City of Asheville payroll goes paperless

Earlier this month, the City of Asheville kicked off the new year by kicking paper pay stubs in favor of e-mailed payroll info. The move, which grew out of a Business Technology Improvement Project passed by Asheville City Council in 2009, reduces paper use by the city and increases accurate databasing and record keeping.

According to City of Asheville Human Resources Analyst Carol Nguyen, approximately 800 city employees who utilize city email addresses received digital pay info on the first payday of the year. That will mean 800 sheets of paper saved every two weeks, or 20,800 sheets over the course of the year .

“This is a cost reduction to the city, as well as an advancement of its goals for sustainability,” Nguyen said.

Currently, employees receive payroll info through City of Asheville email addresses, but an enhancement of the system will soon mean employees can see their info by accessing the database directly. That step will mean the inclusion of City of Asheville staff who do not operate with city email addresses such as seasonal temporary employees. Eventually, vacation requests and sick days will be logged as well, a move that project head Eric LaRue says will further strengthen efficiency in the organization.

“We are greatly increasing our accountability and eliminating the opportunities for errors, which for a government can be as important as cost savings,” LaRue said.

Digitized pay stubs (most employees already receive their pay via direct deposit) is another step in the unveiling of the city’s emerging suite of business tech applications, including digital work orders and business license applications, that make up the cross-departmental Munis system. Information Technology Director Jonathan Feldman notes, “all of these moves increase the city’s ability to manage information and transactions without printing hard copies.”