Payroll Distribution


Pay distribution is the process used to calculate and post payroll changes to the appropriate funding source (combination code). A combination code (or combo code) identifies a specific set of chart field values in FAST.


In GEMS the appointment and pay process is not reliant on the employee's funding source. The calculation and posting of payroll charges comes at the end of the payroll during the Actuals Distribution process. At the time of processing the Actuals Distribution, an employee has already been certified for payment and issued a check based on the appointment data inputted by Human Resources and payment certified by the department.


Pay distribution data is recorded into GEMS at three different levels: dept., position and appointment. The GEMS pay distribution process distributes payroll expenditures for each employee using the lowest level distribution record that exists. When distributing pay for an employee, GEMS will look first for an appointment level. If a record does not exist at the appointment level, it will look for a position level distribution record.

How Pay Distribution Works

In determining where an employee’s pay should be distributed, the system looks at a hierarchy of fields to determine where to charge an employee’s payroll expenses. First, the process looks for pay distribution setup at the Appointment; if none exist it will then look for a Position distribution, and finally it will look at the Department distribution if there is no distribution for appointment or position for that employee.

Appointment Distribution is always linked to a specific Employee and Job Record. An Appointment Distribution should be input when an employee is OPS and the Pay Group is POH or POS. Only in rare circumstances does an employee who has a Position number ever have a distribution established under Appointment Distribution.

Position Distribution is linked to a specific position within a GEMS Department. It does not matter what employee is assigned to the position. If you have a new employee assigned to an existing Position, you will not need to establish a new pay distribution unless you now want the position to be charged to a new chart field string. The pay
distribution process will use the pay distribution established for a Position regardless of employee turnover within that position. All POSITIONS MUST HAVE A POSITION DISTRIBUTION.

Department Distribution is a default distribution. When a GEMS Department is first set up, an account code is chosen as their default distribution which will be used in the event an employee does not have an Appointment or
Position distribution established. This default account is always set to an OPS earnings account.

It is important to ensure the proper distribution records are established and maintained as any inaccuracies will affect the labor expense for the department and may cause compliance issues, in particular with Contract, Grant and E&G funding sources.

For additional information, please contact Payroll Accounting.

Pay Distribution Calculations 

The GEMS pay distribution process uses percentages assigned to Account Codes for each employee’s payroll expenditures.

For example, departments can establish a simple pay distribution record that will distribute 100% of an employee’s payroll expenditures to a single account code. Departments can also establish more complex pay distribution records that will distribute an employee’s pay to a maximum of ten different account codes based on a
percentage assigned to each account. Below is an example of pay being distributed to four different Account Codes:

15.000% 000012345
25.000% 000034567
10.000% 000056789
50.000% 000067890
100.000 % Total

GEMS requires all pay distribution records to total 100%, regardless of an employee’s appointed FTE. For example, employees hired into a department at a total of .50 FTE will also require a pay distribution record that totals 100%. Departments with employees that shift between multiple funding sources will need to closely track the hours and adjust the payroll distribution accordingly.

Additionally, if the effective date of the change is not equal to the first day of a pay period, the department will need to submit two pay distribution updates.

For example, if a faculty member is paid 100% from account 000012345, and then, effective on the fourth day of a pay period, the pay account is changed to 000067890, the department will need to submit two pay distribution updates. In the pay period where the change was effective, the distribution would be as follows:

30.000% 000012345 (for 3 of 10 days)
70.000% 000067890 (for 7 of 10 days)
100.000% Total

In the subsequent pay period the distribution would be as follows:

100.000% 000067890 (for 10 of 10 days)

Colleges and departments may choose to develop their own alternative method of calculating pay distribution percentages. Each department should check with the area responsible for inputting their pay distribution data for any specific approvals or requirements unique to their area. Once departments have calculated the new pay
distribution percentages for employees that change accounts, those changes should be reported to the area responsible for maintaining their pay distribution data within GEMS.

For additional information, contact a Payroll Specialist.

Combination Codes

A combination code is a 9 digit number that identifies a specific set of chart field values in FAST and is used in the pay distribution process.

Valid combination codes for a specific department or project can be found in GEMS using this navigation from Main Menu:  Set Up HCM/Common Definitions/Chart field Configuration/Combination Code Table.

You will be presented with this search screen.

screenshot of combo code tableEnter the appropriate chart field value(s) for which you are searching and the results will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. (Note: the department value is the 6 digit FAST department ID)

If new combination codes are required due to new FAST chart field values submit the Request to Establish New Combination Code form found in the HR forms library. 


Audit Pay Distribution Submission

Because data input to the Pay Distribution Panels is used to charge payroll to the departments’ accounts, all data input must be audited to insure accuracy. After each payroll has been confirmed, you will receive an email that the RSA Check and Account Code Validation is ready for review.

If data has been incorrectly entered, contact Payroll immediately. If you have submitted a request for Other Nonrecurring Payment, the account to be charged will not be reflected in the RSA Check, but is in Paycheck Data under ‘additional data link’. In addition, payment requests such as retroactive, overtime, overload, etc., that are to
be charged to an account other than where the employee is currently distributed will also be located in the Paycheck ‘additional data’ area.

Accessing the Pay Distribution Panels

After logging into GEMS, go to:

Set Up HRMS > Product Related > Budget Information

From here you can access the RSA Check, Account Code Validation, Chartfield Transaction Table and the Department Budget Table USA. Fill in the fields with your search criteria and click on search. Be sure to use dashes for the appropriate department (X-XXXX-XXX). At this point you will have accessed the pages that are
used for the implementation of Pay Distribution.

Auditing Departmental Ledgers

It is important to audit Departmental Ledgers on a monthly basis. Run Payroll Registers and compare the totals from your register to your Departmental Ledger to complete the monthly audit.

For additional information, contact a Payroll Specialist.

Remaining Spending Authority Check  


The Remaining Spending Authority (RSA) functionality in GEMS has been developed to allow users to preview ("Check") the result of current pay period salary dollars, including employer contributions, posted against current FAST salary budgets. The RSA Check page displays a department's current salary charges to the FAST chart field combinations associated with GEMS Account Codes (minus the GL Account Chart field value). Once a biweekly payroll has been confirmed, users can see how the salary charges will affect their current RSA in FAST. Additionally, this functionality allows users to change pay distribution and/or transfer budget in FAST and then recheck salary budget RSA against the biweekly salary charges before they actually post to FAST.

To access the RSA check within GEMS, the menu navigation is: Set Up HRMS > Product Related > Commitment Accounting > Budget Information > RSA Check

The RSA is displayed by budget category (Salaries/Fringe or OPS) and is calculated against the amount of budget available for each Chart field combination. Each of the Chart field combinations is viewed as a separate row in the RSA by Chart fields section of the RSA Check page. The status of each projected RSA calculation is reported as Passed, Failed or with a Warning.

PASSED RSA Check passes Budget Checking

FAILED May mean one of three things:

      1. Chart field contains a Project ID and exceeds the RSA on the Grant child budget (RSA is negative)
      2. Chart field contains a Project ID that is past the Commitment Control (KK) end date on the Grant child budget
      3. No budget exists for the Chart field combination

WARNING May mean one of two things:

      1. The child budget is within 60 days of the KK end date
      2. RSA is negative

Note: Other Non-Recurring (ONR) charges are not setup on the Department Budget Table and are not reflected on the RSA Check page. To verify ONR distributions, please contact Payroll 813-974-7955

Retroactive Expenditure Transfer

RET Instructions (available in the HR procedures library).

RET Form (available in the HR forms library).