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Approval Basics

So, you have one or more student workers. If you've never approved timecards for a student worker employed during the academic year, it's a little different from approving biweekly timecards for summer workers. Over the summer, students are treated as seasonal/temporary employees. During the academic year, they're treated as student employees. They're paid on a student payroll, monthly, and you'll approve their timecard in a slightly different location/manner.

The easiest way to find the student workstudy timecard is to look under My Services.  You'll likely see, on the right, a link to the portlet, under ColonelsWork, or on the left, you'll see Student Timecard Approval. You can also search for that phrase.

If the pay period has already ended, (i.e. the last working day has passed but timecards can still be submitted), it will look something like:


 

Change the dropdown to current year.

 

 

You can then choose Student Employment or 8/31. This will likely list several past time periods, with the most recent at the top.

 

 

Choose the correct session by clicking the linked dates.

 

 

You can then click the check box (or multiple check boxes if you're submitting multiple timecards) and click Submit Selected Timecards To payroll. This submits the hours to Human Resources for processing.

New Approvers/First Payroll of the Year - No Active Pay Group or You have no pay groups available for the selected period. 

If you're new to the online timecard approval process, the most common question is "I tried to approve timecards but I'm told I don't have an active pay group or see a message stating that I have no pay groups available for the selected period. They were there before, what now?"  

Check out Step 4 of Login Basics below for helpful screenshots and some information about the Current dropdown box. In short, change Current to 2018 (or the current calendar year) and you're probably back in business. If not, log a helpdesk call and we'll look into your permissions.  

My First Roster And The Early Inbox Blitz 

We send out two types of rosters. One is a "no frills" email list of jobs processed and in the evenings, if you have had roster changes that day, you should also receive a nice Excel spreadsheet attachment with your full roster.  

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 notifications" or roster 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 "once daily" notifications.  

Please note that even after a student's job assignment ends, they will remain on your roster with their new employment end date.  

Students Missing From First Roster 

We understand you're eager to get started with your student workers, but federal regulations on workstudy are fairly strict and you'll generally be told ahead of time when you can expect your first roster. Students are not allowed to work until the first day of classes, but we will often release the first-year students a little early simply so students and supervisors can get in touch and get to know one another. Returning students will typically be processed on the first day of classes and no earlier. So, if your first roster is nothing but unfamiliar first-year names and classes haven't begun yet, be patient.  

If you still don't have all the names you expected on the first day of classes, check your inbox for paperwork notifications regarding your missing employees. Students are also informed when they have not completed required paperwork. 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. 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 until paperwork and documentation requirements are complete, no exceptions.  

If you are aware that a particular student 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 the student is able to provide their documentation so paperwork notifications are no longer generated. This paperwork is only required for new hires, paperwork does not need to be completed every year.  

If none of the above seem to apply because the student has worked before, received no email notification from Human Resources regarding paperwork, or received notification that other assignments processed successfully, the assignment may not have been entered yet. In an average fall semester, 700 - 900 total individual job assignments aren't unusual! If it's still very early in the semester (first few days of classes), Student Financial Planning may still be in the process of doing data entry. To quote some real statistics, in the 1314 academic year, by the second day of classes, 511 job assignments were entered, reviewed and went through attempted processing. A full 90% of them had everything in place and were successfully processed. If things are a bit further along in the semester, you may wish to touch base with them to make sure the job assignment didn't get overlooked in the list of assignments.  

Overview 

As of Fall 2012, Centre has begun using online timecards for student workers employed during the academic year. This electronic timecard is completely separate from the biweekly Time Entry and Approval portlet available to non-student employees. 

Both workstudy and non-workstudy hours should be submitted and approved via the electronic timecard. As an approver, you will be able to review the student's submitted time, including clock in/clock out, and total hours to be paid. You will also be able to edit, if necessary, the hours worked by your student worker(s). The screen also provides some quick and easy ways to email your student workers. If you log in on the 1st and notice one of your workers has no hours entered and you know they worked, you can email them directly from CentreNet or you can send a blanket reminder to all student workers to have their timecards completed by a certain day.  

Most importantly, you will need to use this portlet to submit the student timecard to Human Resources for payroll processing. Student Payrolls have work periods that generally extend the full calendar month and we ask that you submit student timecards by the end of the day on the 4th of the following month to allow adequate time for processing and getting payment information to the bank for direct deposits, which are effective on the 10th.  

Email reminders will be scheduled for supervisors of student workers who have finalized their work hours and still need to be submitted for payroll processing. These email reminders will typically be scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on the 1st - 4th of each month. This email reminder will have a direct link to the Student Timecard Approval portlet to speed login. You can also navigate to the Staff tab and the Time Entry and Approval page or bookmark the link in your browser.  

Are you a student who needs help filling out your timecard and submitting it for review? Please see the Student Timecard Guide.

Using The Timecard List 

Once you reach the timecard list, you have several options. You should see all the names of your supervisees, their position description, a pencil icon, the total hours they have submitted for review and the status of the timecard. The Final column will have a green check icon if the student has finalized their timecard and is done editing. Students who have not completed their timecard will have the Status No Hours. For additional statuses and their definitions, click the blue question mark icon to the right of the Status column header.  

The screen should be relatively self-explanatory, but here is a brief description of what you can do with various parts of the screen.  

You can individually select students or click the top checkbox to select all students in the list. You can choose Contact Selected Employees to send an individual or group email message to the students. You can also choose the Submit Selected Timecards To Payroll button if you are ready to submit the hours to Human Resources for payment.  

 

You may also notice the student's name is an active link. You can click the student's name to view a detailed screen with the student's photo, detailed time in/time out information, total hours, student comments, and if necessary, you can reopen the timecard to enable the student to edit their submission, edit their hours, or add comments of your own.  

The pencil icon allows you to edit an individual student's hours. You may also use the Edit All Regular Hours link at the bottom of the list to quickly edit the total hours for multiple students. 

All students with entered hours should be at a Submitted status when you are finished. Any timecards not in a Submitted status will need to be reviewed by, and possibly approved, by Human Resources in order to process payment to the student.  

Students With No Hours 

You may have students who logged zero hours for a specific pay period, particularly if they do seasonal jobs or work special events that are scheduled irregularly throughout the year. You are not required to submit those zero hour timecards to Human Resources. In fact, you are unable to submit a zero hour timecard to Human Resources.  

If the student has never entered time at all and did not Finalize, the timecard will be labeled No Hours and does not allow submission. Similarly, if a student has Finalized a timecard without entering hours or has removed hours previously entered, the total will be 0.00 and you will not be able to submit the timecard.  

True "0.00 total" timecards will only occur if the student has entered time and either later removed it or the supervisor has adjusted the total to zero. Finalized timecards may appear in your reminder emails if they were Finalized by the student with no clock in / clock out entries. Once the reminder period passes, you will not be reminded about those timecards again.  

You may also find it necessary to edit a student's hours down to zero. For instance, a student may accidentally enter hours for a job you supervise when they were not scheduled that month. If this occurs, please edit the student's time card to reflect a total of zero hours, comment something to the effect of "Hours removed, student did not work this month", and the card should be in an "Overridden" status. This allows Human Resources to see that the student should not be paid for hours this month and leaves an audit trail. 

These students are included in the Student Timecards For Review email just in case the student does have hours to Submit, but experienced an error or missed the deadline. Once you have confirmed a student truly has no hours to be Submitted, you can ignore reminder emails for the remainder of the approval period.  

Student Deadline 

Typically, the student has "through the 1st of the following month" to Save and Finalize time. National holidays, bank closings, college closings and the like may change this answer in extraordinary circumstances, since we do need to have enough time to process payroll and submit a direct deposit file to the bank in advance of the check date. Human Resources will likely notify you of those changes well in advance.  

You can also check the closing date of the pay period in the portlet. When you see Open: This pay period closes on 11/2/2018, students can work with their timecards through 11:59 P.M. on 11/1/2018. As soon as the date changes to 11/2/2018, at midnight, they will no longer be able to enter, Save or Finalize time.  

At that point, if there are additions or changes to the total hours, you will need to edit the total hours and add a comment as to why you are making the adjustment.  

Submission Deadline 

Barring college closings, national holidays or other unusual circumstances, we plan on giving supervisors through the 4th to Submit timecards to payroll. You may notice your list of timecards reminds you to Submit timecards before 11/05/2018 or something similar. As above, this date is not included in the active period, so you truly do need to Submit before 11/05/2018 starts for the server, which would be midnight in Centre's time zone.  

Finalized Timecards Versus Saved Timecards 

We do encourage you to have students Finalize their timecards. Finalizing a timecard is equivalent to a digital signature. Finalizing the timecard indicates that the student is done editing their hours and is ready for approval by the supervisor. We also limit email reminders to supervisors to "Finalized but not Submitted" timecards, to avoid bombarding some supervisors with lists of students who have not worked this pay period and don't require a timecard.  

We understand that this isn't always possible. Students may be unavailable or just plain forget occasionally, or you may be anxious to approve student time because you will be unavailable later in the approval period. It is fine to submit a Saved timecard if necessary, just keep in mind that you might want to touch base with your student first to confirm that they are truly finished editing their hours. 

Once the timecard is in a "Submitted" status, the only way to adjust hours is to contact Human Resources. Encouraging students to Finalize as a way to "sign off" on their time entered is preferred practice and may help avoid having to make manual adjustments after the fact.  

Whoops, I Submitted A Timecard With The Wrong Hours! How Do I Edit? 

Contact Human Resources and have them reopen the timecard for you.  

Overdue Timecards 

Don't panic if you've been a diligent supervisor, Submitted all your timecards and the day after your submission deadline, you still see a bright red "Overdue" next to the pay period in question. The Overdue status simply indicates that Human Resources has not yet taken the payroll in question out of Online Timecard mode. Once the time period has been completely shut down for processing, you will no longer see the time period in your default list.  

Unpaid Back Hours 

Though it's a situation we all do our best to avoid, we understand that occasionally a student may have hours worked that don't make either timecard deadline due to last minute scheduling changes.  

For example, if you have a student who filled in for 4 hours on October 31 at short notice and it's nearly time for the November payroll, you will need to add those "back hours" to the November timecard along with a comment explaining the edit. If the student isn't scheduled in November, you can still click the pencil icon in the Timecard list, edit the total to include the 4 hours from October and comment "Added 4 hours that were worked in October.", then Submit.  

Similarly, if the student works a total of 10 hours in November, just have them submit their November hours as worked. Then click the pencil icon, edit the total to be 14, and comment "Added 4 October hours to the 10 November hours.", then Submit. The student will be properly paid for their collective hours worked and November clock in/clock out times will be correct. 

Ended Assignments 

You may supervise students who, for various reasons, have their assignment 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 the student 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.  

  

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