Throughout the last year the Administrative Systems Integration office has been working with the Human Resources officeto transform a few long standing paper processes over to more modern computer based tools. The goal continues to be improving services to all our internal and external constituents while concurrently streamlining operations and becoming more eco-friendly.
In April 2009 we introduced HR Direct which is UMass Lowell’s first human resource self-service application. All employees have self-service access to view pay data and personal information. Employees have the option to stop receiving a paper pay advice since that data is now available online 24 hours per day. New self-service update features will be added in 2010 for employees to adjust contact information, update tax withholding, and change direct deposit data. Perhaps the most significant change of all has been in the area of time reporting self-service, so I’d like to highlight a few key elements of this.
HR Direct self-service time reporting has been rolled out tomost employees already and student employees will soon be added. When fully implemented, the University will accomplish many tangible benefits including:
- A completely paperless time reporting process.
- A decrease of UMass Lowell consumption of paper by over 2000 sheets of paper each week and over 100,000 per year.
- Eliminate document retention requirement as most time reporting records will be electronic. By law, the University is to retain at least 3 years worth of timesheets so there are currently over 300,000 paper timesheets filling campus filing cabinets ‘ all that space will soon be free!
- Streamlined business processes
- HR Direct operates per pay period (bi-weekly), hence employees and managers will perform time reporting tasks half as often as they do on paper.
- Salaried employees only need to report exceptions to their regular schedule. Hence if they have no adjustment for the pay period, then they don’t need to login and report time at all.
We now have over 900 employees reporting time via self-service and over 200 managers logging in to approve time in HR Direct.
Later in 2010 we will be transitioning student employees onto self-service time reporting. This is a significant change and we are very interested in hearing any concerns you have. We have already held a meeting with a couple dozen timekeepers and have had significant input from a few offices. We realize this will be a significant change, but the rewards of a paperless system with fully auditable records is a major driver in this project.We are open to exploring additional enhancements and policy changes, but need to do so within the boundaries set by the Commonwealth and University. The transition from paper based time reporting to online self-service is an adjustment for all users, but the fundamental job responsibilities of an employee and manager are unchanged. Employees need to report time that accurately reflects the hours they worked. Once an employee’s time is recorded, his/her manager must confirm that services have been delivered in accordance with this record.
Additional information on HR Direct is available at http://www.uml.edu/hrdirect .
We value ideas, suggestions, and feedback from all employees. Please directinput to the following email firstname.lastname@example.org or respond via our HR Direct Feedback form.
Director of Administative Systems Integration
During a pay period when the University closes for reason such as weather, time reporting entries will need to include hours for University Closure. Please use the information below as a guide for entering your time.
1. If the University is Closed for the entire day, enter your scheduled hours for the day. Click the Time Reporting Code list and choose UCLSD ? University Closed.
2. If you have no further entries, click [Submit].
3. If the University has a delayed start or early closure you will need to enter multiple rows ? 1 row for each Time Reporting Code ? such that the total is equal to your scheduled hours for that day. You will need to enter the REGULAR hours for hours worked and the remainder will be UCLSD for the hours of campus closure.
Example of time reporting for 2/10/10
Employees scheduled to work 8:30 -5:00
4. If you have no further entries, click [Submit].
5. Click [OK]
Effective immediately: Per instructions from the UMass President’s Office, all campuses muststop processing multiple retroactive payroll account swaps (LTA’s) on the same individual within the same pay period.
Additional Details — Stopping of Retro Payroll Processing
A number of issues surrounding retro (funding swap, LTA) processing have been discovered. The issues have included retro’s being duplicated, parts of retros not being processed and the latest is that the retro may not be processed as expected. After researching these issues, the common link is that they are all processing multiple retros for the same employee for the same pay period.
Departments may have seen these issues on reports (or in the system) as if the retro was processed twice, it was not processed at all or as if the amounts that were requesting to be moved did not happen as expected. We are in the process of trying to quantify these issues to see how many people are impacted as well as the dollar amount.
While we are researching the issues, we contacted PeopleSoft / Oracle. The specific issue that we presented to them was the retro not processing as expected. The response that we received back is ‘Unfortunately, accommodating multiple retros for same pay period was not in the original design of commitment accounting’. The suggestion from PeopleSoft is to consolidate data entry. Similar issues from other PeopleSoft customers have also been reported.
Based on the feedback from PeopleSoft as well as the number of issues surrounding retro on retro, we are requesting that we stop processing retro on retro. We plan to follow up with PeopleSoft on the issue but in the meantime we feel that this is necessary step to help us ensure that the retros are processed correctly.
The Human Resources office has begun distributing reports to managers who do not approve time in HR Direct by the approval deadline. Thesystem deadline for each pay period is midnight on the Monday prior to payday.
Managers that receive this Late Time Approval Report (UMTL706)must review; sign; and retainit within thedepartment for three (3) years. It is an official audit record of the University.
The expected business practice at UMass Lowell is for managers to use the HR Direct application manager self-service functionality to approve time each pay period.Managers shouldmake every attempt to complete approvals using this application.
Using HR Direct for time reporting and approval provides the campus with a paperless record keeping system. It is also fully auditable and ensures compliance with all federal and state employment laws.