October and November 2017

Access to Affinity Self Service via affinityteam.com

You can now login to Affinity Self Service direct from our website.

Affinity myPA: Creating Powerful Alerts and Notifications

Reminders can be for anything, from staff birthdays to the expiry of key qualifications. They help ensure that compliance obligations are met. This month we look at four situations where reminders can add real value:

  • Reminder of upcoming service anniversaries.
  • Reminder of upcoming significant dates such as contract expiries or end of probation periods.
  • Reminder of upcoming expiry of qualifications, certificates, licences and memberships.
  • Birthday reminder.

All notifications can be customised to suit your requirements, such as when they’re sent, who they’re sent to and what triggers them.

Reminder of Upcoming Service Anniversaries

Purpose

Tells you which staff have an upcoming service anniversary for rate adjustments and celebrations.

Benefits
  • Reduced risk of non-payment and potential breach of contract.
  • Improved budgeting due to visibility over upcoming increases.
  • Increased staff morale when their service milestone is acknowledged.
Example notifications
Schedule

In our example, the notification is sent on the 3rd of each month to notify which staff will reach a service anniversary within the next 31 days.

Reminder of Upcoming Significant Dates

Purpose

Notifies key members of the organisation of significant dates so they can perform any related tasks. For example:

  • Contract expiry/renewal.
  • Maternity leave start and end dates.
  • Apprentice/intern hours.
  • Staff probation/trial period start and end dates.
Benefits
  • Managers can be proactive when dealing with staff on short-term contracts or trial periods.
  • Critical payroll and compliance tasks are not forgotten.
Example notifications
Schedule

In our example, the notification is sent on the 3rd of every month to notify which employees’ probation periods expire exactly 14 days from today

Reminder of Upcoming Qualifications Expiry

Purpose

Lists all employees with a qualification that is due to expire or requires renewal with a specified period. This can include:

  • Educational qualifications.
  • First aid certificates.
  • Memberships to professional organisations.
  • Licences held that are essential to their role in the organisation.

This information is held in Human Resources > Personnel Data > Miscellaneous Details in Affinity Payroll.

Benefits
  • Reduces the risk of disciplinary action where employees are required to hold qualifications essential to their role.
  • Reduces the risk of litigation where the organisation is required to employ staff with certain qualifications.
  • Gives plenty of warning and provides enough time for renewals.
Example notifications
Schedule

Ideally send this out on the first day of the calendar month.

Reminder of Upcoming Staff Birthdays

Purpose

Reminds you of upcoming staff birthdays so you can:

  • Pass on well wishes.
  • Schedule a day’s annual leave for the employee.
  • Arrange a gift.

You can also customise the notification to show the age that the employee turns on their next birthday.

Example notifications
Schedule

In our example, the notification is sent every Thursday to notify upcoming birthdays within the next 31 days.

Streamlining Data Capture with Affinity Clever Forms and Workflow

Introduction

Australian organisations have a responsibility to capture accurate Super, taxation and salary sacrifice information from employees. This month we look at two forms that collect this information using a combination of data provided by employees and existing Affinity data.

Key benefits
  • Accurate employee-initiated information is collected.
  • Clear and concise information provided to Payroll.
  • Allows for several departments to approve via the workflow.
  • Reduces paperwork.
  • Increases efficiency.
  • Creates an audit trail.

TFN Declaration and Super Choice Declaration (Australia Only)

What it does

Allows employees to formally declare their taxation details and choice of Super fund.

Why you need it

Formalises the process of acquiring tax and Super fund information and places the responsibility on employees to provide accurate information.

Data source

Employee Masterfile > Initiator. This allows any active employee to initiate the form.

Typical workflow

Form Initiator to Payroll

Key things about this workflow:

  • It’s for communication purposes. Nothing is approved or declined in this workflow.
  • It’s initiated by any active employee (members of the ‘All Active Employees – All Active Employees’ ESS group).
  • In our example, it’s processed by staff in the ‘CF Payroll Processors’ ESS group and they also have the option to return the form to the employee for more information.
Design

This form uses a combination of field display (to automatically populate employee details from Affinity), explanation text (to explain how to fill in the form) and basic text entry fields. We use field update elements in this design so employees can update their address and date of birth. We also give the employee the option to enter their own fund details or join their employer’s by reading and agreeing to the fund details provided.

Salary Sacrifice Declaration Form

What it does

Allows employees to formally declare their salary sacrifice preferences and how the contribution will be paid.

Why you need it

Formalises the process of gathering salary sacrifice details from employees and creates an audit trail.

Data source

Employee Masterfile > Initiator. This allows any active employee to initiate the form.

Typical workflow

Form Initiator to Payroll. Same as the TFN Declaration and Super Choice Form.

Design

This form uses a combination of field display (to automatically populate employee details from Affinity), explanation text (to explain how to fill in the form) and numeric entry fields. We also give the employee the option to select pay codes from a lookup (populated from Affinity) and enter the required contribution percentages or values. Note: ensure that numeric fields accept decimals.

Creating an Additional Affinity Self Service Admin User

Location

Employee Self Service (ESS) > My Tools > User Setup

Purpose

It’s wise to have at least two staff who can access the admin tools in Affinity Self Service.

Things to know
  • The existing ESS admin user needs to login to ESS and create another admin user.
  • A basic Affinity Payroll employee masterfile is automatically created when a new ESS admin user is created.
  • The masterfile is given a distinctive employee number (e.g. 5000002).
  • The masterfile is invisible in browse screens and excluded from all Affinity functions.
How to do it

Select New User, complete the fields then select Submit.

  • The username must follow your existing username format (e.g. ABCHotels_jsmith or 9904_markc).
  • Passwords must be at least eight characters long and contain two letters and two numbers.

Archiving Unused Masterfile and Lookup Values

Purpose

Archiving hides unwanted lookup and masterfile values so they can no longer be selected in Affinity screens. Archived cost centres are not removed from historical transactions and are still available for reporting purposes.

Things to know

You can archive these lookup values:

  • Branch Codes (Branch)
  • Departments (Dept)
  • Divisions (Division)
  • Groups (Groupd)

These masterfiles have an archive option:

  • Cost Centres
  • Pay Locations
  • Job Costings
How to archive a lookup value

From the menu select Main Menu > Payroll > System Organisation > Dictionaries then double-click Dictionaries. Select the dictionary then double-click to open.

Select Edit, select Archive then select Save.

How to archive a masterfile value

(We’ll archive a cost centre as an example.)

From the menu select Main Menu > Payroll > Masterfiles > Cost Centres, select the cost centre then select Edit.

Select Archive Cost Centre then select Save. You can still search for archived cost centres by selecting Show Archived in the browse screen.

About the 003 Payroll Banking Schedule

Location

Reports > Standard Reports

Purpose

This report is the ‘live’ version of the 603 report. It tells you how much net pay was banked for each employee after the payroll is processed. This report is important because it’s a record of the total banking commitment for the pay run.

Pay Code of the Month

New Zealand only. EP is an informational code that appears automatically on payslips and records the ACC component of tax deducted from employees.

Tip

In Affinity Clever Forms, if certain employees can’t action a form it’s likely that they’re missing from the ESS employee group assigned to that part of the form workflow. Ask your Clever Forms administrator to check the workflow and your ESS admin to add the employees to the ESS group assigned to that part of the workflow.