Thursday, April 9

UCPath program launches at ASUCLA, digitalizing UC payroll system

News, UC

Associated Students of UCLA has been using UCPath, a University of California-wide program, for its payroll system since Jan. 2. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Associated Students of UCLA employees now receive their pay through a new University of California-wide payroll system.

The UC Payroll, Academic Personnel, Timekeeping and Human Resources project, a uniform center for managing payroll across the UC’s campuses, launched at ASUCLA on Jan. 2. Although UCLA was originally scheduled to use the program in January, it has delayed implementing the system until September.

The system, which was previously only operating at the UC Office of the President, also launched at UC Merced and UC Riverside this month.

[Read more: UC Disputes State Audit Report on New Payroll System Costs]

Karen Noh, a special projects director at ASUCLA, said UCPath allows employees to view information related to their payroll, such as W4 status and number of vacation days, online. UCPath also allows employees to sign up for direct deposit online, while they previously had to fill out a paper form.

“The old payroll system was 30 years old, but newer software like UCPath display more information,” she said.

Maggie Easley, a third-year political science student who works at the UCLA Store, said she thinks the new system makes it easier for employees to sign up for direct deposit because it is done online.

“I hadn’t set up direct deposit before because the process was so complicated,” she said. “Being able to see all my paycheck information at a glance makes it a lot easier.”

Khoi Nguyen, a first-year computer engineering student who works for ASUCLA Media Production, said he thinks UCPath streamlines and simplifies the presentation of employee information.

“I like UCPath because the interface is much more user-friendly and less complicated,” he said.

Noh added that while she thinks using UCPath’s design is intuitive for employees to use, it will take some time for payroll staff to adjust to the new system. She added that ASUCLA has conducted trainings for staff since November and staff can also consult UCOP when they have questions.

“Payroll can be pretty complicated – there’s all kinds of codes (staff) need to learn,” she said.

Kiana Mills, a second-year cognitive science student who works in ASUCLA Human Resources, said she thinks many student staff members are still not well-informed about the new payroll system.

“We have a ton of students coming in (to human resources) asking for paychecks because they don’t know exactly what’s happening,” she said.

Delays in implementing UCPath at other UC campuses have cost the university millions of dollars. The California State Auditor released a report in September that stated that the project will cost $942 million, triple its originally estimated cost of $306 million. The UC continues to maintain that UCPath will only cost $504 million.

UC spokesperson Claire Doan said that UCPath costs much less than individually replacing UC’s outdated systems. The UC has already begun seeing benefits, including giving employees access to payroll, benefits and human resources online 24/7.

“As you can imagine, any complex, highly involved business transformation will encounter some timeline bumps,” Doan said. “Comparably sized organizations have attempted similar massive data upgrades and experienced delays or failed altogether.”

Noh said there were no major additional costs to implementing UCPath because ASUCLA carried out the transition to UCPath using primarily internal staff. She added that some costs resulted from staff members diverting their time from other projects at ASUCLA in order to work on the transition.

“We would normally be working on other kinds of things, which we can get to now that the transition is over,” she said.

Senior Staff

Sekar is a senior staff reporter for the national news and higher education beat. She was previously the 2018-2019 assistant news editor for the national and higher education beat and a news contributor before that. Sekar is a third-year political science and economics student and enjoys dogs, dancing, and dessert.


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