Important Notice Regarding Payroll Encumbrance

UPDATE (Thursday, June 25th):

We received the following update from our software support group in Shrewsbury. This information replaces any of our previous communications regarding payroll encumbrance:

Per the questions that were brought up at the CPM Meeting today on nightly encumbrances, I have found out the following:

  1. Nightly Encumbrances have not been run successfully since 6/10/09.
  2. The HR team has been working on correcting the program and were willing to run them tonight, but the GL team this afternoon decided to not run them tonight since we hadn’t had time to test the changes and it is getting late in year and some campuses have closed off when they will accept anymore POs. It was a question of all campuses running or none.
  3. The 2 week liquidation of encumbrances will run tonight, Wednesday June 24th.
  4. We don’t have any plans of running the nightly encumbrances again until Thursday July 9th. We always stop the nightly encumbrance on the Thursday after the last full payroll in the current year and then restart it after the full encumbrance gets run for the new fiscal year. That happens on the Wednesday of close week and this year it will be on July 8th.

Some questions that came about based on not running the nightly encumbrance and how it impacts current year and the new year:

1. If nightly encumbrances are not run for the current year then any account changes, commitment changes, etc will not get picked up for FY2009.

2. Since they won’t get picked up then the liquidations that occur every two weeks will be done against their prior chart string.

3. When we hit FY2010 the account changes that were made, but not brought over to finance, will get picked up when we run the full year encumbrance for FY2010. Any commitment changes (for FY2009) that were made since June 10th (the last time nightly encumbrances ran) will not get picked up in FY2010 since they were specific to FY2009.

UPDATE (Saturday June 20th): UITS is still working to complete the process needed to liquidate encumbrances. This has taken longer than expected and we hope to have it resolved on Monday – June 22nd).

To: Campus Department Managers

Finance System Users


From: Steven O’Riordan, Associate Vice Chancellor Financial Services

John Giarusso, Executive Director of Human Resources

Date: June 17, 2009

Subject: Payroll Encumbrance for FY2009

There are significant technical issues with the payroll encumbrance process. A number of UMass Lowell departments have reported issues with payroll encumbrances and the adverse impact on their ability to spend remaining funds this fiscal year. This problem is affecting all UMass campuses and we are working with our colleagues at UITS and on the other campuses to determine appropriate corrective actions.

In reviewing the options presented to us, our goal is a solution that would promptly free up available budget for departments to use at year end. Therefore, we have opted to stop encumbering payroll within the e*mpac Finance system through the end of FY2009. Effective later this week, you will no longer have any payroll encumbrances impacting your budget.

Departments remain responsible for applicable payroll expenses. Departments must still account for payroll spending and not exceed the allotted budget for the fiscal year. Even though there isn’t an encumbrance posted, the payroll expenditures will still apply to your account as they are processed.

For planning purposes, you should be aware that the remaining payroll expenditures to be posted against this fiscal year are as follows:

  • A full pay period ending 6/20/09 (6/7/09 ‘ 6/20/09)
  • The week of 6/27/09 (6/21/09-6/27/09)
  • 3/7th of a week for the week of July 4th (6/28/09-6/30/09)

New reports will be produced and available via the report distribution tool ‘ we will notify you again once this process has occurred and these reports are available. The primary impacted Finance reports include UMGM7079, UMGL7079, UMGL7045, UMGM7047 and also the online budget overview. As previously communicated, all purchasing activities must be fully processed by June 24th for this fiscal year.

We believe this solution provides the department with the needed access to budgets. We will continue to work with UITS to resolve this critical issue so that payroll can be encumbered to start fiscal year 2010.

On the Human Resources side, the HR Direct application will still provide payroll encumbrance data on reports such as UMCA801 (Payroll Commitment – Student) and UMPAY718 (Non-Student Payroll Commitment). These reports can be of assistance as you manually manage expected payroll expenditures against your budget. These payroll encumbrances do not stop a person from getting paid nor is it loading the encumbrance data into Finance for FY2009.

If you have questions regarding your available budget please contact the Budget Office at or x3510.

Month One Complete

Update on the HR Direct Go-Live ‘ June 5, 2009

We are now at the end of the third payroll cycle and ithas been one month sincewe went live with HR Direct. The number of self-service users is lower than we hoped, so if you haven’t logged-in yet we do encourage you to do so. All you need is your email address and password!

Overall, the grand majority of processes are working well and employees are getting paid correctly. The following are a couple issues and current status updates:

Financial Integration

As part of the HR Direct implementation the method by which payroll encumbrance and detailed financial data integrates with the PeopleSoft Financials system has changed significantly. Since go-live there have been issues identified and the majority of them have been resolved, but there could still be errors with payroll encumbrance data. Offices are urged to use caution when reviewing financial reports as they could be overstating balances. The campus Budget Office is actively working with UITS to review fixes to the data and has been communicating with Finance System users about this issue.

Payroll Commitment Report

As a result of the new financial integration process, there are also downstream reporting issues which have prevented UITS from successfully delivering the Payroll Commitment Report (UMCA801). This report is heavily used by Lowell departments to help manage the remaining hours/dollars on a person’s contract. Offices are still responsible for managing their employees and are accountable for all authorized hours. Please note that employees will continue to get paid for any hours you authorize regardless of budget available on the contract as long as there is money in the account. UITS informed us this morning that they are hoping to have these run later today or by ‘Monday at the latest’.

Leave Accrual Print Error

On last weeks pay check advice some employees saw an inflated leave accrual balance due to a processing error. This primarily impacted employees who have worked at other UMass campuses or are currently an hourly employee after previously being a benefited employee (e.g. Retirees who have returned as hourly). This is a printing error only and true balances are in the PeopleSoft system. UITS is actively working to correct the paycheck print process for next week’s payroll. As the self-service PDF paychecks are exact copies of the printed advices, those too have the incorrect values.

Time and Labor Pilot

The pilot is going well and we are learning a lot about the challenges of changing business processes. We currently have 37 employees participating and 5 managers. We will expand a bit over the next month and then will evaluate the process. We have received some feedback and will be making some requests for enhancements to this functionality and will be updating our training job aids and the UPK.

If you have questions or issues pleaselet us know.