Where’s my Check?

10.24.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

Working in the Campus Ministry office, I have experience as to how I receive my paycheck. I submit my time sheet every two weeks just like every other employee at Stonehill. That amounts to twenty-six weeks of payment. For hundreds of employees-from the political science professor to the cleaning guy in Duffy at 9:00 pm to Fr. Mark Cregan-this means that a lot of paper is used to pay everyone.

But wait, how come I never receive my check? Simple. I do not actually receive a physical check. In order to make everyone’s lives easier, the college payroll is now 100% electronic. Every employee has their check directly deposited into their checking or saving account with their bank. There is no paper or waste at all, period.

So what are the benefits of this policy? Of course, this policy is environmentally-friendly. It reduces the use of paper. It saves trees. It eliminates waste. However, what about people who do not care about the environment. Where’s the benefit to them? Once again, this is a simple answer. It saves money.

By reducing the use of paper, the college has done itself a decent service by saving resources. These resources, like everything else in the world, have a cost. By not using up the resource of paper, Stonehill is in fact saving money (and a lot of it) by handling this sort of financial activity electronically. But what of the paper company? Are they losing because of this policy?

Technically, yes. They do not receive Stonehill’s business as much due to the fact that Stonehill is not purchasing more paper. However, there is a problem with this analysis. Since Stonehill does not consume more paper than it may have if such activity were not completely electronic, the paper company does not need to spend as much money to acquire the paper in the first place. Since the demand for paper has dropped, the quantity of paper needed by the paper company has also decreased. Therefore, the company does not to spend as much of its own money to get paper from other productive sectors in the economy. Therefore, the paper company may win or lose depending on the drop in demand, but Stonehill is gaining more than the paper company is losing, if they are losing at all. Therefore, from Stonehill’s perspective, this payment policy is a win-win. For the paper company, it can also be a win-win as long as they understand the price mechanism and the supply and demand shifts in the economy. If knowledge in prices can be achieved by all parties, then the result is a win-win for everyone.

So if you work on campus and you do not know where your check is, then you should look at your email. Chances are it will already be in your bank account, and both our wallets and our environment will be happy to know that.

Leave a Reply