Taking the Pain out of Payroll Management

Taking the Pain out of Payroll Management

By Kari Banjord on Monday, October 13, 2014

Payroll management is tricky business. College HR staff have to make numerous records and calculations each pay cycle, so an antiquated system is a drain on valuable time and resources.

It’s a reality Katherine Ulibarri, vice president for finance and operations at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), knows too well. Her college hires more than 900 part-time faculty every term. Each employee has a unique set of records that need to be recorded, managed and uploaded to the college’s payroll system. It was not long ago that department staff recorded this information manually on spreadsheets and then walked them down to the HR office.     

“I just knew that it had to be possible to do things in a more streamlined fashion,” Ulibarri says in a recent video interview. The system that was in place when she arrived at the college was cumbersome and fraught with error.

“Payroll for part-time faculty almost never was accurate,” she says. To reduce errors and save time, CNM recently automated its payroll management process, using Banner’s Faculty Load and Compensation component, which aims to reduce the amount of manual processes required to manage payroll.

The first time the college used the system, its full payroll processed without a single error.

“We are able to do so much more with the personnel that we have on our staff at CNM,” Ulibarri says of the technology’s arrival on campus. “We now take our human resources, and instead of using them to walk paper around campus, we use them to interact with our students.”

Ulibarri says her coworkers, many of whom were initially hesitant to embrace the technology, are looking for new ways to use it.

“It’s really easy to think of technology as this big money pit. It’s expensive. It’s risky. But in the long run, it really does pay off,” she says. Her advice to other colleges: “Think about technology as an investment and really fine-tuning it to get your institution to where it needs to be.”

For more on payroll management, watch the full interview. To learn about Ellucian’s payroll management services, check out our human resources and finance page.

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