Compensation and Salary Accounting
This section of the toolkit addresses additional compensation, salary distributions, cost transfers and garnishments.
Policy & Process
Officers of the University are expected to work the time required to accomplish the responsibilities of their primary position without additional compensation. However, there are situations where it may be appropriate and desirable to compensate individuals for work other than that performed in their primary position. Please refer to the Additional Compensation policy located in the University Policies Site for further details.
Training and More Information
Additional compensation payments are one-time or ongoing payments that are made in addition to regular earnings for active salaried officers. This includes officers of instruction, research, libraries and administration plus student officers.
Add comps are made for many reasons, and can be paid all in one pay period or be spread out over multiple pay periods. These payments can be paid to employees both within the administrative department and to employees in another administrative department and are processed via PAC. Reasons for paying an add comp include:
- Extra pay for additional duties performed
- Special one-time payments
- Ongoing clinical payments of varying types
Every additional compensation transaction has an Earning Code that identifies the type of add comp the employee is to receive.
Additional compensation payments for union and non-union support staff (e.g., shift differentials) are handled in the Time Collection Module in FFE. For more information on using FFE, please refer to the Finance Training Library.
Visit the Enterprise Learning Management System to access training information on processing additional compensation payments. View the Payroll Calendars for key dates and deadlines related to submitting and approving additional compensation transactions.
There are rare instances when an additional compensation transaction must be submitted via paper instead of through PAC. Visit the Payroll section of the Finance website for more information and to access the form.
A salary distribution is the process by which departments communicate the allocation of regular earnings for faculty and staff to the Accounting and Reporting at Columbia (ARC) system. Departments create salary distribution profiles in PAC which detail the ComboCodes / ChartStrings to which the employee’s earnings should be charged.
At the time of hire/rehire, a salary distribution profile is created for all faculty and staff via Template-Based Hire (TBH), or by Payroll for employees who could not be hired using TBH. Once an employee is hired and their record is in PAC, an employee's salary distribution profile can be changed through the Salary Distribution transaction process. The salary distribution only changes the allocation going forward. To retroactively modify an employee's profile, that is, to make changes to payroll charges that have already been paid out, a cost transfer transaction, or retroactive salary distribution if within the current fiscal year, must be entered.
Visit the Enterprise Learning Management System to access training information on creating salary distributions. View the Payroll Calendars for key dates and deadlines related to submitting and approving salary distribution transactions.
A salary cost transfer is the process by which departments tell the university accounting system, ARC, to move actual payroll (not future) charges for an employee from one or more ComboCode(s)/ChartString(s) to other ComboCode(s)/ChartString(s).
Cost transfers can only be initiated for payroll charges that have already been processed by the payroll system.
At the time of hire/rehire, a salary distribution profile is created for all faculty and staff via Template-Based Hire (TBH), or by Payroll for employees who could not be hired using TBH. An employee's past salary charges can be transferred to different ComboCodes, by those in the home department with security access to do so, through the cost transfer transaction process in PAC.
The requested transfer will only be completed once the payroll charges have been committed to the Accounting and Reporting at Columbia (ARC) system. By creating a cost transfer in the PAC system, the user is asking ARC to move payroll charges for a specific employee for a specific period of time and a specific earnings code between ComboCodes. This is done to retroactively make changes to payroll charges that have already been paid out. Every earnings charge has an Earnings Code that identifies the type of earnings the employee received. Cost transfer transactions are created for both active and inactive employees in your home department(s) for both the current fiscal year and minus-two fiscal years. For example, in FY18, you can complete cost transfers for FY18, FY17 and FY16.
Cost transfers are completed for many reasons, including:
- when an employee’s earnings are in suspense
- a salary distribution profile or funding arrangement ends before a new one is set up
- a department decides to charge a different ChartString for an employee's salary or add comp (or portion of)
- any time there is a need to move payroll charges (salary expense or additional compensation payments) between ComboCodes/ChartStrings
- if at the time of hire, a Grant Project was not yet established and the salary expenses were allocated to other departmental ComboCodes
Visit the Course Catalog for information on processing cost transfers.
There are limited instances when a cost transfer cannot be done in PAC and is requested using the Labor Accounting Request Cost Transfer Form in Service Now. For more information on how to complete a cost transfer via the form, please visit the Payroll section of the Finance Gateway.
Refer to the Sponsored Project Cost Transfers policy for more information on submitting cost transfers to sponsored projects.
A garnishment is a legal deduction of a specified sum from wages to satisfy a creditor by order of the courts. For more information, please visit the Garnishments section located on the Payroll website.