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Separation of Payroll Processing and Time Sheet Administration

Hi,
I am looking to see what most of you do with regard to who you allow access to the electronic timekeeping systems. Does your company allow your payroll team to make adjustments to time sheets or do you separate the duties? If you separate the duties, who do you have responsible for verifying the time sheets and exporting the hours for payroll?

It has been my experience in my 20 + years, that the Payroll Department was responsible to monitor time sheets prior to processing payroll. Managers were responsible for day to day adjustments, e.g adding missing punches, entered absence codes etc. Payroll was responsible to review the time sheets and look for oddities such as 24 hours of pay in one day, verifying that managers approved the time cards, making sure absence time was entered etc ., prior to finalizing and exporting the hours for payroll. Payroll would reach out to the managers if there were things that needed clarification or adjustments. However, Payroll also had the ability to make adjustments to time sheets (with proper back up documentation of course).

Please tell me what you do?

Thank you,
Lori A.

Comments

  • David WarrenDavid Warren ✭✭✭

    I am fine with either department supervisors or payroll altering time sheets as long as it is made very clear who made what entries/adjustments. If Bob says he worked 8 hours today, and the supervisor says Bob only worked 6 hours, I want the records to show Bob entering 8 hours, and the supervisor altering it to 6 hours. And maybe writing Bob up. If Bob is claiming 24 hours and working only 8, Bob should be fired. If this eventually goes to court, I want the record to be very clear exactly who did what. And I want the person who actually made in the changes to be the one defending their actions to the judge. And it is the department supervisor's job to know what hours THEIR employees actually worked, not payroll. There should also be a "note" field, which needs to be filed out. If payroll makes the changes, then payroll has to defend the changes in court. And having worked 24 shifts more then once, I am uncomfortable with payroll assuming that they know the answer without actually talking to anyone.

    A good e-time sheet program should make this easy and automatic since the system should always know who is making the entry/changes. A good e-time sheet program should make it very easy for the employee to track changes and who made them from their desk. But if you are using an old paper system, use different color ink and initial all changes.

    rrupert
  • rrupertrrupert ✭✭✭

    @larvonio said:

    ... Managers were responsible for day to day adjustments, e.g adding missing punches, entered absence codes etc. Payroll was responsible to review the time sheets and look for oddities such as 24 hours of pay in one day, verifying that managers approved the time cards, making sure absence time was entered etc ., prior to finalizing and exporting the hours for payroll. Payroll would reach out to the managers if there were things that needed clarification or adjustments. However, Payroll also had the ability to make adjustments to time sheets (with proper back up documentation of course).

    Please tell me what you do?

    This is how I handled it when doing both HR and payroll. I pushed it back to the managers as much as I could, because I agree with David that the person making the change should be the one able to defend WHY the change was made. I also required a comment/note and some managers required the employee to sign off on the time edit.

    Many of our 24 hour ones were because employees forgot to clock out and then had to clock out prior to clocking back in the next shift. Annoyed payroll when the managers failed to catch it! To me, in the end the managers were the first obstacle to wrong time and payroll was the second - and it had to be pretty obvious for payroll to catch it!

  • David WarrenDavid Warren ✭✭✭

    Payroll can catch unusual looking situations, but payroll does not have a clue (generally) what the actual hours worked (if any) are for any given day. One of the whole points of having a supervisor is keeping track of such things. And you should ALWAYS assume that any/all changes are going to end up in court some day. Any terminated employee has nothing to lose to file a wage claim challenging any and all actions the company ever took. If someone is going to change the time the employee entered, then "someone" needs to make a note of why the changes where made and who made them. And if "Bob's" time sheet is wrong most of the time, the correct solution should include firing Bob for cause. And maybe the supervisor if the supervisor is not doing their job. I really dislike having payroll make the changes when payroll cannot possible legally support the change,

    I understand the no-punch-out issue, but if the same person is doing it a lot, I would expect the HR file to show job actions were taken to remedy the issue. If this goes to court, you really do not want it to be payroll's word against the former employee. The former employee is going to (correctly) say payroll had no idea hours were worked and the judge will agree.

    Any time an employee takes you to court for any reason, either you have supporting paper in HR's file or the supervisor is incompetent. Act like you have a union, even if you do not. And firing one supervisor for not doing their job is worth firing 100 hourly employees, if you have a mess you want to clean up.

  • David WarrenDavid Warren ✭✭✭

    Not exactly the question, but in the 1980s I worked for a manufacturing company with 1,000 hourly employees. We used ID badges with a bar code written on them. Groups of employees would photocopy a page worth of employees (their buddies), and the first person in would log in the whole page. We had people who never came in but none the less punched in. For most of the hourly employees they would go see their supervisor to get their assignments (including a work order with bar codes). The supervisor had NO EXCUSE WHAT-SO-EVER for not knowing the employee was not there. Amazing how many of them were not capable of doing that part of their job. If we had a inbound door punch with no Work In Progress punches, that was an automatic "talk to the supervisor". We had a number of them returning the inquiry saying that they were too busy "doing real work" to answer questions. Real work apparently involved riding around on golf carts and drinking coffee. The company president had to randomly start firing supervisors to get them to do their job. Very effective. He asked the HR Manager who the worst offender was, got no answer, and told him to pick one at random and fire him. HR said we could not do that. President said fine, either fire a manufacturing supervisor by end of day or clear out your desk. It suddenly become possible for HR to fire manufacturing supervisors. President issued an all hands memo the next day saying he would fire one supervisor each week until the problems were solved. All fixed by next week.

    President did not care even a little bit about payroll but those missing WIP punches were causing major problems in manufacturing.

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