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Pay run approvals in QuickBooks Online Advanced Payroll

SOLVEDby QuickBooksQuickBooks Online5Updated 1 week ago

From setting up pay schedules to pay run approvers and approval notifications, here's everything you need to know about managing pay run approvals in QuickBooks Online Advanced Payroll. Plus, get answers to our most frequently asked questions.

  1. Set up a pay run approver
  2. Set up a pay schedule that needs pay run approval
  3. Edit/remove pay run approval settings
  4. Create a pay run that needs approval
  5. Approve/deny a pay run
  6. Set up pay run approval notifications

1. Set up a pay run approver

To be able to set up pay schedules that require approval, we need to set up a user with 'Pay run approver' access first. There are two types of users:

  1. Full access users automatically have 'pay run approval' access. If you'd like them to get approval notifications, you'll need to add them to the notify list when setting up the approval from the Payroll Settings > Pay Schedule.
  2. Restricted users will have read-only access to all employees within the pay runs.

To add a new approver with full access

  1. Go to Payroll, then select Payroll Settings.
  2. Select Manage Users (located under Business Management).
  3. To add a new pay run approver, select +Add.
  4. Enter their email address and name.
  5. Select Full access.
  6. Save.

To add a new pay run approver with restricted access

  1. Go to Payroll, then select Payroll Settings.
  2. Select Manage Users (located under Business Management).
  3. To add a new pay run approver, select +Add.
  4. Enter their email address and name.
  5. Select Restricted access.
  6. Select Pay run approval.
  7. Select the specific pay schedules that you'd like approved by the user.
    • Note: To give user approval access for pay schedules that don't have pay run approval setup yet, select Here.
  8. Tick the box next to the appropriate pay schedule.
  9. Select Save.

The new user will receive an email. They can then create a password and login to their new account.

2. Set up a pay schedule that needs pay run approval

  1. Go to Payroll, and then select Payroll Settings.
  2. Select Pay Schedules (located under Pay Run Settings).
  3. Choose the pay schedule you want approval for.
  4. Select the pencil icon to edit Pay run approval settings.
  5. Select Yes to show a list of users with 'full access' and 'pay run approver' access.
  6. Choose the users you want to notify so that they can approve/deny the pay runs within that pay schedule.
  7. Select Next.
  8. If you choose to, you can select Edit to customise the notification email.
  9. Once you're happy with the email, select Next.
  10. You can choose when/if you want to Send a reminder if the pay run hasn't been approved and the number of days after it has been finalised. If you choose not to send a notification reminder, select Don't send a reminder email.
  11. Select Next.

Happy with the approval summary? Great! Select Complete to finish the setup. If you need to go back and change any details, select Previous.

3. Edit/remove pay run approval settings

You can edit or remove pay run approval settings at any time. To do this:

  1. Go to Payroll, and then select Payroll Settings.
  2. Select Pay Schedules.
  3. Find the pay schedule you wish to edit/remove.
  4. Select the pencil icon next to Pay run approval.
    • Make the necessary changes, and make sure you go through to the final summary step and select Complete to save any changes.
    • If you need the pay runs for this pay schedule doesn't require approval, select No. Be sure to go through to the final summary and select Complete to save the changes.

4. Create a pay run that needs approval

Now that your pay run approval settings are all set up, it's time to create a pay run. Similar to a normal pay run, there are two extra steps during the finalisation process.

First, create a new pay run and then once you select Finalise Pay Run, follow these steps:

Step 1. Approval

Note: This will list the settings that you have setup for the pay schedule. You can also make changes here.

  1. Choose whether or not this pay run requires approval.
  2. Choose which users you wish to notify.
  3. Choose whether or not a reminder email will be sent, and how many days after.
  4. Select Next.

Step 2. Finalise

These details follow the existing settings for notifications, payslips and report packs that can be sent once a pay run is finalised.

Once you're happy with the pay run, select Finalise. Note: If you need to make any changes, select the pencil icon.

The pay run will go in a Pending state, waiting the approval from the authorised pay run approver user.

5. Approve/deny a pay run

Full access users and pay run approvers will get an email notification to approve/decline a pay run only if they're set to receive notifications.

Full access users

These users will see the option to approve/decline the pay run. Because they have unrestricted access, they can still approve/decline a pay run even if they don't receive an email notification.

Pay run approvers

These users have read-only access to the pay run via the link within the notification email or via the link within their employee/manager dashboard.

For approving a pay run via the notification email, pay run approvers have the ability to:

  • select each employee to see the specific pay run details
  • approve/decline the pay run
  • view the draft payslips, draft audit and variance report

Pay run approvers can't:

  • unlock the pay run
  • make any changes to the pay run itself

For approving a pay run via the employee/manager dashboard, restricted users can:

  • see an overview of pay runs (pay runs that have been approved, declined or are currently pending)
  • use the link to get to the specific pay run that needs approval
  • view the details of pay runs that have already been approved or declined

Once a pay run has been approved/declined, a confirmation will show within the pay run along with the name of the user. Users that decline the pay run will need to give the reason, this will show within the pay run itself.

6. Set up pay run approval notifications

Users who are set up to receive pay run approval notifications will get an email containing a link which will take them straight to the specific pay run that they need to approve/decline.

A notification will be sent to the same users once the pay run is approved/declined.

Frequently asked questions

You have the the option to send a reminder to notify the pay run approver to approve/decline the pay run.

Yes. Full access users have the ability to unlock the pay run and restart the process. The approval process is optional. It doesn't need to be completed to process the pay run.

No. If they need to make changes to a pay run with an approved status, they'll need to contact the payroll admin to reset the pay run.

Unfortunately, no. Each pay run schedule will need to be setup individually.

Content sources from KeyPay.

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