Master Payroll Certification User Guide

This Users Guide provides general guidelines and processing procedures for online Master Payroll Certification.

Online Master Payroll Certification (MPC) Introduction


Process Prerequisites/Assumptions:

MPC Prerequisites/Assumptions

The Master Payroll Certification process complies with the State Administrative Manual requiring state agencies to maintain records of certification or approval for each salaried employee during each pay period. These records must be approved by authorized department Approvers, which indicates fiscal responsibility by the department budget for this payroll activity. Master Payroll Certification may impact the issuance of payroll warrants (pay checks) and is subject to State and local audits. Certification or approvals are required to be completed by the deadlines listed on the University Payroll Calendar. If certifications are not completed by deadline, salaried employee pay may not issue, or may not issue correctly.

Certification or approval of Master Payroll is the process of approving both attendance (number of days) and job information for each employee by authorized department Approvers for each pay period. This is a process that is different and separate from Time and Labor and Absence Management, which is record-keeping and approval of hourly paid time or leave time.

The Master Payroll Certification online page displays a list of active employees during a specific pay period. Current job information is reflective of any changes that have been received and processed in SOLAR HR since the last MPC cycle. The MPC page is updated twice a month, in two “runs” or snapshots of applicable employee job data during the pay period. These processes are known as the Initial Run and Final Run.

The Initial and Final Runs capture a snapshot of employee data as of the run date. This includes hires, separations, docks, leaves of absence without pay - any transaction that might affect whether a salaried employee is to be paid and for how many days and/or hours.

This also includes data that has been entered through the Part Time Faculty and Absence Management modules (dock time), as well as entries by HR staff from department submitted documentation. Documentation received later than the Initial and Final Run dates would not have been entered in the system and would not be reflected on the MPC page.

Department MPC Reviewers and Approvers must evaluate MPC for accuracy, approving only those rows of information that are correct. Approvers cannot self-approve (or self-certify), therefore there must be at least two Approvers for each department ID.

Both runs require attention by both the Reviewer and the Approver. After the Final Run, there is one business day to complete the certification process and submit any exception information to Payroll.

The MPC process for a specific pay period culminates when payroll issues for those employees for which Master Payroll Certifications were approved by their designated departments.

NOTE: The terms “approve” and “certify” are used interchangeably throughout this document.


Security Access

Campus departments are responsible for identifying individuals responsible to review and/or approve the Master Payroll.

Reviewers have access to view Master Payroll data by department ID, as well as the capability to add comments to the MPC page. The Reviewer assists the Approver by evaluating attendance records (such as docked time) and change of employment transactions for employees within the department (e.g. hires, separations, etc.) to prepare data for certification. The Reviewer does not have access to approve MPC.

Approvers are responsible to review, add comments, and approve employee data by department ID for each pay period. Individuals who key transactions into the Part Time Faculty module or is a Timekeeper for Time and Labor/Absence Management cannot concurrently be assigned as an MPC Approver. Approvers cannot certify their own records. Another Approver designee must certify. Approvers should plan in advance for transfer of responsibilities with alternate Approvers to cover scheduled time off. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, the department should contact Payroll at x2101.

All Time and Labor/Absence Management Timekeepers and Approvers are automatically granted access to view MPC to the same departments they have access to for Time and Labor/Absence Management.

To obtain or delete access for identified roles, the SOLAR HR Access Form must be completed and submitted for each individual with appropriate authorized signatures to Human Resources, University Hall Room #165, mail drop #8229.


Payroll Calendar


MPC activities occur each pay period and are indicated on the University Payroll Calendar with symbols to indicate the dates of the Initial Run, Final Run, and last day to approve (also referred to as “certify”).

Payroll Calendar Dates

Symbol definitions are listed to the left of the calendar.

MPC Runs



Menus & Navigation

Reviewers & Approvers can access the MPC page through the myNorthridge portal Staff homepage.

Navigation: myNorthridge > Human Resources/Manager pagelet
Reviewers use the View Master Payroll link.
Approvers use the Certify Master Payroll link.

MPC Portal Menu

The search page will display. Enter the department ID desired in the field marked Group ID, and the pay period end date if known as shown below.

If the Pay Period End Date is unknown, leave the field blank and click on the yellow Search button. A list of pay period end dates will show. Choose the latest date (top row) and the requested Master Payroll page will display.

Certify Master Pay View



Fields & Definitions

Listed below are fields that are displayed on the MPC page along with the corresponding definitions.

Both Reviewers and Approvers are expected to verify the accuracy of the data displayed for their department(s) prior to approving each employee’s record.

Fields and Definitions

This information is displayed in columns. The rows are listed alphabetically by employee last name, as shown below.

Employee Alphabetically


The MPC view contains multiple pages and filters to sort categories of certification.

When the page is accessed, the opening view is the Initial Run. The Run Date displays corresponding to the calendar date of the run process. If the Final Run has completed, there will be a second page to view. Click the right-facing arrow to view the Final Run page.

MPC Initial Run


The Filtering Options offer views of selected data. See filtering options and their functions explained in the table below.

Filtering Options


Filtering Options

When using the filtering features, return to the complete list by clicking the Show All button found at the bottom of the page.


Viewing Options

The banner at the top of the information display includes other screens and methods for reviewing information.

In the example below, there are thirty-nine (39) employees listed for MPC, but only the first fifteen (15) are shown. Use the View All button to show all employees on one page, or move to the next set of 15 by clicking on the right pointing arrow.

Viewing Options

Additionally there are two tabs shown in the display below the navigation banner.

Viewing Options

The page defaults to the MPWA Data tab (Master Payroll Warrant Authorization). 
The Comments tab displays a subset of the MPWA Data (EmplID, Rcd, and Name) as well as the Comment field.

The grid-like, expandsion icon  MPC Iconopens both the MPWA Data and Comments tabs simultaneously across one display (see below).

MPC Viewing Options

Another option for reviewing data is to download displayed data onto an Excel spreadsheet. Find and click on the download grid icon and a File Download window will appear to open or save the download.

MPC Selection Arrow The page must be expanded to download data from both pages.

Note: If your Internet browser has a pop-up blocker program enabled, hold down the control key while simultaneously clicking on the download icon to bypass the blocker.



Campus Approvers “certify” or approve the employee records for their department(s) by placing a check mark in the column marked “Correct” on the Certify Master Payroll page.

The check mark is placed next to each employee’s name to indicate agreement that the employee should receive a pay warrant for that specific pay period within those specific job conditions as displayed (department ID, job code, hours worked, hours docked, etc.).

Certify Master Payroll

Approve ONLY when all information displayed is accurate. If any one of the displayed pieces of information is NOT accurate, do NOT approve. This does not mean that the employee will not receive pay; instead, it is an alert to Payroll to contact the department to determine the amount of time for which the employee is to be paid, when pay is due. It is also to determine if an employee is NOT due any pay for that pay period.

Employment conditions may possibly change from one pay period to the next. Employees may be placed on leaves of absence (paid or unpaid) or may be “docked” for time not worked and without paid leave time. This may or may not occur with the first day of the pay period, and thus may only earn partial pay for the period. In many cases, these transactions are entered in time for the Master Payroll Certification Initial or Final Run, and are reflected in the MPC display by showing only a number of days to be paid.

Mid-Month Changes:

In other instances, reassignments from one department ID to another may display on MPC in one or the other department ID, depending on the date of the transaction entry and the date of MPC processing. If this type of transaction is not entered into the system in time for the MPC processes, the display will show a full or “standard” pay warrant is scheduled for the employee in the former department. However, the Approver for the former department should NOT certify the employee’s information because it is not accurate. The new department should submit an exception form to Payroll because the employee was not listed on their MPC.

NOTE: When reviewing MPC data, please pay special attention to non-typical employment situations. Use the Non-Standard filter to easily identify those individuals flagged to receive partial or no pay. When using any of the filters, remember to use the “Show All” button at the bottom of the page to display all the rows of information and ensure all rows have been reviewed.

Process Steps

1. Access the MPC page by visiting myNorthridge portal home page. From the Human Resources/Manager pagelet, click the appropriate link for your access as Reviewer (View Master Payroll) or Approver (Certify Master Payroll).

View Master Payroll

2. Enter a specific Department ID (in the field labeled Group ID) and pay period end date, then click the yellow Search button and the MPC page will display.

If the end date is unknown, leave blank and click on Search for a list of Pay Period End Dates. Click the desired date (blue and underlined) and the MPC page will display.

MPC Find Existing Values

3. Verify the page is the Initial or Final Run by reviewing the Run Date.

CSU Certify Master Payroll

4. Open the desired tab (MPWA Data, Comments, or both using the expansion icon Right Arrow, and choose your viewing option (view all, or in groups of 15).

5. Evaluate each column of information per employee for accuracy, including whether the employee should receive a full or “standard” pay warrant which is a full month’s pay.

6. Add comments in the open comment box when NOT approving, or to alert Payroll to additional information. Click on the Comments tab, or the expansion icon to display the comment field.

MPWA Data Tab

7. If satisfied with information displayed, Approvers must check mark the column labeled Correct for each employee. If the information is not correct, do not check mark the column labeled Correct.

  1. If ALL employee information is correct, Approvers may use the yellow Certify All button at the bottom of the page. CERTIFY ALL
  2. Use the DESELECT ALL button to clear or undo the approval for all employees.
  3. SAVE entries by clicking the yellow Save button.  SAVE



Any displayed MPC information that is NOT accurate as of the current month is identified as an exception. Approvers are not to approve any employees whose data is not accurate. Exceptions require the departments to enter brief explanations within the module in available comment boxes on the MPC display page.

In the example below, the Approver did NOT certify this employee’s information because the display indicates the employee worked 16 days, but the department records reflect only 15 days worked. Payroll will review this comment, and contact the department to clarify the proper pay this employee is to receive.

 MPC Days Worked

Employees whose names are NOT reflected on the display page and are expected to be paid require completion and submission of the MPC Exception Form.  The completed form is faxed to Payroll Administration at x5870.

Original MPC Exception Forms are to be retained within the department for a period of four years.

MPC Exception Form

Help With MPC

Additional assistance is available from Payroll at X2101.