The University of Iowa


  1. Authorizing Labor Charges
  2. Payroll Distributions/Encumbrances
  3. Calculating Fringe Benefits
  4. Payout on Vacation Accrual and Sick Leave
  5. Payroll Corrections

a. Authorizing Labor Charges  

Labor charges are authorized by an Appointment Form, which must be created by the employing department, signed by the appropriate departmental official, and forwarded to central Human Resources for processing. Various types of Appointment Forms are available, corresponding to the various types of appointments: Faculty, P&S, Merit, Fellow, Graduate/Undergraduate Students, Bi-Weekly Employees, and Pre- and Postdoctoral Scholars.

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b. Payroll Distributions/Encumbrances

To ensure in individual's salary is charged to the appropriate Master File Keys (MFKs, or accounts), payroll distribution information must be included on the Appointment Form. Payroll distributions must be approved by the Project Director, Departmental Executive Officer, Collegiate Dean, and Central Administration. Subsequent changes to the payroll distribution can be made by submitting an "Accounting Only" Change In Status form.

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c. ​Calculating Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits to cover health insurance, etc., are calculated as a percentage of the salary paid to an employee. The percentage allowed is determined annually, varying for each class of employee. When figuring fringe benefits in relation to a sponsored project, the budget should adhere to the information and rates available through the Accounting Services website.

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d. Payout on Vacation Accrual and Sick Leave

An employee's accrued vacation, paid out when an employee terminates or transfers into a position that does not earn vacation, is charged against the fringe benefits pool. In addition, eligible employees who retire at age 55 or older, will be compensated for unused sick leave, to a maximum of $2,000, from the fringe benefits pool. The monthly expense for fringe benefits includes the cost of paying both accrued vacation and sick leave balances.

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e. Payroll Co​rrections

Payroll corrections are made in various ways, depending upon the type of error made. For instance, if the Employee Time Record is submitted with incorrect information, a Corrected Employee Time Record must be submitted to correct the error. If the wrong Master File Key (MFK, or account) is charged for a payroll or fringe-benefit expense, a Pay CV must be made to correct the accounting error, and a Change In Status form must be created and processed to update the payroll system records indicating the correct MFK for charging future payroll/benefit expenses.

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