Payroll Considerations - Trying Out the Payroll System

Datafile Software

Payroll Considerations - Trying Out the Payroll System

You can start to use the system immediately on the DEM company supplied with your system. The outline description below assumes that you have read the Using Datafile Software section of the System User Guide to find out how to use Datafile Software keys, particularly the <Escape> and <Enter> keys.

Starting Up

Start up Datafile and sign on either as the DEM user if it is available (no password is needed for the DEM user) or with the sign-on name your system supervisor has given you, followed by your password

Check the company you are going to use by keying <Alt-O> and then choosing the DEM company from the list. You can also use the mouse to select the Open New Company option from the Datafile pull-down on the toolbar.

Choose the payroll application

Start Next Period

The best way to get going is first to start a new payroll period by selecting the option ‘Period End / Start Next Period’. If you should get the error message "PAYROLL NOT COMPLETE FOR CURRENT PERIOD” then the payroll has already been started, so you can continue with the next actions.

Maintain Employee File

Select the option Employee Details from the payroll menu. Now choose the Amend option — you can add a new employee record later to see the differences

Here you must choose an employee number.Since you don’t know what is in our demonstration system, use the <F4–Select> key to bring up a window of selection choices, and key <Enter> to the first choice followed by <Enter> to see the list of employees in the DEM company. Use up and down arrows to highlight an employee record, and <Enter> to select it. The details for the employee record you have chosen are now displayed

You can use <Enter>, <Tab> or the down arrow key to move from one field to the next, and the up arrow key or <Shift + Tab> to return to a previous field. You may want to change the basic pay or basic hours and rate for the employee


The entire content of this screen is user-definable with the Datafile Diamond and Premierproduct ranges. This allows an unparalleled ability to tailor the system to match your needs.

When you have made a few changes, select the SAVE button or use the <End> key to complete the employee record. The employee record is only updated when you save the record, or if you have keyed <Enter> through every field on the screen.

Once you have made some changes to an existing employee record, try entering a new employee record. You must choose a new employee number first, and this number must not already exist — use the <F4-Select> key to see which numbers are already defined or type ‘N’ for next. The ADD screen is similar to the AMEND but includes a second screen for you to enter/view year-to-date details – ignore this screen for now.

Input Payroll Details

Select Input Payroll Details

Select to process records in employee number sequence — and reply ‘No’ to the question ‘Only show employees that have no input recorded

The screen asks for general details about the employee for this pay period such as SSP, advance pay periods, holiday pay, tax refunds held, and pay status. In this trial accept the default values that are offered

It then asks for the basic pay details, either hours and rate or basic pay. In addition you can enter some overtime rates and values if you wish

After the pay details the screen asks for any extra payments, deductions and repayments — the categories here are known as "switches”. These can be either fixed or variable amounts depending on the system configuration and employee details

Finally, there may be a last option to record split department details. This screen allows an employee’s costs to be split over different departments on a percentage basis. If left blank then all the employee’s costs are booked against their own designated department

Run the Payroll

Select the option Process Payroll from the payroll menu

The first prompt you are asked is to save the payroll files before running the payroll. This is a very useful feature, as it allows the payroll files to be automatically restored later if you find any problems or omissions after you’ve run the payroll. (You can restore the payroll from System Status).

Reports and Payslips

Select the Print Payslips option from the payroll menu to print the payslips for the employee.

Select the Reports option from the payroll menu; this offers all the standard reports that are available. You may want to try a few of these to give you an idea of the payroll reporting facilities — for example, the summary of payroll controls, and the department summary.

This short tour should give you a feel for how the system works. The next step is to think through what you want to achieve with your payroll system, so that you can make any changes which may be needed to the implementation of the system. If you have purchased Datafile Diamond or Premier version of the system then you may also want to change employee maintenance screen layouts and file structures.

Custom Fields
  • Release ID: Standard
Posted by: Terry Moore - March 26, 2013. This article has been viewed 1024 times.
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