It starts with Duke's payroll representatives, all 400 in various departments across Duke. They keep track of your hours and provide those numbers and other figures to Duke Corporate Payroll Services, which compiles the data, ensures its accuracy and pays 30,500 Duke employees.
Like clockwork each month, thousands of direct deposit statements, along with a small number of checks, roll off printers in the North Building for bi-weekly and monthly paid staff.
"Most people don't realize what we do to get employees paid," said Anne Comilloni, associate director of Duke Corporate Payroll Services. "From data entry to printing, sealing and distributing payments, 24 Corporate Payroll employees and hundreds of people from other departments across Duke work together, behind the scenes, before you receive your pay."
And it does not end after printing. Soon after pay day, Corporate Payroll typically fields more than 250 calls from employees. Topics run the gamut, from deductions for health insurance premiums and vacation accruals to paid time off.
Next year, Duke Corporate Payroll plans to go "green" by implementing an online direct deposit statement, the blue document university and health system employees now receive for a direct bank deposit. Faculty and staff will be able to go online to view and download direct deposit statements.
In recognition of this month's National Payroll Week, which celebrates the work of 156 million wage earners and the payroll professionals who pay them, here's the life of a Duke pay statement.
Leroy Mickens, OIT shift supervisor, runs the laser machine that prints 1,000 direct deposit statements in 15 minutes.
Entering Time Card Data
It's 11 a.m. on a recent Friday, and Debbie Endsley and Nakia Harrington, team members in Corporate Payroll, hover closely around a computer screen. They're reviewing data within Duke's payroll system processed during the week, so they can create a file that enables other staff members to input the next round of time cards.
"The file we're about to archive contains 166,119 records with updated data that has been entered this week, such as employees who have changed their address or signed up for health insurance," Endsley said.
Endsley and Harrington also edit scores of individual time cards in preparation for entering the data for pay. Inputting time card data -- and verifying each batch -- takes much of the staff members' time Friday through Wednesday.
"On Tuesdays, for instance, our goal is to key in the data from at least 5,000 cards," Endsley said. "In addition, we also have to input any changes, such as new hires."
Many hours go into the process -- reviewing reports, balancing the records and ensuring accurate and quality data. After data is updated and loaded, Nakia Harrington selects "print" on a computer screen, and names and figures are transmitted to another computer database in the North Building off Research Drive.
In a windowless room cooled to 68 degrees, Leroy Mickens, a 43-year Duke employee, presided over one of several high speed laser printers, a Xerox Docutech that prints 1,000 direct deposit statements in as little as 15 minutes.
Mickens lifted a bundle of 1,000 blank direct deposit statements from a box. Checks were retrieved from a locked area. He matched names and numbers of blank checks and direct deposit statements to information on a master list to ensure sequential printing by pay area.
"I like to print one box at a time," Mickens said. "If it doesn't match up, you've got a problem."
He loaded a bundle of direct deposit statements in the Xerox, pressed a few buttons, and within seconds, they rolled through the machine, which printed name and address on the Duke blue front, and pay, tax and deduction benefit figures inside. The freshly printed statements piled into stacks in machine trays.
Got Direct Deposit?
Start the convenient process to allow Duke to directly deposit your pay into a bank account by filling out an agreement form. Pick up a form at Corporate Payroll Services at 705 Broad St., or visit here, select "payroll forms" and click "Direct Deposit Authorization Agreement."
Folding and Sealing
The next morning, Mike Harris, another staff member from Corporate Payroll, collected 3 ½ boxes of checks and 13 boxes of direct deposit statements from the North Building and delivered them to Duke Corporate Payroll at 705 Broad St., where, once again, staff matched names and check and direct deposit numbers with a master list. Once the balancing processes were complete, the pay statements were ready for the next step.
In a 10-by-18 foot room, Harris stacked the printed pay statements in a LaserMate, a long machine for pressure sealing. He pressed a button, and the statements were sucked into the machine, where they were folded once and sealed before rolling out like a ribbon on the other end.
Sorting and Pickup
After sealing, the pay statements were sorted by organization and deposited in envelopes for pickup or delivery to university and health systems departments.
The envelopes for this recent pay day filled 18 postal crates.
Although most checks and vouchers are delivered to payroll representatives in each department through campus mail, about 30 representatives choose to pick them up. On a recent afternoon, Aida Figueroa, human resources manager in the Pharmacy business office, and Alan Dunn, a payroll representative with Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), joined others and collected their area checks and direct deposit statements from Corporate Payroll.
"My job is to make sure 800 to 850 employees get paid, and that's very important," said Dunn, who has worked at Duke nine years. "I like driving over here and getting it straight from the source."
Sitting at his desk recently at DCRI, Dunn sorted pay statements for delivery to bi-weekly paid employees. He makes the rounds twice a month, distributing about 500 pay statements to bi-weekly paid staff.
"Handing these out is the best part of my job," he said. "On pay day, I suddenly turn into a very popular guy around here."
Among the employees, Dunn delivered a direct deposit statement directly to Naomi Pratt, a DCRI staff assistant and Duke employee since 1988. She has had direct deposit since it was offered in 1994. She doesn't miss the hassle of rushing to a bank during lunch to deposit a check. "That's the best thing they've ever done," she said of direct deposit.
Twice a month, when Pratt receives her direct deposit statement, it still holds special significance: pay day. "The check is in the bank," Pratt said.
Duke Corporate Payroll Services By The Numbers
30,500 -- Duke Employees
400 -- Department Payroll Representatives
24 -- Corporate Payroll Services Staff
1994 -- Year Direct Deposit Launched
40,497 -- W-2 Statements Printed in 2006
4 -- Printers for Direct Deposit Statements
85,715 -- Pay Checks Printed in 2006
508,666 -- Direct Deposit Statements Printed in 2006