The complex nature of salary calculations means payroll administrators get asked a lot of questions.
An employee might ask
“I now work full-time. What will I actually receive on my bank account when I start working part-time?”
Or a manager
“I have an applicant that I want to offer a salary of €2200. What will this cost the company?”
The answer requires a quick function that can handle the calculations without changing an existing salary, entering a new employee or making a real payroll calculation. As such, we have started developing a pro forma calculation function for Exact Online Payroll that can handle multiple pro forma employees.
In order to ensure we deliver new functionality that really meets the needs of our users, we have to work through a careful research and design process. This began with making sure the requirements are absolutely clear. We visited users of Exact Online Payroll and other payroll products to really pin down what they needed. Naturally we also considered how our competitors have looked at the issue.
This information was then used to create a concept, which we discussed with a range of payroll experts and technical specialists to ensure it could be safely created within the Exact Online framework. The key to making the project a success was achieving exactly the same results as a normal salary calculation would produce. As such, we decided to use the existing calculation engine that performs all the salary calculations in Exact Online. It sounds easy, but we had to think very carefully about the implications. Our pro forma employees need to be created in the existing structure and have their salaries calculated by the existing engine – but without the results being shown in the regular payroll process.
As the designer, I used the information we gained to start writing the actual design document, including the technical specifications. The software development chain then grows from there. Based on the information in the document, a software engineer starts bringing the solution to life. A quality engineer is next in line, performing rigorous user testing to ensure the function stands up to any scenario a user might want to operate within. When this is complete, a release test carried out and the supporting documentation created, it will be ready for delivery with the next version of Exact Online.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about the upcoming pro forma addition or the development process involved – or would like to share any input on this or any of our other projects – please do let me know!