Feedback on direct deposit of payroll


As part of the SkyVU project to implement new financial and HR systems, Vanderbilt University is reviewing a wide range of current processes, with a goal of streamlining and eliminating inefficient activities. One of the practices under review is whether to continue issuing any paper paychecks. Paper checks require:

  • printing
  • delivering and picking up
  • delays in getting paid if the employee is out of the office on a payday
  • having to go somewhere to deposit or cash the check; having to wait for deposited funds to become available
  • tracking misplaced checks
  • stopping and reissuing lost checks, and
  • challenges related to reconciling budgets when checks don’t get cashed.

And with the recent announcements about additional holidays, including winter break, there will be more times when Vanderbilt University will be closed and employees will be unable to pick up checks.

Paper checks require disproportionate time and energy on the part of employees, hiring departments, payroll, and accounting. Direct deposit eliminates those challenges.

The good news is that more than 93 percent of Vanderbilt employees already use direct deposit for their pay. Only about 7 percent still receive paper paychecks (and most of those are student or temporary workers).

It seems to make sense to find ways to migrate the remaining 7 percent of individuals onto direct deposit. Even individuals who don’t have existing checking accounts can be issued debit cards pre-loaded with the payment amounts. The Vanderbilt University Credit Union is also open to all employees and offers a variety of banking options to meet most needs. New hires can sign up for a Credit Union account even before they start work by showing their offer letter. HR can also provide work-arounds for foreign national employees who are just entering the country and who may not have established banking credentials in the United States.

But before we make a decision to make direct deposit a required condition of employment, we want to hear any thoughts or concerns that faculty, staff, or student workers might have. Please share any feedback with by Aug. 31. Thank you for your help.