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SNAP Improvements to Federal Financial Accounting

Resource type
Policy Memos
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy memo (255.29 KB)
DATE: September 18, 2023
SUBJECT: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Improvements to Federal Financial Accounting
TO: All SNAP State Agencies
All Regions

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) wants to extend our continued appreciation to states for their work to serve those eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. This communication is intended to provide states with information about a change in the FNS accounting process for obligating SNAP funds.

USDA has been working to improve SNAP’s financial accounting with respect to when we recognize and record the point of obligation and it is making this update effective this month. The change aligns with the Department’s commitment to ensuring that program participants receive the nutrition assistance that they are entitled to without disruption and USDA’s commitment to process improvement.

We have received a number of questions about the process for benefits for the month of October 2023. The change to USDA’s financial accounting does not affect state processes for issuing October benefits and states should send their issuance files to their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) vendors on the normal schedule for issuance of October benefits.

This update will not be disruptive to households, states, or retailers. SNAP households will not experience any change in how they receive their monthly benefits. State client-facing operations and retailers, likewise, will not experience a change. The only changes required for implementation in September 2023 are on federal financial management processes.

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of low-income Americans in administering this critical nutrition assistance program. State agencies with questions should contact their respective regional office representatives.


Cathy Buhrig
Associate Administrator
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
David Burr
Chief Financial Officer
Financial Management
Page updated: September 19, 2023