K-State looks to improve efficiency with new payroll system

(File photo by Dalton Wainscott | Collegian Media Group)

Student employees at Kansas State may see changes to their timekeeping and payroll systems as soon as next summer.

“The biggest change [student] employees will see is being able to track their time and attendance on their phone,” Chuck Taber, provost and executive vice president, said.

The goal is to move the timekeeping process for all employment departments to an app format. One of the top contenders for the platform is Kronos, but this choice is not set in stone as other available options are still being evaluated.

Talk of finding a new timekeeping system began when the university conducted an efficiency evaluation revealing time and attendance were two areas in which efficiency was lacking.

Under the new system, student employees will be able to request time off and enter their work hours electronically. K-State already uses virtual software through Kronos in some departments, but other systems, including paper scheduling and hour tracking, are still used in several departments.

The problem with having multiple systems is the larger margin for human error, Taber said. Paper can be easily lost and physical punch-in systems are subject to human error during payroll. An automated system would eliminate organizational confusion and save payroll employees a lot of time.

The goal for a new automated system would be uniting all university employees and their payroll under a single, automated system.

“I think that [an automated system] will make things a lot easier to track, less things will get lost and having one system for everybody should make everything easier,” Riley Griffin, senior in English and films manager for the Union Program Council, said.

The impacts of COVID-19 have forced the university to make many rapid decisions, so the administration now sees its capacity for change.

“We can move pretty quickly on things,” Jay Stephens, vice president for Human Capital Services, said. “It improves our decision-making process.”

Taber said the earliest the switch to Kronos for all on-campus job hours and payroll tracking would be June.