Several significant changes to the Daily Payroll Batch Report are now being rolled out.  The following changes will be included starting with version 7.53.1323 available this week.  Over the weekend, we will update the version available from the Check for Updates option to include these new features.

The Daily Payroll Batch Report has been rewritten from the ground up to improve performance, streamline your workflow and support new features needed for sick pay and rest and recovery pay.  Additional features will be enabled in subsequent updates as we get closer to finalizing the 2015 Year End Update.

New Features

First, here is a look at the new Daily Payroll Batch Report window:

New Daily Payroll Batch Report window


You should notice a definite improvement  in the speed of running the report.  Individual results will vary depending on hardware configuration, backend database, program options enabled, etc. Here are the results from running two different reports:

Database Checks Line Items Pages Old Report Time New Report Time
Dataflex 65 2280 44 1:33 0:04.5
SQL Server 503 4639 106 5:25 0:22.24

Reports that may have taken several minutes to run may take seconds to run with the new option.

Print Check Detail

Normally this box will be checked.  If you don’t want to see the line item detail on the report, you can uncheck this box and only the totals (wages and deductions) will be printed.

Minimum Wage/Guranteed Wage Adjustments

The new report includes support for both the legacy and standard methods for generating minimum wage and guaranteed wage adjustments.

Sick Pay Rate Calculations

For employees that are assigned to sick pay plans in California and Oregon, the report will automatically calculate and apply the sick pay rate based on the new Default Sick Pay Rate to Use setting under Tools->Program Setup->Payroll->Benefits.  This setting allows you to select either the 90-day look-back rate, the regular rate of pay for the current work week, or automatically select the higher or lower of the two rates.

Note:  For California employees. when you have rest and recovery time and sick pay for the same employee, the system is currently designed to always use the 90-day look-back rate.  The reason for this is that the regular rate of pay calculation for the sick pay (allowed by AB 304) depends on the pay rate for the rest and recovery period.  In turn, AB 1513 does not exclude sick pay from the calculation for the rest and recovery period, so it likewise depends on the sick pay rate.  Since both calculations cannot be performed when they rely on the results of the other calculation, the 90-day look-back period calculation is used instead of the regular rate of pay calculation for sick pay.

The batch report will display a code next to the rate on the sick pay line to indicate what calculation was used to determine the pay rate.  A “(R)” next to the rate indicates that the Regular Rate of Pay calculation was used, while a “(P)” indicates that the prior 90 day average hourly rate calculation was used.

A new setting on the Sick Pay Plan controls whether or not the sick pay rate will be automatically calculated by the Daily Payroll Batch Report/Create Checks option.  The box for this option will automatically be checked for California and Oregon sick pay plans.

Rest and Recovery Period

The report will calculate the rate to apply to any rest and recovery period lines using either the “regular rate of pay” or the average piecework hourly pay rate.  This may eliminate the need to run the Average Piecework Rate Report (which has now been renamed to the Rest and Recovery Period Pay Rate Report) separately.

For California employers, the “regular rate of pay” option may be subject to change based on regulations issued by the DLSE. (The actual language used in the AB 1513 legislation does not specify a regular rate of pay calculation be used to calculate the rest and recovery pay rate, so this is really a place-holder until the DLSE provides some guidance.)

The Average Piecework Hourly Rate option complies with the previous guidance issued by the labor commissioner for paying breaks, and complies with our understanding of the calculation required by Washington state as well.

Adjust Miscellaneous Deductions on Negative Checks

When this box is checked, the program will adjust the miscellaneous deduction amounts for employees that do not have enough wages to cover the total deductions set up on their account.  The program will reduce the amounts of the deductions until the net check comes out to zero.  Deductions with special taxability status (401(k), cafeteria plans, etc.) will not be adjusted.  Checks that have the net amount adjusted to zero will appear on an exception report after the main report.

Include/Exclude Checks Already in Batch

When the Daily Payroll Create Checks option is used, if an employee had entries in the Daily Payroll file and a check entered in Batch Check Entry, the program combines the information already in Batch Check Entry with the Daily Payroll lines.  This is done so that each employee only has one check in the batch at any given time.

Previously, when running the Daily Payroll Batch Report, it did not pick up information from the Batch Check Entry.  Because we have designed the new report to also handle the creation of batch checks, it has to be able to combine the information in both the Batch Check and Daily Payroll files.  A new checkbox on the report allows you to turn this behavior off.  Unchecking the box will result in a report that includes only the Daily Payroll entries; running the report with the box checked will generate a report that includes information from both sources.

Note: If you don’t normally have checks sitting the the Batch Check, this change will not make a difference to how you run the report.  Some customers do use the Create Checks option each day, and thus have checks sitting in the batch until payroll entries for the entire week have been created.

Exception Report

Under certain circumstances, the old Create Checks option will generate an exception report that may include information about minimum wage adjustments, problems with sick pay, employees with negative check amounts, and employees that have deductions that may need to be adjusted.  Since we are incorporating the Create Checks function into the Daily Payroll Batch Report, these exceptions will now be included after the recap of wages is printed on the Daily Payroll Batch Report.

Just in case…

The new Daily Payroll Batch Report has been in use for months by some of our customers.  We have also tested the new report extensively in-house to make sure it works smoothly.  The code for the old report has not been retired quite yet, so if you do run into a problem with the new report you can contact Datatech support and they can switch you back to the old report until any issues with the new report have been resolved.

What’s coming…

First, we will be enabling a new feature that will allow you to create checks from the Daily Payroll Batch Report.  This process will also benefit from the speed improvements made to the report and the time required to process large batches of checks should be cut dramatically as compared to the existing Create Checks process, which will be retired.

Next, an option to replace the Daily Payroll’s existing Generate Labor Report will be incorporated into the Daily Payroll Batch Report.  It too will benefit from the performance improvements.

Also planned:  integrating the Overtime Premium calculations in the process so that these calculations can be performed at the same time and eliminate the need to run the Overtime Premium Report separately.

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