Paperless Paychecks

Initiative designed to eliminate waste, save money and time

The Office of the Comptroller wants to save the University paper, resources, and money and to this end has announced that most BU employees and student workers paid via direct deposit will no longer receive a paper pay stub. The information on the stub will now be accessible only online.

“We’ve been hearing from people that in many cases, they’re either not picking up their direct deposit slips or they’re picking them up and not even opening the forms,” says Steve Singer, the University’s comptroller, thereby wasting a lot of paper.

Employees and students already can access pay stubs from the past 18 months on the Employee Link and the Student Link, using a Kerberos password.

Boston University is going paperless with Direct Deposit. 

The first phase of this initiative is that the direct deposit paper pay stubs employees receive either weekly or monthly will no longer be printed. Employees with direct deposit paid weekly will no longer receive a paper pay stub as of Friday, July 3, and employees paid monthly as of July 31.

Employees will receive a sticker on their June 30 direct deposit pay stub informing them of this change.

The change affects 82 percent of BU’s approximately 10,000 employees, which includes faculty, staff, and students. Facilities Management and Planning (often referred to as Building and Grounds) employees with direct deposit are the only ones who will continue to receive paper pay stubs.

The Comptroller’s Office plans to let employees know by e-mail when their funds have been deposited. Employees with direct deposit paid weekly will receive an e-mail on their payday, Thursday, July 2, and employees with direct deposit paid monthly will receive an e-mail on their payday, Friday, July 31. From then on, the e-mail will be sent every payday to employees with direct deposit.

“These e-mails will contain no private information; we’re very security-conscious,” says Singer. “It’s our goal to protect people’s data.”

One major benefit of this new program is improved productivity, according to Singer. It takes the payroll department time to sort and distribute pay stubs. In addition, employees from other departments need to pick up paperwork from payroll that must be distributed at their workplaces. The new electronic system is designed to save time and hassle.

With direct deposit, he says, the University will save more than $5,000 annually in paper alone. If all employees chose direct deposit, the University estimates savings of around $50,000 a year.

“If we stopped printing pay stubs for 10,000 employees, annually we would save 3,000 pounds of paper, 30,000 pounds of wastewater, and 1,000 gallons of gas,” says Singer. “This equates to 9,000 pounds of greenhouse gas, comparable to 32,000 miles of driving.”

“The second phase of this project is for all employees to have direct deposit, but we know that’s going to take some time,” says Manuel Monteiro, Human Resources associate vice president. “We want to make sure everyone understands it and can access it.”

Any employee not presently using direct deposit can sign up on the Employee Link. Direct deposit is secure; there is no paper check that can get lost. It’s convenient and fast, because the money is automatically deposited and there’s no need to trek to the bank to deposit the funds or to wait for the check to clear.

“With this new switch, of course people will still receive their pay, just in a more environmentally friendly way,” says Singer.

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

This article first appeared in BU Today on June 16, 2009.