COMPTROLLER'S MEMORANDUM NO. 18 (1994-95)
SUBJECT: IMPLEMENTATION OF INVOICE SAMPLING
Initially, we will base our sample selection on invoice dollar thresholds. For example, if we establish a $250 threshold for sampling invoices, all invoices for disbursement requests equal to or below that threshold, and not included in the sample, will be systematically posted and the disbursement made; i.e., the warrant created. In this example, invoices greater than the threshold, invoices below the threshold and included in the sample, and invoices specifically requested to be submitted to this office will be preaudited by our staff.
Invoice dollar thresholds could vary by agency and/or voucher processing site, and the thresholds could be changed at any point in time. Agencies are encouraged to build sufficient flexibility into their procedures and systems to accommodate the revision of the thresholds for the agency as a whole, or for a particular processing site.
Prior to implementation of sampling, we will apprise each agency individually of the invoice dollar thresholds that will be applied to the voucher processing sites within the agency.
In the future, we plan to apply other sampling selection criteria. For example, object codes could be a basis for inclusion or exclusion from sampling of invoices.
Initially, contract payments and journal vouchers will not be subjected to sampling. Sampling could be implemented for these types of payments at a later date.
VOUCHERS AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
Coupled with the implementation of sampling, we will delegate to the agencies the responsibility to retain and store original vouchers and supporting documentation. This will include items included in the samples, items not included in the samples, contract vouchers, journal vouchers and all other types of payment requests submitted to this office.
In lieu of original documents, agencies will submit readable copies of the documentation for payment requests to this office. However, agencies will submit voucher schedules and copies of the supporting documentation to this office only for (1) invoices above the threshold; (2) invoices equal to or below the threshold that are included in the sample; and (3) invoices specifically requested to be submitted by this office. Agencies will not submit to this office copies of vouchers and documentation for invoices below the established threshold, unless the payment is included in the sample or is specifically requested by this office. Payment of invoices below the threshold and not selected for sampling will be systematically posted by the Voucher Audit System and the voucher schedule will contain the message "Disbursements Audited by Agency Only-Retain All Documentation" across the face of the voucher schedule. If the voucher schedule contains this message, the agency will not submit documentation to this office for the payment request. The voucher schedule and a copy of the supporting documentation should only be submitted to this office if the voucher schedule does not contain this message.
We set flags in the Voucher Audit System for certain vendors, object codes and other criteria. Payment requests for these flagged items generally require special review or handling by our staff. Vouchers and copies of supporting documentation for flagged items will continue to be submitted to this office, regardless of the dollar amount and regardless of whether the items are included the sample.
In the absence of original invoices, agencies should continue to follow Rule 3A-40.002, F.A.C., by marking the copies of the invoices and filing them in the same manner as original invoices.
We are currently reviewing the feasibility of accepting the voucher schedules and copies of invoices on electronic media. We are aware that some agencies have, or plan to acquire, scanning equipment for document imaging. We envision that submission of vouchers by electronic media will be the preferable method, and we encourage agencies to work with us to achieve a reduction in the use of paper documents. Members of our staff will be contacting agencies individually within the next few weeks to review current and planned document imaging capabilities.
We are working with the Department of State regarding records retention requirements that will be imposed on the agencies for the original vouchers and supporting documentation.
FINALIZING THE DETAILS
Please direct any questions to the Bureau of Auditing at 410-9194, Suncom 210-9194.