Customers occasionally call with a problem about timestamps at the beginning of a payroll period that are not included in a payroll report even though the dates are set correctly. There are two possible causes for this issue:
Work Day Start Time
The administrator has modified the employee’s work day start time. This setting is controlled via option 3B on the Options tab of the employee’s Settings page. This is the start time of day used in payroll calculations, but customers often assume incorrectly that it refers to the time of day an employee is supposed to clock in. When set to a value other than midnight, the work day is officially offset from the calendar day.
For instance, if the work day start time setting is set to 9AM, then the official 24 hour work day starts at 9AM and ends the following day at 8:59AM. If an employee were to clock in at 8AM, 1 hour would be calculated as falling in the preceding day, and the rest of the shift would be in the new day, as calculated on the payroll report. This can cause the payroll report to ignore time on the timesheet even if it falls within the payroll period. It can also cause unexpected results in overtime calculations.
To correct this problem, there are 2 options.
- If the employee does not usually work overnight between calendar days, change setting 3B back to 12AM.
- For users who work over midnight, you can leave the setting as is, but then include the time in the payroll report by manually setting the date range instead of using pre-selected dates. Set the start date back by one day. This will include any previously unpaid time that technically falls on the previous work day.
Note: You may see an overlapping payroll period warning when closing payroll, but that warning can be ignored.
Split Paid Timestamps
Timestamp records are split-paid when the beginning of the record falls on one day, and the end of the record falls on a different day. This is usually caused when workers are clocked in over midnight, but can also be caused if the day start time setting discussed above is changed to some value other than midnight. To solve this problem:
- Many split-paid records are created when employees are clocked in over midnight accidentally and then the error is not discovered before payroll close. If the problem is a recent one (i.e. not from months ago) you can undo the latest payroll report(s) until the time is back on the timesheet. Once the payroll report is deleted you can edit the timestamp and re-close the period(s). (See our “Managing Split Paid Records” article in the Hourly Time Tracking section of the Help Pages for detailed instructions.)
- If the timestamp is correct, then try setting the payroll close start date one day back by manually selecting the payroll close date range. This usually solves the issue, unless the timestamp record is very long. In that case, you may need to set the close start date back even further.
Note: Setting the payroll start date back will include unpaid time on dates outside the normal payroll period. This is usually a safe thing to do. Many customers wonder if doing this will include older time in the payroll report. It will not. Time closed in a previous payroll period is ignored even if the dates overlap. When setting the start date back manually, you may see an overlapping date warning, but this warning can be ignored.