XIV. Special Procedures

Guide to Financial Operations

XIV.4.B Establishment and Closing of Bank Accounts

XIV. Special Procedures
Guide to Financial Operations

Agency Request

It is the agency’s responsibility to request to establish a bank account. Each agency must obtain authorization from the OSC Bureau of State Accounting Operations Cash Management Unit (BSAO CMU) to establish a new bank account through a request in writing. Upon receipt of the agency's formal request for a bank account, OSC will evaluate the request to determine if the establishment of the account is consistent with all relevant rules, regulations, and statutes, and to determine if the account is necessary for its operations. To ensure that each new account is established consistent with the overall financial operation of the requesting agency, each request must be approved by the Chief Fiscal Officer of the requesting agency or by a designee.

The request letter must include the following:

  • Name and purpose of the account;
  • Statutory reference where applicable;
  • Justification for establishing the new account;
  • Estimated initial balance;
  • Estimated maximum balance anticipated on both a short-term and a long-term basis;
  • A description of the flow of cash, e.g., "the cash will be held by the agency until disbursed", or "the cash will be transferred to the State Treasury";
  • Address of the office making deposits and withdrawals;
  • Name and title of official(s) in charge of the account;
  • Name and location of a commercial bank where the agency wishes to open the account;
  • The services anticipated to be provided by the bank;
  • Affirmation that the account custodian understands the need for and has implemented internal controls necessary to protect state assets - including monthly reporting and bank to book reconciliations.

All correspondence concerning agency bank accounts should be sent to:

Office of the State Comptroller
Bureau of State Accounting Operations
Cash Management Unit
110 State Street - 9th Floor
Albany, New York 12236

Banking Services

Unless specifically approved by OSC, an agency shall not request a bank to provide any service in conjunction with a state bank account, except the following:

  • Standard bank checks – Pre-numbered and imprinted with appropriate identification;
  • Deposit slips;
  • Electronic access to monthly statements; and
  • Provision for prompt availability of all deposits.

All requests for banking services, other than those outlined above must be justified by the requesting agency. This requirement includes services for new accounts and changes to services for existing accounts. When enrolling for electronic statements, agencies are required to contact their financial institution to discontinue paper statements. Failure to cancel paper statements will result in additional (avoidable) costs to the state.

If an agency has requested approval for special banking services (such as lock box processing, account reconciliation, messenger service, or other similar services), BSAO CMU will analyze the services to determine if they are justified on a cost benefit basis. Where the cost for the requested services or the cost of the account exceeds the statutory level for bidding services as outlined in Chapter XI, Section 11.C – Banking Services Contracts of this Guide, OSC will require that a depository bank for such account be selected by competitive bidding. The requesting department will be required to prepare, in cooperation with OSC, a request for proposal detailing the services to be provided by a bank. Bank proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the total cost to the state and the ability of the bank to perform such services. OSC will determine the mandatory requirements that banks must meet to be eligible to participate in the bidding. The requesting agency should allow a period of time commensurate with the complexity of the services to be provided between the request for the establishment of the account and the date that the account is planned to be opened. If the special banking services are provided under a separate agency contract, the cost of them will be the agency’s responsibility.

Where an account will not require special banking services, BSAO CMU will advise the requesting agency of its findings.

OSC requires state depositories to provide the OSC BSAO CMU with monthly bank account analyses detailing the services the bank provides for each state account.

Account Approval

Once a bank account is approved, BSAO CMU will designate a depository for the account and establish, pursuant to Section 106 of the State Finance Law, the initial level of collateral to secure monies deposited into the account. A designation letter will be sent to the state depository authorizing the establishment of the bank account. A copy of the designation letter will also be sent to the requesting agency. The requesting agency will be responsible for notifying the bank to open the account. Once the account is opened, the state agency must notify the OSC BSAO CMU of the new account number.

Bank Compensation

OSC is responsible for determining the amount of compensation a bank should receive for services related to state accounts. State agencies may not enter into any agreement with any bank for the payment of compensation for bank services unless such payment is required by law or is expressly approved by OSC.

Savings Accounts

No state agency should establish an interest bearing bank account without the express approval of OSC. The purpose of this restriction is to ensure that all state money that is available for investment is invested in a comprehensive manner with proper collateralization.

Unofficial State Accounts

It is never permissible for any state agency employee to open and maintain a bank account for unofficial business (e.g., coffee funds, goodwill funds, party funds, etc.). No such account should ever include a State Federal ID number, nor the names of either the State of New York or a state agency in the title of the account.

Cash Advance Checking Accounts

Agencies must use one consolidated checking account to account for cash advances. Agencies using more than one checking account for this purpose should close all existing cash advance checking accounts and establish one cash advance checking account entitled "AGENCY ADVANCE ACCOUNT". Agencies that have facilities at multiple locations may, with the approval of OSC, have more than one advance account.

Closing Bank Accounts

Any bank accounts which are no longer needed by a state agency should be closed. The BSAO CMU must be notified within 10 days of such action.

Banking Support Services

The BSAO CMU will assist state agencies with banking-related problems. Such assistance includes providing current information about the various types of services which banks provide.

Collateral Requirements

OSC is responsible for the maintenance of collateral held in escrow with the state's fiscal agent to secure all New York State deposits. OSC relies on the state official responsible for their agency accounts to notify BSAO CMU when new approved accounts are opened, if unusually high balances are in existing accounts or accounts are closed. The individual agency officials share the responsibility for ensuring the funds in their custody remain fully secured.

Guide to Financial Operations

REV. 09/14/2015