Student payroll goes paperless
By HOPE RACINE
After a three-year initiative, the entire payroll method at the University of Mary Washington is about to go paperless.
Full-time employees and student workers alike will no longer be required to fill out paper time sheets each month, and instead will use the new MyTime electronic time and leave collector. The new system is accessed entirely by computer and will go into effect for students and wage employees by the beginning of the 2015 spring semester.
“Currently, the system is all done on paper and by hand,” said payroll manager Lynda Worthy. “It is very labor intensive, and there is a lot of room for error. We have needed an automated way for collecting information.”
Under the current system, employees fill out their time sheets by hand and give them to their supervisor to approve. From there, the supervisor must turn in all the sheets to the office of student employment. These sheets are all manually sorted, recorded and the math done individually. They are then reviewed by a student employment manager, financial aid and workers from the payroll office. It takes about two days, per payroll, to completely go through the papers.
According to Lily Lee, the associate payroll manager, there are currently 676 student employees at the university. Each of those students turns in a paper copy of their time sheet, as well as all other administrative and staff workers at the school.
“The amount of time and paper that this process takes up is astounding,” Worthy said.
The new MyTime system will require students to log into the database either at the beginning and end of their shifts, or at home from a personal computer. The login information will be the same as their student net ID and password for other campus accounts such as Canvas or Eaglenet.
“In the past there have been issues and mistakes with payroll for students because there was a lot of room for miscommunication and error between departments,” Worthy said. “At the end of the day, our main goal is to get people paid, and this new program will ensure that.”
Training for the new program will be held on Dec. 8, though it is not required for students – only supervisors. According to Lee, the new program is rather intuitive and user friendly, but resources will be available to students who need help.
“Alerts will be sent to students’ emails reminding them to fill out their time information if they haven’t, and all supervisors will be able to help troubleshoot, as well as the help desk,” Lee said.
While the program should improve the payroll process, some students have doubts.
“I feel like it has the potential to go both ways. If it’s straightforward and easy to use, it could be great. But if it’s complicated or has a lot of issues, it could be a problem,” junior history and geography double major Zach Young said.
According to Worthy, the hardest part of the new system should simply be getting students to use it routinely.
“I think it’s important for students to get into the habit of immediately coming in, logging in your time, and logging out when they leave,” Worthy said. “Otherwise their supervisor will have to go in and edit to make sure students get paid for 100 percent of the time they work.”
In addition to the ease of use, the new system will save the school money on paper, toner and ink, as well as provide concrete documentation for students who have concerns about their paychecks.
“You can go back and look at your past history and paychecks, and it logs that information forever,” Worthy said.
The program will go into effect in December, with full time employees transitioning to the program in February.