Client Stories: Kristin’s Story
As a Human Resource Administrator, I have learned that direct deposit can be an issue for many of our employees, including our employer. The idea of getting everyone onto a direct deposit platform seemed almost impossible, but with a little research and determination, it became more applicable for our Company and each employee.
The issue first appeared during holidays. Those that were not on direct deposit, did not receive their checks until the following day, which sometimes meant Monday of the following week. I was constantly being asked if accommodations could be made, specifically advance payments. Being in Human Resources, I decided to ask my boss, the CFO of the Company, if advances could be made. Of course, his first response was “absolutely not.” We then decided, for the next holiday, we would submit pay schedules to our payroll system, ADP, one day in advance. The turnaround time for our payroll system was 24 hours. We thought the process would satisfy our employees and not be a hassle for us by doing things a day in advance. This process required me to stay later in the evening, make phone calls to employees and their supervisors to determine why they did not clock in or out, confirm with supervisors that overtime was approved, call our payroll system to make sure that they received our payroll import, and lastly, confirm that this would be delivered next day, as usual. However, after doing all of this, I decided another form of action needed to be taken.
I first decided to pull up all employees that were still receiving paper checks in ADP. It was an immediate feeling of being overwhelmed by the number of people that did not have direct deposit. Of the 50 employees, we had 29 that were still on paper checks. Basically, the entire warehouse was on paper checks and the entire office staff was on direct deposit.
I understood that I could not force employees that were already employed with the Company to be on direct deposit, but I did not see the harm in personally speaking to those employees and seeing what their issue was with direct deposit. When I spoke with the employees, a few of their reasons for not being on direct deposit was that they either feared doing so or they did not want their money going somewhere other than their hands. I thought this was great! I can easily talk to them and assure them that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages of direct deposit. After a few weeks of employees coming up to me and asking me what steps needed to be taken to get direct deposit set up, I typed up a one-page paper stating the advantages of direct deposit and a few small steps that could be taken… i.e. going to a bank of your choice and telling them to set you up on direct deposit! After a few short months, I was able to get 24 of the 29 employees enrolled in direct deposit. It required some friendly reminders of the advantages of enrolling in direct deposit, like getting paid on time when holidays rolled around.
During the process of enrolling those that were already working with the Company, I also made direct deposit mandatory for new hires. This was a different process in its entirety. I added to my “new hire check list” that direct deposit is mandatory. I included the one-page paper outlining the advantages and steps to be taken for direct deposit in their new hire paperwork. For those that did not have direct deposit at the time of hire, I allowed a one week time-frame for that employee to get their direct deposit set up. One week’s time-frame did not always work because I would still have to remind some employees to set up direct deposit and that it was mandatory for new hires. Normally, however, this was not an issue, as I would receive the direct deposit information in a timely manner from most new hires.
Both the processes of those already employed with the Company and those on-boarding with the Company were similar. I had to make sure I received a voided check or a statement from the bank with their routing information and checking/savings account information on the provided paperwork. Then, I had to review ADP to make sure the amounts being processed were correct and ensure that the employee’s bank information was correct. If a number was mis-typed or if I did not receive a blank check, a completely different issue could arise. If someone did not receive their check directly, I would have to call ADP, cancel that check number, and then have the CFO print a manual check including the tax deductions. Then we would have to walk through the entire process with ADP to figure out the issue, which also takes a while. The process took time, but quickly and easily became very proficient, as we all learn from mistakes.
The steps taken to ensure that direct deposit was beneficial for both the employee and the employer seemed to work out significantly in the end. Despite the fact that I was unable to get 5 employees to enroll out of fear or immigration status unknown, I was able to convince most of the employees that direct deposit was to their convenience, as well as ease for the employer. I convinced them that it saved both time and cost, and helped our Company move towards a paperless environment, too!
About the Author: Kristin joined the AG team in 2017 after working as the Payroll/HR Guru at one of our client firms. Her experience from an "end-user" gives our team an extra perspective on the products, services, and advice we provide. And, she rounds out our trifecta of team members with a degree In Psychology from UT Arlington.