Accounting Services Business Continuity Guide
Overview - Disruption to Accounting Services
The Federal Reserve System's Accounting Services provide a reliable, complete and timely source of information about financial entries debited or credited to your institution's Master Account for Federal Reserve services. Data formats are clear, easy to read and add varying levels of detail to support both cash management and account reconcilement requirements. Comprehensive account information is available through Account Management Information (AMI) as part of FedLine Web®. Delivery of various accounting statements/reports are available via AMI, your electronic access connection or your FedMail® e-mail or fax address.
There are a number of procedures in place to ensure the resilience of the Accounting Services, including off-site backup facilities for the accounting application and related functions. The Federal Reserve Banks routinely test Accounting Services business continuity procedures across a variety of contingency situations, including unavailability of facilities, hardware, network or staff to ensure timely resumption of system operations in the event of a local, regional or widespread disruption. The accounting application and associated recovery procedures are regularly enhanced and tested to address various emerging risk scenarios, such as those that might occur during a pandemic.
Preparing for Accounting Services Disruptions
If a major disruption to service occurs, financial institutions are encouraged to implement the following to minimize a disruption of service:
- Refer to the Service Status page regularly.
- Have backup procedures and systems in place to monitor your account balance and estimate your account balance during a disruption. Conduct periodic training to ensure key personal are familiar with these processes.
- Consider how your institution will respond to a Federal Reserve disruption and communicate those plans to appropriate staff. Refer to the section titled "What You Should Do" for suggestions about what to do during and after a major disruption.
- Maintain a current Official Authorization List with primary and contingency phone numbers on file with the Federal Reserve System.
During an Accounting Services Disruption - What to Expect
Accounting Services has backups at remote sites for a hardware or network failure. During a computer outage, services will be recovered within the recovery timeframes as indicated below. In the event of a major disruption to processing at the Federal Reserve, the availability of the Statement of Account Information and other Accounting Information Services may be delayed.
For a network outage, which can include FedLine Web, FedLine Advantage®, FedLine Direct®, FedLine Command® or FedMail, please see the Access Solutions portion of this guide.
During an Accounting Services Disruption - What You Should Do
- Notify all pertinent personnel at your institution of the service disruption, according to your institution's specific crisis communication escalation procedures.
- Refer to the Service Status page to obtain the current operational status and other instructions.
While every attempt will be made to restore the accounting applications as soon as possible, it is the responsibility of each customer to estimate its account balance and conduct its business accordingly.
- Ensure that you have done your best to manage and fund your account.
- Consider all of your funding options.
- Review and/or execute your own business resumption plans as needed.
- Notify appropriate operations personnel in your organization if you learn of a Federal Reserve outage. Take steps to minimize the points of contact with the Federal Reserve to help us expedite a full recovery.
After the event
After recovery, all customers will receive the daily Statement of Account and be advised to balance/confirm their activity. Copies of all transactions processed on the day of the outage should be retained for comparison with the Statement of Account. If discrepancies become apparent during review of the statement, you should call the number listed on the statement next to the problematic transaction(s) to investigate.
Recovery Timeframe for Accounting Services
- The Account Management applications and reports, which include the daily Statement of Account, Account Management Information (AMI) and Cash Management Services, should be restored within 1 to 6 hours, depending on the nature of the outage.
- Preliminary account balance information should be available within 1 to 6 hours.