This bulletin describes the Quick Pay Voucher process and explains related procedures and internal control requirements.
This process is designed to increase efficiency in processing invoices which do not exceed agency limits, while maintaining an effective OSC pre-audit of these payments.
- Agencies use two conversations to enter additional data in the Central Accounting System (CAS). The Quick Pay Voucher Entry/Correct Conversation includes a 140 character field to describe the goods/services purchased. The Agency Certification Conversation provides for online certification of Quick Pay Voucher batches by finance officers/designees. With this additional data on the CAS, OSC will pre-audit the "electronic voucher" and issue a check as early as the next day without requiring batches of paper vouchers and invoices from agencies. Agencies reduce mail costs; OSC reduces handling and storage costs.
- OSC will conduct post audits of the Quick Pay process to ensure agency compliance with internal control and records retention requirements.
- The Quick Pay process can also benefit agencies as an alternative to the petty cash process by reducing agency check writing/reconciliation requirements and increasing payment data on the CAS.
The following sections provide detailed information on Quick Pay procedures and internal controls.
||Quick Pay Vouchers are similar to standard vouchers processed through the CAS. However, some important differences should be noted.
- The Quick Pay process can be used for all payments that do not exceed agency limits, except advance account reimbursements. Multiple invoices can be paid on a single Quick Pay Voucher as long as no invoices exceeds the agency limit.
- A Quick Pay Voucher form (AC3031, Exhibit A) has been developed for agencies who choose to use it for data entry and/or reference purposes.
- Quick Pay Voucher documents are not sent to OSC. All documentation, including original invoices, is retained by the agency and must be available for post audit.
- Quick Pay Vouchers are entered into the CAS and certified by agencies using two online conversations described below. These vouchers can also be bulkloaded, specifications for which are available on request.
The Quick Pay Voucher Entry/Correct Conversation is on menu 027. It requires the entry of a "Description of Material/Service" in a 140 character field for every payment. The information entered in this field must adequately describe the goods/services purchased to support voucher pre-audit. When a payment has multiple invoices, the description must apply to all invoices. To reduce data entry, the conversation will automatically enter Batch Type, "KPV", as well as the current date in Liability Date and the next day's date in Scheduled Payment Date. Agencies can override these dates when necessary.
The Quick Pay Voucher process requires an online certification by a finance officer, or designee, for each batch of Quick Pay Vouchers, including those which are bulkloaded to the CAS. The certification is performed using the Agency Certification conversation found on menu 028. The finance officer, or designee, is assigned a Certification Operator ID to access this conversation. These certifiers must be authorized to sign vouchers, in accordance with Section 110 of the State Finance Law, and must be on file with OSC Pre-Audit. Any person who has a Certification Operator ID cannot also perform Quick Pay data entry. Agencies are responsible for requesting Operator ID's which ensure this separation of duties.
- The certifier may review online any or all documents in a batch and can reject vouchers when necessary. The certifier cannot change any information on the vouchers.
To REVIEW a voucher: On the Quick Pay Voucher Certification Select screen, enter the Batch Agency ID and Batch Number to be reviewed. Then:
- Press ENTER to view the first voucher in the batch; press ENTER again to view each successive voucher.
- Press PF2 to view the BROWSE screen which lists all the vouchers in the batch and their dollar amounts.
- Enter a document sequence number on the select screen and press ENTER to view a specific voucher.
- To REJECT a voucher: With the voucher to be rejected visbile on the screen, type the word "REJECT" in the command input area at the bottom of the screen and press the PF8 key. A message will appear on the screen to confirm that the voucher has been rejected. After all necessary rejections are complete the remaining vouchers in the batch can be certified.
- To CERTIFY a batch: Press the PF5 key to RECAP. Then press ENTER to release the batch. A Certification BCL will be printed, and will include a warning message for every voucher rejected along with the name of the certifier. (Even if all vouchers in a batch are rejected, it is still necessary to press PF5 to RECAP and then ENTER to release the batch.)
Note: The online certification is the legal equivalent of a written certification and subjects the certifier to the same penalties that apply to written certifications. The ID and name of the certifier of each batch will be retained in OSC automated files for historical reference
- A daily report, VOU930, will print at the agency and lists any batches awaiting certification.
OSC pre-auditors may have only one day to audit Quick Pay Vouchers before the scheduled payment date. Therefore, it is imperative that when an auditor calls to request additional information on a Quick Pay Voucher, agencies must respond that same day. Otherwise, the auditors will be forced to reject the voucher, requiring the agency to re-enter the document.
Using statistical sampling techniques, OSC auditors will periodically require agencies to submit supporting documentation for selected Quick Pay Vouchers as an indication of adequate internal controls and document retention. Documentation will be returned to agencies for retention. Any indication of lack of proper internal controls will result in the agency's exclusion from the Quick Pay process.
Section 3.025, pages 1-4, of the Controls and Special Procedures Manual explains internal controls required for processing payments. Review these controls and take steps to ensure they apply to payments made under the Quick Pay process, as well as the regular voucher process.
- Since the Quick Pay process requires no paper (vouchers, invoices) to be sent to OSC, the following internal control points deserve special attention from agencies.
- Review the daily VOU065, Payee Lists, to verify that only authorized payments have been processed.
- Develop effective audit trails to source documents for Quick Pay Vouchers. Questions from OSC pre-auditors will require same-day responses from agencies. Source documents will be required by OSC for post-audit. (Agencies should retain records relating to Quick Pay Vouchers in accordance with records retention schedules approved by the State Archives and Records Administration. The minimum retention period is three years.)
- Retain Certification BCL's for a minimum of 3 years. These provide a hard-copy record of the name and operator ID of the agency certifier. This information will be retained on magnetic media by OSC.
- Adhere to all controls for terminal and password security, as explained in "Policies and Procedures for Remote Agencies" (Security Series Number 6). This Series is mailed to Agency Security Coordinators. Agency finance offices are responsible for ensuring that no emloyee can perform both entry/correct and certification of Quick Pay Vouchers.
||Contact the Accounting Information Center (518) 473-1170.