PRISM TRKS
PRISM TRKS

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PRISM TRKS Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Questions

1. What is PRISM TRKS?

2. What are some of the benefits of using the PRISM TRKS system?

3. Who is required to use the PRISM TRKS system?

4. Forms -- What forms have changed?

5. Who enters the on-line timecards and who approves them?

6. Are there circumstances when a PRISM TRKS timecard does not need to be submitted?

7. If the supervisor is not available to approve their employee’s time, can someone else within the department be given this responsibility within PRISM TRKS?

8. Can non-Pitt employees obtain access to PRISM TRKS?

9. Is an Hourly Personnel Certification Report (HPCR) required to submit overtime and compensatory time for Non-Exempt staff members?

10. Are e-mails generated to the supervisor so they know when they need to approve a timecard in PRISM TRKS

11.Can I request to stop the system generated PRISM TRKS emails to my outlook account?

12. Is the on-line PRISM TRKS system be compatible with a MAC operating system?

13. Why is the time recorded in hours and not days?

14. How do I obtain training on PRISM TRKS?

15. How do I know what time category (hours type/element) to use when completing my timecard?

16. How do I revise a timecard that I have already submitted?

17. Can I access PRISM TRKS remotely if I am not at my University computer?

18. Who can create a timecard on my behalf in the event I am absent and cannot complete it myself?

19. How do I determine what Compensatory and Overtime hours are included in my paycheck?

20. What does it mean to be a Standard or Non-Standard employee?

Deadline Questions

21. Why are timecards submitted weekly?

22. What is the deadline for timecards to be submitted and approved?

23. Why are timecards due before noon on Monday?

24. What happens if my timecard is not submitted or not approved by my supervisor before the weekly transfer on Monday?

Accrual Questions

25. When is the vacation and sick accrual added to my balance, and when is it available for me to take?

26. When is personal time added to my balance, and when is it available for me to take?

27. How is my vacation or sick leave accrual calculated in my month of hire?

28. How is my vacation or sick leave accrual calculated in my termination month?

Balance Questions

29. When is vacation, sick, personal and compensatory time taken deducted from my balance?

30. As a supervisor, how do I view time off balances for staff that I supervise?

31. How can I review my time off balances for vacation, personal, sick and compensatory time?

32. How can I determine what my maximum vacation or sick accrual balance is?

33. Where can I find my vacation accrual eligibility date?

34. Have more questions?

 

 

General Questions

1. What is PRISM TRKS?
PRISM TRKS is the University of Pittsburgh’s online Time Record Keeping System for full-time and part-time regular classified staff (salaried and hourly, exempt and non-exempt). 

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2. What are some of the benefits of using the PRISM TRKS system?

  • Supervisors - will no longer need to manually compute compensatory and overtime rates.  The system will automatically pay out compensatory time if it is not used within the pay period it is earned or the pay period after it is earned. 
  • Non-Exempt Employees - will record hours worked.  Both compensatory and overtime calculations are done by the system.  PRISM TRKS will display current vacation, sick, personal time, and compensatory balance. 
  • Exempt Employees - will record hours worked.  PRISM TRKS will display current vacation, sick, and personal time. 
  • Department Administrators will have centralized reporting tools.

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3. Who is required to use the PRISM TRKS system?
All employees who are identified as classified staff – full-time or part-time regular – will be required to submit an online timecard weekly.    The following are excluded:

  • Coaches
  • Executives
  • Temporary Staff – full and part-time
  • Union Eligible Employees
  • All-Temps
  • Faculty
  • Academics, Certificates, Post Doctorals or Research Associates
  • Federal Work Study Students or Student Workers

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4. Forms -- What forms have changed?
PRISM TRKS Forms Comparison 11/30/09


Form Name

Description of Form

Submitted By

Changes to process due to PRISM TRKS

Frequency of Use

Employee Record (ER)

Existing Paper Form:  An Employee Record form is generated when a new employee is entered or changes are made in the PRISM Oracle HR/Payroll system.  This form serves as a verification tool for departments to ensure that changes were made accurately and on time.  The turnaround document becomes the form to be used for subsequent changes such as salary changes, documentation of leaves, classification changes, demographic changes, and terminations.

Department Administrators

Docking a non-exempt employee will now be processed through PRISM TRKS.  Information for Sick days and Vacation hours on line 14 is no longer required for staff employee terminations. This will now be processed automatically through PRISM TRKS.  All other changes will remain on the ER. 

As needed

Hourly Personnel Certification Report (HPCR) and Supplemental Hourly Personnel Certification Report

Existing Paper Form:  Hours that need paid to non-exempt staff (includes regular hours for non-exempt hourly staff as well as comp time and overtime for all non-exempt staff) must be summarized monthly or biweekly and submitted to Payroll.  The HPCR form is a preprinted turnaround document with existing staff.  The Supplemental form is used when additional lines are needed on the HPCR form. 

Department Administrators

Will no longer be used for full-time regular and part-time regular non-exempt staff once PRISM TRKS is implemented.

Biweekly, Monthly, or as needed

PRISM TRKS Hourly Personnel Certification Report (PHPCR)

New Paper Form: Required changes to a PRISM TRKS time card that cannot be made in the system must be recorded on this paper form and submitted to Payroll with a copy to HR for approval and entry.  This form will also be used to submit hours for dual assignments and additional duties for non-exempt staff.  It can also be used to document hours a 8, 9 or 10 month employee works during their non-assignement period. 

Supervisor and/or Department Administrators

Is only used in rare instances

As needed

Salaried Personnel Activity Report (SPAR) and Supplemental Salaried Personnel Activity Report

 

 

 Existing Paper Form:  This form is used to allocate by account, the time and effort of each salaried employee.  The SPAR process does four things:

  • Distributes labor to appropriate charge accounts
  • Identifies the type of activity associated to each account
  • Provides for identification of cost sharing
  • Serves as the University’s effort report related to cost applicable to federal grants and contracts.

 

 

Department Administrators

The SPAR will continue to be used for account distribution changes for regular earnings for full-time regular (salaried) non-exempt and all exempt staff.  This form will no longer be used for the part-time regular non-exempt staff transferred to the biweekly payroll (the new form will be the NEAD form described below).  Accounts on the SPAR are initially set up at the time of hire based on the information submitted in the PittSource request. 

 

 

Time of transfer or as needed

 

Non-Exempt/Exempt Account Distribution (NEAD)

New on-line Form:  This form holds the costing information for salaried (full-time regular) non-exempt Staff (comp time, overtime, vacation, and sick termination payout), hourly (full-time regular and part-time regular) non-exempt staff (regular time, comp time, overtime, vacation and sick termination payout), and full-time regular and part-time regular exempt staff (vacation and sick termination payout).  The accounts are initially defaulted from the employee’s organization, but can be changed as necessary. 

 

Supervisor/Assigned Approver

This form will replace the HPCR for full-time regular non-exempt staff and the SPAR for part-time regular non-exempt staff.  Will only be used for account distribution for vacation and sick payouts for exempt staff.   

 

As needed

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5. Who enters the on-line timecards and who approves them?
Each employee using PRISM TRKS must complete and submit their own timecard to be approved by their supervisor.  Supervisors will receive electronic notifications and will approve timecards online.  

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6. Are there circumstances when a PRISM TRKS timecard does not need to be submitted?
Yes.   The following are two of these circumstances: the employee is on an unpaid leave of absence (Short Term Disability, FMLA, etc.), an already established less than 12 month employee during their non-assignment period.

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7. If the supervisor is not available to approve their employee’s time, can someone else within the department be given this responsibility within PRISM TRKS?
Yes, the supervisor can designate another employee to review and approve the timecards of those employees that he/she is responsible for supervising.  It is highly recommended that all supervisors have an alternate approver which will act as their backup approver.  In some situations, it may be necessary or desired for the supervisor to assign their timecard approval responsibility on a regular basis to someone else.  This designation is called an assigned approver.  
For instructions on how to designate an alternate (backup) or assigned approver go to: http://www.bc.pitt.edu/prism/prismtrks/compTraining.html

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8. Can non-Pitt employees obtain access to PRISM TRKS?
Yes.  If a non-Pitt employee is responsible for the supervision of a Pitt Employee, they can be granted access to the system. 

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9. Is an Hourly Personnel Certification Report (HPCR) required to submit overtime and compensatory time for Non-Exempt staff members?
PRISM TRKS will automate the process for paying overtime and compensatory time for non-exempt classified staff.  The submission of the HPCR form no longer is required to pay overtime and compensatory time for non-exempt staff.  However, the HPCR form continues to be required for other employees that do not use the new PRISM TRKS system. 

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10. Are e-mails generated to the supervisor so they know when they need to approve a timecard in PRISM TRKS
Yes, a system generated e-mail will be sent to the supervisor’s Pitt e-mail account when a staff member submits their timecard for approval.  If your primary e-mail account is not your University of Pittsburgh e-mail account you can have your University e-mail forwarded to this e-mail address by going to www.accounts.pitt.edu and forwarding your mail.

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11.Can I request to stop the system generated PRISM TRKS emails to my outlook account?
No, you cannot “turn-off” this feature; however rules can be set up in Outlook to direct e-mail from the PRISM TRKS automated e-mail account to go into a personalized folder rather than your inbox.  If you are not sure how to do this, you may contact the IT person within your department, or the Help Desk at 412-624-4357.

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12. Is the on-line PRISM TRKS system be compatible with a MAC operating system?
Yes.

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13. Why is the time recorded in hours and not days?
Recording time worked and time taken off in hours gives the employee more flexibility for taking time off and accurately tracking time worked.  PRISM TRKS also allows for time off to be taken in 15 minute increments to allow for the flexibility needed for intermittent FMLA purposes. 

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14. How do I obtain training on PRISM TRKS?
Computer based training is available for all employees and supervisors.  If you have not completed this training, you may do so by clicking on the following link:  http://www.bc.pitt.edu/prism/prismtrks/compTraining.html

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15. How do I know what time category (hours type/element) to use when completing my timecard?
For a brief description of each hours type (element) and when to use it click here.  If you have any questions about the information, please contact your Compensation Analyst.

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16.How do I revise a timecard that I have already submitted?
To correct a timecard that has already been submitted, from the PRISM home page click on the “PRISM TRKS Time” link and then the “Time Entry” link.  At this point you will see all of the timecards that you have submitted in PRISM TRKS.  Locate the timecard you wish to update and click on the pencil icon at the far right side of the screen.  Once you complete the edits click on the “Continue” button and then the “Submit – I Certify that This Timecard is Accurate and Complete” button.  The timecard will then be submitted to your supervisor for approval.  If you are unable to revise a timecard within PRISM TRKS, contact your supervisor for further instructions (PHPCR).

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17. Can I access PRISM TRKS remotely if I am not at my University computer?
Yes.  As long as the computer you are using has an internet connection you can enter or approve timecards remotely through the University portal at www.my.pitt.edu.  Your University account and password will be required to log into the portal in order to gain access to PRISM TRKS. When logged into the University portal, select the “PRISM” Community from the “My Communities” list. Once in the PRISM Community, click the Login button to access PRISM TRKS.

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18. Who can create a timecard on my behalf in the event I am absent and cannot complete it myself?
If you are absent your direct supervisor or designated assigned approver can complete and submit a timecard on your behalf.  If you are a supervisor/assigned approver, please note that if you submit a timecard you still need to also approve the timecard before it can be transferred.

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19. How do I determine what Compensatory and Overtime hours are included in my paycheck?
For a detailed chart of the Compensatory and Overtime hours that will be included in your paycheck click on the appropriate payroll period:


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20. What does it mean to be a Standard or Non-Standard employee?
Standard employees are those that work 7.5 or 8 hours per day Monday through Friday.  All other employees are considered Non-Standard including all part-time employees.  PRISM TRKS will default timecards with hours worked each week and pre-populate the holidays for Standard employees.

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Deadline Questions

 

21.  Why are timecards submitted weekly?
 The following are some of the more critical reasons why timecards need to be submitted and approved weekly:

  • Overtime and compensatory time is required by law to be calculated on a weekly basis for all non-exempt employees
  • Federal/State laws require that overtime and compensatory time (if not used) for non-exempt employees must be paid out in a timely manner
  • Payment is solely determined by the PRISM TRKS timecard for non-exempt employees who are paid on a biweekly schedule.  These employees are paid on an hour worked/hour paid basis, and will only receive pay for the number of hours entered and approved in the PRISM TRKS system.
  • Allows time to be recorded and approved on a current basis.
  • Timecards are the University’s system of record for time off balances and weekly submission provides staff with the most up-to-date balances.
  • Accurate, automated payout of vacation and sick time could potentially be inaccurate upon termination from the University

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22. What is the deadline for timecards to be submitted and approved?
All timecards must be submitted and approved each week before noon on Monday.  This deadline may be adjusted for Holidays or other University closings.  Deadline changes will be posted within PRISM TRKS.

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23. Why are timecards due before noon on Monday?
All timecards are due before noon on Monday because an automated process occurs immediately following this deadline that transfers all of the timecards into the payroll system for payment processing and to update accrual balances.  Because of the many checks and balances of the system, this process takes some time and in order to ensure that this happens timely and accurately it must occur immediately after the noon deadline.

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24.  What happens if my timecard is not submitted or not approved by my supervisor before the weekly transfer on Monday?
If your timecard is not submitted and approved before the noon deadline on Monday, your timecard will not be transferred and the following may occur:

  • Vacation, sick, personal and compensatory time balances will not be updated for the week.
  • If you are on a biweekly payroll, your hours worked that week may not be included in the next pay.

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Accrual Questions

 

25. When is the vacation and sick accrual added to my balance, and when is it available for me to take?
Vacation and sick time accrual hours are accrued on the last day of each pay period.  For monthly employees this is the last day of each month.  For biweekly employees this is every other Saturday.  The accrual will be reflected within your vacation and sick time accrual balances on your PRISM TRKS timecard and available for use the week in which the last day of the pay period falls.  For example, March 31st falls on a Wednesday; monthly employees would see their accrual reflected in their balances when they complete their timecard for the week of March 28th – April 3rd.

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26. When is personal time added to my balance, and when is it available for me to take?
Personal time is added at the beginning of each University fiscal year, which is at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 for existing employees and is available for you to use immediately.  For the amount of Personal time you will receive, please refer to the Paid and Unpaid Time Off From Work section of the University Staff Handbook.

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27. How is my vacation or sick leave accrual calculated in my month of hire?
Your vacation and sick time is prorated for your month of hire based on the number of days that you worked in the pay period in which you were hired as well as the number of working days in that pay period. 
        Monthly Example:   If you are a monthly employee and were hired on April 5, 2010 you would have worked 20 out of 22 working days in April.  Therefore you would have received 90.91% (20/22) of your normal monthly vacation and sick accrual for April. 
        Biweekly Example:  If you are a biweekly employee and were hired on April 7, 2010 you would have worked 8 out of 10 working days for the biweekly pay period and therefore would have received 80% of your normal biweekly vacation and sick accrual for April.

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28. How is my vacation or sick leave accrual calculated in my termination month?
Your vacation and sick time is prorated within the month you terminate based on the number of days that you worked in the pay period in which you terminated as well as the number of working days in that pay period. 
        Monthly Example:   If you are a monthly employee and your last day of employment was April 2, 2010 you would have worked 2 out of 22 working days in April.  Therefore you would have received 9.09% (2/22) of your normal monthly vacation and sick accrual for April. 
        Biweekly Example:  If you are a biweekly employee and your last day of employment was April 6, 2010 you would have worked 2 out of 10 working days for the biweekly pay period and therefore would have received 20% of your normal biweekly vacation and sick accrual for April.

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Balance Questions

 

29. When is vacation, sick, personal and compensatory time taken deducted from my balance?
Time off taken that is recorded on PRISM TRKS timecards is deducted from your balance on the following Monday afternoon as part of the automated transfer process.  Every Monday just after the noon deadline all approved timecards for the previous week are transferred.  When this transfer process occurs, all time off that was taken during the previous week is reduced from your vacation, sick, personal and compensatory balances.  This is assuming that your timecard was submitted and approved before the timecard due date of Monday at noon.  Therefore, Tuesday is the best time to check for up to date time off balances.

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30. As a supervisor, how do I view time off balances for staff that I supervise?
To view the time off balances for your staff, first log in to the University web portal at www.my.pitt.edu and navigate to the PRISM home page.  Next click on the “PRISM TRKS Supervisor” link.  Click on the “Time Off Balances” Report to view the balances.  Please note, the information included in the Time Off Balances report is reflective of the balances as of the date at the top of the report.

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31. How can I review my time off balances for vacation, personal, sick and compensatory time?
There are two places that you can view your time off balances: you can create a new timecard and click on the “View Accrual Balances” link at the top of the timecard, or you can open the Time Off Balances report by going to the PRISM homepage, clicking on the PRISM TRKS Time link and then clicking on the Time Off Balances link.  Please note, the information included in the Time Off Balances report is reflective of the balances as of the date at top of the report.

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32. How can I determine what my maximum vacation or sick accrual balance is?
Your vacation and sick balance maximums can be found on the Time Off Balances report in PRISM TRKS which is available to all employees.  To access this report, go to the PRISM homepage, click on the PRISM TRKS Time link and then click on the Time Off Balances link.

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33. Where can I find my vacation accrual eligibility date?
Your vacation accrual eligibility date can be found on the Time Off Balances report in PRISM TRKS which is available to all employees.  To access this report, go to the PRISM homepage, click on the PRISM TRKS Time link and then click on the Time Off Balances link.

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34. Have more questions?
Please contact your Compensation Analyst or submit a question to trks@pitt.edu.  Additional questions and answers will be posted on this website as needed.

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