QuickBooks HelpQuickBooksHelpIntuit

Managing workflows in QuickBooks Online Bureau Dashboard

by Intuit Updated 4 months ago

Workflows make the pay run process easier by letting you set deadlines, plan ahead, and organise your team for future pay activities. They also help you find pay runs that need attention.

Workflows manage the pay run process by moving from one step to another automatically. For example, if a pay run is marked as 'Upcoming' but isn't done by a certain date, it will change to 'Overdue' on its own.

However, without a workflow, QuickBooks won't be able to identify upcoming or overdue pay runs. As a result, you won't receive notifications about them through the activity feed.

To create or edit a workflow, there are two ways to access the workflow settings for a business:

Option 1: 

  1. Go to Activity
  2. Select the name of the business, and then select Manage workflow settings.

Option 2: 

  1. Select the suitcase icon. This will take you to the Business dashboard. 
  2. Under Workflows, select the pencil edit icon.

In the workflow settings, you will find a list of all pay schedules for a business. Each pay schedule includes:

  • Pay frequency
  • Next pay run date
  • Status of the existing workflow (enabled or disabled)
  1. Select Create workflow.
  2. Choose when This workflow will take effect from–by default, the start date is today’s date for current pay runs. 
    • You can select any future date for the workflow to begin.
    • Exceptions: If it's a pay schedule that hasn't been used in more than two pay cycles, the start date will default to the next period end date of the pay schedule. In this case, you will need to manually change the date.
  3. Choose when the Pay run workflow will be due on–this indicates the recurring date when the workflow is due, based on the frequency of the pay schedule. 
    • The due date determines whether or not the pay run appears in the ‘Overdue’ status list on the activity feed. For example, if it's a weekly pay schedule and the due date for the pay run workflow is 7/9/23, the next one will be due on 14/9/2023 (a week later).
  4. Select Next
  5. Review the summary and then select Complete.
  1. Locate the workflow you want to change or deactivate. 
  2. The workflow will have two icons: 
    1. Pencil icon: select to edit the workflow
    2. Disable icon: select to make the workflow inactive

Note: When you make edits to a workflow, the changes will take effect in the next pay run cycle. 

Instead of creating workflows one by one, you can create them in bulk. To do this: 

  1. Go to Businesses
  2. Select the business (or multiple businesses). 
  3. Select Bulk enable workflow. 

When you create multiple workflows in bulk, QuickBooks will use the default dates for configuring the workflow. These dates are determined by the following: 

  • Effective date: This is today’s date. 
  • Due date: Based on the pay schedule frequency, the due date for a payment will be in the future according to that same frequency. For example: 
    • If it's a weekly pay schedule, the payment will be due one week from today.
    • If it's a fortnightly pay schedule, the payment will be due two weeks from today.
    • The default date for this payment schedule is referred to as the "Paid date".

Note: Pay schedules that have not been used in two or more pay cycles will not have workflows enabled for them during  the bulk enabling process.

QuickBooks will use workflows to determine if a pay run is upcoming or overdue. There are five activity feed statuses, but only two of them, ‘overdue’ and ‘upcoming’, are controlled by workflows. 

Now, let's focus on how these are triggered.

Overdue: When you set a due date for each pay run, QuickBooks automatically changes the activity status to ‘overdue’ when it reaches the due date. The due date will shift based on the pay schedule frequency, such as weekly, fortnightly or monthly. 

Upcoming: The ‘upcoming’ status of pay runs is linked to the ‘due date’ of a pay run workflow. You can choose how many days before the due date you want the pay run to be triggered into appearing in the 'upcoming' status.

If you don't change the upcoming date manually, QuickBooks will use the following days based on the pay schedule:

  • Weekly: 3 days before paid date of the pay run 
  • Fortnightly: 4 days before paid date of the pay run
  • Monthly: 5 days before paid date of the pay run
  • 4 weekly: 5 days before paid date of the pay run
  • Quarterly: 7 days before paid date of the pay run
  • Annually: 10 days before paid date of the pay run

Need more help?

Bookmark the Bureau Dashboard Resource Hub for quick access to more helpful how-to guides.

QuickBooks Online Payroll Advanced

Sign in now for personalized help

See articles customized for your product and join our large community of QuickBooks users.

More like this