Top 5 Tips for Preventing Pay Errors (Managers and Administrators)

The UBC Payroll team works diligently to ensure all employees of the university are paid correctly, and on time. However, many of the operational and administrative processes that support pay are managed by the units and departments within UBC.

When pay issues are due to errors in HR processes — such as hiring, compensation, employment status — departmental administrators must make these corrections. Managers and administrators can request support from UBC HR or the ISC when needed, but the Payroll Operations team isn’t able to modify or correct these processes.

Here are some ways departments and administrators can prevent pay errors for their faculty, staff, and student employees, as well as how to proactively address those issues if they occur. Additional information can be found under Your Pay and on the Payroll FAQ in the Workday Knowledge Base.

Top 5 Tips for Preventing Pay Errors

  1. Ensure that people are hired on time, and correctly.
    The most important thing managers and administrators can do to prevent pay errors is to ensure that hiring is complete before an employee starts work. They should also support new employees in ensuring their onboarding tasks are complete on time. It’s also important that when approving pay-related items in Workday, you review all information to make sure it’s correct and complete.  
  2. Check for incomplete processes that can impact pay.
    When a transaction or process is incomplete in Workday, it can cause pay issues. For example, if a compensation change for an employee is in progress when Payroll runs, that employee won’t be paid. See the HR website for when to enter employee transactions so they are approved on time. Remember that payroll is processed before the pay date - follow the payroll calendar deadlines.
  3. Make sure employees have received any payments owing before their employment ends.
    In order to pay someone for work completed in a position, Workday needs the position to be active. For example, if an administrator ends an hourly employee’s position before they have submitted all their hours, Workday won’t process pay for hours entered past their position end date.
  4. Coordinate with other managers and departments on transfers and promotions.
    Sometimes pay errors occur when a current employee is making a job transition, such as moving to a new role in a different department, or being promoted within their current department. In these cases, it’s helpful for the former and future Managers to work together on a smooth transition. For example, make sure the employee’s new position is set up correctly before ending their current job.
  5. Communicate with employees when you anticipate a pay issue.
    If you suspect an error or delay may cause a pay issue, please let the employee know as soon as possible. For example, if an employee wasn’t hired on time due to a delay in grant funding, let them know that they may not receive their full pay in their first pay period, but that it will be paid on the next pay run.

    Bonus Tip: Retroactive Pay
    While we want to avoid retroactive pay (i.e. pay processed after the relevant pay period), there will be cases where we need to adjust an employee’s past pay. Workday automatically processes retroactive pay for the majority of time when it’s within 2-3 pay periods of our current date, but there are cases where manual correction is needed due to time passed or employee changes.

    In these cases, it’s important to check that no changes have been made in Workday that will prevent pay from being processed automatically.  For example, for a retroactive compensation change, a change in pay group can prevent automatic processing of retroactive pay, and may require support.   

When to Contact Payroll

To help us focus on issues that require our attention, please only submit a support request to Payroll once 1) you have made any required changes in Workday and 2) at least one pay period has passed since corrections and any approvals were complete. There is no need to submit a request to inform us of a correction in progress, or to confirm a pay correction will be processed in advance of the pay date.