Setting Employee Opening Balances (Initial Values)

If you’re migrating your payroll, you'll most likely want to set the opening balances for the leave entitlements and the year to date payment figures for your employees. Importing your YTD payroll data will allow you to generate reports for the whole financial year.

To set up the opening balances for your employees, open the employee record that you wish to set the opening balances for and then select 'Opening Balances' on the left:


Within the Opening Balances screen, there are seven tabs:

  • Leave Balances
  • Earnings
  • Deductions
  • Employer Liabilities
  • Super & PAYG
  • Employment Termination Payments (ETPs)
  • STP

Leave Balances

When entering leave balances, enter the balance as at the point of transition to this payroll system (that is, as at the last pay run processed in your previous payroll system). Partial units are entered as a decimal (eg: 6.5 hours) rather than as HH:MM (eg: 6:30). If your previous payroll system only provided leave balances in hours and you want to convert the balance into days or weeks, refer to this article for instructions on how to do this.


Earnings are the year-to-date gross values for the financial year specified. If you need to change the Initial Financial Year, click the 'Opening Balances Settings' button at the top of the page. Earnings will be allocated to the employee's primary location (set via the employee's Pay Run defaults page) at the time the data has been entered.


Enter the year-to-date deduction amounts for the financial year specified. If the pre-tax deduction amount needs to be recorded as a Reportable Employer Super contribution (pre-tax deduction), you will need to check the 'Include on payment summary as RESC' checkbox accordingly if it is not already ticked. This will ensure the amount entered in this field is placed in the correct field on the employee's payment summary. 

Likewise, any deduction set as Member Voluntary Super (post-tax deduction) will need the 'Member voluntary super contribution' checkbox selected. This will ensure the amount entered in this field is recorded as part of an employee's super contributions.

 Employer Liabilities

If you were previously recording employer liabilities in your previous payroll system, you will be able to enter those YTD figures here. If you have not yet set up any employer liability categories, the following articles will help:

Creating and Managing Employer Liability Categories
Setting up Recurring Employer Liabilities

Super and PAYG

Enter the year-to-date tax withheld amounts. If your previous payroll system does not provide a breakdown of PAYG and STSL amounts you can enter the one figure in the 'PAYG Amount' field.

You should only enter an amount in the 'PAYG Method B (ii) Amount' field if you had previously paid an employee a lump sum payment and used the Method B (ii) formula to calculate their PAYG. This amount needs to be separated from the 'PAYG Amount' as it affects the calculation of PAYG for any subsequent lump sum payments made using this method in this payroll system. As such, this amount should be excluded from the 'PAYG Amount' field.

With regards to SG contributions, ensure you do not include any salary sacrifice super and/or member voluntary amounts in this section; rather, these must be added in the Deductions tab. Additionally, any SG amounts in Opening Balances cannot be processed through our inbuilt clearing house integration. If you have any amounts not yet processed (because you have moved to this payroll system mid-month or mid-quarter) you will need to create an ad-hoc pay run and enter these amounts - they will then be picked up when submitting super via 'Super Payments'. (N.B. If you do create a special pay run for SG contributions, ensure the amounts are not included in the employee's Opening Balances as the amounts will be overestimated on the employee's pay slip and on payroll reports). 

 Employment Termination Payments 

If you are migrating terminated employees' data across to this payroll system, you can include ETP data so that you only need to access one system for reporting and payment summary purposes. You are able to select the following ETP payments:

  • Type R - e.g. genuine redundancy, early retirement scheme, invalidity, compensation
  • Type O - other ETP payments not included in Type R
  • Type S - where a Type R ETP was made in a previous financial year and another ETP is made in the current financial year relating to the same termination
  • Type P - where a Type O ETP was made in a previous financial year and another ETP is made in the current financial year relating to the same termination

Take note of the field 'Generate ETP Payment Summary'. The default value is 'No' - if you leave this option as is, the employee's ETP Payment Summary will not be published and so the employee will not have access to it. If you change the value to 'Yes', the employee's ETP Payment Summary will automatically publish and they will be able to access this via their employee portal. 


This tab displays the STP Payroll ID, which is the employee identifier used when transmitting data to the ATO. By default, an employee's STP Payroll ID is identical to their employee ID (ie the system generated employee ID, as opposed to the External ID). 

The employee's STP Payroll ID can be changed only if it meets the requirements of Scenario 2, Option 2 detailed in this transition article and the BMS ID of the employee's employing entity has changed. If there is no "Change" button in the employee's STP Payroll ID field then the BMS ID has not been changed and therefore there is no ability to change the employee's STP Payroll ID.

Importing Opening Balances

If you have a large number of employees, you can bulk import their opening balances. To access the template spreadsheet, click on 'Opening Balances Settings' at the top of the page, then click 'Export'. Refer to this article for more information.

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