City Of Tulsa Considers Paperless Payroll

Friday, January 14th 2011, 6:27 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Its pay day at Tulsa City Hall, where the time clock for many employees is plain old paper and pencil.

The city is looking into converting to a modern system, but for now, it's a lot of paperwork that few other businesses still use.

"We don't have a computer system, or a time clock, it's just strictly on this card," Michele Allen, a city employee, said.

Most all city employees use paper time cards and write in the time worked.

"After we fill these out, we have to go in and fill out our time, it's very redundant, you don't think we'd have to do these too," Allen said.

Most have to also fill out another form showing time not worked, but even that's only computerized to a point. That form is printed out, where it eventually lands on the desk of Alison Webb, one of 40 payroll clerks who type in the information.

"Once we do that and go through every time card, we print those out," she said.

Webb does that for the 350 employees and after she types it all in once, they call it "coding" the numbers, she gets to do it again.

"And then you code it, you print it and code it to the system, which is a different program," Webb said.

That's because the time sheet and payroll systems don't work together.

It's a bi-monthly landslide of paperwork at City Hall, where they hang on to all the paper so they can look back if there's a problem, because that's not on a computer either.

"It's a very manual system, yes." Glenda Harkey, Payroll Manager, said.

At City Hall, the mayor and council agree its past time to update the process, but they don't know how much it will cost. The last estimate was $1.2 million, with much more in possible savings.  The accuracy and convenience of not entering, and reentering all those numbers would just be a bonus.

The city is developing a request for proposals so outside companies can bid on a software solution. There's no set timeline yet for changing over.