County to offer direct deposit pay plan to employees

Over the objections of the Grady County finance director, the Grady County Commission voted 4-0 Tuesday to implement a direct deposit payment as an option for county employees.
Last October, Commissioner T.D. David suggested County Administrator Rusty Moye and his staff examine the possibility of implementing a direct deposit payment system for county employees.
After several months had passed, David two weeks ago requested Moye report to the board at its meeting that was held Tuesday morning.
The county administrator said that after examining the proposed new payment method, he was suggesting if the board wished to implement direct deposit that it be offered as an option. “Several of our employees do not have checking accounts,” Moye said.
Moye then asked Finance Director Mary Mayer to brief the board on her research to shift to direct deposit opposed to issuing individual checks.
The finance director said it would cost approximately $1,500 for the county’s accounting software to be set up to handle direct deposit through the bank. She said it would likely increase the annual support contract with the accounting software provider, but she could not determine how much.
The finance officer said shifting to direct deposit would require additional internal control measures since her office would have access to employee bank accounts.
“It will take two to three months to do the set up and implementation. It will be a long, drawn out process,” Mrs. Mayer said.
She also advised against issuing debit cards to employees who do not have bank accounts because they could lose the cards.
The county finance director said she had not been able to get a total for fees from the bank as of Tuesday. She said she would recommend enrollment in the direct deposit plan to be offered only once a year.
Commissioner David said he was “clear” that the finance director did not want to implement the new program and he questioned some of her concerns.
He admitted it would take two to three months to “get the bugs out,” but he described it as “heaven” once the transition is made. “It will enhance internal controls and doesn’t hamper them,” David added.
David is the controller and human resources director for Ira Higdon Grocery Company, which pays its employees through direct deposit.
County Clerk Carrie Kines, who serves as the county’s payroll clerk, said that employees had been “begging” for direct deposit and she suggested it be offered as an option to employees.
“I knew Mary (Mayer) was against it in October,” Commissioner David commented. The finance director said this was not the first time the county had considered direct deposit.
“I don’t mind if it is an option, but I would not make it a mandate,” Mrs. Mayer said.
Chairman Elwyn Childs said he favored offering it as an option and Commissioner David said it would be a first step, but he said he hoped the county would not wait until next October to implement it.
Moye said he understood Mayer’s objections because the county does not have staff to take on additional responsibilities.
“This is just one more thing Mary has to do,” Moye said.
The county clerk reminded Moye that payroll is her responsibility and she said, “I am willing to take on any additional responsibility to be able to offer direct deposit as a choice for our employees,” Ms. Kines said.
Commissioners voted unanimously to instruct Mayer to implement a direct deposit payment option for county employees. District 3 Commissioner Charles Norton was absent from Tuesday’s meeting due to a medical appointment.

Leave a Comment