FP2’s Compensation module is designed to speed up payroll considerably by automatically calculating times and applying pay guidelines to determine total pay. The thing that can take a lot of time - other than entering all the incidents and training info in the first place, is identifying discrepancies between the pay amounts you expect and what FP2 comes up with.
Since each payroll is somewhat different, I can’t talk about exactly how to do things, but I’ll identify a number of reports and techniques which are helpful in identifying problems with Compensations.
The first thing to remember about preparing to do payroll is to give yourself some time, and test in advance. There is no reason that you should be scrambling when payroll time comes, since FP2 allows you to run payroll tests over any time period, as many times as you want.
Usually the biggest problem with payroll is data entry. If an incident or training session is not entered correctly (or not entered at all), it causes problems with the payroll.
This tends to be a bigger problem the longer the time is between payrolls – Departments that do a payroll every month will inevitably have less of this than Departments that do pay annually.
For payrolls that have discrepancies and cover a large time period, it can be really helpful to break the payroll into smaller time periods. Try running payrolls a month or a quarter at a time – that makes the issue of finding missing or incorrect data more manageable.
There are a number of reports in FP2 which detail all incidents and training records, broken down by firefighter. Since FP2 uses these records to calculate payroll, these reports are the fastest way to cross-check the data in payroll with the data entered in FP2.
Personnel Module→ Personnel List Reports→ Incident Detail by Firefighter provides a detailed time sheet for each firefighter.
Personnel Module→ Personnel List Reports → Meeting and Training by Firefighter provides the same kind of information, but for meeting and training sessions instead.
Personnel Module→ Personnel List Reports → Training and Incident Hours Summary gives you a breakdown of each training, meeting or incident that each firefighter has attended, the length of the session, and the totals for each category.
Another thing that is helpful to remember is that incident and training records for individual Firefighters can be viewed and printed directly from their Personnel record→ Attendance tab with the “Incidents” subtab and “Meeting and Training” subtab. This allows you to quickly review and print the information entered for an individual, without having to print reports for all the other Firefighters. If the department is using hourly rates in payroll calculation, the Training sub-tab (in the same Attendance tab) allows you to choose to include the header ‘Hours’ in that record list, opposed to the ‘Session Length’ header, for more accurate troubleshooting. The Hours field is what is usually used in payroll.
You can also see paysheets and compensation settings for the individual by going to Personnel Module--> Personnel Record→ Employment Tab→ Compensation sub-tab.
When you are doing comparisons, remember that you can always re-print the pay details and summaries from any payroll you have created by going to selecting the Payroll in the Compensation List window and opening the Compensation Record window. The ‘Print’ icon at the top of the record window is used to access these reports.
Another problem that pops up occasionally is that some Firefighters do not appear on payroll when it is run. Usually, this is because in the Payroll window on the FF record, the “Exclude from Payroll” checkbox has been checked. This will remove a Firefighter from payroll altogether, which is useful in some people are not paid by the Department. Firefighters who haven’t attended any payable sessions will generally appear on the payroll with 0’s in all categories.
Finally, if you decide you want to remove some of the test payrolls that you used, you can clean up by opening the Payroll record and selecting the trashcan icon in the menu options bar. Be careful, though – deleted payrolls cannot necessarily be restored, as it was based on the FP2 data at the time it was created, and a prompt will warn you of this.