April and May 2016

Grouping Timesheets Together


Main Menu > Payroll > Timesheets


Timesheet grouping is a feature of the Options menu in most timesheet screens except for bulk-entry and fast-entry timesheets. Grouping timesheets will calculate tax, Super/KiwiSaver and banking individually. You also have the option of adding informational codes to treat the resulting payments differently. Some examples of grouping are:

  • Taxation. For example, tax will be calculated separately based on timesheet earnings within specified groups.
  • Superannuation. This will be split across groups (based on superable earnings within each group).
  • Banking. Option to add an informational code such as ALLBAL to a group to override banking setup in the employee masterfile.
  • Standard allowances and deductions. Option to add ALLDED to a group to suppress any allowances and deductions recorded in the employee masterfile.
How to use
  1. From any timesheet screen, select a timesheet row then select Options > Grouping from the menu.
  1. Select a group from A – F then select OK.
  1. Repeat until all required rows are grouped.
  1. Now add any required informational codes to the group. For example, if you want all ordinary time (01) payments for this employee to be paid into their balance bank account, add the ALLBAL informational code to group A.

See Affinity Help for more information about grouping timesheets. Press F1 from any Affinity screen to launch Affinity Help.

Spotlight On: Pay Locations


Main Menu > Payroll > Masterfiles > Pay Locations


Pay locations provide an extra level of information categorisation. For example:

  • Some Affinity reports let you group information by pay location.
  • Pay locations can be recorded in position profiles or employee masterfiles for reference purposes.
  • Bulk-entry timesheets, fast-entry timesheets and bulk payslip messages can be refined by pay location.

In this example, our organisation has two sites so a pay location masterfile is created for each to enable us to send a bulk payslip message to employees in location 1:

When we create the bulk payslip message, we can apply a filter so that the message appears only on the payslips of employees who work in location 1:

For more information about pay locations (and bulk payslip messages) see Affinity Help.

Tracking Leave History


Administrator > Leave History Setup (sets up leave types so that they retain a history)

Main Menu > Payroll > Masterfiles > Leave History (where leave history is viewed per employee)


You can configure Affinity to retain a history of leave taken by each employee. This is most useful for tracking leave types that hold a balance such as annual leave and sick leave, but can be applied to other leave types such as public holidays. The resulting information is displayed in the leave history masterfile. By default, the following leave codes are pre-configured to retain a history:

  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Long Service Leave
  • D.O Entitlement
  • Leave D and Leave E (optional leave types that are utilised differently for each organisation)
How to use
  1. First, go to Administrator > Leave History Setup. The default leave types are displayed:
  1. Select Add then add another leave type.
  1. You can view an individual’s leave history in their leave history masterfile:

There are many other options available when setting up leave history. See Affinity Help for all the details.

Recording Significant Dates in the Diary


Tools > Diary (add, edit and remove diary entries)

Main Menu > Payroll > Masterfiles > Employee Details (view, edit and remove diary entries)


The Diary is a very useful tool for Payroll professionals. It lets you schedule significant date-related events, tasks and reminders against individual employees. Diary entries appear in the respective employee masterfiles and can be updated and deleted by users with the correct system permissions. Examples are:

  • Reminding you when an employee’s company anniversary is due.
  • Birthday reminders.
  • Statutory requirements such as when first aid certificate and qualification renewals are due.
  • Leave adjustments and other pay-related tasks that need to be performed.
How to use
  1. Diary entries are created in Tools > Diary:
  1. When you select Insert you’ll be asked to complete the following information:
  • Task start date or a reminder date.
  • Employee number.
  • A reason for the diary entry. For example, to remind you of an employee’s ten-year anniversary.
  • The current status of the diary entry. For example: In Progress.
  • The date when the diary entry expires.
  • Any relevant notes.
  1. Once created, diary entries appear in the Contacts/Dates tab in the employee masterfile. Entries can be viewed, edited or removed in this screen:

Using Roles and Permissions to Control Employee Self Service User Access


Roles are maintained by ESS Administrators under ESS > My Tools > Security Setup > Roles.


Roles contain permissions which control what users can and cannot access in Employee Self Service and its modules (Clever Forms, Clever Timesheets etc.). For example, whether a user can access a specific menu, or whether they have the right to add, edit or delete information. Roles are attached to employee groups which contain members (users) who need access to the same functionality. When a role is attached to an employee group, its members get the permissions defined in the role. This makes it easier to manage system security because permissions are assigned to groups of users, not to individual users.

How to use
  1. A role is created for the sole purpose of applying system permissions to Affinity Self Service users. In the example below, we can see that there are 48 members (users) currently assigned to the ESS Employees role. This means that 48 users are members of a group (or groups) linked to the ESS Employees role:
  1. In our example, those 48 users are members of a single group called All Employees:
  1. The ESS Employees role gives users specific access to the Remuneration Details menu in Employee Self Service. For example, they can view their details but they cannot add, edit or delete them:
  1. Drill deeper, and we can see that within the Remuneration Details menu, these users also have some field-level restrictions:

For a complete understanding of Affinity Self Service security, see Affinity Help for details.

Clever Forms Elements: Bank Account and Address

About Form Elements

Form elements are the fields, functions and user options that you drag onto Clever Form templates to create dynamic, meaningful forms. This month we showcase two elements which both feature data validation – ideal for preventing data-entry errors.

Bank Account

Adds a data-entry field to the form allowing users to enter their bank account. As the bank account is being entered, Clever Forms will verify that the correct Australian or New Zealand format is used. Form users are warned of a mis-match:


Adds address fields to the form. When an address is entered, Google™ automatically validates the address. Note: data entered into an address field will not update address data in the Affinity database.


To find out the name of an Affinity field (or the table it’s stored in), press Ctrl and F together:

You can also hover your mouse cursor over the field and wait for the name to appear. In the example above, the table name is PERSON and the field name is COMMON_NAME: