Employee Services staff work to address payroll issues

About 120 employees affected in January cycle
By Staff

University of Colorado Employee Services officials are gathering feedback and addressing concerns among those who work with the payroll system, in addition to resolving issues with a small number of employees who either did not receive paychecks or received paychecks that were short for the January pay period. The issues, and the efforts by staff to correct them, are related to the Elevate project, CU’s two-year, $12.6 million upgrade to its finance and payroll systems. They come on the heels of a similar problem with December’s payroll.

Most everyone affected had their pay issue resolved by Tuesday. Employee Services is continuing to work with those who may have overdrafts or other fees related to the problem.

The January pay cycle revealed about 120 employees who were affected system wide, a third of them graduate students in the English Department at CU-Boulder. For December’s payroll, about 350 people were affected, most on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. While some received no pay, many of the problems related to overtime, shift differentials or other additional pay. CU typically pays more than 20,000 people in each payroll run.

“We have fewer issues with each payroll, but there are also still problems to work out and we’re doing that,” said Kathy Nesbitt, vice president for employee services and information.

Associate Vice President Lisa Landis met with payroll system users on each campus last week to hear about problems and pain points with payroll. Nearly 500 people across the system participated. In addition to meeting with users, Employee Services has added temporary staff on the help desk fielding calls and emails about issues. The office also has renewed its training initiative and soon will release a certified resource guide for users. Nesbitt said CU had engaged an external vendor to help troubleshoot problems, improve processes and address customer service needs. 

A number of the problems stem from the combination of a new system and the unfamiliarity of those who feed it data. The last upgrade to CU’s payroll system happened eight years ago, while the last upgrade to the finance system was 11 years ago.

“People are experiencing frustration with the system and that’s real,” Nesbitt said. “While one person not being paid properly is a significant issue, it’s also important to know that for a project of this magnitude, the system is working.”