Thursday, August 12, 2010

In Defense of Classes (Payroll)

Delayed in Tampa, I thought I would take the opportunity to deliver on my promise to write about the benefits of employee classes after my earlier post regarding item classes. Normally, I will ask a client if they categorize their employees for reporting or if they pay their employees in specific groups, as the answer to both of these questions can help inform the set up of employee classes in payroll. Payroll has a lot of reporting capability by class, including period end reports (Reports>>Payroll>>Period End). But you can also process a payroll by employee classes, by restricting the build process to a specific class (Transactions>>Payroll>>Build Checks).

Now, just like other classes you can provide a variety of defaults like department, position, and location, but a few of the defaults are of particular importance in my experience.

  • SUTA State and Workers Comp Code: These values appear on the employee card (Cards>>Payroll>>Employee) but then default from the employee card to employee pay code maintenance (Cards>>Payroll>>Pay Code). If these values are not populated accidentally on the employee, and do not default on the pay code, there will no warnings or errors when you process payroll. But when you check your SUTA wages, or try to post your workers comp liabilities, you will find that the wages were not probably tracked. Avoid this dilemma but putting these values at the class level, and if you do not have the need for other types of categories you can divide your classes by SUTA state and/or workers comp code.
  • Accrue Vacation and Accrue Sick check boxes: If these are not marked, regardless of whether the accrue options are marked in employee pay code maintenance, vacation and sick time will not be accrued. Mark them at the class level, and you can ensure they will default as marked in employee maintenance (Cards>>Payroll>>Employee). Everyone wants their vacation and sick time, so avoid the mistake of inadvertently not accruing the time for an employee.

But my favorite is the Employee Class Code Setup window (Tools>>Setup>>Payroll>>Employee Classes>>Codes). And I would love to insert a screenshot of the window here, but the airport internet connection is not cooperating, so I will attempt to explain the window.

You can select to add Pay Codes, Benefits, Deductions, State Taxes, and Local Taxes to the class by selecting the type of code and inserting it in to the Assigned Codes list from the Available Codes list. By doing this, employees assigned to the class will receive these codes as defaults which can be a huge timesaver in a variety of instances like:

  • All employees are in one state and need to be assigned to one state tax code, or employees are in different states and employee classes are divided based on state. This ensures that employees have a default state tax record.
  • Classes are divided by type of employee, and all employees in the NONEXEMPT class use the SALARY pay code and others.
  • A specific class of employees all get the same basic deductions and/or benefits.

Another feature of this option is that if you later remove a code from the Assigned Codes list, you will be asked if you want to inactivate the code for all employees in the class. This is very handy when using switching pay codes, or when you need to inactivate a code for an entire group of employees. And adding a code gives you the option to assign it to all current members of the group.

And, don't forget, you can also easily assign codes to individual employees as well using Cards>>Payroll>>Quick Assignment.

So I hope you can see how the use of employee classes in GP can increase payroll accuracy and also ease the setup of a new employee. If you want other payroll speed tips, check out my earlier post on Speedy, Speedy Payroll Entry.


Dynamics Confessor said...

Thank you for defending the Class!

This is among the most overlooked feature in payroll.


Christina Phillips said...

I agree completely! But then when you show people the actual benefit of it, they almost always wish they had used them from the beginning.

Lisa Gregory said...

Do you know why the Codes button would be greyed out on the Employee Class Setup window?

Christina Phillips said...

Mark sure "Payroll View for HR" is marked for the users in Admin Page>Setup>System>User.

K M Dhariwal said...

In South African install, employee class field doesn't exist on Employee Master. Even though one can create Employee Class in setups. There is no way to link the Employee to a class. Strange... Pointless having classes if one cant link it. Unless there is a checkbox somewhere in the system which will enable and show the employee class field on Employee Maintenance.

No customisations - stock standard GP install.

Screenshot link: