School District Payroll Services Gets Poor Marks

The Santa Barbara School Board heard a mostly damning presentation this week from the state’s Fiscal Crisis and Management Team about the status of the district’s payroll services. Maligned in recent years by high employee turnover and all-too-frequent paycheck snafus, the department was taken to task by the state audit for everything from poor work flow, to sloppy bookkeeping and data entry, to insufficient communication and discrepancies in paycheck deductions for things like insurance and retirement. (It should also be noted that the audit also explains these errant deductions were always remedied.) The report, which was sparked by the sudden resignation of payroll coordinator Patricia Voigt last fall after nearly 200 employee paychecks were sent out short, was not much of a surprise, explained the district’s Deputy Superintendent Eric Smith. According to Smith, the issues raised by the audit have mostly been on district’s radar for a while now and, since the hiring of a new payroll coordinator in January, are well on the way to being remedied.

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