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Exploring the Activity Feed in QuickBooks Online Bureau Payroll

by Intuit Updated 4 months ago

The Activity Feed gives you an overview of all your pay run activities in one place, including their status across all the clients you manage. It also highlights important issues and warnings that require your attention.

In this article we'll cover:

The Activity Feed consists of two main components: filters and status groupings. Let's take a look at each one in detail.

1. Filters

You have the ability to narrow down your search results by using various parameters. Once you apply these filters, a list of results will show. These filters include:

  • Brand: Lets you select a specific brand to work with.
  • Business name or ID: Lets you search for activities related to a particular business using its name or ID.
  • Activity type: Lets you search for activities based on their type, like journals, notifications, pay runs, report packs, EPS, FPS and pensions.
  • Payroll manager: Lets you search for activities specific to a particular payroll manager.
  • Date: Lets you change the current month and view activities for different periods.

2. Status groupings

The Activity Feed categorises various activities under different status groupings, which provides an organised overview all of activities. These status groupings include:

  • Errors: These are items that need attention and action due to errors.
  • Overdue: This lists pay runs that are past their due dates.
  • In progress: This lists all the pay runs that have been created but not yet finalised.
  • Upcoming: This lists pay runs that are upcoming and helps you plan and prepare for activities in advanced.
  • Complete: Lists all complete activities and finalised pay runs.

For each status mentioned, there are 6 data columns:

  1. Activity: Different activities reported based on the status.
  2. Icon status: Green for applicable, orange for scheduled, and red for error. Icons include various status updates such as:
    • Journal exported
    • Payslip published
    • HMRC submitted
    • PensionSync submission
    • Automated pay run
    • Pay run has been approved/declined
    • Warnings
  3. Business: Name of the business associated with the activity.
  4. Payroll manager: Primary person responsible for the business (not related to user access in the payroll file).
  5. Date: 'Due date' or 'date paid' for the activity. Hover over the information icon for confirmation.
  6. Action: Different courses of action available depending on the specific activity.

To get a better understanding, let's break down each status group. Simply select a status group to uncover additional information.

This status reflects any errors associated with the pay run activities. These errors may include:

  • Report pack
  • Journal export
  • Payslip notification
  • EPS
  • FPS
  • Pension file

The action items related to these pay run activities include:

  • Dismiss: Dismissing an error will remove it from view, even when performing a new search for that date.
  • View details: This will show more information about the error. For example, an error related to a bounced email address in the report pack.
  • Open pay run activity: This will take you to the payroll file to help you resolve the issue.

Dismiss warnings in bulk

  1. Select the checkbox next to each error. Or tick Activity to select all.
  2. Select Bulk dismiss activities.
    Note: Dismissing errors in bulk won't permanently delete or resolve them. To show the dismissed errors, select Include dismissed.

Here you'll see a list of overdue pay runs. This section is connected to Workflows, which lets you set a due date for each pay run. When the due date arrives, QuickBooks will automatically marks the activity as overdue.

Here are action items for this activity:

  • Create pay run: This lets you create the pay run without accessing the business payroll file directly. It moves the activity from 'Overdue' to 'In progress'.
  • View details: This shows additional information about the pay run.
  • Open in pay run activity: This takes you to the payroll business file.

Create pay runs in bulk

  1. Select the checkbox next to each pay run. Or tick Activity to select all.
  2. Select Bulk create pay run.
    Note: You can only do with with manual pay runs as the bulk feature uses existing settings of the pay run you're working on.

Here you'll see a list of pay runs that have been created but are not yet finalised. It also shows the different activities associated with those pay runs.

If there's a warning related to a pay run, it would be indicated by an icon.

Here are action items for this activity:

  • Finalise pay run: You'll be asked to confirm if you want to go ahead with finalising the pay run. Once confirmed, the pay run will be marked as 'Complete'.
  • View details: Select this to show more information. Then select the dropdown arrow next to the warning tag.
  • Open pay run activity: This will take you to the payroll business file.

Bulk finalise pay runs

  1. Select the checkbox next to each pay run. Or tick Activity to select all.
  2. Select Bulk finalise pay run.
    Note: You can only do with with manual pay runs as the bulk feature uses existing settings of the pay run you're working on.

Similarly to the 'Overdue' activity, you'll see a list of all upcoming pay runs. These are also linked to workflows, and you can set a due date for each pay run.

When the due date approaches, QuickBooks will automatically marks the activity as upcoming.

Here are the action items for this activity:

  • Create pay run: You'll be asked to confirm the pay run creation, and then it will be marked as 'In progress'.
  • View details: Select this to show more information about the pay run.
  • Open pay run activity: This will take you to the payroll business file.

Default timeframes are used to determine upcoming pay runs, but you can manually change these dates within the workflow.

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

Bulk create pay runs

  1. Select the checkbox next to each pay run. Or tick Activity to select all.
  2. Select Bulk create pay run.

Here you'll find all pay runs that have been finalised. You can select the icon next to each pay run to see more details.

The action items for completed activities include:

  • View details: Select this to show more information about the finalised pay run.
  • Open pay run activity: This will take you to the business file.

You will find four icons that act as filters for the completed items which lets you refine your search. To do this:

  1. Go to the Activity Feed, and select the icon–you can select multiple.
  2. Select Update. This will show pay runs that match the icon and filter the list by:
    • HMRC submission not sent
    • PensionSync not submitted
    • Payslips unpublished
    • Journal not exported

Note: Pay runs with warning icons will also show in the 'Errors' section.

Download the activity feed

You can enter specific dates and search details which you can download as an Excel file. To do so:

  1. Enter the Activity feed.
  2. Use the available filters to narrow down the information you want to view.
  3. Select Download activity feed.

View actions items

To change the activity feed view and access current Payroll dashboard action item messages:

  1. Select View action items.
  2. Each message is displayed as an expandable/collapsible section. Businesses that have received these messages are grouped within each section, and lets you see any helpful messages such as:
    • Incomplete employees
    • All unpublished P60s
    • Pending leave
    • Pending expenses
    • P45 forms that need reviewing

Publish P60 forms in bulk

  1. Select the businesses from the list that are ready for P60 publishing.
  2. Select Bulk publish P60s. Once published, employees with valid email addresses will receive email notifications.

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