This should be filed under “general problem solving,” but I’m putting it in the usability category because it deals with a workflow issue. When I managed student employees, one of the biggest problems I had was getting them successfully enrolled in direct deposit. Now, being that we had a separate payroll department that handled all of the financial stuff, you’d think that would be a fairly simple task. And it was… kinda.
The standard form that Georgetown uses for direct deposit asks for every piece of information needed to initiate the service for an employee: name, bank name, account number, routing number. Most students have absolutely no problem supplying this information on their own. The problem arises when they submit the form — you see, Georgetown’s payroll department requires that applicants attach a voided check along with the form, because they don’t trust people to write down the correct bank info themselves. This itself wouldn’t be a problem, if student employees actually had checks. Apparently, a staggering number of banks do not provide paper checks with their checking accounts, preferring instead to simply issue a debit card and call it a day. Checks cost extra, so students typically forego them (honestly, who needs paper checks anymore, anyway?). The payroll department had its requirements, but I really wanted to help the students get their direct deposit: when you have 180 of them working for you, it’s kind of a pain to deal with paper paychecks every two weeks.