3.5 Payroll

Payroll Charges

General Description:

MIT currently processes two types of payroll transactions -- a staff payroll and a weekly payroll. The staff payroll (paid monthly) includes faculty, other academic staff, sponsored research staff, administrative staff, and graduate student research assistants and teaching assistants. The weekly payroll includes support staff, service staff, and MIT student employees.

SAP Document Types:

SM (Staff Payroll), SW (weekly payroll), and some SA (standard SAP journal vouchers) and PA (Payroll CDU system-generated re-distribution journal vouchers)

Central MIT Controls:

Strong system of required approvals for hiring and changes to compensation. Charges posted to suspense are researched and cleared by DLC staff or, if beyond 180 days after the end of the quarter, by Payroll.

Level of Risk: Low.

Controls over authorizing additions or changes to MIT's staff and their compensation are strong.

Documentation to Retain:

  • Timesheets for hourly personnel: Approvals must be by an individual with reasonable and fair knowledge of attendances and absences of the employee or student. If timesheets are approved electronically, there is no requirement to retain paper backup in the department. If timesheet approval is via paper timesheet form, paper records must be retained for as long as the employee might want to check or challenge payment, at most the current FY and an additional FY.
  • Certified Quarterly eDACCA (the payroll form for certifying salary distribution on all Institute cost objects): Certification of the Quarterly eDACCA must be performed by an individual with direct knowledge of the work performed and recorded in the payroll eDACCA system, either by the eDACCA certifier or a proxy on their behalf. If electronic certification is via a proxy (eDACCA Administrator), the supporting paper documentation must be retained in the department/laboratory/center and available for audit for the current fiscal year plus four additional fiscal years. If electronic certification is by the eDACCA certifier, no supporting documentation is required. DLCs do not need to retain monthly paper DACCAs, if used by the DLC in their monthly FRC process; the quarterly DACCAs are the final record of payroll charges distributed to cost objects for that quarter.

DLC Tasks:


  1. Review time submission for hourly personnel, an electronic process in SAP Payroll. Approval of time submission must be by a responsible person with reasonable and fair knowledge of attendances and absences of the employee or student
  2. Review monthly eDACCA (lists all payroll activity for month and is available electronically in SAP and the Data Warehouse) and enter any required changes via the eSDS (electronic Salary Distribution System). Each department has a payroll suspense cost object as a temporary holding place for salary expenses that encounter an exception condition during payroll processing, e.g., a terminated cost object. The monthly eDACCAs (and centrally-printed DACCAs) include the department’s suspense cost object. Monthly eDACCA review includes review of salary charges posted to suspense and timely transfer to the appropriate cost object. See note below on timing.
  3. DLCs must certify salaries via the Quarterly eDACCA within 90 days following the end of the quarter.

Note on timing: DLCs have 90 days after the close of each quarter (Sep, Dec, Mar, Jun) to submit retroactive changes (via eSDS) to salaries for the quarter just ended without written justification, except for sponsored projects closing within a quarter. Retroactive changes for sponsored projects must be submitted within 30 days of the month the project closes. For detailed information, see Salary Certification Policy.

Retroactive changes to salary beyond 90 days after a quarter must be properly documented in writing, with an explanation why this change is being made and why the change is late. Such requests must be submitted via a “Request for Late Salary Distribution Change” form to the Institute Controller and the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs. For more information, see Salary Certification Policy.


  1. Review SM and SW transactions via the eDACCA (described under "Ongoing" DLC Tasks).
  2. At month end, review any other document types related to payroll, but not processed through the payroll system (SA or PA journal voucher transactions), to ensure they are accurate. A Data Warehouse report, "Payroll Exception", has been developed to identify any non-SW or SM transactions to a payroll GL account.
  3. Additionally, check to see that any changes requested in prior months or quarter have been made.

Contact for questions:

Contact HR/Payroll at payroll@mit.edu or 253-3337.

Updated 6/4/15