Payroll Announcements

Page Contents

Email Communications

  • 10/3/2019, From: Tim Danielson, To: Prep, Subject: Important Payroll Information
  • 10/10/19, From: Payroll, To: Prep, Subject: Important Payroll Information – Follow Up

Focus Card


Starting Fall 2018, mandatory enrollment in the Focus Card program happens twice a month. US System pulls a list of all employees with no active direct deposit and enrolls them with US Bank. This list is sent on the first business day closest to the 1st and 15th of the month. Automatic emails are then generated and a physical card is mailed to the HOME address on file.

The only exception is employees abroad. The focus card cannot be sent to international addresses. Physical checks are then generated in lieu of a valid bank account.

Submitted Direct Deposit Form

If the employee has submitted a direct deposit form shortly before or after enrollment, the form will be entered when received by Payroll. If submitted timely and accurately, their first check would go the bank account indicated on the form. Timely submission is considered to be no later than 15 days before payday. Submissions after this will continue to be processed but are not guaranteed by day of payroll confirmation.

The employee should hold on to the US Bank focus card until their paycheck clears their actual bank account.

More information on the Focus Card program and the US Bank FAQ are on the Paycheck Distribution page of the HR Payroll website. Please direct employees to that.

Direct Deposit and W-4 Fraudulent Activity

Actual instances of fraud at UWM have been almost nonexistent due to the early adoption of many internal controls. However, we need to continue to increase steps taken to protect our employees.

Updated Versions of Direct Deposit and W-4 Forms

The direct deposit form was updated April 2019 to include a campus identify validation signature line as well as a revision to the additional information provided on the reverse side. This is to bring the form and information provided into line with the changes to UW’s business processes as well as the growing challenges of paper submission.

The 2011 and 2012 W-4s are still lurking in areas.

Please have all stock of old Direct Deposit and W-4 forms destroyed and any links provided to employees updated to the newest versions created.

We need to make sure UWM is in compliance with all changes and updates made at a System level for these documents.

Employee Submission of Forms

Per UW System, Direct Deposits and W-4s cannot be accepted via email under any circumstance due to the increasing trend of fraudulent activity and a growing concern for data integrity and employee safety. Report any suspicious emails requesting to update this information to Central Payroll as well as UWM Information Security.

Email is not a secured method of transmitting the sensitive information contained in these forms. UWM should never, under any circumstance, accept emailed submissions. Electronic submissions or requests to submit via email should be denied and the employee should be instructed to submit a physical form:

  • In person
  • Via physical mail
  • Via fax

Please do not solicit this type of submission from employees. Faxing the form(s) is the only acceptable alternate solution if the employee is unable to submit the form in person or by mail.

Validating Direct Deposit Submissions

All Direct Deposit submissions without an original signature must be verbally verified as genuine before entry into HRS in order to prevent check fraud. Non-original signatures are considered to be:

  • Electronic signatures
  • Faxed forms
  • Copies

Currently, all needed validation for submissions by both employees and divisions have been completed at the Central Human Resources level. In order to increase efficiency and speed time of entry, divisions will begin to verify the forms submitted directly to them before passing them on to Central HR.

Effective October 14th, all Direct Deposit forms submitted to divisions will need to be verified before being forwarded on to Central HR for entry. The below steps are to be taken:

  1. If an original signature, verify as a genuine by signing the ‘Identification Verified by’ line
  2. If non-original, verify verbally, either in person or by phone, that the request is genuine. The below is required to be asked to ensure proper identification and the accuracy of the request:
    1. Full birthday
    2. Last four of SSN
    3. Bank name
    4. Account type
    5. Account number (if further identification data needed)
    6. Note: Do not ask for the full SSN or the full account number.

  3. If non-original, once verified, sign the ‘Identification Verified by’ line
  4. For all forms received by divisions, indicate on the top of the form when it was received and by which department/division it was received by
  5. Forward all original, verified Direct Deposit forms to Central HR for processing

Human Resources will continue to verify all direct deposit forms submitted directly to our office by employees.

Original Forms to Human Resources

Please ensure that all Direct Deposit forms being submitted to Central Human Resources are the original forms. Do not keep the originals and provide copies to Human Resources. Do not accept copies of the form from employees. Payroll must be able to easily identify the form as being the original version in order for entry to be done. Faxed forms are the only exception as by their very nature they will not have original signatures on them. For faxed forms, HR still requires the form with the original divisional verification signature.

Effective October 14th, all submissions to Central HR that are clearly copies will be returned to divisions without entry.

Direct Deposit and W-4 Completion

Please help speed entry even further by quickly verifying that all Direct Deposit and W-4 forms you receive are fully completed. Missing information may mean either potential incorrect setup or required follow up by Central Payroll. The below are major reasons for entry delay if missing:

Direct Deposit

  • Employee information
  • Account type
  • Routing number
  • Account number
  • Bank name
  • Signature

Note: All accounts are required to be indicated on the form, even those accounts that are not changing. Those accounts should be marked “No Change”.


  • Employee information
  • Marital status
  • Claiming exempt
  • Number of allowances
  • International visitor section if previously indicated citizenship as ‘Neither’
  • Signature

Note: UWM cannot provide advice on how to complete the W-4 form. Employees should be directed to the IRS withholding calculator or a tax specialist.

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