Student Timecard FAQ
From ITS Wiki
Centre is moving toward the use of electronic student timecards beginning academic year 1213. Since this is a new process for student workers, student supervisors and human resources alike, we anticipate that there will be some questions and minor growing pains. If you're having difficulty, please read this FAQ page first before referring questions to Human Resources. You can click the links above to jump straight to the section in question.
If you still have questions or concerns after skimming the FAQs, please contact Human Resources 1st Floor Boles Hall email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org 859-238-5564
Why electronic Student Timecards?
In short, electronic timecards should save a lot of time, effort, and to some degree, the environment.
With over 600-plus student workers, that's a lot of paper and printing each month. Those printed timesheets then have to be shuffled around via "sneakernet" for signatures and turned in to Human Resources, where the time is entered manually and copies are filed for possible review during annual audits. With electronic timecards, we can skip the masses of data entry, printing and filing, and both students and supervisors can access timecards anywhere they can access CentreNet. The college can also take advantage of electronic reporting to satisfy auditor requests rather than paper copies of each individual timecard.
Hopefully, supervisors and student workers will also find it more convenient. You can more easily fill out your time as you are scheduled to work, save hours and finalize them any hour of the day or night, your supervisor will be automatically reminded to submit your time to payroll so you can get paid in a timely fashion, and there's no sheet of paper to keep up with, or worse, lose.
Am I Supposed To Get This Many Emails?
The last workday before classes begin and the first day of classes, we will likely do some special processing runs during business hours in order to release the first batch of first-year students and later, returning students. You may receive more "paperwork notification" emails than usual those days. After those special processing sessions, things will likely return to normal quickly and evenings will be full of scheduled batch processing and one-a-day notifications.
Where is my Student Timecard?
Your Student Timecard is located on your Student tab, under ColonelsWork. You can directly access it using this link. If you work a regular schedule and are conscientious about "clocking in" and "clocking out" each day you work, you may want to bookmark the link in your browser or on your phone.
Can I access my Student Timecard on my smartphone?
While the interface might be a bit teeny-tiny by comparison to a computer, the page seems to work just fine, in a pinch, on an iPhone 4S in Safari. We anticipate that it should work in a wide variety of smartphones and browsers. If you've tested a configuration that doesn't seem to work, please let us know at email@example.com.
Why does the timecard say I have no pay periods available?
You may see the message You have no pay periods available for this position and date. View all pay periods. when you attempt to access the timecard. This means you do not have an active job assignment on a payroll open for time entry. If you've seen your job assignment here in the past and it's early in the month, it's likely you're seeing this message because the previous pay period has ended and is still being processed for payment. As soon as the payroll is completely processed, you should see the new pay period open for time entry.
If, however, it's the 10th or later and you're still seeing this message, it may be time to touch base with Human Resources or your supervisor. See the following FAQ item, What needs to be in place to fill out my electronic timecard?.
"Why does my timecard say I'm already clocked in? I don't see that time on this job."
Previously, there was a bug that occasionally allowed students to accidentally enter time against an old job that is no longer active. In some cases, students who used "View All Pay Periods" after seeing "no pay periods available" could trigger this issue. As of fall 2013, that bug has been addressed and completely resolved by the vendor, so far as we're aware.
With that possibility eliminated, if you're seeing a message indicating that you're already clocked in, the most likely explanation is that you have accidentally entered overlapping time periods into another active job. For example, the system will not allow you to clock in from 8:00 to 9:00 in Student Life on the 10th while clocking in from 8:30 to 9:30 in Athletics on the same date. If you receive this message, please check your other job tabs and see if you have mistakenly clocked in on the incorrect date or the incorrect job assignment.
Online Timecard Available Emails
One good rule of thumb is to not attempt to enter time online until you receive an email telling you, explicitly, that a particular job has been processed and the online timecard is available for it. The email will be addressed to you specifically, and will look similar to:
Subject: Online Timecard Available
Concessions reporting to Ms. Emma Livingston at an hourly rate of $7.25 Supervisor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Supervisor Phone: 859-555-5555 Schedule: TBD
This student position has been assigned and released by the Office of Student Financial Planning and processed into a payroll assignment by Human Resources. You may now access the Student Timecard in order to track and submit your student work schedule. The Student Timecard FAQ is available to view at http://wiki.centre.edu/its/index.php/Student_Timecard_FAQ
You will receive one for each position processed and your positions may not be processed all at the same time.
What needs to be in place to fill out my electronic timecard?
If you're a student or summer employment veteran at Centre and have completed acceptance of your aid award (if applicable), you're likely all set. Demonstrating employment eligibility is only required of brand new hires.
If you have never worked for the college before and didn't attend the first-year work study orientation, there's a good possibility that you have not filled out the required paperwork. Job assignments will not be processed until that paperwork is in place, meaning you will not be able to enter time, nor will you be allowed to fill out a paper timecard.
The college is legally required to have you fill out an I-9 and a W-4 form to demonstrate employment eligibility. Again, federal regulations are extremely strict on I-9 and W-4 compliance. With all positions, including student employees, if audits find that we do not have completed paperwork and confirmed documentation completed prior to or on the first day of employment, the college is open to fines of more than $1000 per violation. Worse, if multiple violations are found, fines can extend into the tens of thousands of dollars for willful disregard of the regulations, in addition to per violation fines. Multiple violations can also lead to criminal penalties. Simply put, Centre College cannot and will not process a job assignment and allow a student to enter a timecard or receive payment until paperwork and documentation requirements are complete, no exceptions.
If you are aware that you will not be able to meet that requirement for an extended period of time, it may be best to contact Student Financial Planning and have the job assignment removed from the processing queue until you can retrieve the required documents. It would also be advisable to notify your future supervisor.
You'll need to stop by Human Resources to fill out the forms and show valid identification. Typically, this will be either a valid international passport or your driver's license AND Social Security card. If your Social Security card is unavailable, you may also show your driver's license AND birth certificate. We cannot accept your driver's license alone, nor photocopies of the documents. The original documents must be presented. The following PDF lists all acceptable combinations of identification for completion of the I-9. http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf
In addition, any online requests to activate direct deposit will not be processed until paperwork is complete.
I did my paperwork, my supervisor wants to schedule me, why is my job assignment not active?
If it's very early days (the first few days of class, for example), you may just be a victim of numbers. The assignment information does need to be entered into the system for processing, and there are a LOT of assignments. It's not unusual for our first payroll period to contain 700-900 individual student assignments. Chances are that your assignment will soon be entered.
That said, if it's a little later in the semester, here's where you may need to get in contact with your supervisor. Supervisors generally request positions and may request specific workers to fill them. If you're scheduled to work a particular position with your favorite supervisor and don't see your assignment despite filling out your paperwork, your supervisor may need to follow up with Financial Aid to make sure your institutional or federal workstudy has been approved and you're officially approved to fill the position.
So how do I enter my time?
The timecard interface is very similar to punching a physical timecard in a timeclock, so you may find it most convenient to enter your time as you work it, or soon after. If you have one position only, you'll see it in the default view of the portlet. The calendar interface can be used to select a date, you enter at least one pair of clock in/clock out times, and click the Save Hours button. That saves your time for later editing. Days on the calendar will be color coded, and the selected date will have a blue box around it. All of your time will be Regular hours, so there is no need to change the Hours Type. A subtotal and running total of hours worked will automatically appear for you when you have finished entering arrival and leave times.
Once you have saved some time, new options may appear. You can then edit or add to your time, save time for any additional jobs you might have, change settings, preferences, or finalize your time. Finalizing your time means you are done editing your hours for the active job and are ready for your supervisor to approve your time and submit it to Human Resources for payment. Additional jobs will show up under the Other Positions link, in the "full timecard" view or after saving time. Switching between jobs can be accomplished by clicking the appropriate job tab. The active tab is white, while inactive tabs are gray. Make sure you apply hours to the appropriate job and that you finalize each timecard for approval. The screens have many descriptive links to walk you through entering time, and any small blue icons with a white "i" can be clicked to see a popup with additional information. You can also add comments in the "expanded" or View Full Timecard views if you need to remind your supervisor of unusual circumstances or make note of what event you worked.
If you need to add additional clock-in/clock out pairs, click the "+" sign to the right of your latest entry.
If you're entering hours for many days in one session, it may be best to switch to Grid View. That option, and Timecard Settings, are available in the upper right corner, in the black bar.
As with paper timecards, you will usually need to make sure your time for the previous calendar month has been entered and Finalized on the 1st of the month. You can Finalize before the 1st if you are relatively sure you will not be scheduled for additional hours this pay period. This deadline will give your supervisor ample time to review, edit and Submit your time for payroll processing.
How long do I have to enter my time for the month?
Typically, you will have the entire month to track your time as you work it, plus one additional day. Usually, you will be entering, saving and finalizing your time through the 1st. Circumstances such as national holidays and official college closings may occasionally force us to shift this deadline slightly, since we have to allow time for payroll processing and submitting the direct deposit file to the bank. Human Resources will likely notifiy you of that change well ahead of time when they are necessary.
You will always be able to tell the closing date by clicking "View Full Timecard" or "Other Positions" (if you have multiple positions currently). You will see an X icon on one of the dates and below, a legend similar to Pay Period Closes: 12/2/2012.
Be aware that the closing date is not an "active date". In other words, the timecard will be closed on the closing date and you will not be able to add or remove time, or Finalize your timecard. In our example above, the timecard remains active through 11:59 P.M. on 12/1/2012. Effective at 12:00 A.M. Eastern on 12/2/2012, as soon as the date rolls over, you would no longer be able to alter your timecard and any changes will need to be communicated to your supervisor so they can change the total hours before Submitting.
Clocking in and out as you work your time makes this quicker and easier. If you're a student with a schedule you receive ahead of time, you may also put your schedule for the upcoming week or month in advance, before it is worked. Doing so can definitely speed things up if you're racing to beat the deadline in the late hours of the 1st, since you will only need to adjust for any deviations from your anticipated schedule and Finalize.
So, I missed the submission deadline with part of my time! How do I get paid for hours in closed payrolls?
If you missed a payroll submission deadline you will still need to enter your hours electronically, whether you failed to submit any hours or you realize after the fact that you left a day's work off of the timecard. If you're within 3 days of your submission deadline, your supervisor will likely still have the ability to edit your total hours before submitting your hours to payroll for processing. In other words, if it's the second day of the month, a quick phone call or email to your supervisor explaining the situation should allow them time to edit your hours and submit a timecard along with a note that indicates the reason for the edit.
For example, if you worked 10 hours in October and it's now November 2, your supervisor still has the ability to submit hours on your behalf and a phone call, email or face to face visit is in order as soon as possible.
If it's well past the supervisor deadline (which usually falls on the fourth of the month), neither you nor your supervisor will be able to access that payroll and the hours will be held until the next payroll. In that case, you will need to keep track of how many total hours you worked and the hours will need to be added, by your supervisor, to the next month's timecard. They will be able to add on the previous month's hours to your total and note that the change was made to include a previous month's hours. It's still best to contact your supervisor as soon as possible after you realize you have missed the deadline and possibly remind them (in your next month's timecard comment, perhaps) closer to the next deadline.
So, if you worked in October and it's now November 10, it would still be a good idea to email, phone or visit your supervisor and inform them of the situation as soon as you can. If you are not scheduled to work in November, remind the supervisor to submit your October hours on your behalf. If you work in November and submit a timecard for that month, it would probably be a good idea to include a reminder in your comments as well.
How do I delete time?
If you realize you've put time on the wrong date or the wrong job assignment's timecard, you can effectively wipe it out by editing it to be the same begin/end time. Remember that you will need to wipe out said entry first if you plan to then put the time on a different job assignment. So, for example, if you entered work from 9:00 am to 10:00am on the 15th and need to "delete" the entry, click the 15th on the calendar view or visit that date in the grid view. Change 9:00 am to 10:00am and save the change.
What is the difference between Save Hours and Finalize?
Saving hours allows you to return to the timecard and edit, add,remove and change entries as many times as necessary. Think of this as similar to keeping a paper timecard and in your tentative schedule with pencil, before you have handed it in to your supervisor for a signature. If you're coming into the timecard on a regular basis (daily, at the end of each work week, etc.) and entering time as you work, this is the option you will use the most. This is also the option you would use if you are filling in days/hours worked in advance. If you wish to enter your entire month's work schedule ahead of time, you may. Using Save Hours offers the flexibility to come back and alter those hours if your work hours change.
Finalizing your hours, on the other hand, is similar to filling out a paper timecard in ink and slipping it under your supervisor's office door. You can still edit your hours if you have made a mistake, but only after your supervisor has reopened your timecard for you. Your supervisor may also edit your hours on your behalf if they notice a mistake. Clicking the Finalize option means you do not anticipate having to make any more edits to your time and you are ready to have your time worked approved and submitted for payment. Make sure you have entered, saved and finalized hours for all jobs worked by the first of the month.
Finalizing is particularly important if you are your supervisor's lone direct report. If you do not Finalize your time, they will not receive an automatic email reminder to go approve your timecard.
Do I need to Finalize my timecard if I didn't work?
The short answer? No. The slightly longer answer? If there are zero hours on the timecard, it really can't be Submitted. Zero hour timecards can be, I believe, Finalized, but as your supervisor can't really do anything with them, there's not much point.
Oops, I didn't mean to Finalize my timecard. What do I do?
Your supervisor, Human Resources or IT can reopen your timecard if necessary. It's probably best to notify your supervisor first, so they're aware you wish to edit your timecard and don't submit the time. If your supervisor is unavailable for some reason, you can also contact Human Resources or put in a Helpdesk call.
What if I have two tabs with the same description?
It's customary for your job description to be in the format "Rate-Job Title", to help you distinguish between multiple assignments and to confirm you're being paid at the correct rate.
However, you may be doing the same job for two different supervisors or departments with the same pay rate. For example, you may be working as a Student Assistant in both Student Life and Division I.
If you have multiple jobs and two of them seem to be "twins" on your timecard page, please notify Human Resources or submit a helpdesk call to ITS. While we've made an effort to differentiate job descriptions if we notice you're working for two departments or two supervisors, in the shuffle of getting 700-plus job assignments into the system and testing a multitude of new things, we may have missed a few. So, if you see "7.25-Student Assistant" and "7.25-Student Assistant" or something similar and can't make heads or tails of which supervisor you're submitting time for, we can update the description to read "7.25-Student Assistant Div I".
You may have assignments that, for various reasons, are terminated in the middle of a pay period. Due to the way hours are accumulated into payroll, the end date of the assignment will generally be set as the end of the pay period/month. Should you have an earlier "hard stop date" due to an issue like federal workstudy eligibility, you will be notified in a separate email from Financial Aid.