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October 14, 2010

Pay statements now available online

Pay statements for most Pitt employees soon will be paperless.

Employees already may have noticed their pay statements can be viewed by logging into the PRISM system via the portal and clicking on “PHR Employee Self-Service” then choosing “pay statement.” The feature was launched earlier this month.

The familiar blue and white pay “advice” envelopes soon will be discontinued although exactly when has yet to be determined. For employees who are paid monthly, the change is set to take place sometime in early 2011. When a date is set, several months’ advance notice will be given, according to Payroll director Daniel Jeffreys. “We wanted to give everyone time to become familiar with accessing paper statements online before we stopped printing.”

The approximately 1,100 employees who receive their monthly pay in the form of paper checks will continue to receive them, although Jeffreys reiterated that direct deposit is recommended not only for the element of convenience, but now for the added savings of distribution time and paper.

Work-study and undergraduate student workers are not included in the change. Most of these workers do not use direct deposit and will continue to receive their paper paychecks, Jeffreys said.

A cost study done in 2007 as the shift was being considered estimated the University would save approximately $250,000 a year in the cost of printing and distributing the pay statements, he said.

The move to electronic pay advice — another of Pitt’s green initiatives — will eliminate the printing of more than 168,000 pay statements each year, along with the time and expense it takes to get them into the hands of individual employees.

Last month, 14,000 paper direct-deposit advice statements were printed for the monthly payroll, Jeffreys said. “Each month, these advices must be counted, packaged and delivered to every department on campus. Each department then must distribute these statements to each employee,” he explained, adding that it’s difficult to estimate how much time will be saved, since the effort is spread out across the University.

In addition to current pay statements, employees can view three years’ of prior statements online. Currently, past statements through 2007 are available.

The system has been used internally as a tool in the Payroll office for approximately a year, and employees in the Office of Budget and Controller were used as a test group last month.

“We’ve had a very positive response to it,” he said.

Jeffreys said the system “is as secure as you keep your password,” noting that employees’ full Social Security numbers don’t appear in the online payroll information.

Employees should be aware that if they leave the University and lose access to the portal, their access to the online statements also ends. For security, Jeffreys said, individual archiving of the statements is not recommended, adding that anyone who needs a back statement can contact Payroll for a printout. “If an individual leaves the University and should ever need a copy of a pay statement for documentation, the Payroll department can provide this service,” he said.

Information is available at

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 43 Issue 4

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