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Posts Tagged ‘payroll’

Oh no, not a salary increase!

Written by michielvandenarend on . Posted in Exact Online

It is not a yell you hear a lot. Maybe you have never heard it. But in some departments you can hear it…the payroll administrators who have to enter the new wages into the system.

It can be a lot of work. Search for the employee, open the payroll data, select the gross salary component, update the amount, save the changes and then start again with the next employee.

Of course we understand the payroll administrators, but we also know that employees like to get a salary increase. Therefore we created a tool to update the salaries quickly and easily. And not only changes in salaries, but also changes of manager, location and other payroll components like net allowances or bonuses.

In the mass update-tool, you can change employee data for all (or a selection of) employees in three clicks. First select the employees and the subject you want to update. But you can also select all employees, because you can exclude them for a change in the next step.

 

Here you see a percentage increase of the salary with 2,5% as from 01-09-2011. By the way, the amounts are rounded up to 0,50 cents.

In the next step, you can deselect some employees so the will not get a salary increase. You also can change the new amount manually. So when you have an increase without any logic, you can start with an increase of an amount of 0,00. In the grid, you can enter the new wages manually for all employees in one page.

Same logic is available for increasing (or decreasing) other payroll components. As said before, it is also possible to update your employee data, like manager or mail addresses.

So with this tool, I hope that everybody likes salary increases as from now!

Collect your payroll documents

Written by michielvandenarend on . Posted in Exact Online

At the end of a payroll period, when the calculation is done, the payroll slips are checked and the tax declaration is sent, it is time to collect a range of documents together that need to be sent to the customer.

Usually, a checklist (sometimes a list per customer) is used to ensure that nothing is forgotten. Once all the relevant documents have been collected, they can be sent to the customer who will print them out, give them to their employees (payroll slips) or store them in an archive.

Is it possible to facilitate the process described above, so that it is less time-consuming and less error-prone? Of course! In Exact Online Payroll, you can collect your relevant document in PDF in the period-document. This document can then be sent easily via mail to the customer. However, it is even more efficient is to give the customer access to their administration, so they can get the documents themselves.

You can collect the relevant documents together very easily. To start with, you can define the documents, derived from the calculation, in the settings.

 

In this case, the payroll slips, payment advice list, total journal item and a bank file are linked to the period document. Note that you can use these settings to define which documents are relevant for each one of your administrations.

After processing the calculation, the declaration to the tax authority and/or a third party (pension fund) must be done. In the last step of creating a declaration, it is possible to enable the option to link a summary of the declaration to a period document.

When all processes are finished, you simply go to the period document and click the email button. The collected documents are sent to your customer. If you do not want to send an email, just agree with the customer that on the last day of the payroll period, all relevant documents can be found in Exact Online, all collected in one document. Easy and efficient!

In control with the Payroll process overview

Written by michielvandenarend on . Posted in Exact Online

A hundred customers – a hundred different wishes, needs and agreements. Customer A wants his payroll slips on the 23rd of the month, customer B wants his salary payments completed on every 19th of the month while customer C wants to declare (and pay) his tax declaration on the last possible day.

How can you keep everyone happy? Just saying to your customers that it’s not possible to do it their way will certainly not please them. We are living in a world where the customer is the king, and most of them know it! If they can’t have something that fits their needs, it’s quite simply not good enough. Give them what they want – or they’ll go elsewhere!

It is your and our challenge to meet all those expectations. And for your financial health, you want to handle those different processes as efficiently as possible.

We think that the payroll process overview will really help you guarantee quality, on-time delivery by providing insight into all your customers (administrations) and the actions which need to be taken.

Based on the dates agreed with your customer (when the payroll transactions have to be created, the payment has to be done and the tax declaration has to be sent) you’ll now have a clear overview on the status of each process per payroll period.

The dates can be entered per administration in the period date table. When a deadline approaches, the bar becomes increasingly redder. The status will also change from ‘On schedule’ to ‘Requires attention’ to ‘Exceeded’. This way you have a good overview of what has to be done and importantly, when it has to be done.

Furthermore, the payroll process overview is not just an overview, but is also a tool to navigate to the payroll tasks across different administrations. It is also possible to generate actions for multiple periods and multiple administrations at the same time – like calculating payroll transactions, processing them, sending payroll slips to your customers and tax declarations to the tax authority.

The payroll process overview is just one of the tools we have created to help you deliver consistent quality to your customers. We invite you to have a look and give your feedback, like the addition of any specific information and/or actions that would add value for you. Thanks!

Payroll Process Automation: Payroll efficiency in an e-world

Written by John Dijns on . Posted in Exact Online

The world is changing and we all know it. The internet is changing the way we work, live and the way our society works. The implication of being connected 24/7 via our mobile devices has an impact on our mindset and expectations.

People nowadays get annoyed if you don’t reply to their e-mail the same day and wonder if you’re okay when you don’t reply to a text message within the hour.  And it’s not just our friends that we treat this way. We also expect real time response from the companies we interact with and whose services we pay for – like your payroll service provider (PSP). The acceptable margin for error has in the same process been reduced. With the current level of IT integration in our lives we expect agreements to be met in the way we agreed them – not what we almost agreed on.  To increase the challenge, we can also see that a greater transparency in the payroll service market is putting pressure on prices, thus further increasing the need for efficiency. How will we manage? Assuming that a workday still has 8 hours, things must change in order for us to support real time communication with our clients and still improve our efficiency. An answer is Payroll Process Automation.

Let’s consider the payroll routing as a logistic process. This is possible for almost any process where information from point A is transformed and routed to point B. For Payroll this means starting at the entry of variable mutations and ending at the sending of the period documents (like payslips, a payment advice list and the financial entries) to the client of the PSP.

The start of this process should be triggered by the party providing the information, in this case the client. After the client approves his entries (in Exact Online Payroll the client can already preview the payslips) the PSP can go ahead and check the calculation. If happy he can either ask the client for approval or immediately finalize the calculation. Upon finalizing he starts the remaining, completely automated part of the process.

The thought is that all agreements made between the PSP and the client are entered into the application so that, all other things being normal, repeated actions can be automated. The PSP and client should always remain in control but shouldn’t have to spend time on processes that don’t really need their attention. A lot of steps are therefore setup to initiate the next one automatically, improving overall efficiency and reducing the chance of error. The PSP can then spend more time advising his client or reduce the marginal costs per payslip.

In Exact Online Payroll we are working towards delivering this vision. Many steps are already or will soon be available. Currently we are testing steps 6, 7 8 and 9 – the steps that allow delivery of payroll output to be completely automated. We will release them before the end of 2010. Only steps 4 and C remain, allowing the customer to approve the draft output and possibly start the finalizing of the payroll period. These last additions will be available in 2011 and complete the full automation of the payroll process.

We are very excited about this development and love sharing this with you. If you feel you would like to know more about this, don’t hesitate to ask for a demo!

        

(The above QR codes can be read with an app on your smartphone. More info on QR codes can be found here.)

Photo credit: R o s e n d a h l

Flying start with Exact Online Payroll

Written by michielvandenarend on . Posted in Exact Online

When changing administration software-suppliers or even between products from one supplier, it is important to define the best time for the transition. Considerations include: do we have enough time to get familiar with the new solution? Are there consequences for my tax declarations? What does my accountant suggest? And so on.

The most common date to change solutions is the January 1st. A new year is started and in the financial administration the profit is booked from the profit and loss account to the balance. When you change software, the opening balance must be entered into the new system, as well as the remaining outstanding items.

When we look at payroll solutions specifically, January 1st is also usually the date of choice – with cumulative calculation and declarations (corrections) the main reasons behind it.

Once the decision to change has been made, manually copying the master data into the new solution is usually the greatest challenge. When you are lucky, a conversion function is available to convert all the information. However, in most cases all data is copied across – including (ancient) historical periods, employees who left the company ages ago and a host of other entirely redundant data. That said, it can sometimes be useful to transfer all the existing data that you have.

Other companies decide to start with a ‘fresh’ administration. In this case, a lot of master data still has to be copied (manually or via a conversion). It is a boring and time-consuming job. And the main problem in December and January is often the same everywhere: lack of time.

So, with the end of the year fast approaching, we wanted to support a ‘fresh’ start when changing your payroll-solution. To do this we’ve been developing an import which converts all active employees and most of their employment data. Based on the tax declaration (xml-file), we can automatically enter the employee, tax agency and other specific employment data into Exact Online Payroll.

It’s going to be available very soon. It will be built into the ‘new administration’-wizard. When you chose to set up your administration via a template for a commercial company, it is possible to select a tax declaration-file. At the moment it is only possible to select a tax declaration file for 2010, although it will of course be possible to select a file for 2011 next year.

After selecting the file and entering the company data (in the second phase, the company data will be automatically retrieved from the tax declaration as well), all relevant data is created in your new administration. The financial (general ledger links, journals, etcetera) and payroll master data is completed for you. After the company is created, the wages must then be entered (unfortunately, this cannot be retrieved from the tax declaration), as well as other payroll components like saving allowance, net allowances and other employee specific payroll components. By the way, the collective labor agreement-components are already linked (when the CLA is supported by Exact Online Payroll).

Once the bank accounts are linked to the employees, the payroll administration is ready for use. All in all it will take about 10 minutes per employee – definitely a flying start!

If you would like to know any more about this or any other Exact Online Payroll functionality, please do get in touch.

Beep…beep…Here’s your payroll slip

Written by Martijn Boeser on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Online, Exact Synergy

Last week the tax department let us know that your payroll slip will be so compact and simple in the future that it can be sent by SMS or as tweet.  This news relates to the new law that will come into effect from 2013 and make it possible to simplify the payroll slip. In previous blogs I already mentioned the need for this and finally a number of steps are being taken towards it.

The new law intends to make the payroll calculation simpler and improve the readability of the payroll slip. Also it will reduce the handling costs of employers. So let’s have a look at how this new future simple payroll slip will look and if it really fits on a text message.

The Dutch government wants to reach the simplification goal by firstly introducing one base for both payroll tax and the insurances. In the current situation there are three bases: wage for employee insurances (Loon voor sociale verzekeringen), wage for health insurance (Bijdrageloon voor Zorgverzekeringswet) and wage for payroll tax (Loon voor loonheffing). All these wages will be merged in one base covering all the payroll taxes and insurances. A number of measures are necessary to reach this goal and the law to handle this has now been passed and will come into effect as of 2013. The payroll slip that you receive then could be as follows:

The next step will be for the government to work towards one tax percentage over the total wage of the company. This will mean that the employee will not be charged individually anymore but the employer will be charged for all employees over the total wage. Further details about how this will work in practice are not known yet, but in this was the case, the payroll slip could look as follows and indeed be sent via a text message.

The above examples are really simple payroll slips without any components other than the salary. As such, more lines would probably be printed. That said, it is still simpler than the current situation. And concerning the simplicity: there are still a lot of collective labor agreements and pension funds that will complicate things. So to reach the ultimate goal, something must also change in the minds of the pension funds and the branch organizations.

The last thing I would like to mention is that the tax department speaks of the payroll slip as a tweet. I think they didn’t realize that twitter is a public medium so that each salary in that case would also become public. In the Netherlands it is not common to talk about your salary with others. Maybe the tax department finally wants to break with this taboo…..

Payroll Service Providers: Hurry up!

Written by John Dijns on . Posted in Exact Online

In a previous blog I discussed how the world of Payroll Service providers is changing – more work for less pay and the value-added process shifting from administration to advice. At Exact Online Payroll we’re responding to this, creating features that improve efficiency and effectiveness for payroll administrators – mainly in relation to the primary payroll process. I’d like to share some of these new developments with you below.

Startup by importing a payroll tax declaration
Setting up a new administration in EOL Payroll by importing an old payroll tax declaration from a previous payroll application will allow you to make a flying start. All employees are already created and entered into service. Only information not included in the declaration has to be entered manually – like the salary and job description. We’ll soon release a mass update feature allowing you to enter these things in one, avoiding having to edit every employee manually. Most Collective Labor Agreements (CLA and NL: Cao) are supported in EOL Payroll so selecting the right one will get you going really quickly.

Let your customer enter variable mutations
Clients of payroll professionals will usually send their variable mutations via fax, paper or Excel, often using a matrix like structure with the people in service that period versus variables like overtime, declarations or vacation days.
In EOL Payroll you can define this matrix, deciding which components are shown and naming them in a way the client understands. The client can then logon and enter his variables mutations in a matrix that’s always up to date. This eliminates the payroll administration having to import these mutations or, even worse, enter them manually.


Entry variable mutations (Click for enlargement)

Check and send the right reports to the client
Clients operate across various branches with specific CLA’s and many different calculations. Part of the payroll process is checking the calculation and, if approved by the payroll administrator, sending the required reports to the client.
EOL Payroll supports this by allowing you to define what reports and overviews you would like to check or send to a specific client. This allows you to have a compact list of to-be-checked overviews and reports that you would like (have) to check before giving a run your stamp of approval. Once it is approved the defined reports are automatically generated, linked to a single document in the digital archive and optionally sent to the client by e-mail. This could even include the payment file that the client can import into his bank application to pay his employees. After the check, a single click then wraps up the payroll process.


Check cockpit (Click for enlargement)

E-mail the employees
Digital payslips are becoming more and more commonplace – a good thing as they are both environmentally friendly and much cheaper (no paper, printing, handling or sending costs).
Exact believes in digital payslips and supports them in EOL Payroll.
Payslips to employees can be automatically sent after finalizing a period or started as a separate step. Per client you can choose to send the payslips to the employee’s private or work e-mail account or send all payslips together to the employer in pdf. Payslips mailed to employees that have left service or don’t have a mail account can be directed to a specific ‘on error’ mail account or to the employer. The process is made simple, with any deviations handled by the employer (who obviously knows his employees best) rather than the payroll service provider.


Payslip e-mail (Click for enlargement)

Up to the fifth gear
While all of the aforementioned features apply to specific employers, a payroll service provider must also support multiple employers at the same time. In order to take things up a notch EOL payroll has introduced the Payroll Process Overview.
In the overview you can apply all the features mentioned above for multiple periods and multiple employers at once. Finalizing payroll runs, sending period documents, payslips and payroll tax declarations can all be done from the one place. Furthermore, you can monitor the status of the agreed timing for all actions and tax declarations. If further investigate is required you can easily drill down into the selected process step for the specific administration. To customize the view you can label each administration with a self-defined category or a user responsible for a specific client. More info in the Payroll Process Overview can be found here.


Payroll Process Overview (Click for enlargement)

To wrap up we can say that with EOL Payroll the Payroll Service Provider is ready for the heightened demand of the Payroll service market. We can also give you our promise that we will continue to innovate to match the needs of even your most demanding clients.
If you wish to discuss the payroll service market or any aspect of this blog don’t hesitate to send me a mail!

John Dijns
Product Line Manager Payroll

Happy payroll year 2011!

Written by Martijn Boeser on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Online, Exact Synergy

Just like every other year, the laws and regulations concerning payroll administration are undergoing changes. 2011 also sees some important changes alongside the more regular adjustments in amounts and percentages. In this blog I will give you a brief overview of the most important changes for the payroll year 2011 in the Netherlands.

Employment cost regulation

A new regulation is introduced for 2011 regarding cost allowances and provisions. The idea is that every employer has a tax-free budget of 1.4% of the total fiscal wage. This budget can be used to give cost allowances to employees without paying the payroll tax for it. In case the employer pays more than the tax-free budget, the company has to pay a payroll tax of 80% over the amount that exceeds this budget. More information can be found on the site of the Dutch tax department.

Uniform calculation contributions

A next step has been made towards more uniformity within the calculation of social contributions. As of 2011, all contributions for employee insurances and health care will be calculated in the same way. The next important step will be probably made in 2012. The government has plans that as of 2012 all contributions will be calculated over the same base value and become for the account of the employer. At this moment the health care insurance (Zvw) is calculated on a different base value from the other contributions. This contribution is also still withheld from the wage of the employee. The plan is that as from 2012 the payroll specification will be more clear and simpler for the employee and that the administrative burden of the employer will decrease.

Extra tax table

As a result of the increasing costs for pensions, in 2008 it was decided that people older than 65 should pay more tax to keep our current governmental pension (AOW). This will become effective from 2011, an extra table being introduced for people that were born after 1946. They will pay a very slightly higher amount of payroll tax than the people born in or before 1946.

Net wage

And last but not least you will wonder: what will happen with my net wage? Overall the net wage will be a bit higher than 2010 for every employee. For the lower incomes the increase of net wage will be a bit higher than the higher incomes.

I wish all payroll administrators a happy and an accurate 2011!!

The end of the year – not time to relax yet!

Written by Bob Heinen on . Posted in Exact Online

The last months of the year are a very busy time for the payroll development team. A lot of changes are communicated by the tax authorities, pension funds and collective labor agreement parties for the coming year.

Because of these important changes, all Exact’s operational payroll modules need to be adjusted to support new demands from third parties and other organizations. Exact Online, Exact Globe, Exact Synergy, Globe 2000, Exact for Windows and even Exact for Dos are all affected and require updating to continue to meet their users’ needs. We have to make sure all our customers that use payroll solutions from these products can update their software and be sure that their payroll will continue to be calculated correctly when the changes become applicable. Here’s a brief outline of the most important changes we’re busy with.

Firstly, all new and updated tax regulations need to be implemented in the software and applied to the payroll calculations relating to the coming year. This could involve a percentage change or a new fixed sum relating to a specific rule. The conditions that govern the calculation frameworks could also be adjusted or changed. By way of an example, the work cost regulation has been introduced for 2011. We’re busy making the appropriate changes to our payroll modules now to ensure that this new regulation can be registered correctly. We need to make sure that the correct reports can be generated for the tax authorities as soon as they need them.

In addition to changes in the tax regulations, small changes can also be expected in the calculation of pension contributions. Examples of pension funds undergoing these changes include Cordares, PGGM and Syntrus Achmea.

Declaration functions also are available for most pension funds across Exact’s software. This functionality automatically sends a report on the wages and pension amounts to the pension funds in the specific format that they require. Development of this functionality for Exact Online Payroll is underway at the moment, the other products already offering this facility being updated to ensure they continue to deliver in the new year.

We are also busy expanding the base functionality offered by Exact Online Payroll. Besides the declarations for the most important pension funds, we are working on making the payroll process even more efficient. During the finalizing step of the payroll period it will be possible to automatically mail payroll slips to employees or mail a set of period documents to the customer of the accountant. In this period document you will even be able to include an automatically generated bank file.

It’s certainly a busy period but also absolutely essential that these changes are carried out in time. Only then can we be sure the customers and accountants using Exact’s payroll products continue to have their needs met in 2011. When they can continue to work with a smile on their face, so can we!

Just give me my money!

Written by Martijn Boeser on . Posted in Exact Online

In my previous blog I gave a short introduction on the simplicity of the payroll process. I also looked at the simplicities themselves – the processes that are involved in completing a payroll calculation. I also pointed out that most people do not read their payroll specification and only check their bank statement. As an employee, you just want your money. That’s a pity because the document is the key to checking you were paid the right amount – to seeing that no mistakes were made with your expenses or travel allowance.

To try and give you a bit more insight into exactly what you can learn from the specification, let’s zoom into it and see what we find there. 

The piece of paper the employee receives from their employer supplies information on your salary, contributions and taxes that are withheld and, finally, what should be paid into your bank account. As the document carries an official status in The Netherlands, it can also be used to apply for a loan or for a governmental allowance.

The payroll specification is divided up into several areas.  Please refer to the example payroll specification attached.

  1. Personal information
    You’ll first notice some personal information at the top of your document – your name, social security number, date of birth and your address. This is also related to some tax related data.
  2. Contract information
    You’ll also notice some information regarding the employment contract you have with your employer. This includes start date and end date of the employment, how many hours you work in a week and the base salary. The employer is also obligated to print the minimum wage that applies, enabling you to check that your employer pays you the correct amount.
  3. Period information
    This section shows all information related to the period and the wage that is paid for that period.

    1. The involved period
    2. This information reveals how the gross wage is composed – your base salary including allowance for overtime, personal target
    3. The amounts that are withheld on your salary like contributions for health care, pension and, of course, payroll tax.
    4. The net amount that is paid to the nominated bank account – for most people the most important bit!
  4. Totals
    This section displays all totals up to the current period. Besides base values for contributions and payroll tax you’ll also find information of your holiday allowance balance. Sometimes the balance for vacation days is also shown here.

The example we see here shows the layout that we use in Exact Online Payroll. We are always curious to hear what you think about it – especially if you’re an employee who receives it.  If you have any thoughts, please do share them with us. It could become part of an important improvement and help more people gain important insight from their payroll specifications.