The University operates within a devolved financial management and responsibility structure.
All business units have full responsible for all financial matters, in accordance with the University Finance Manual.
Certification of payroll is the process that ensures the accuracy of fortnightly salary charges. A `Salary Variance? report is generated each fortnight for each business unit and is the basis for certifying the salary charges for staff members.
Salary charges constitute an average of 60 per cent of total expenditure for all business units. Fortnightly certification of the payroll is an important control for business units to prevent or detect any errors or inappropriate payments within each pay run. Regular verification of salary charges through this process will enable any errors to be identified and corrected in a timely and efficient manner.
It is the responsibility of each business unit to regularly certify payroll charges by reviewing salary data through the Salary Variance reports. As part of this process business units are required to notify HR Services of any variances that need to be addressed by detailing the variance and the correction that needs to be made. HR Services will endeavour to undertake any required adjustment in the following pay period.
The official University delegation level for the certification of payroll is 5b. Internal controls are in place within each business unit in relation to the various staffing processes with authorisations for appointments and remuneration being undertaken by staff with appropriate HR delegations. While a school manager or equivalent may elect for another employee (such as your dedicated finance officer or the staff member who would normally undertake the majority of staffing matters) to undertake the analysis and reviewing aspects of checking the salary variance reports, the school manager or equivalent level 5b should review this analysis and conclusions and subsequently `Approve? (sign off) each report.
The certification should be undertaken in a timely manner by all business units and to ensure compliance with this procedure HR Services are required to report on a quarterly basis on the sign-off process being completed. Each quarter HR Services will communicate with any business unit that has outstanding certifications more than one month old and ascertain why they have not fulfilled their sign-off responsibilities.
As part of this process, HR are required to ensure that business units are meeting their responsibilities in complying with this policy. If a business unit is on the report for two consecutive months and HR Services has not be able to establish a valid reason for the non-compliance then the reporting will be elevated through the appropriate line management of that business unit.
For each certification, the business unit should file a copy of the Salary Variance report and detail any reviews undertaken. This process will assist business units should they need to review the investigation undertaken in previous reports or should internal or external audit require evidence that such reviews are being undertaken.
Procedures for performing Certification of Payroll
1. Ensure you have access to the business units you are required to sign off. If you try logging into the Web Reports (using your PHEME password) and don't see the required business unit description, contact the HR Helpdesk on [email protected].
2. Navigate to the Salary Variance Reports and then click on the link to the various reports.
3. With the report open, you now need to analyse each variance where they exist. These variances can be created from numerous employment changes - be that centrally changed (pay rise) or locally changed (paperwork from the business unit).
4. You need to make a comment next to each variance that describes why the variance exists and whether that variance (for the reasons you've explained) is 'valid'.
5. Where the variance is not 'valid' it is your responsibility to contact the HR Services (Employment or Recruitment) Teams to determine the next course of action.
6. With all variances commented on, and where relevant, notified to HR Services for action, you need to save the 'commented' Salary Variance Report locally, as a requirement by internal and external auditors. These documents can be kept electronically or in a manual form.