Payroll Expense Transfer Uploader (Form PETU)


The Payroll Expense Transfer Uploader (PETU) is used to transfer expenses from one chartstring to another. In order to be transferred the expenses must appear in the Distribution of Payroll Expense report in MyReports.

The PETU cannot be used to transfer:

The PETU cannot be used to increase or decrease the total number of hours, or the pay type. Submit a request to your HR Generalist (campus) or submit a Time Maintenance Form (UCSF Health) to request these types of corrections.

Separation of Control Requirement

University policy and Uniform Guidance require that no one person has complete control over all aspects of a financial transaction. Be sure to follow appropriate separation of controls when preparing, approving, and submitting a PETU.

Using the Payroll Expense Transfer Uploader (PETU)

Step 1: Other Department(s) Concurrence

Obtain and retain concurrence from any unit outside of your financial responsibility that will be affected by the expense transfer that you will submit.

For example, if you are transferring a payroll expense from Cell and Tissue Biology to the Department of Cardiology, ensure that Cardiology agrees with the transfer and has verified that you are using the correct chartstring. Best practice is to retain any approval emails or other communications in case questions arise.

Step 2: Distribution of Payroll Expense (DPE) Report

In MyReports, run a Distribution of Payroll Expense (DPE) Report to retrieve the expense lines that you need to correct:

  1. Choose a range of one or more months, or a fiscal quarter, in the Report Date Filters section. The default is the most recent closed month.

    Enter other parameters to narrow the results, such the employee’s name, a Dept ID(s), or other chartstring values.

    Be sure that you have selected the correct Business Unit (BU). The default BU is SFCMP.

  2. Run the DPE by Pay Period, not Accounting Period.  This will display all payroll lines for the specified payroll period and help you more easily determine whether or not the expenses have already been transferred.


    Once you have entered your filter parameters, select Excel in the Report Output Selection and Run Report.


    If you prefer to preview your results on screen, select On Screen HTML (default) and Run Report. After you review your report, export the report to Excel using the Excel icon at the top of the report page header

Step 3: Data from the DPE Report

In the second (Distribution of Payroll Expense) tab of the resulting Excel report, select the rows for the expenses that you need to transfer. Be sure to start from the left margin to select the whole row. Do not include column headings. For example, do not select rows 5 or 6 in the example below.


You may select a group of rows or individual, non-adjacent rows.

Step 4: DPE Input Tab

Copy the rows from the DPE Report and paste them into the DPE Input tab in the PETU, starting with cell A2:


Copy and paste additional rows into the spreadsheet as needed for all expenses that need correction. It is important that you:

  • Do not leave blank rows between rows of expenses
  • Do not edit or format the data that you have pasted into the sheet
  • Do not add any additional information
  • Do not eliminate or add any columns

Step 5: Debit Input Tab

On the Debit Input tab, you will see that the data you pasted from the DPE is automatically populating the gray “Transfer From” Data area on the left side of the sheet.

For each line that must be transferred, in the “Transfer To” Data section on the right side of the sheet enter the corresponding chartstring and Transfer Gross information. Note that Transfer Hrs / % and Transfer Benefits fields are derived from the Transfer Gross amount that you enter and cannot be edited.

To transfer a portion of the original expense, enter the correct amount to transfer in the Transfer Gross column in the "Transfer To" Data section on the right. 


Business Unit (BU) designators: You must indicate the BU for each expense that you are transferring. The payroll system and PETU can only accept single-character BU designators, and only certain BUs are supported. These are:

Business Unit Designator

Error handling: The workbook will check for common data entry errors. These appear in red on the right side:


The workbook does not validate chartfield combinations. Please ensure that your chartstrings are valid and make any necessary corrections before submitting the PETU workbook.

Lines with Zero Gross: If a line on the DPE has 0.00 for the Original Gross earnings, you can transfer the full Original Benefits amount by entering 0.00 for the Transfer Gross. You cannot transfer partial benefits in these cases. If you need to transfer partial benefits off a line with zero Original Gross, you can do so with a financial journal, but this is rarely necessary.

Step 6: Debit Input Tab Header

When you have completed the Debit Input tab, fill out the Header information. All fields are required.

In the Business Purpose field, explain why the correct funding source was not originally charged. State concisely how and/or why the charges shown in the DPE are in error and how the PETU properly adjusts them.

For PETUs involving sponsored research payroll expenses:

  • It is not sufficient to merely state that the transfer was made “to correct an error” or "to transfer to correct a project”; and
  • It is not allowable to transfer costs from one Project to another, or from one competitive segment to the next solely to cover cost overruns.

Step 7: Attachment E Tab

If the PETU will debit a Federal or Federal flow through award, complete the Attachment E tab.

Step 8: Approvals Tab

All payroll expense transfers including those processed using a PETU form, must be authorized by the appropriate administrative official(s). Responsibility for authorizing expense transfers rests with the fund manager in the administrative unit. The fund manager's responsibilities include reviewing and approving General Ledger transactions to make sure they are prepared accurately, completely, and in compliance with UC policies, federal guidelines, and contract-specific guidelines.

Document departmental approval of the PETU by typing the authorized approver’s name on the Approvals tab. This is considered sufficient evidence of approval. If you believe that a stronger electronic signature is warranted, retain the email message used to route the PETU Excel workbook to the approver in message format (not PDF or text format) and attach it as a supporting document to the email you use to submit the PETU. Do not use DocuSign (or any similar process) to submit a PETU.

Step 9: Submitting the completed PETU

After obtaining all necessary approvals, email the PETU workbook to [email protected].

  1. Include “PETU” in the email subject line for faster processing.
  2. Attach the PETU workbook to the email.
    Data contained in your PETU workbook is uploaded for system processing. For this procedure to work, the PETU must be in Excel format. Converting the PETU to PDF or any other format, including using DocuSign or other electronic signature system, will cause fatal errors and your transfers will not be processed.

The email submitting the PETU will automatically generate a ServiceNow ticket. The ServiceNow ticket is the official record of your request. The originating division or unit should ensure that the submitted PETU file has properly completed, including all justifications and approvals.

If you have questions about preparing or submitting a PETU, contact the Controller’s Office Solution Center.