XII. Expenditures

Guide to Financial Operations

XII.5.G Entering the Appropriate Obligation and Accounting Dates on Vouchers

XII. Expenditures
Guide to Financial Operations


Agencies must use the correct Obligation Date and Accounting Date. The Obligation Date is used in the accrual and modified accrual bases of accounting and reporting and is the basis for which the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) prepares the State’s financial statements in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

The Obligation Date recorded on a voucher should be the date the agency received the merchandise or completed services or the date the vendor provided the goods or services that resulted in a claim for collection from the State.

The Accounting Date recorded on the voucher should be the date the transaction is entered into the Statewide Financial System (SFS). The Accounting Date determines the accounting period and fiscal year in which the transaction will be recorded in the Modified Accrual Ledger and Commitment Control Ledger(s).

Process and Document Preparation:

Obligation Date

Agencies must enter the date the liability is incurred in the Obligation Date field of the voucher. Examples for determining the Obligation Date for different payment types are shown in the table below:

If the payment is for: Then the obligation date is the:
Merchandise (Non-contract) Date merchandise was received.
Services (Non-contract) Date services were completed.
Contract payments Date specified in contract; if not specified, then the date merchandise was received or services were completed.
Grants Date the payment is due as specified by the grant agreement or if stated in legislative language, the date authorized by the Division of the Budget.
Prepayments (e.g., Insurance, Subscriptions, Maintenance Contracts) Date the service begins.
Debt Service Date the bond payment is due to the bondholders.
Rent First day of the month for which rent is due.

Accounting Date

The Accounting Date is the date the transaction is entered (i.e., the current date) into the SFS. There may be certain transaction types that require an adjustment to the Accounting Date. If you believe your agency processes transactions that meets an exception, please email the Office of Operations, General Administration at [email protected] indicating the type of transaction and the reason for the exception.

See Chapter XIV, Section 2 – Obligation, Accounting and Budget Dates of this Guide for additional guidance on determining of Obligation and Accounting Dates.

Guide to Financial Operations

REV. 3/4/2021