Denison Payroll becomes overloaded, causing delays

LIZ ANASTASIADIS, Managing Editor—If you’re a student who works on campus, make sure you submit your online timesheets if you need your money by a certain time.

A large volume of paper timesheets has caused Denison Payroll to call a halt to the paper process. If a student fails to complete the online timesheet by the deadline, they will be permitted to submit a paper one — however, payment won’t be received for those hours until a month after submission.

In one of the email reminders sent out by Cynthia Bowling, Denison’s Payroll Administrator to students who did not yet submit their online timesheets, it read: “Please submit your online timesheet…Failure to submit by the deadline results in submission of a paper timesheet. Paper timesheets are no longer paid current due to the large volume received.”

When asked about this by The Denisonian, Bowling said:

“We get more than a hundred timesheets at the beginning of the academic year. This is due to first-year students not being aware of the online timesheet process, or a department didn’t submit a wage authorization.”

Bowling continued, “Once we get through September, we should be getting fewer paper timesheets. We still receive too many though. We send reminder emails to all students who hold jobs to complete and submit their timesheets. Those emails go out the Friday before the pay period ends, on the following Monday and Tuesday. We begin to notice the students who are negligent in submitting online timesheets and bring the paper one regularly. We try to address it with the students because it puts extra work on everyone involved.”

Generally, the process since 2003 for student on-campus jobs is to submit a virtual timesheet via the MyDenison portal. According to Bowling, important factors that led to initiating paperless timesheets were that Denison uses a computer software program to pay students and hours from the online timesheets are pulled directly into the software program.

“That alone is huge for payroll because we don’t have to enter the hours manually to a specific student and the particular job assigned to that student (some students hold multiple jobs),” says Bowling.

She said that auditors prefer online timesheets because there is less chance for submitting duplicate hours worked for a pay period. They consider that falsification of a timesheet. Occasionally, payroll said that they have students submit a paper timesheet for hours for which they’ve already been paid. Another reason is for sustainability purposes.

The process of submitting a paper timesheet is more time-consuming than an online timesheet as well.

When a student misses the online timesheet window, Payroll guides them through the process to fill out a paper timesheet. They do this numerous times a day in the month of September. They keep paper timesheets stocked in the office, as well as paper copies of the pay period schedules. The student has to fill out the paper timesheet and take it to their supervisor to sign and send to Payroll. Then, Payroll has to go into the online timesheet system and make a note on the particular pay period how many hours they’re paying.

“This is very time-consuming, but it prevents duplicate payment for the same hours,” says Bowling. “Then we must code the paper timesheets and manually enter them during the payroll process.”

Moving forward, it’s unclear if the Payroll process will evolve further given the large number of paper timesheets submitted. The Denisonian will inform the student body of any updates.

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