Processing Payroll


ESC payroll is designed so that you can use as much or as little as you wish. For example, if you do not use dispatching or do not want to post time over from dispatches you can simply enter the time through Time Sheets and proceed from there.

Complete flow of Payroll

  1. Complete Dispatches with correct start and stop times
  2. Post Time to Payroll
  3. Time Sheet - add any hours not accounted for in dispatch and enter time for other personnel
  4. Process Payroll (check one last time)
  5. Generate Checks
  6. Print Checks
  7. Pay Taxes

Complete Dispatches

Dispatches do not appear for posting until they are in a Completed status.  Dispatch times can be corrected at any time by recalling the dispatch in the Dispatch screen and editing the times under the Schedule tab.  These times can also be viewed by going to Dispatch → Reports → Tech Hours Report.

Post Time to Payroll

The Post Time to Payroll process, found by going to Dispatch → Post Time to Payroll, transfers all accumulated time from completed dispatches to employee timesheets.  For more information on this process, please view the Post Time to Payroll process.

Time Sheet

The next step in the process is to add any time that is not tied to a dispatch, like vacation time or office personnel time.  Add any one time additions or deductions and check your work. To do this, go to Employees → Time Sheets.

Using the Employee drop-down list choose the first employee.

The week starting and ending automatically defaults to the week that includes the current date. This employee works in the office, so there is no time coming from dispatches. The default wage item selected for this employee in the employee setup screen automatically populates the wage item field. The only thing required on this screen is the number of hours the employee is to be paid for. The number of hours worked can be entered under each day, or as a lump sum under one day.

Enter line items and hours until all hours have been entered. If there are any one time additions and/or deductions for this payroll, they can be entered at the bottom of the screen by choosing the item from the drop-down and entering the rate. When the time sheet is complete click Save and Next.

The next employee on the list comes up. This employee is salaried. If their time is not being job costed and there is no vacation or holiday time involved, all that is needed is 1 hour. In the example below, the employee is being paid for a holiday so the number of hours for each wage item needs to be entered so the correct amount of money is allotted to each account. When finished, click Save and Next.

This is the employee we imported time from dispatches for. Any field can be edited in this screen, but will not change anything in the previous screens.

In the example below, we have added the department where it was missing and 32 hours of vacation.

When time has been entered for all employees, click Save instead of Save and Next.

HINT: Clicking the Find button in the toolbar will show all Time Sheets that have time entered but have not been processed.

Process Payroll

The Process Payroll Checks module is the central hub for creating your payroll checks. Once you actually enter the module, ESC goes out to our servers and downloads all the latest tax tables needed to process your payroll. If you don’t have an internet connection, or cannot connect to our servers for any reason, ESC will use the tax table info that was used the last time you processed payroll.

Note on tax tables:
Tax tables will be updated automatically when new rates take effect, usually the first of the year. The existing tax table is renamed with the year following the name. The current Tax Formula is always the item without the year. For example, on January 1 2013 the Federal Withholding table for 2012 was renamed Federal Withholding 2012 and the 2013 tables became Federal Withholding. If you want to run payroll using the old tax tables you will need to temporarily tie the tax item to the 2012 table.

To do this go to Employees → Payroll Tax Items, choose your Federal Tax item and click Modify. Drop down the Tax Formula list and choose Federal Withholding 2012. After running the payroll, remember to change the tax formula back to Federal Withholding so the correct taxes are withheld for the current year.

Go to Employees → Process Payroll Checks.

  • Bank Account – This field defaults to the checking account entered in the Payroll Checking Account field in Company → System Setup → System Accounts.
  • Generate checks for – What is entered here determines which employees’ payroll will be processed and coincides with the Pay Period field in Employees → Enter Employees → Payroll. If Weekly is chosen for this field, only employees with Weekly in their Pay Period field will appear in the next screen.
  • Pay period ending date – Choose the appropriate date.
  • Date on checks – Choose the date you want printed on the check.
  • Record in financial period – Payroll is the only place in ESC that the item date and financial period can be different. For example, if the pay period ended on Sept 30th and the checks were being dated Oct 3rd by entering 09/2013 in this field the payroll would go to the financials in September instead of October, appearing in the September account register with an October date.

When everything is correct press Begin.

When the second screen comes up you will have many options.

Here’s a list of functions that appear on the top toolbar and what they do:

  • Print preliminary – This function basically just allows you to print the information shown on the screen exactly as it appears.
  • Select for Pre-notification – This pertains to Direct Deposit only.
  • Generate checks – This is what creates the checks to be printed or creates the files for Direct Deposit.
  • Open – This will open the highlighted check allowing you to see the check and edit it, if needed, before printing. After the changes are made, click Save to return to the Process Payroll Checks screen. BE AWARE, if a change is made to a check and that check is not generated before leaving the Process Payroll Checks screen, the changes will be lost.

  • View Log – A useful tool that shows every single calculation so if you don’t know how it came up with the amount this screen will tell you.

Generate Checks

When everything is correct, click Generate Checks. If there are checks you are not ready to generate yet, remove the checkmark in the left column.

Print Checks

After the checks have been generated the Print Checks screen appears, showing the checks in the queue for the checking account chosen in the first Process Payroll Checks screen. If you are not ready to print the checks at this time, click Cancel. This screen can be accessed from Banking → Print Checks.

Enter the Starting check number and de-select any check you do not wish to print at this time. jThen click Print.

**Important** - Checks are not put into the ledger until they are printed. This means that you won’t be able to see a check in the View → Edit General Journal screen until the check is printed. You will however, be able to see it in the Account Register screen.

Reprint a check

Make a deposit into the account you will be printing the check from for the amount of the check. Code to the Invalid Account (any account is fine, but make sure you use the same account for the deposit and the check).  Now, issue a check for the same amount, using the same account number used for the deposit.

Mark the original check and the deposit cleared, leaving the second check outstanding to be marked cleared when it clears the bank.

Make corrections to a check

The following can be done from Employees → Write Manual Paycheck or Employees → Process Payroll Checks.

Enter a line item matching the item you need to correct, except enter negative hours. The next entry should be entered the correct way; then delete any additions or deductions. At this point the tax amount, taxable gross and check amount should be 0. Click Save.


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