Accounts Payable Advisory No. 70

Accounts Payable Advisory
Office of Operations
Bureau of State Expenditures
Advisory Name
Producing Checks in an Emergency Event
Date Issued
Date Last Updated


Emergency Check Production


Guide to Financial Operations (GFO), Chapter XII, Section 5.M – Selecting the Appropriate Handling Code


New York State entered into a contract with Key Bank to print and mail checks paid from the State’s general checking account (“A” Warrant checks) if the State’s check printing facilities close due to an emergency. In such an event, the State will process check payments normally with the exception of two check handling codes:

  • “Special Handling” (“S” handling code) – For a cost to the agency of $21.00 per envelope, agencies may continue to select the “Special Handling” handling code on their vouchers for overnight courier delivery. When multiple checks are overnighted to the same address, Key Bank will mail them in one envelope. Special Handling checks can only be delivered to the address on the check and cannot be delivered to a P.O. Box.
  • “Return to Agency” (“A” handling code or A-Route) – To the maximum extent possible, agencies should send checks directly to the payee and work with vendors to meet other needs, such as connecting supporting documentation to a check.

If a payment requires “Return to Agency” handling, the agency must notify OSC now by emailing [email protected].gov. In the email identify the type of payment, Supplier ID, reason for “Return to Agency” handling, volume and frequency of payments, and a contact person. OSC will coordinate with the contact person to identify a solution to process the “Return to Agency” payments. If an agency does not notify OSC of a “Return to Agency” scenario now, it could result in delayed payment processing during an emergency event. 

Agencies may continue to use all other handling codes normally. For more information on handling codes, please refer to the Guide to Financial Operations, Section XII.5.M – Selecting the Appropriate Handling Code.

If New York State closes its check printing facilities, OSC will issue an advisory notifying agencies when emergency check printing protocols will commence. Please email [email protected] with questions regarding this advisory.