for dental and vision benefits will be offered for up to 36 months.  If you turn 65 within the 36-month COBRA eligibility, COBRA coverage will end when you reach age 65. If you retire after the age of 65, COBRA will continue for the full 36 months. You will make payments directly to NYS Department of Civil Service monthly for COBRA coverage.

Life Insurance

M/C Employee Information

  • Q.
    What is the M/C Income Protection Plan?
    A.

    The M/C Income Protection Plan (IPP) consists of Short and Long Term Disability Insurance.  For more information regarding the Plan, please visit Civil Service’s website at https://www.cs.ny.gov/otherben/ipp/ipp.cfm.

  • Q.
    Where can I find specific information requested on the IPP Enrollment Form?
    A.

    Please complete sections 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, and 15 on the enrollment form, and sign and date the form.  We will complete the remaining sections for you. 

Retirement

  • Q.
    I am already a member of the Retirement System. Do I still need to complete the RS-5420 enrollment form?
    A.

    If you are already a member of the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and transfer from one agency to another, a new enrollment form may be required to update your record with ERS.  If you were previously enrolled and are returning to state service as a new state employee a new enrollment form must be completed to reactivate your membership in ERS or re-enroll.  If you previously retired and are returning to state service, membership is optional. You are encouraged to contact ERS at 1-866-805-0990 to inquire how re-enrollment in ERS will affect you. 

  • Q.
    Does the Retirement Registration Form (RS-5420) enrollment form need to be notarized?
    A.

    The RS-5420 enrollment form does not require notarization. However, the RS-5127 Designation of Beneficiary Form must be notarized. 

  • Q.
    If I am already enrolled in the Employees’ Retirement System but do not want to update my beneficiaries, do I still need to complete the RS-5127 Designation of Beneficiary form?
    A.

    No, this form is only required to designate or update beneficiaries. 

    If you are designating or updating your beneficiary information, you may complete the Designation of Beneficiary Form (RS-5127).  Please note that this form must be notarized.

Credit Card Administration

Billing and Payment Questions

  • Q.
    What is the process for paying the monthly travel card Citibank bill?
    A.

    The BSC downloads the p-card, NET card and t-card billing statements at the end of each billing cycle from the Citibank site.  The BSC Accounts Payable Unit then enters the invoices in SFS for immediate payment.  Any budget exceptions will be brought to the attention of the agency liaison.  Every effort will be made to process bills as timely as possible to maximize the rebate to NYS.

  • Q.
    Who is responsible for resolution of reconciliation voucher exceptions?
    A.

    The agency is responsible for reconciliation voucher exception corrections in the SFS pre-voucher build process.  After the voucher build process has been run by the BSC, any subsequent errors will be resolved by the BSC in SFS after correcting information has been provided by the agency.

  • Q.
    Who is responsible for running the voucher build process?
    A.

    SFS automatically builds vouchers on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. The BSC will notify agencies of any reconciliation voucher with budget errors.  The agency can correct budget errors by either processing a budget journal to provide additional funding or by notifying the BSC with alternate coding.  The BSC will then update the reconciliation voucher with the alternate coding.

General Credit Card Questions

  • Q.
    Will agency staff continue to have access to employee account information (Citibank Card Management System) and access for reports (Citibank Custom Reporting System) on the Citibank site and/or access to Citibank CAS managers?
    A.

    BSC will be the primary administrator.  Agencies will keep the Citibank role so they can make forced draft authorizations, increase credit limits in emergencies, and have full access to customized reporting.

  • Q.
    Who handles cardholder problems and issues, such as transaction denials?
    A.

    The cardholder should reach out to Citibank first and determine the reason it has been denied.  If this is due to a merchant error (e.g., wrong expiration date), the transaction should be redone.  If the problem is with the card, the BSC should be contacted.

  • Q.
    Who is responsible for credit card document retention, such as applications and transaction receipts?
    A.

    The BSC will store the credit card applications and acknowledgment forms.  The agency will be responsible for maintaining receipts.

  • Q.
    Who updates the speed charts for procurement cards?
    A.

    The agency updates speed charts for procurement cards.

  • Q.
    Who is the contact for the OSC Credit Card Audit Team?
    A.

    The agency and/or cardholder will provide backup to OSC in case of audit.

  • Q.
    What is the BSC‘s recommended maximum amount for purchases on the p-card?
    A.

    The BSC recommends that the initial per transaction limit not exceed $2,500 and the monthly limit not to exceed $10,000.  Once a cardholder has a card for 6 months, limits can be raised as needed to meet agency operations.  The maximum transaction amount set by OSC is $50,000.

  • Q.
    Do current credit card files (including applications and approvals) have to be transferred to the BSC?
    A.

    The BSC needs the signed acknowledgement form for all current cardholders.

  • Q.
    How are non-employee travel (NET) cards administered?
    A.

    The BSC follows the same process and rules as purchase cards.  The transaction reconciliation process in SFS mirrors the p-card process.

  • Q.
    How are disputes with Citibank managed?
    A.

    The card holder or agency is responsible for disputing charges as well as any necessary follow-up with Citibank.

  • Q.
    Who do I contact if my Citibank credit card is lost or stolen?
    A.

    Citibank should immediately be contacted at 1-800-248-4553. Let them know it is a New York State card, the type of card (Procurement, Travel, or NET), and the name on the account. Citibank will close the account and issue a lost/replacement card, which will be mailed to the BSC.

P-Card: New Card and Card Change Questions

  • Q.
    Who receives and distributes re-issued corporate cards?
    A.

    The BSC both receives and distributes re-issued corporate cards.

  • Q.
    Who is responsible for SFS entry of card information, such as account number, expiration date, p-card proxies, p-card default, chart of accounts, etc.)?
    A.

    The BSC will enter all information supplied on the application form when setting up a p-card or t-card.

  • Q.
    How will account change requests (e.g., temporary increases, account suspension, account closure) be handled? Will a signed document be required or will an email containing the approval(s) be accepted? Who will process these requests on the Citibank site?
    A.

    The Procurement Card Change Request and Traveler Change Request forms are available on the BSC website.  The proper form needs to be completed with appropriate signatures and scanned/emailed to the address on the top of the form or mailed to the BSC.  The BSC will make the indicated changes.

  • Q.
    What is the time frame for processing account change requests?
    A.

    The BSC processes all completed applications within 48 hours of receipt.  Citibank typically forwards the new cards within 3-4 business days, although the contract allows for up to 10 business days.  Emergency situations should be reported by calling the BSC Credit Card Unit at (518) 457-4272.

P-Card: Reconciliation Questions

  • Q.
    Will the BSC accept plot sheets for p-card reconciliation, or does the p-card holder need to reconcile in SFS? Are there any other options available?
    A.

    P-card holders must reconcile their cards in SFS and agencies will retain plot sheets.  For more information, see the How-to Guide on the BSC website.

  • Q.
    Will SFS verification and approval of transactions remain with the agency?
    A.

    Yes, SFS verification and approval of transactions will remain with the agency.

  • Q.
    What is the impact on the cardholder when transactions haven't been reconciled on SFS for a period of time? How will the cardholder be notified?
    A.

    The cardholder, approver, and supervisor are notified in  an email stating that charges have not been reconciled.  Included in the email is a link to the reconciling p-cards.

Payroll

  • Q.
    Where can I find my employee ID number?
    A.

    Your employee ID number can be found on your paystub or by calling the BSC Payroll Administration Unit.

  • Q.
    How do I get copies of my paystub or W2?
    A.

    Email the BSC Payroll Administration Unit at BSCPayrollAdmin@ogs.ny.gov, requesting to have a copy sent to you.

  • Q.
    Where do I send my tax withholding and direct deposit form?
    A.

    Mail your tax withholding and direct deposit forms to:

    BSC Payroll Administration Unit
    1220 Washington Ave,
    Building 5, Floor 4
    Albany, NY 12226-1900

  • Q.
    When will I get my first check?
    A.

    Paychecks are on a two week lag. This means you will not get your first check for up to four weeks.

  • Q.
    What paycheck will I receive my overtime pay in?
    A.

    Overtime is usually received two weeks later than your normal paycheck, meaning it usually takes 4 weeks to receive payment for overtime worked.

  • Q.
    When are performance advances paid?
    A.

    Performance advances are paid in April and October depending on your bargaining unit and your anniversary date in grade.

  • Q.
    What is Salary withholding?
    A.

    Salary withholding is a program where one day of pay is held for each of your first five paychecks.  You will receive this back upon retirement or leaving state service and will be based on your rate of pay upon separation.

  • Q.
    What are Union Dues?
    A.

    Union Dues are a mandatory payment to the union for representation, regardless of membership.

  • Q.
    Where can I get Payroll forms and publications?
    A.

    See links above for the most commonly used forms and publications.  If other types of forms are needed, you can call  the BSC Payroll Administration Unit at (518) 457-4272, or email them at BSCPayrollAdmin@ogs.ny.gov for assistance.

  • Q.
    I have questions related to retirement (ex. percentage being taken out of paycheck, lump sum payment, etc.) who do I contact?
    A.

    Call the BSC Payroll Administration Unit at (518) 457-4272 and someone will assist you.

Personnel Administration

  • Q.
    I have moved and need to update my address. How do I update my personal information?
    A.

    Employees may change their address by sending a completed and signed Personal Data Change Form via e-mail to BSCPersonnelAdmin@ogs.ny.gov, by fax to (518) 457-1879, or by regular mail to BSC Personnel Administration, 1220 Washington Ave, Building 5, Floor 4, Albany, NY 12226-1900.  BSC staff will update your personnel records including your paycheck and health insurance records.  In addition, there are several employment-related organizations which you must contact directly to advise of this change.  The contact information for such organizations is listed on the second page of the Personal Data Change Form.

  • Q.
    How can I request the ability to view my personal history folder?
    A.

    If the BSC maintains Personal History Folders (PHF) for your agency, please send your request as directed below.  If you are unsure where your PHF is located, please contact your Agency's Human Resources Office.  For PHF's located at the BSC, employees may request to view their folder by sending a request via e-mail to BSCPersonnelAdmin@ogs.ny.gov, by fax to (518) 457-1879, or by regular mail to BSC Personnel Administration, 1220 Washington Ave, Building 5, Floor 4, Albany, NY 12226-1900.  Please include the following information in the request:  your name, agency, and date range you would like to review your Personal History Folder.

  • Q.
    I am changing my name. What do I need changed in terms of my personnel information?
    A.

    Employees may change their name by sending a completed and signed Personal Data Change Form along with official documentation of the name change via e-mail to BSCPersonnelAdmin@ogs.ny.gov, by fax to (518) 457-1879, or by regular mail to BSC Personnel Administration, 1220 Washington Ave, Building 5, Floor 4, Albany, NY 12226-1900.

  • Q.
    What documentation do I need to provide for a name change?
    A.

    Employees need to provide a copy of one of the documents from the list below for a name change. This documentation must be submitted along with the Personal Data Change Form.  If the required documentation is not provided, the requested change cannot be processed.

    -Social Security card
    -Valid driver's license
    -Passport
    -Marriage certificate
    -Divorce document
    -Court order

    Upon receiving the valid document, the BSC staff will update the personnel records, including paycheck and health insurance records.  In addition, several employment-related organizations must be contacted by the employee directly, to advise of this change.  The contact information for these organizations is listed on the second page of the Personal Data Change Form.

  • Q.
    What is the BSC Human Resources mailing address?
    A.

    BSC Personnel Administration
    1220 Washington Ave.
    Building 5, Floor 4
    Albany, NY  12226-1900

  • Q.
    What is the BSC Human Resources fax number?
    A.

    The BSC HR fax number is (518) 457-1879. Please include a cover sheet with all faxes and include your name, agency, the intended BSC service line, and a brief summary of your question/issue, to ensure that it is appropriately handled.

Time and Attendance

  • Q.
    I forgot my LATS-NY password, how can I reset it?
    A.

    If you have forgotten your password, you will have the ability to attempt a login twice. On the third attempt, you will be locked out and your account will be disabled. To prevent your account from being disabled, type in your LATS-NY username and click the “Forgot Password” link.

    Enter your Username in LATS before clicking the “Forgot Password” link.  A confirmation box will appear and a new password will be emailed to you.

  • Q.
    I am locked out of LATS-NY, what should I do now?
    A.

    If you have exceeded the number of login attempts, you will receive a message stating, “Max password wrong attempts has been exceeded”. Your account has now been disabled and you must contact the BSC for a password reset.

    BSC Contact Information

    Email: BSCTimeAdmin@ogs.ny.gov
    Phone: (518) 457-4272 Monday - Friday 830 AM to 5PM EST

  • Q.
    How do you know if you are eligible for overtime and/or comp time?
    A.

    Employees in salary grades 22 and below are eligible for overtime and/or comp time.  Employees whose base day is 7.50 hours are eligible to earn non comp accruals for hours worked between 37.50 and 40.00 hours in the work week.  However all overtime (non comp and/or paid comp) is at management discretion and cannot be worked unless approved by management.

  • Q.
    I am a supervisor and my employee submitted an inaccurate timesheet. What steps can I take to correct this?
    A.

    Supervisors can unsubmit a time sheet and return it to the employee for corrections by clicking the Unapprove button located at the top and bottom of the time sheet.  The supervisor should then notify the employee that the time sheet needs correction.

  • Q.
    My work hours need to be changed in LATS. Who do I contact?
    A.

    Work hour changes may need to be done through a payroll transaction form depending on the start and end times of the work hours.  Employees can reach out the BSC Time & Attendance Unit to determine what needs to be done to get the work hours changed.  The BSC Time & Attendance Unit can be reached by email at BSCTimeAdmin@ogs.ny.gov or by phone at (518) 457-4272.

  • Q.
    Do I need to charge time to go to a union meeting?
    A.

    Any questions an employee has regarding charging time for union meetings should be directed to their agency’s Labor Relations office.

  • Q.
    I forgot my Username for LATS-NY.
    A.

    Please contact the BSC Time & Attendance Unit if you are unable to remember your Username.  Upon verification of your identity, your Username will be provided and your password will be reset.  You will receive a temporary password to your email address.  Once you login, you will be prompted to enter the last four digits of your social security number, choose a new password and confirm it.

  • Q.
    How do I change my LATS-NY password when I'm already logged into my account?
    A.

    Once an employee is logged into their LATS account, their password can be changed by selecting “Change Password” under the upper right-hand “Admin” dropdown.  The new password must be between a minimum of 4 and 20 characters in length.

  • Q.
    How Long Will it Take to Set-up the LATS-NY Account?
    A.

    All state employees use the LATS-NY online system to complete timesheets. When you start, your LATS-NY account may not be ready.

    Once your LATS-NY account is activated, you will receive an email from the BSC informing you that your account is ready to use. In this email notification, you will receive your “User Name” and a temporary “Password”, along with the following information: 

    1. LATS-NY User Handout
    2. Changing Supervisors in LATS-NY
    3. Supervisor Responsibilities in LATS-NY
    4. IPP* (Income Protection Plan) information, if applicable *Only applies to MC (Management Confidential) employees

    New State Employees: If this is your first job at a New York State agency, your LATS-NY account is usually set up by the end of your first pay period at the new agency.  

    Transfer/Rehire Employees: If you are transferring from another state agency or being rehired within less than one year of separation from a state agency, your LATS-NY accounts cannot be set up by the BSC until the BSC receives accrual information from your former agency. 

    Due to the timing of when transactions are submitted to the BSC, employees may not be able to access their timesheets for up to two weeks from their start date. We ask that you track the time you work until you gain access to LATS-NY and can complete your timesheet. To avoid a delay, you can reach out to your former agency to make sure that your accrual information is submitted to the BSC as soon as possible.

    If you have any additional questions, please check with your agency HR department or contact the BSC Time and Attendance Unit at 518-457-4272 or by email at BSCTimeAdmin@OGS.ny.gov

     

     

Travel and Expense

Airfare and Mass Transit

  • Q.
    What is mass transit?
    A.

    Mass transit is transportation that carries multiple people to destinations on regularly scheduled runs.

    -City trains, subways, buses and ferries are considered mass transit
    -Travel cards may be used if accepted
    -Taxis and car services are not considered mass transit

  • Q.
    The traveler indicates they can get airfare cheaper on-line via expedia.com and other web-based companies. Can the traveler book their flight with one of these companies?
    A.

    The traveler should utilize a state contracted travel agency to book all airfare. The state entities obtain discounts from centralized contracts. On the current contract, there are three exceptions to mandatory use:

    1. An emergency
    2. Non-contract fare saves $200 or more per round-trip ticket
    3. Contract flights would require unnecessary overnight lodging cost.

    When an exception occurs, the Air Travel Services Contract Exception Authorization Form must be completed and approved by the agency‘s Finance Officer then forwarded to the OGS Travel Coordinator at Travelcoordinator@ogs.ny.gov.

    The traveler must also use the state travel card issued in their name to pay for all airfare.

     

Budget Bulletin - B1184

  • Q.
    What is a B1184 approval?
    A.

    A request submitted under Division of Budget Bulletin B1184 which requires all in-state travel expected to cost $500 or more, regardless of business purpose (Attachment B) and all out of state travel, regardless of cost and business purpose (Attachment A), must be pre-approved.

    When using Attachment B, approval of the agency head or their designee is sufficient for in-state travel $500 or more.  When using Attachment A, approval of the Executive Chamber is required for all out-of-state travel, regardless of cost.

  • Q.
    When do I need B1184 approval?
    A.

    B1184 approval is required when:

    -The total estimated cost of a trip for in-state travel will be $500 or more (Attachment B)
    -All out-of-state travel, regardless of cost (Attachment A)

  • Q.
    How does the traveler get a B1184 approval?
    A.

    An agency’s travel liaison or Finance Office requests the B1184 on behalf of the traveler.  The travel liaison or Finance Office will submit the B1184 form (Attachment B) to the head of agency or designee for in-state travel or electronically to DOB (Attachment A) for all out-of state travel to obtain approval.  If travel is approved, a B1184 number/code is issued and the traveler is to include this code in their Expense Report.

  • Q.
    How long will it take to receive the B1184 approval from DOB?
    A.

    When possible, travelers should allow at least six to eight weeks for B1184 approval.

  • Q.
    For high frequency travelers, are multiple B1184 approvals required?
    A.

    If you are a high-frequency traveler, a blanket B1184 or individual approvals are accepted.

  • Q.
    <p>Often there is a major time lag between getting B1184 approval on a blanket basis for standard trips and the trip itself.<br>How does the BSC intend to handle lack of a blanket waiver for a period of time yet necessary agency trips (i.e., program reviews, site visits) must occur and the cost is over $500?</p>
    A.

    The BSC cannot approve an expense report with missing information.  If a report is missing information, it will be returned to the traveler‘s work list to be completed.  Agencies need to plan ahead when requesting B1184 approvals.

Citibank Corporate Credit Card

  • Q.
    If a traveler will be traveling on official state business, how do they obtain a corporate travel card?
    A.

    The new traveler application form is available on the BSC website.

    1. Section I - Employee Information is completed by the employee and forwarded to the Proxy (or Supervisor/Approver if no proxy)
    2. Section II - Completed by Proxy and forwarded to the Supervisor/Approver
    3. Section III - Completed by Supervisor/Approver and forwarded to the Agency Liaison to the BSC
    4. Section IV - Completed by Agency Liaison to the BSC and sent to the BSC via email at BSC.CC.Applications@ogs.ny.gov or mailed to:

    Business Services Center
    Attn: Credit Card Team
    1220 Washington Ave.
    Building 5, Floor 6
    Albany, New York 12226-1900

    Only the Agency Liaison may send the completed application to the BSC.

  • Q.
    How long does it take to receive a travel card?
    A.

    Travel cards are issued within 6 to 12 business days from receipt of application.

    IMPORTANT:The Corporate Travel Card is to be used for official state business only and within established guidelines in order to reduce out-of-pocket expenses when traveling.  The travel card is not to be used for personal business or shared amongst co-workers.  Failure to follow established rules and regulations may result in the suspension of the travel card and possible disciplinary action. 

    For further information, please contact the BSC Credit Card Team at 518- 457-4272.

     

Delinquent Travelers

  • Q.
    What does the BSC do concerning delinquent travelers?
    A.

    The suggested best practice for timely submission of an expense report is within 30 days after a trip.  The BSC will follow up directly with the traveler concerning unreconciled travel card charges via email, with a carbon copy to the traveler‘s supervisor and proxy (if applicable).

  • Q.
    How does the BSC deal with an employee's failure to reconcile the T-Cards against TEs?
    A.

    Each month the BSC will run an outstanding travel card charges report and remind the traveler (and cc their supervisor) that a travel expense report must be completed.  In addition, the BSC will provide the agency‘s BSC liaison with a monthly listing of all travelers with unreconciled credit card charges more than 30 days old.

Expense Reports

  • Q.
    What is the travel expense process?
    A.

    Employee follows OSC/agency rules for travel authorization (including B1184 approval, if required)

    ·         Employee creates travel expense report in SFS

    ·         Agency supervisor reviews and approves expense report, or returns for further information

    ·         Agency Travel Unit and/or Budget Approver reviews expense line coding as appropriate and approves or denies expense report

    ·         Approved expense report becomes available on the BSC travel work list

    ·         The expense report is audited by the BSC

    ·         If approved, BSC submits the expense report to OSC for audit and disbursement

    ·         If denied, the expense report is returned to the employee and an email is sent to the traveler and/or supervisor (and proxy, as appropriate)

     

  • Q.
    Will a travel expense be audited by the Travel Unit after a supervisor approves and before it goes to the BSC?
    A.

    BSC auditors (Approver 2’s) perform the final audit of expense reports.  However the agency’s Travel Unit role will still need to be mapped at the agency level in order for the expense report to advance. While a complete audit is not necessary, if an error is detect by this approver it may benefit the traveler to deny the report for editing to reduce any delays with reimbursement.  (The BSC suggests that agencies map the Travel Unit role to the same employee(s) that hold a Budget Approver role, effectively merging the two into one approval). 

  • Q.
    How does the traveler create an expense report?
    A.
    • Note:  for full details see the Traveler SFS Overview Creating Expense Reports (Self-Serve) on the BSC website at:

    https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/sites/default/files/Taveler_SFS_Overview_Creating_ER.pdf

    To create an expense report:

    • Log into SFS at:  https://fin.sfs.ny.gov/
    • Enter your user ID and password
    • Check the SFS Online Terms of Service (do not check the Enable box)
    • Click on Sign in
    • Click on Employee Self-Service
    • Click on Travel and Expenses
    • Click on Expense Reports
    • Click on Create/Modify
  • Q.
    How do you save an unfinished expense report?
    A.

    Click the "Save for Later" tab on the right top section in the report.

  • Q.
    How does the traveler get back into an expense report to edit the report?
    A.

    To edit an expense report in SFS:

    -Click on Main Menu
    -Click on Employee Self Service
    -Click on Travel and Expenses
    -Click on Expense Reports
    -Click on Create/Modify

    -Click on Find and Existing Value

    -Enter the Report ID or traveler’s last name, last name, first name w/no spaces (if the proxy) then click on Search

  • Q.
    Can a proxy enter an expense report on behalf of a traveler?
    A.

    Yes.  However, as the traveler must verify the contents of the report being submitted are true, accurate, and in accordance with established guidelines, they should submit their own expense reports.  If the traveler is unable to submit the ER then the proxy may do so only after attaching a completed and traveler signed an AC 132-S to the ER.

  • Q.
    How does the traveler set up a proxy?
    A.

    If a traveler needs to set up a proxy, they should contact their agency‘s Employee Data Administrator (EDA).

  • Q.
    How does the traveler know who the Employee Data Administrator (EDA) is?
    A.

    The traveler should contact their Agency‘s Finance Office or Agency Liaison to the BSC.

  • Q.
    The traveler is trying to create an expense report but their travel card charges are not showing up in My Wallet.
    A.

    When charges are made with the travel card, the vendor has to submit the charges to Citibank.  Citibank then transfers the charges to SFS.  SFS will then download them into My Wallet.  It may take four to five business days, depending on the vendor, for the charges to show in My Wallet.  If charges are not in My Wallet a week after a trip, contact the BSC Credit Card Team  at (518) 457-4272 to verify if the traveler‘s travel card information is role-mapped properly in SFS.

  • Q.
    Does the traveler need to itemize their hotel bill if it contains other charges?
    A.

    Yes, the bill would need to be itemized according to expense type. For example, if a hotel bill contains room service charges, these charges would need to be itemized as "return to state" charges.  Remember, only hotel bills are itemized; all other types of receipts such as rentals must be split.  For full details on how to itemize or split receipts, please see the BSC Traveler SFS Overview Creating Expense Reports (Self-Serve) at: https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/sites/default/files/Traveler_SFS_Overview_Creating_ER.pdf

     

  • Q.
    Does the traveler need to split the vehicle rental invoice if it contains other charges?
    A.

    Yes.  Charges are to be split according to expense type (i.e. fuel would need to be recorded as "fuel for travel").

  • Q.
    After pulling My Wallet charges into the expense report, the report summary shows a balance owed to the state. Why?
    A.

    There may be a few reasons why a balance owed to state occurs: 1) Certain expenses, such as meals ("return to state charges"), need to be offset with an actual expense (per-diem meal) even though the travel card was used; 2) An expense incurred is non-reimbursable by the state; or 3) The traveler spent over their allotted per-diem and owes the state money.  If a balance is due to the state, the traveler should contact the BSC Travel Unit for further instruction.

  • Q.
    How does the traveler attach receipts to an expense report?
    A.

    The traveler electronically links their receipt to the report by using the attachment feature in SFS.  Click on the "attachment" link (top right of the report) and upload the file using the "browser" button.

  • Q.
    Where will travel expense back-ups be retained for post audit and inquiries from OSC or other authorities?
    A.

    It is recommended that the traveler retain expense report back up in case of an audit.

  • Q.
    How does the traveler check on the status of their expense report?
    A.

    To check the status of an expense report:

    •  Click on Main Menu
      -Click on Employee Self Service
      -Click on Travel and Expenses
      -Click on Expense Reports
      -Click on “View".  From here the traveler can monitor the status of their reports.
    • Supervisors/approvers should regularly monitor their work lists for incoming reports.
  • Q.
    The traveler indicates their expense report is not in the supervisor‘s work list. Why?
    A.

    Possible reasons:

    • The traveler may not have actually submitted their expense report and it is still in their queue.
    • The traveler may not be role-mapped to the correct supervisor. Contact your agency‘s Employee Data Administrator (EDA).
    • The supervisor may not be role-mapped properly in SFS. Contact your agency‘s Agency Security Administrator (ASA).
  • Q.
    The traveler noticed a mistake after they submitted their expense report. Can they make a change?
    A.

    Yes, however an expense report (ER) can only be modified once the report is back in the traveler's queue.  The traveler needs to check in Employee T&E Center under "expense report" "View" status to see exactly who has the report (either HR supervisor, Business Aapprover 1 or Business Approver 2/BSC).  If the HR supervisor still has the ER the traveler can click on “withdraw”.  However, if another party/approver has the report they have to notify that party to deny the report back to the traveler for the necessary modifications.

  • Q.
    With SFS, will the traveler receive a check?
    A.

    Travel reimbursements will mirror your paycheck.  If the traveler has direct deposit, their travel reimbursement will be deposited in the same account where the balance of their check goes.  If the traveler receives a paycheck, the traveler will receive a travel check.

  • Q.
    I lost my travel reimbursement check. What should I do?
    A.

    Contact the BSC Travel Unit and provide them with your payment information so a lost check application can be submitted.

  • Q.
    Where do I find my payment history information?
    A.

    In SFS under Employee Self Service:

    • Travel and Expenses
    • Review Payments
    • Enter correct information and click on Search
  • Q.
    Does the supervisor or approver get notification that a report has been submitted to their worklist?
    A.

    No, there are no electronic notification options currently in SFS.

  • Q.
    How does a supervisor or approver access their worklist?
    A.

    For full details, please refer to the Travel Supervisor for SFS EE1 (Self-Serve) at: https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/content/travel-expense

    To access a worklist; once in SFS:

    • Click on Main Menu
    • Click on Manager Self Service
    • Click on Travel and Expense Center
    • Click on Approvals
    • Click on Approve Transactions
    • Select the preferred tab; either expense reports or travel authorizations
  • Q.
    How does a supervisor approve a report?
    A.

    The process to approve a report:

    • Ensure all information is correct and completely filled out in the expense report
    • Review any error warnings (yield signs)
    • Ensure all required documentation and receipts are attached
    • Once report is OK to process, click on the "Approve" tab
  • Q.
    If a supervisor is trying to approve a report and is getting a budget check error or budget status not valid, what does this mean and what steps should be taken next?
    A.

    Budget check in SFS runs approximately every two hours on the hour beginning at 8 AM.   The report may not have gone through a valid Budget Check cycle.

    Next steps:

    • The accounting default codes entered in the report may be incorrect and need to be changed by either the employee or budget approver.  Check with your Agency Budget Office/Unit for guidance.
    • Check the accounting defaults.  Verify all mandatory fields have been entered (department, program, fund, account, and budget reference).  If mandatory fields were properly entered and the account defaults were properly entered, the traveler should check with their agency Finance Office for further solutions.  If mandatory fields were not complete, the supervisor should deny the report back to the traveler for the proper fields to be completed.
  • Q.
    How does a supervisor return a report for corrections or editing?
    A.

    To return a report for alteration:

    • Enter the reason why the report is being returned in the Comments box under Action History and click "Deny".  This will send the report back to the traveler‘s queue.

    Remember:

    • Approve – sends the report to the next SFS approval role for the next step in processing
    • Deny – to modify, sends the report back to the traveler for modifications
    • Reject – deactivates the report and it is returned to the traveler.  The report cannot be edited or modified and when necessary, may need to be re-created.
  • Q.
    What training mechanisms are available for travel topics?
    A.

    The BSC has traveler and supervisor self-serve training materials at: https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/content/travel-expense

  • Q.
    Is travel insurance an allowable expense?
    A.

    The travel card provides full insurance coverage when renting a vehicle.

    If the travel card is not used or additional insurance is required, travelers should check with their agency’s travel coordinator or finance office for the reimbursement policy on this expense.

    The NYS Contract for purchasing airfare includes cancellation insurance.

    Train insurance, i.e. AMTRAK $3.50, should not be purchased; please follow the guidelines for train purchases and cancellations at:  http://www.ogs.ny.gov/BU/SS/Trav/Amtrak.asp or refer to the AMTRAK section listed in BSC announcement “Travel Updates Revised, March 10, 2015” at:   https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/announcements .

  • Q.
    Is the rental of a Global Positioning System (GPS) an allowable expense?
    A.

    Yes, as long as it’s an approved business expense; management approval is sufficient.

  • Q.
    Is Plate Pass acceptable when renting a vehicle?
    A.

    Yes, in certain circumstances. There are certain roads that do not accept cash payment in New York City. Agencies should still be ensuring that when Plate Pass is used, the expenses are in the best interest of the State. Travelers should not opt to purchase Plate Pass in northern and western areas within NYS due to additional fees incurred with the cost of the rental.  When using Plate Pass outside of NYC, travelers are to include a travelers are to include a justification in the description area in the expense report.

  • Q.
    What receipts are required for reimbursement?
    A.

    Most receipts are now required for reimbursement. The full breakdown on receipt requirements can be found in the OSC Travel Manual at: https://osc.state.ny.us/agencies/travel/manual.pdf and in the BSC Travel and Reference guides at: https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/content/travel-expense.

  • Q.
    When a traveler is in travel status and for business reasons the trip requires a weekend stay, does the trip need the approval of the agency's Finance Office for the weekend allowance or is management approval sufficient?
    A.

    Management approval is sufficient in order for an employee to be eligible for the weekend allowance reimbursement.

  • Q.
    Where can I find information on moving expenses?
    A.

    For full details and required information including maximum rates allowed, refer to Guide to Financial Operations XIII.8 on the OSC website at: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/agencies/guide/MyWebHelp/ .

General Travel & Expense Questions

  • Q.
    During the end of the federal fiscal year we usually have a time when we are waiting for the new federal funds and we need to change coding. Does the agency notify travelers not to process travel expense reports or will the BSC?
    A.

    Both. The BSC website will contain important announcements and deadlines for agencies and travelers. The BSC website is located at: https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/. Also, the BSC sends agency liaisons notifications of any important issues to forward to their travelers.

  • Q.
    Where can I find general information on the State's Travel Policy?
    A.

Lodging

  • Q.
    Can the traveler exceed the government rate for lodging without prior approval by the agency?
    A.

    No, If the traveler needs to exceed the government rate they need prior approval from their agency‘s Finance office.  Pre-Approval and justification would consist of the following and must be attached to expense reports:

    • Agencies using TAs in SFS should submit a TA to obtain pre-approval prior to travelling
    • Written permission from the traveler’s Finance office to exceed the rate and why the traveler needed to exceed the state rate
    • Written or email confirmation when over the maximum rate lodging is booked through one of the state contracted travel agencies
  • Q.
    Do the state's contracted travel agents only book flights?
    A.

    No, they are full service travel agents.  In addition to booking airfare, they make AMTRAK/train reservations, charging a minimal agent fee.  State contracted travel agents can assist travelers with any other reservations associated with a trip including lodging and car rentals at no additional costs to the state.  They can assist travelers having difficulty finding lodging within the state rate or closest to the max rate.

  • Q.
    Is the traveler required to pay New York State Sales Tax fees when lodging?
    A.

    No, the traveler should not pay sales tax fees when lodging in New York State.  The traveler must submit an Exemption Certificate (ST-129) at time of check-in; the ST-129 can be found at: https://www.tax.ny.gov/forms/.

  • Q.
    If the traveler did not submit the ST-129 at the time of check-in and was charged sales tax fees, what should they do?
    A.

    The traveler must contact the hotel management and obtain a credit.  The traveler should scan or fax a copy of the ST-129 to the hotel so the tax fees are credited to their hotel bill and travel card account.  The traveler is not to submit an expense report until all sales tax fees credits have been obtained and appear in their SFS My Wallet account.  A revised lodging receipt reflecting the credit should also be obtained and attached to the expense report.

Meals and Eligibility

  • Q.
    When is the traveler eligible for meals?
    A.

    The traveler must be in official travel status (35 miles or more from both home and official station) and meet time eligibility requirements.

    Note:

    • For day trip meals and overnight extra meals, the traveler must note the time eligibility requirements in the details section in the expense report.
    • When in overnight travel status and eligible for per-diem overnight meals, the amount of the meal per-diem is based on where the traveler lodged (expected to lodge in or around the county of assignment).
  • Q.
    Can the traveler (in Official Travel Status) earn both reimbursement for meals and overtime meal allowances?
    A.

    No, the traveler is eligible to claim one or the other, not both.

  • Q.
    Where do the meal rates come from?
    A.

    The GSA determines and sets the meal per-diem allowances.  NYS follows the rates set by the Federal Government.  To view the rates, go to: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877.

     

  • Q.
    Is lunch reimbursable?
    A.

    No, only breakfast and dinner allowances are reimbursable.  Even though the Federal Government reimburses lunch to their employees, NYS does not.  The NYS meal per-diem allowance is the same as the federal government allowance but split 20% for breakfast and 80% for dinner.

Official Travel Status

  • Q.
    When is a traveler in Official Travel Status?
    A.

    A traveler must be 35 miles or more from both their home and their official work station.  A single trip (regardless if multiple days and several destinations assigned) starts once a traveler departs their home or official station and ends when they return back to their home or official station.

  • Q.
    Can the traveler claim any travel expenses between their home and official station or at their official station?
    A.

    No, travel between home and official station is considered commuting by the IRS and not reimbursable.  No expenses, such as parking, will be reimbursed at one‘s official station.

Reimbursements

  • Q.
    How does an employee get reimbursed for an expense on behalf of the agency?
    A.

    The employee fills out an expense report in SFS and attaches the receipt (and agency required documents).  The expense report is approved at the agency level and is processed by the BSC.

  • Q.
    Are garnishment reimbursements through travel expenses processed by the BSC?
    A.

    No, the BSC does not process these types of travel expense reports.

Rental Cars, Personal Vehicles and Trip Calculator

  • Q.
    When may a traveler rent a car?
    A.

    A traveler may rent a car only for official state business.  A car may be rented when a state car or mass transit is not available or reasonable for the trip taken.  For rental vehicle frequently asked questions visit:  http://ogs.ny.gov/purchase/snt/awardnotes/7200122273FAQ.pdf .

  • Q.
    Can a traveler use any rental agency?
    A.

    No, travelers are to use the rental agencies currently under NYS contract.  They are Enterprise/National and Hertz.  More information on vehicle rental contracts can be found on the OGS NYS Procurement website at: http://ogs.ny.gov/purchase/snt/awardnotes/7200122273can.HTM.

  • Q.
    If a traveler does not have a State Corporate Travel Card, can they use their own personal credit card to rent a vehicle?
    A.

    Yes, if they do not have a State Corporate Travel Card they may use a personal credit card and submit for reimbursement.  Travelers should still rent from a statewide contractor and present their NYS Identification badge.  It is recommended to carry an AC 946 tax exemption form in the event the agency will not exempt taxes for personal fund payments.  This form can be found on the OSC website at: http://osc.state.ny.us/agencies/forms/ac946_f.pdf 

     

  • Q.
    If a traveler does not have a travel card but a co-worker does, can the co-worker rent a car for another employee?
    A.

    No, travel cards are not to be shared for any expenses, especially vehicle rentals due to reporting and accident and insurance liabilities.

  • Q.
    The traveler rents a vehicle when traveling on state business. Does the traveler need to attach a trip calculator?
    A.

    No, a trip calculator must only be attached when utilizing your personal vehicle for mileage claims of 100 miles or more per trip.

  • Q.
    Can the traveler use their personal vehicle if the cost of the rental is less expensive?
    A.

    Yes, the traveler can opt to use their personal vehicle.  However, if the traveler uses their personal vehicle and it would have been more economical to rent a vehicle, they will be reimbursed travel expenses at the cost of a rented compact vehicle.

     

  • Q.
    Can the traveler rent a car if use of their personal vehicle would be less expensive?
    A.

    Yes, the traveler may rent a car even if using their personal vehicle is less expensive.

  • Q.
    What is the trip calculator?
    A.

    The trip calculator is a tool used to determine the most efficient mode of travel.  It determines whether it is more economical to rent a vehicle or claim your personal car mileage.  The trip calculator can be found at: http://ogs.ny.gov/BU/SS/Trav/Calculators.asp .

  • Q.
    When a traveler is in overnight travel status and travels several days in a row and using their personal vehicle, should they use the full travel period in the trip calculator equation to determine their PCM reimbursement?
    A.

    Yes, when completing the trip calculator, use the total travel period to determine your PCM reimbursement.

Statewide Financial System (SFS)

  • Q.
    If the traveler forgets their password, who do they contact?
    A.

    If the traveler has set up Forgotten Password Help, they can have a new password e-mailed to them.  They go to the SFS home page at http://www.sfs.ny.gov/ and click on the blue Agency Portal Login button.  From the password login screen, they click on the "I forgot my password" link.  If they need further assistance, they should reach out to their agency‘s Agency Security Administrator (ASA).

  • Q.
    How do I find the Agency Security Administrator (ASA) for my agency?
    A.

    Contact your agency‘s Finance Office or Agency Liaison to the BSC.

  • Q.
    What if SFS access is denied?
    A.

    If the traveler cannot access SFS at all, they may not be properly role-mapped within SFS and/or have a SFS account established.  They should contact their agency‘s ASA. If the traveler cannot access travel reports, they may be selecting the wrong SFS menu option. The traveler needs to enter travel and expenses via the Employee Self Service Center under the Search Menu and not through Travel and Expenses. For further instructions, see Expense Reports section.

  • Q.
    How does a supervisor open a report to review?
    A.

    Click on either the Description or the Transaction ID link in the worklist.

  • Q.
    How does the traveler access SFS?
    A.

    The SFS website is http://www.sfs.ny.gov/ and then select Agency Portal Login.

Travel Authorization

  • Q.
    What is travel pre-approval?
    A.

    Travel that must be pre-approved prior to making travel arrangements.  All travel must be approved by a supervisor or authorized agency official.  For situations such as trips that cost $500 or more, additional approvals must be obtained.  These methods of travel pre-approval are at the discretion of each individual agency‘s Finance Office.

  • Q.
    What is a Travel Authorization (TA)?
    A.

    The TA is a Statewide Financial System (SFS) document submitted electronically and used to obtain agency/Finance Office pre-approval for future travel.  Use of the TA option in SFS is at the discretion of each individual agency.  Not all agencies use the SFS electronic form for travel pre-approval.  For verification of the agency method of travel pre-approval, travelers should check with their agency Finance Office.

  • Q.
    When is pre-travel authorization mandatory?
    A.

    While the BSC is not involved in the approval process with existing state directives/policies, BSC staff will expect some type of authorization (TA or agency specific Finance Office approval) to be attached to any expense report that includes:

    • Travel to a conference or seminar
    • Travel expenses totaling $500 and over
    • Over the maximum rates for lodging
    • All out-of-state travel regardless of cost
    • Agency specific waivers that differ from OSC and/or established guidelines
  • Q.
    As the BSC will not be handling Travel Authorizations, how does the BSC ensure travel expense reports are appropriately completed?
    A.

    The BSC does not review or approve travel authorizations.  However, when auditing expense reports the BSC will ensure that travel follows the rules and regulations established by OSC and the traveler's agency.

  • Q.
    How does a traveler submit a TA request?
    A.

    TA requests are submitted electronically in SFS through Employee Self Service; Employee T&E Center; Travel Authorization. Once the TA is accurately entered into the system, it is submitted electronically and will go through multiple levels of approval.

    OR

    Some agencies may use interagency memorandum, email notifications, separate documentation, etc. Travel pre-approval procedures are at the discretion of each individual agency and their Finance Office. Any approval documentation is to be attached to the expense report upon submission.

  • Q.
    If the traveler is called out due to an emergency situation by their supervisor or agency official, and they must leave immediately without time to obtain pre-approval documentation, what do they do?
    A.

    Emergency travel situations and how they are handled is up to the discretion of each individual agency.  The traveler should contact their agency‘s Finance Office.  When the traveler returns and submits an expense report, agencies may require separate documentation detailing the emergency that must be electronically attached to the expense report in SFS.  Agencies may want travelers to prepare an Emergency expense report that mirrors the approval flow of an electronic TA in SFS.  Travelers are to be reminded that for an emergency situation the cost of travel would not be known prior to travel.  The method of travel should be in best interest of the state and the most economical method that does not adversely impact the ability to properly respond to the emergency.  After travel is completed and if travel costs are $500 or more, the B1184 approval must be obtained from the Division of the Budget (DOB) before an expense report is submitted.

  • Q.
    What is the procedure if the traveler‘s supervisor is on vacation and the traveler needs a TA approved?
    A.

    When a supervisor or manager is going to be out for a period of time, it is suggested they set an Alternate User electronically in the SFS system. They should contact their agency EDA to initially set up an alternate.  Once initiated, the supervisor can go into "My System Profile" and edit the dates for future absences.  When a supervisor has failed to set an alternate user, the BSC Travel Unit can arrange for a temporary re-direction of a TA.  The request must come from a Division Director or an authorized Agency Liaison to the BSC.  The request must include the name of the person the TA will need to be redirected to and the time frame that TA‘s will continue to go to the alternate designee.

  • Q.
    How long will it take for the traveler‘s TA to be approved?
    A.

    Depending if B1184 approval is required, travelers should allow up to at least eight (8) weeks for the full approval process.

  • Q.
    How will the traveler know when their TA is approved?
    A.

    The traveler should monitor the status of their TA in SFS under Employee Self Service; Employee T&E Center; Travel Authorization; then View.  If a TA stalls in workflow, the traveler will be able to locate the TA and contact the approver to take action.

  • Q.
    Blanket Waivers – related to Travel Authorizations: Will blanket waivers for certain staff be permitted? For example, Hearing Officers who regularly travel to NYC for court hearings and have travel expenses that amount to more than $500. Can an agency blanket waiver be put in place whereby a Travel Authorization is not required for Hearing Officers whose in-state travel exceeds $500?
    A.

    Blanket authorizations are allowable but they must be attached to each relevant expense report (one report per overnight trip).

New Employee/Transfers

  • Q.
    How can I submit my New Employee forms and documents to the Business Services Center?
    A.

    Forms can be sent to the BSC by one of the following methods:

    NYS Office of General Services
    Business Services Center HR, Attn: Benefits Unit
    1220 Washington Ave, Bldg. 5, 4 Floor
    W.A. Harriman State Campus
    Albany, NY 12226

    PLEASE NOTE:  Originals are required for the I-9 Employment Verification form and MC Life Enrollment forms.  Please mail these forms to the address above.

Resetting Your Password

  • Q.
    I forgot my Username for LATS-NY.
    A.

    Please contact the BSC Time & Attendance Unit if you are unable to remember your Username.  Upon verification of your identity, your Username will be provided and your password will be reset.  You will receive a temporary password to your email address.  Once you login, you will be prompted to enter the last four digits of your social security number, choose a new password and confirm it.

Vendor

15 Day Pay Bill

  • 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 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.
    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.
    How do I get certified as a 15 day small business?
    A.

    It's easy to do online in the SFS Vendor Portal, under Supplier Maintenance.

  • Q.
    When can I certify as a 15 day small business?
    A.

    Vendors may self-certify as a small business through the SFS Vendor Portal beginning January 29, 2017.

  • Q.
    If our business no longer meets the requirements to be considered a 15 day small business, what do we do?
    A.

    Vendors can decertify as a 15 day small business in the SFS Vendor Portal.

  • Q.
    How do we decertify our 15 day small business status?
    A.

    On the SFS Vendor Portal, under Supplier Maintenance, then “Self-Certify as a NYS Prompt Pay Small Business”, vendors are able to update their 15 day small business status.

  • Q.
    A state agency that contracts with us asked us to confirm our 15 day small business status. How does our business reply?
    A.

    Follow the instructions on the letter you received and submit your response timely to the agency.  

  • Q.
    A state agency that we do business with, has asked us to confirm our 15 day small business status. What happens if we do not reply?
    A.

    Failure to reply timely may result in revocation of your 15 day small business designation, until such time that a certified statement is received.  

  • Q.
    What documentation is required to be provided to confirm a vendor’s eligibility as a small business?
    A.

    Vendors who self-certified as a 15 day small business may be required at any time and upon request to provide to any State agency with which the vendor contracts, or to the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) for auditing purposes, sufficient documentation to confirm the vendor’s eligibility as a Small Business.  Documentation required to confirm a vendor’s eligibility as a small business can include, but is not limited to, a true, executed copy of the vendor’s federal and state tax returns, including all statements and schedules as filed for the prior taxable year, payroll records, forms W-2, proof of ownership, or any other relevant documentation requested by the contracting agency or OSC. 

  • 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 does our business submit invoices to be eligible for 15 day payment?
    A.

    A method of invoicing must be submitted. Vendors select a method of eInvoicing:

    • Self-Service Invoice: Manually create an invoice directly in SFS within 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.
    If our business submits a paper invoice, faxes an invoice, or emails an invoice, can that be considered an electronic invoice?
    A.

    Only eInvoices submitted through Self-Service in SFS or XML file are considered electronic invoices and are eligible for interest after 15 days.  Invoices submitted by any other method require data entry by New York State staff and will not be considered eligible for interest after 15 days.

  • Q.
    Are there any requirements to electronic invoicing?
    A.

    Before your business can submit an eInvoice, you need to:

    • Certify your business
    • Create a SFS Vendor Portal account in the SFS (you will need your 10-digit vendor number).
    • Enroll in ePayments on the SFS Vendor Portal to receive electronic transfer of funds direct to your bank account via ACH processing. 
    • Small businesses will self-certify that they meet the above requirements in the SFS Vendor Portal (eSupplier).  Self-certification includes agreeing with a certification statement online.
    • Enroll in Electronic Invoicing (eSettlements) on the SFS Vendor Portal.  
  • Q.
    What State agencies can receive eInvoices?
    A.

    A list of State agencies that have eSettlement capability in SFS is listed on the OSC website (www.osc.state.ny.us). 
    Note that “certain departments within the agency are able to interact electronically with businesses now, while other departments will be phased in over time”. 

  • Q.
    What training is available to vendors?
    A.

    SFS has a vendor training course available to vendors through the help link on the SFS Vendor Portal https://esupplier.sfs.ny.gov/psp/fscm/SUPPLIER/?cmd=login&languageCd=ENG&

  • 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 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.

  • Q.
    Our business is trying to enter an eInvoice, but the related purchase order is not listed on Self-Service? What do we do?
    A.

    Vendors can go to www.osc.state.ny.us to view a list of Business Units (agencies) that participate in eSettlements.  If the Business Unit is not on the list, an eInvoice cannot be submitted.  If the Business Unit is listed, then the vendor should reach out to the agency for assistance with the purchase order.  Contact the agency you do business with to discuss.

  • Q.
    Our business wants to eInvoice, but the State Agency has not processed a purchase order yet. What do we do?
    A.

    Vendors to NY State cannot invoice agencies until you have received a purchase order which authorizes you to provide goods and services. Contact the agency you do business with to discuss.

  • Q.
    Our Purchase Order is closed, but we still need to submit an eInvoice. What do we do?
    A.

    Contact the agency you do business with to discuss.

  • Q.
    Our Purchase was closed, but we still need to submit an eInvoice. What do we do?
    A.

    Contact the agency you do business with to discuss.

  • Q.
    Our business self-certified as a 15 days small business and submitted an eInvoice prior to March 31, 2017. However, our eInvoice was not paid within 15 day, and interest was not received. Why not?
    A.

    Although vendors can self-certify as a 15 day small business and submit eInvoices prior to March 31, 2017, the 15 day pay bill does not go into effect until March 31, 2017.  

  • Q.
    When will a 15 day pay certified small business receive interest?
    A.

    eInvoices submitted after vendor self-certification are eligible for interest if not paid within 15 days.  Also, note interest is only paid if $10 or more.

General Vendor

  • Q.
    How do I submit invoices to the BSC?
    A.

    Submit invoices to the proper location:

    • When possible, submit a PDF version of your invoice via email to accountspayable@ogs.ny.gov or bscleaseinvoices@ogs.ny.gov if it is lease specific.  The subject line should include the Invoice Number, Name of Agency being billed and the Unit ID if applicable. If sent electronically, do not send a paper copy of the invoice as this can cause duplication which may slow down the payment process.
    • If submitting a paper copy of the invoice, send it to:

    Name of Agency indicated on PO
    Unit ID (if applicable): xxxxxxx
    c/o NYS OGS BSC Accounts Payable
    Building 5, 5th floor
    1220 Washington Ave. Albany, NY 12226-1900

    Or for leases, send it to:

    Name of Agency indicated on PO
    Unit ID (if applicable): xxxxxxx
    c/o BSC Lease Unit
    Building 5, 6th floor
    1220 Washington Ave. Albany, NY 12226-1900

     

  • Q.
    What information should be on my invoice?
    A.
    • Name of the NYS Agency indicated on the purchase order
    • Invoice number and/or Account number
    • Invoice date
    • Supplier’s name and NYS Statewide Financial System (SFS) Vendor Number
    • A valid NYS Purchase Order (PO) Number
    • The Agency Unit ID of the unit that received the goods or services, if applicable.  This information can be found on the first line of the purchase order
    • Line item details that match the corresponding PO line item, including accurate prices, quantities and descriptions of goods and services delivered and dates of service if applicable
    • Valid contact information in the event outreach is needed

     

  • Q.
    I received a letter indicating that my invoice has been returned as it does not contain the required information. What do I do next?
    A.

    Your invoice was identified as missing information required to process the invoice and issue payment. The missing information was indicated with the returned invoice.  Please update your invoice and re-submit to the designated payment office with the required information.

  • Q.
    Will the return of my invoice delay payment?
    A.

    Yes; however, payment cannot be issued until a proper invoice is received with all required information.  Prompt correction and resubmission of your invoice will allow us to process your payment as timely as possible. To ensure timely processing of future invoices, please ensure all information is included with each submission.

  • Q.
    How is interest calculated?
    A.

    Interest is calculated on the later of (1) the date on which the Agency received a proper invoice in its designated payment office, or (2) the date on which the Agency received the purchased goods, property or services covered by the invoice.  This date is referred to as the Merchandise/invoice Received date (MIR date).   Below are key components of the payment process:

    • Designated payment offices appear on the Purchase Order or contract and often differ from the shipping address.
    • A proper invoice is a request for payment submitted by the vendor that provides substantiating documentation that the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) and the state agency may reasonably require as detailed above.
    • The required payment date is 30 calendar days, excluding legal holidays after the Merchandise Invoice Received (MIR) date.
    • New York State becomes liable for interest of $10.00 or more for payments made after the required payment date.
    • When an invoice is returned to a vendor for missing information, the MIR date is no earlier than the date the corrected, proper invoice is received.
  • Q.
    I have never had my invoices returned before, nor have I included all of the information required above. Why is this information now required?
    A.

    In 2012, New York State implemented the Business Services Center (BSC), a shared services center responsible for the centralized processing of transactions for a number of state agencies.  Since invoices are received at the BSC for over 60 different agencies, it is critical that each invoice clearly identify the specific information needed to process payment.

  • Q.
    Why do I need a purchase order number?
    A.

    The Purchase Order number on your invoice allows the Business Services Center to match your invoice to the correct Purchase Order issued by the agency to your business. This ensures accuracy and decreases the amount of time to process payment.

  • Q.
    How do I get a valid purchase order number?
    A.

    The purchase order number is located on the purchase order document you receive when an agency places an order with your business. A supplier can also login to the SFS vendor portal to view their purchase orders with agencies. Questions about access to the SFS vendor portal should be referred to helpdesk@sfs.ny.gov

  • Q.
    Where do I find more information on what to include on my invoice?
    A.

    This information is detailed above, is included on the purchase order and is also posted on the BSC website at bsc.ogs.ny.gov under the vendor section.

  • Q.
    What is an SFS vendor ID and where can I get that information?
    A.

    The SFS vendor ID is the State-assigned ten-digit vendor number used by New York State to identify its vendors.  The SFS vendor ID is listed on the purchase order.  Vendors may contact the New York State agency they do business with for their assigned ten-digit vendor number.  In addition, suppliers can register for access to the SFS vendor portal for more information. 

  • Q.
    What is an agency Unit ID and where can I get that information?
    A.

    An agency Unit ID identifies the department within a State agency.  This information will be found on the Purchase Order, if applicable. Not all agencies require a Unit ID.