April and May 2017

Affinity myPA: Creating Powerful Alerts and Notifications

Affinity myPA uses notifications to remind managers and decision-makers of important events and tasks, and alert them to issues. Notifications can be created to suit a wide range of business scenarios, preventing issues, lowering risk and achieving compliance. This month we create notifications that:

  • Monitor negative and excessive leave balances.
  • Track unapproved current-period leave.

Monitor Negative Leave and Excessive Leave Balances

Purpose

Notifies managers of undesirable leave balances (too much or too little). You’ll need to create two notifications: one for negative leave and one for excessive leave.

Benefits
  • Empowers HR teams by shifting the responsibility back to managers.
  • Notifications can be tailored to suit company leave policy.
  • Managers are proactive, not reactive.
  • Minimises the risk of large annual leave pay outs when employees terminate.
  • Helps companies comply with legislation.
Example notifications
Parameters

Ideally, you’ll want to alert managers as soon as the latest information becomes available. In this example, we decide to email managers on the morning following each fortnightly pay run, starting with the next pay run which is scheduled for 27.03.2017.

Track Unapproved Leave

Purpose

Notifies managers of any self-service leave requests awaiting action.

Benefits
  • Empowers payroll teams by shifting the responsibility back to managers.
  • Reduces late approvals.
  • Reduces the need for pay adjustments and add-to pay runs.
Example notifications
Parameters

These depend on your company policies, but typically you’ll want to give managers enough time to approve outstanding leave. In this example, we email a reminder to managers on a Tuesday morning every two weeks. We do this because our pay period ends two days later and we want managers to approve all leave before the period ends.

Affinity Clever Forms: Building a Library of Dynamic Business Forms

Affinity Clever Forms creates useful, meaningful forms that save time and money, reduce risk and help achieve compliance. Forms are easy to design and deploy. Workflow is logical and easy to build in. Staff help themselves to a library of forms to get things done. Over the next few months, we’re going to help you build a collection of forms so amazing, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. This month we look at two forms that simplify the on-boarding process.

New Position Request Form

What it does

Requests a new position then (if approved) automatically creates it in Affinity.

Why you need it

This manager-initiated form manages the process of adding a new position. You can easily capture vital information about position requirements, obtain the correct approvals along the way and have Affinity automatically create a new position profile in the database.

Data source

Position Masterfile > New Position

Design

Use a mix of free-text fields (for new information such as position title), and Affinity selection lists so form users can select existing information like department, cost centre and location.

Typical workflow

Manager > HR > Finance > Payroll

Key things about this workflow:

  • Approve/decline options are available to HR and Finance.
  • The form needs to be approved by both HR and by Finance in order to move to the next workflow state/recipient.
  • If declined at any stage, the form will go back to the initiator’s inbox.
  • Pre-defined ESS employee groups control whose inbox the form goes to once it’s approved. For example, the ‘CF Finance Approvers’ group contains the role ‘Financial Controller’ (the person in that role will give the financial approval). The ‘CF Payroll Processors’ group contains the ‘Payroll Team Leader’ role who is responsible for processing the form once it reaches the Payroll department.

Authority to Hire Form

What it does

Asks for permission to hire someone into an existing position.

Why you need it

Now you’ve got approval for the new position, you’ll want to hire someone to fill it.

Data source

Employee Masterfile > Initiator

Form design tips

You could design this form in three parts. The first part of the form could pre-populate the requester’s (form initiator’s) details. The second part could contain lookups to allow the requester to select the position information direct from Affinity. The third part could contain a free-text field so the requester can write a business case in the form (or attach a separate document to the form).

Typical workflow

Manager > HR > Finance

Key things about this workflow:

  • Approve/decline options are available to HR and Finance.
  • If declined at any stage, the form will go back to the initiator’s inbox.
  • While in the Pending HR Approval state, the approver has an option to approve or decline. If declined, the form goes back to the initiator’s inbox. If approved, the form moves to the role assigned to the ESS group ‘CF Finance Approvers’. In our example, this is the ‘Financial Controller’ role (the person in that role will give the financial approval).

Changes to Online Help

What’s Changing

We’re simplifying and enhancing the way we deliver online help. This will be rolled out in stages over the next few months.

Available Now! eLearning Videos Now Have Voice Narration

These are available on Vimeo now! Links are provided in relevant help procedures, or via the handy video index (use search word ‘index’). Check that your PC sound is on when viewing them. We know you’ll find these very useful both as reference tools to support current knowledge, and to assist training new staff. You might even learn a new trick or two!

Happening Now! Simplified Language

Online help is being re-written to make it easier to read and comprehend.

Coming Soon: Online Help Launches from Self Service Apps

Online help will soon launch from Affinity Self Service applications like Affinity Self Service Leave and Affinity Clever Timesheets. Once that happens, we’ll no longer provide PDF user guides.

Coming Soon: Faster Access to Affinity Payroll Help

Soon, when you press F1 from Affinity Payroll, you’ll have direct access to Affinity Payroll help. Self-service help will be removed (it will launch from self-service apps like Clever Timesheets), and videos can be accessed via links in the help.

Future: Online Help Look and Feel

Our online help is also undergoing a facelift. In the future, our online help will look and act more like a mini website, making it customisable and more interactive. This is likely to happen later this year or early in 2018.

Requesting Leave on Behalf of Others in Affinity Self Service Leave

Purpose

As a manager, you can create leave requests on behalf of your team members in Affinity Self Service Leave.

How to do it

From the Team Leave screen, expand the Create Team Leave section, select the employee, complete the details then select Approve.

Audit and Track System Activity in Affinity Payroll

Location

System > View Operator Log

Purpose

The Operator Log summarises the tasks and activities (‘operations’) carried out by Affinity system users such as pay processing and log in/out. The log can only be viewed by Affinity System Administrators. It’s useful when auditing system operations and troubleshooting problems, and contains the following information:

  • The task.
  • The date and time it occurred.
  • Who performed the task.

Clever Forms Elements: Text-Entry Fields

About Affinity Clever Forms

Affinity Clever Forms lets you create dynamic online forms complete with approval workflow. As a result, HR and payroll processes become more efficient, accurate and compliant.

About form elements

Form elements are the fields, functions and user options that you drag onto Clever Forms templates to create dynamic, meaningful forms. This month we feature elements that provide form users with text-entry options.

Email Field

Lets the form user enter a valid email address. Note: this field is display-only on the finished form (you can’t click the email address and send an email).

Memo (Multiline Box)

Appears as a notepad storing unlimited (wrapped) text. Useful for recording detailed information such as business cases or details relating to a health and safety incident.

In this example we want to provide space for people to write a business case before attaching supporting documentation. Dragging the bottom-right of the box makes it larger (the new size remains once the form is saved, printed or submitted).

Paragraph of Text

Can be used to introduce a text-entry field or add a warning or extra instructions. In this example we are introducing a policy document.

Text Box

Inserts a simple, single-line text box with no text wrapping. If wrapping is required, use Memo (Multiline) Box instead. In this example, the Manager Name field is a text box because we expect that the average name will fit into this field without needing to wrap over multiple lines.

About the 164 Pay Period Deduction Report

Location

Reports > Standard Reports

Purpose

This report summarises all employees who had deductions for the pay period just processed. This report is important because it:

  • Summarises all deductions taken in the last pay run.
  • Helps you to reconcile to the 005 Control Account Report.
  • Groups information by deduction code then sorts it by employee surname.
  • Totals each deduction code individually for easy analysis.

Pay Code of the Month

TXMETH is an informational code used for Australian payrolls. When you process bonus, back pay and commission payments TXMETH appears in the pay adjustment. The units value determines the ATO tax method that will apply to the payments.

Tip

To delete rows in Affinity screens, select the row then press Ctrl and Del together.