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Obligation, Accounting and Budget Dates



This section defines dates required for various transactions in the Statewide Financial System (SFS). In SFS, transactions are recorded to open accounting periods (i.e., periods in which a transaction can be posted). The current accounting period is the current month but the system allows multiple accounting periods to be open simultaneously. The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) issues monthly operational advisories regarding open accounting periods.

Obligation Date – The Obligation Date is the date goods were received or services were completed and the State incurred a liability (accounts payable) or the date goods or services were provided by the State that resulted in a claim for collection from the State (accounts receivable). Obligation Date is the primary date used for the accrual and modified accrual bases of accounting and reporting (the bases upon which the OSC prepares the State’s GAAP-basis financial statements) therefore, it is very important that agencies enter the correct Obligation Date for each transaction that requires an Obligation Date.

Accounting Date – The Accounting Date is the date the transaction is entered (i.e. the current date) into the SFS. The Accounting Date controls the accounting period and fiscal year in which the transaction is recorded in the Modified Accrual and Commitment Control Ledgers.

Budget Date – The Budget Date controls the budget period in which the transaction will be processed in the Commitment Control Ledger(s). In order for transactions to process successfully, the Budget Date must be in an open budget period. The open budget period is the current State fiscal year (April 1st to March 31st). For Bulkload transactions, the Budget Date will default to the current date that the file is loaded in SFS. For online entry of AP and Purchasing transactions, the Budget Date will default to the current date. For GL Journal Entries, the Budget Date will default to the Accounting Date.


As noted above, Obligation, Accounting and Budget Dates are required for various transactions in SFS. Information about these transactions should be reviewed and can be found in this Guide as follows:

Chapter VII, Section 2 - Miscellaneous Receipts / Accounts Receivable Receipts


Chapter VII, Section 3 - Refund of Appropriation / AP Adjustment Vouchers


Chapter VII, Section 9 – Fringe Benefits and Indirect Costs


Chapter VIII, Section 1 - Accounts Payable Journal Vouchers & General Ledger Journal Entries Overview


Chapter XII, Section 4.E.5 - Addressing Electronic Invoices that Fail Voucher Build


Chapter XII, Section 5.G - Entering the Appropriate Obligation and Accounting Dates on Vouchers


Chapter XII, Section 6.A.A - Using the Real Estate Module to Pay Lease Vouchers


Chapter XII, Section 6.C - Paying Prompt Contract Interest


Chapter XV, Section 11 – Journal / Revenue Transfers


Click to view Monthly Advisory of Open Accounting Periods

Questions regarding the content of this chapter should be

forwarded in writing for consideration to:

Bureau of Financial Reporting and Oil Spill Remediation

Office of the State Comptroller

110 State Street, 9th Floor

Albany, NY 12236


Phone: (518) 474-3277




Guide to Financial Operations
REV. 04/01/2017