Automating pay runs allow users to not have to perform the pay run action themselves. Rather, the system does it automatically in the background. You can choose what components of a pay run you want automated and what components still require manual intervention.
Automating a Pay Schedule
To set up an automated pay schedule, go to Payroll Settings > Pay Schedules, and then click on the applicable pay schedule to view the pay schedule settings. Click on "here" to commence the setup wizard:
Step 1: Auto Pay Schedule Details
This screen details the pay run dates and timesheet import options. The details for each setting are as follows:
- Schedule first Pay Run creation on: This field will pre-populate with today's date and the upcoming hour. (Automated pay runs are scheduled on the hour). You can amend the date and time by clicking on the calendar icon.
Note: There may be a time delay as to when the pay run is finalised due to volume/size of the pay run. For example, if you have scheduled the pay run to be run at 3pm, this does not mean the pay run will be finalised at 3pm.
- Schedule last Pay Run creation: The value here always defaults to 'Never', which means that there is no end date to this automated pay schedule. If you do want to set an end date, click on the drop down to enter a date and time. If you do enter a date here, the pay schedule will convert to 'Manual' after that date. You will then be responsible for creating pay runs for this pay schedule yourself.
- For initial Pay Period Ending: If you have previously created pay runs for this pay schedule, the value that will appear here by default is the subsequent period end date of the last pay run created. If this is a newly created pay schedule or no pay runs have been created for this pay schedule, today's date will appear as the default value. Either way, you can always edit the date shown by clicking on the calendar icon.
- With initial Date Paid: If you have previously created pay runs for this pay schedule, the value that will appear here by default is the subsequent date paid of the last pay run created. If this is a newly created pay schedule or no pay runs have been created for this pay schedule, today's date will appear as the default value. Either way, you can always edit the date shown by clicking on the calendar icon.
- Timesheet import: If timesheets are enabled in the business, you will be provided with additional options for importing timesheets into the pay run:
- Timesheets for this pay period: This will include all approved timesheets applicable for the selected pay period.
- All unpaid timesheets up to dd/mm/yyyy: This will include all approved timesheets applicable for the pay period selected above as well as any other approved and unprocessed timesheets relating to previous pay periods.
- Don't import timesheets: Select this option if you are processing a pay run and do not want to import any approved timesheets.
- Run subsequent Pay Runs: This setting will only appear in pay schedules set on a monthly frequency. With this setting you can determine exactly when you want the pay run processed so that it is on a consistent day each month. You can choose it to be either (a) a specific date each month or (b) the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th day (of your choosing) of the week.
- Non work day Pay Runs: This setting will only appear in pay schedules set on a monthly frequency. There are 2 sub-settings here :-
"Process Pay Run on preceding work day if the Pay Run Creation Date falls on a weekend or public holiday": By ticking this checkbox, the pay run creation date (as set in the above setting) will automatically adjust to the preceding day if the original date ends up falling on a weekend or public holiday. It will then revert back to the original setting the following month, on the basis the date does not end up falling on a weekend or public holiday.
"Automatically adjust the Date Paid to the preceding work day if the Date Paid falls on a weekend or public holiday": By ticking this checkbox, the date paid will automatically adjust to the preceding day if the original date ends up falling on a weekend or public holiday. It will then revert back to the original setting the following month, on the basis the date does not end up falling on a weekend or public holiday.
Click on "Next" to then proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Warnings & Notifications
In this screen you can select the pay run warnings that will stop the automated pay run when triggered. Manual intervention will then be required to finalise the pay run. A detailed explanation of each pay run warning can be found here. By default, all pay run warnings will be selected (unless you have already deselected any pay run warnings from the pay schedule setting). If there are pay run warnings you do not want causing the automated pay run to stop then deselect them. Any warning that is selected will cause the pay run to stop.
Based on the screenshot below, only the following warnings will stop an automated pay run:
- Employee taking more leave than is accrued;
- Employee with unpaid earnings;
- Employee with negative earnings amount;
- Pending leave requests;
- Leave request extends past pay run dates;
- Leave request ends before pay run dates.
All other pay run warnings will be ignored and therefore not cause the automated pay run to stop.
It is important to note here that special attention should be made to what warnings are selected or not as it may have some impact to the pay run, specifically leave and expense requests. This article discusses how leave and expenses requests are treated in automated pay runs.
Also, please note that if you click the 'x' on the notification for a warning on the Warnings tab at the top of the pay run eg...
...this will change the automated pay schedule warning settings, i.e. that warning type will be ignored in future pay runs using that pay schedule.
The other setting on this screen is to select the users that will need to be notified:
- of any events causing a pay run to stop and thereby requiring manual intervention;
- of any post pay run errors, i.e. payroll journal not posting successfully;
- when the pay run has successfully finalised.
The only users that can be selected are those with full access permissions within the business from the pre-configured list (i.e. you cannot manually add a user in this field). The reason for this is that the email notifications sent include a link to the pay run and only full access users have the ability access pay runs. To select a user(s) from the pre-configured list, click within the field so the list appears. From there, click on each user you want to receive notifications.
Click on "Next" to then proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Pay Run Finalisation Options
In this screen, you will configure the level of automation for each component involved in finalising the pay run. If you have previously configured default pay run finalisation options for the specific pay schedule, these preferences will flow through and be shown in the pay run automation wizard.
Depending on pre-existing finalisation options, you will see something like the example below:
If you keep the setting as per the above screenshot, all other components will need to be processed manually. The users (selected in the previous step) will receive an email advising them the pay run is ready to be finalised. If, instead, you select the "Finalise Pay Run immediately" option, as mentioned previously, any pre-existing configurations will be shown, or, alternatively you can select the following additional finalisation options:
- Journals: This option will only appear if the business is connected to an online journal service and has a configured the Chart of Accounts. If you select to "Export journals immediately", the payroll journal will be posted automatically once the pay run is automatically finalised. The selected users will be notified via email if there is any issue with the journal posting. Alternatively, if you select the option to "Export journals manually", a full access user will be required to post the journal from within the pay run once the pay run is finalised.
- Submit pay run to HMRC: If you select to "Create immediately", the submission will be created automatically. The selected user(s) will be notified via email that the pay run is finalised and that they will now need to action the pay run. Alternatively, if you select the option to "Create pay event manually", a full access user will be required to create and lodge the submission from within the pay run.
- Publish Pay Slips: Choosing to "Make pay slips available to employees immediately" means that pay slips will be automatically published immediately at the time the pay run is finalised. Your other option is to "Make pay slips available on the Date Paid at 'x' (specified time)". This will ensure pay slips are automatically published at the time specified on the pay date of that pay run. Alternatively, if you select the option "Do not make pay slips available until the "Publish pay slips" button is clicked", a full access user will be required to publish the pay slips manually from within the pay run.
- Employee Notifications: This option will not appear if the Publish Pay Slips setting is "Do not make pay slips available until the "Publish pay slips" button is clicked".
- Pension settings: This option will appear if the business has a connection with PensionSync. The options are: Immediately / Manually / Date & time picker
- Report Packs: This option will only appear if there are report packs set up in the business. If you select "Run the following Report Packs", a list of all configured report packs will appear. You will then need to select which report packs are to be sent automatically once the pay run is finalised.
Please note the following:
- Report packs are sent to the recipient setup within the report pack setting, NOT the user(s) set up in Step 2 of this wizard. If you want the user(s) to be sent the report packs, you will need to add them as a recipient to the support pack. Instructions on how to edit a report pack can be found here.
- If a "?" icon appears to the right of a report pack name this indicates that the report pack is setup on a recurring schedule and so the recipients may receive it more than once - first time being once the pay run is finalised and second time being on the day/time scheduled in the report pack setup. You can still select that report pack as part of the automated pay run and edit the schedule in the report pack.
Click on "Next" to then proceed to Step 4.
Step 4: Summary
This section is purely a summary of all selected settings. This gives you the opportunity to review all choices. To make any changes, click on "Previous" till you get to the relevant screen that requires a change. You will then need to click on "Next" till you get to the last screen and then click on "Complete" to finish the setup.
The pay schedule will then appear as follows:
You must click on "Save" to ensure the automated pay schedule settings are saved.
Note: For clarification purposes, if an automated pay schedule is set up, you are still required to download BACS and/or payment file from the pay run, once finalised.
Stopping the Automation of a Pay Schedule
If you no longer want a pay schedule processed automatically, you will need to stop the automation. This will basically remove all automation settings and cannot be retrieved thereafter. To stop, and thereby delete, the automation of the pay schedule click on "Stop" (refer to above screenshot). You will then be asked to confirm you want the automation deleted:
Click on "Delete" and then "Save" - this will remove the automation for that pay schedule.
Pausing the Automation of a Pay Schedule
If you want to pause the automation of a pay schedule, say because you need to create a pay run for that pay schedule manually, click on "Pause" (refer to above screenshot) and then "Save". You will see there is now a "Resume" option in the pay schedule. You will need to click on this when you are ready to commence the automation again.
N.B. There will be no automated pay runs processed for that pay schedule whilst the pay schedule is in pause status.
If you have any questions or require further clarification, please send an email to email@example.com.