SECTION OVERVIEW AND POLICIES
This section provides agencies with an overview of the Imaging and Attachment feature of the Statewide Financial System (SFS), as well as a summary of State Archives’ and the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) requirements related to this feature. Specifically, this section discusses document collection, imaging, verifying, and attaching. It also discusses handling private and confidential information and SFS transactions with attachment capability.
The SFS has the capability of storing documents electronically in support of certain transactions. When using the attachment feature in the SFS, agencies need to comply with the requirements and consider the limitations outlined in this section.
Online agencies are required to use the attachment feature in the SFS to store electronic documents in support of transactions processed in the Travel and Expense Module, with exceptions due to file size limitations or private and confidential information as specified below.
Agencies also have the option to store electronic supporting documentation within the SFS for transactions other than travel and expense reports. Please refer to the table: SFS TRANSACTIONS WITH ATTACHMENT CAPABILITY below for potential limitations on using the attachment feature.
Process and Document Preparation:
Agencies are responsible for collecting documents to support payments and other transactions. When using the SFS attachment feature, the agency should use it consistently, attaching to each transaction all relevant documents within the file size limitation. The agency should consider the types of documents it needs to attach for different business processes and how the attachments can help with the approval process.
In addition, agencies must maintain hard copies of the following documents:
IMAGING AND ATTACHING DOCUMENTS
Imaging should be integrated into the agency’s normal course of business, and imaged records should be produced in a timely manner. When establishing controls over an imaging process/system, agencies should document procedures regarding how to use the data capture system. In addition, agencies should ensure controls address the following:
Attachments should be in a read-only, non-executable file format. The output file type for attachments should be PDF or TIFF. When producing PDF files from documents prepared by another application, such as Word or Excel, agencies should use the PDF generating capabilities of the source software rather than printing and scanning.
Scanned document images will be accepted if there is no alternative. These should be produced in black and white and at low resolution. The file size for a single attachment may not exceed two megabytes.
The SFS will scan all attachments for viruses and executable programs. Attachments that exceed file size limitations, or that contain viruses or executable programs, will be automatically deleted by the SFS.
VERIFYING IMAGED DOCUMENTS
Prior to using the attachment feature in the SFS, each agency must develop a process that includes attaching and reviewing relevant documents, as well as redacting private and confidential information. When developing this process, each agency must include controls to ensure its imaging system produces legible, accurate reproductions of original documents.
In addition, if the agency is going to store its documents in the SFS as the sole document repository for its official records, the agency must have a defined, secure process for discarding originals once the image verification is completed.
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
Agencies using the SFS attachment feature to supplement the payment information should consider whether to redact private and confidential data from the electronic record. If you are not sure the documents contain private and confidential data, consult your agency’s internal policies. Agencies storing their documents in the SFS as the sole document repository for its official records must retain the original, hard copy records with no redacted information.
The State General Schedule, issued by the New York State Archives, includes requirements for agencies on how long to retain documents for different types of transactions. These requirements can be found at http://www.archives.nysed.gov/common/archives/files/mr_pub_genschedule.pdf. Agencies may have also developed agency-specific schedules that cover SFS-related records.
Agencies may choose to image documents and retain the image to satisfy the retention periods established in the State General Schedule or agency-specific schedules. Agencies may destroy original documents after imaging and image verification without any additional disposition authorization from the New York State Archives.
When signing into SFS, agency representatives must certify to the following:
“Imaged records accurately, legibly and completely reflect all the information in the original records except where redacted. For redacted images, the agency has retained the unaltered, original document.”
SFS TRANSACTIONS WITH ATTACHMENT CAPABILITY
|Guidance on Using Attachment Capability|
Regular Invoices; Consolidated Invoices
Budget Journals; Budget Transfers; Inter-Unit Budget Transfers
Requisitions; Purchase Orders
|When can a document be attached?||Before or after posting||Before posting only||Before posting only||Before or after posting||Requisitions – Prior to sourcing (finalizing) Purchase Orders – Before or after dispatching (finalizing)||Before posting only||Before Posting or before Direct Journal is approved|
|Who can attach a document?||Anyone with update level access to the “supporting documentation” page||Originator prior to submission; approver during workflow||Originator prior to submission; approver during workflow||Anyone with update level access to Journal Header page||Requisitions – Originator
Purchase Orders – Originator or Approver
|Originator prior to submission; approver during workflow||A/R Preparer or A/R Approver prior to submission; approver during workflow|
|How many attachments are allowed?||Multiple||Multiple||One||Multiple||Requisitions – Multiple
Purchase Orders – One
|Can documents be deleted from the system after the transaction is posted?||Yes||No||No||Yes||Requisitions – prior to sourcing Purchase Orders – before or after dispatching||No||No|
|Can attachment feature be used for the book of record?||No, since SFS allows the attachment to be deleted after posting||Yes, upon approval from State Archives||Yes, upon approval from State Archives||No, since SFS allows the attachment to be deleted after posting||No, since SFS allows the attachment to be deleted after dispatching||Yes, upon approval from State Archives||Yes, upon approval from State Archives|
For more information on record retention requirements and types of documents to retain, see:
For more information from the New York State Archives on Digital Imaging Guidelines and Records Management, see: