Table of Contents

Payroll Diagnostics

Nina Tchistiakova Updated by Nina Tchistiakova

Entering Payroll Data

There are two methods of entering checks in the payroll system. Users may change between the methods as desired by clicking the button above the Payroll grid. The default setting may be made on the Configuration Options screen or the Payroll Input Options screen. The two methods are:

Enter By Payee – This screen is used initially to add a new employee. It can also be used to view or edit existing employee setup information. All checks are displayed for one employee at a time.

Enter By Date – Click this button above the Payroll grid to use the Enter By Date mode. This method allows the user to enter checks for multiple employees for a particular pay date. All employee checks for that date are displayed at once.

When entering hours, fractional hours may be entered as a decimal (40.25) or by entering the minutes after the letter "m" (40m15 = 40.25).

Some general navigation keys for moving around in the payroll grid are listed below.

Home - takes user to the first column.

End - takes user to the last column.

Arrow keys - allow the user to navigate within the grid

Enter key - allows user to edit the current field.

 Options Menu

The options menu can be used to set various calculation options and to setup various layouts for the columns. The options menu is displayed by clicking the Options button above the Payroll grid.

 Auto duplicate check by matching wage

This option speeds data entry by allowing a user to duplicate a previous check after entering the first hours or wages field on the check. After the hours or wages are entered, the program looks back for the first check that matches the amount in that field (the W/H and UI state must match also). If a matching check is found, then the rest of the fields for that check are copied to the new check. The program will then recalculate the check to determine if wage limits have been reached for various fields if the Auto Recalc option is set. If the user does not want the system to automatically duplicate checks, then they should deselect "Auto duplicate check by matching wage". The default setting may be made on the Configuration Options screen or the Payroll Input Options screen.

 Auto recalc Deduction/Tax wage and W/H

This option calculates certain deduction and tax items automatically when data is entered into a field. When an income item is entered, both deductions and taxes are recalculated. When a deduction item is entered or overwritten, only tax items are recalculated. To be calculated, the deduction or tax item must be set as a Percentage or Fixed type and the rate or amount must be entered on the Deduction or Tax setup screen. The Live Payroll enhancement option also calculates the federal and state taxes. Variable deduction and tax items must be entered manually and are not calculated. While only certain types of deductions and tax items are calculated, the subject wage field associated with each item is always calculated. See the next Option for a description of the wage field. This wage field is necessary to determine limits that may be associated with Maximum Wage type deductions or taxes. If an employee is not subject to an item then both the amount and the associated wage field will be calculated as zero (the field will be blank). If the user does not want the system to automatically calculate social security, Medicare, etc. they should deselect "Auto recalc Deduction/Tax wage and W/H".

Note that if this option is deselected then the option to Display Wage Columns (Deduction/Tax) must be turned on because users will be required to enter the correct amount of wages for each deduction and tax item manually. The default setting may be made on the Configuration Options screen or the Payroll Input Options screen.

Two-place Fixed Decimal Data Entry

Select this option to enter data without typing the decimal point. The decimal point is assumed to be before the last two digits entered. The default setting may be made on the Configuration Options screen or the Payroll Input Options screen.

Live Payroll Setup (only available in Live Payroll option)

Live Payroll Setup helps users add the additional settings necessary to take advantage of certain Live Payroll features (calculation of wages from hours worked, calculation of federal and state income tax withholding).

 Paycheck Utilities

Paycheck Utilities allows the user to perform functions (recalculate, delete, export, etc.) on a group of the employer's checks at once.

 Payroll Diagnostics

This function checks the current employer, employees, and paychecks for missing or seemingly abnormal payroll settings. Potential problems for the employer and each employee are listed on the screen and can be printed. The program suggests methods for the user to correct each issue. CFS recommends that users run this function regularly for each employer after processing payroll data.

 Insert additional paycheck for employee (only visible in "Enter By Date" mode)

When entering paychecks in the payroll by date method, the user can insert an additional check for an employee with the same pay date by selecting "Insert additional paycheck for employee".

 Lock Selected Checks (only available in Live Payroll option)

Checks are automatically locked after they are printed. This menu item allows the user to manually lock the currently selected checks in the grid. The user selects a check in the grid by moving the focus rectangle to any field on the check with the mouse or keyboard. To select a range of checks with the current check as the first check in the range, hold down the SHIFT key and click on the last check in the range. Locked checks are protected from accidental recalculation and/or printing. Check locking/unlocking is only available in the Live Payroll option. Also see Paycheck Utilities.

Unlock Selected Checks (only available in Live Payroll option)

Checks are automatically locked after they are printed. This menu item unlocks the currently selected checks in the grid. The user selects a check in the grid by moving the focus rectangle to any field on the check with the mouse or keyboard. To select a range of checks with the current check as the first check in the range, hold down the SHIFT key and click on the last check in the range. Also see Paycheck Utilities.

 Display Wage Columns (Deduction/Tax)

Each deduction and tax item has an associated subject wages column. The column stores the amount of wages subject to that particular deduction or tax. For example, social security wages often are not the same as federal taxable wages. Since social security wages are limited to a maximum amount each year, this wage field will keep track of the wages for year-to-date purposes. The default setting may be made on the Configuration Options screen or the Payroll Input Options screen.

 CFS suggests that the subject wages columns be not visible. This is because, under normal circumstance, the wage amounts are calculated properly according to the setup screens and do not need to be overridden. Sometimes only small adjustments are necessary to the actual tax or deduction amount if it does not match the After-The-Fact amount. If the user wants to see or override the program calculated wages associated with deduction and tax items, select "Display Wage Columns (Deduction/Tax)". For example, the user could view the calculated social security wages. If the user elects not to have the program Auto recalc Deduction/Tax Wage and W/H, then the wages columns must be displayed because the user must enter the wage amounts manually. Several of the wage amounts are imported to Form W-2, such as social security, Medicare, state wages, local wages, etc.

Note that the wages associated with Federal Income Tax are an exception. They are displayed in the Taxable Comp. Field. This field is always calculated, is always displayed, and cannot be overridden by the user.

Display "Not Subject to" Item Columns

Normally, if an employee is not subject to an item and the box on the employee info screen is not checked, such as Social Security Tax, then the column for that item will not appear in the Payroll grid. If the user wants a "Not Subject Item" to appear in the grid, then select this option. To also display the wage column for this item, see the option above.

If data has been entered for the item, the column will still appear even if the employee is subsequently marked as "not subject to" the item. To make the column disappear, all data must be removed. The default setting may be made on the Configuration Options screen or the Payroll Input Options screen.

 Edit Default Payroll Input Options (All Clients)

This displays a dialog that allows the user to set defaults for several of the options listed on the Options menu. This dialog may also be accessed from the Configuration Options screen.

 View Layout

The column order (layout) of the payroll input screen can be changed by the user. There are 2 preset layout options available to choose from: Standard and Basic. The user should review the different layout options to determine which layout best serves their payroll input method. The user can also customize their own layout by dragging the columns to the order they want them to appear and then saving it as a custom layout. To move a column, click the column header and drag it to the new location. A vertical line indicates where the new column will be when the mouse is released.

Note that the date column must always be the first column when entering data By Payee.

 Saving Layouts

A different layout can be used for each employer by selecting "Save custom layout for this Client Only" or a layout can be selected as the default layout for all employers by selecting "Save as Default Custom Layout (All Clients)". The default layout to use for employers that don't have a custom layout saved can be set on the Configuration Options screen or the Payroll Input Options screen. If a layout is saved for a client, that layout will be used regardless of the overall default layout selected. The client's saved layout may be deleted by selecting "Delete Custom Layout for this Client".

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Payroll Data Grid shortcuts

Reordering the columns on the Payroll Data Grid

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