Opinion: Paycom implementation a complete failure

With the change in payment systems, some staff members are left waiting for their paychecks

It is nearly impossible to go anywhere on Tulsa’s campus without hearing someone complain about how much they despise the Paycom payroll system. This is a very new way for the college to do payroll, so it is very easy to dismiss any issues as people just not being willing to adapt, but they’ve been using Paycom for nearly a year and the problems seem to still be compounding. Paycom is not an inherently terrible system for clocking wages for employees, but there are multiple factors in its system as well as at the University of Tulsa that have made the transition difficult, leading to the negative experience of many university employees.

Founded by Chad Richison in 1998, the idea behind Paycom Software, Inc. was for it to be an online payroll system to be utilized by any company or business. Instead of having to remember to fill out a timesheet, or to punch a hole in a piece of paper when you come in or out to work, employees have to remember to a login username and password and to clock in and out digitally, as well as put in department from which the allocation of your pay comes from. All of this is found in one place, and if you miss a punch, you can always send a punch change request to fix the time on your punches so that you are paid properly. There are additional services that Paycom have added to their system over the years such as E-Verify, human resources and document storage all in one singular place, consolidating these resources and in theory making them easily accessed.

The University of Tulsa decided in 2021 during the spring semester that they would be switching to using Paycom across the board for all employment at the college, to the dismay of many students, faculty and other employees. Practically, this seems like a reasonable and efficient move, considering that different areas of the university used widely different methods of tracking payroll. No department did everything the same way, and having one all-encompassing system should make things easier for the school as a whole. Paycom is also based in Oklahoma City, therefore by using this company, TU is supporting a local business. With all the apparent upsides to having this system that is supposed to be very consistent and efficient, it seems at face value that the concerns of those who do not like it are unwarranted, and that people are not willing to accept change.

However, not everything is perfect with this all-in-one business tool Paycom. There is a very real flaw that makes it very problematic and needs to be addressed. The main problem for the University of Tulsa specifically is that not everyone is paid hourly. With a salary pay, as is the case in many areas of TU, an employee receives the entirety of their pay independent of how many hours in which they work. This makes using Paycom difficult, because if an employee clocks out when they have finished their work, then it is set up to pay them by the hour, so the employee may have to wait to clock out until much later to get the full amount owed, as if they are working hourly. This is hard to remember if you are no longer at work, and everyone has lives outside of their employment to also focus on such as family, friends and other activities, so expecting someone to remember to do this is an issue due to human error. While there are ways to schedule a shift, it is not readily apparent and easily accessed on Paycom’s page, and it is still based upon an hourly wage rather than salary.

A payment structure based upon a salary pay or freelance is incredibly difficult to do with this system, and Paycom is simply not accommodating to this in many ways. The fact of the matter is that Paycom is not made for people who are not paid hourly, and to force people to use it when they are paid by another method than hourly is not only making things harder on everyone at the university, but is really not fair to the supervisors, especially when they have to constantly approve punch change requests because people clock out early but want to get paid the correct amount for salary.

On the other hand, not all of our problems with this system are Paycom’s fault. In fact, the majority of the issues with Paycom come down to the University of Tulsa itself. The college decided to completely uproot all of its payment systems with one fell swoop in the middle of a pandemic that took a good majority of students, faculty and various employees off campus. This was not at all something that the university needed to worry about at the time, and they haven’t in most cases provided any sort of proper training for the people that need to use this program. In many cases for student employees at TU, the only training was videos that did not explain well how Paycom works and there are just several functions that they will never use, such as document storage. The supervisors seem to not have the necessary help they need to use this system and relay this information to the employees. All these things considered, it is no wonder that there is an absolute hatred for the Paycom payroll system, and something needs to change if the University of Tulsa has any hope of running smoothly in this area.

Post Author: Logan Guthrie