Frequently asked questions
about IMS Payroll

IMS Online

I want to allow employees to apply for other leave types, such as Birthday Leave. Can this be done in IMS Online?

Yes. You may have as many different leave types as you like in IMS Online Max, however only standard leave types are available in IMS Online Express.

One of our employees has applied for Annual Leave, but has changed their mind and wants to come back to work earlier. What do we do?

The employee may withdraw the leave, and then create a new Leave Request for the new dates. Alternatively, a Manager or Administrator may decline the leave and create a new Leave Request for the new dates.

Some of our casual employees need to apply for leave, but no leave reasons show when they try. Why not?

Since casual employees do not typically have a standard pattern of work, they do not have a roster. Therefore leave payments cannot be created for them. Either revise the employee status setting in IMS Payroll if they are not a true casual, or upgrade to IMS Max for customisation in business rules for casual employees.

Will I have to reduce ordinary time payments in IMS Payroll when a salaried employee takes leave?

No, IMS Online will automatically create a salary reversal transaction for the leave payment, saving you time doing manual data entry in IMS Payroll.

We pay Sick Leave in hours but reduce the entitlement in days. How is this handled?

It is possible to reduce and pay leave units in different types in IMS Online Max, however this is not available in IMS Online Express.

For our daily-based leave payments, we want to pay in quarter day units. Is this possible?

It is possible to pay daily leave units in IMS Online Max in any daily unit type you wish, however in IMS Online Express, daily leave is paid as a full day or half day.

Can a Manager approve his or her own leave request?

No, this is not possible. Ideally, the Manager should be assigned to a different pay point to the one for which s/he is Manager so that his or her leave requests may be approved as normal.

Are unapproved leave request payments exported to IMS Payroll for payment?

Yes. All leave requests - whether they have not yet been submitted, submitted but not yet approved, and approved - will be included in the import file for the pay period range.

How does IMS Online work out a partial day request? An employee entered a part day, but it's paid the leave as a full day.

In standard IMS Online, the following formula is applied when working out partial days (note that this only applies to leave types that are paid in daily units). 

The number of partial leave hours are divided by the number of rostered hours for the day. Leave will be paid as either a half day, or a full day. If the result is between 0.01 and 0.50, then a half day will be applied, if the result is greater than 0.50, then a full day will be applied. This formulae may be modifed for IMS Online Max customers.

We allow our employees to go into a negative leave balance, especially if they're about to receive a new leave entitlement. Is this possible?

Yes. You decide whether negative leave balances are allowed in IMS Online Max (as well as how far in advance). Negative leave balances may be a customisation in IMS Online Express.

Some of our leave types are in hours, and some are in days. Does IMS Online handle this?

Yes. IMS Online uses the unit type stored against each leave type in IMS Payroll to determine the unit type. This means that even if some employees are paid in days and others in hours for the same leave type, this is all catered for.

What about leave payments that don’t explicitly have a leave balance type specified in IMS Payroll, such as Statutory Holiday, Bereavement Leave?

IMS Online determines the unit type based on other leave types. For example, Statutory Holiday will be paid in hours or days depending on the Alternative Holiday balance type, and Bereavement Leave is based on the Sick Leave balance type.

We want to ensure our employees use their Alternative Holiday balance before they use Annual Leave. How do we do this?

Leave escalations are handled in IMS Online Max, however they are not available in IMS Online Express.

Not all of our employees receive Shift Leave, so I want to show the Shift Leave balance on the Leave Request form for them, but hide the heading for everyone else. How do I do this?

It is possible to show different balances to different groups of employees in IMS Online Max, however this is not available in IMS Online Express.

An employee applied for Annual Leave and they had an insufficient balance to cover the leave. However, a Leave without Pay transaction did not get created. Why not?

A Leave without Pay transaction needs to exist in IMS Payroll. It then needs to be assigned to the Leave without Pay code in the Configuration area of IMS Online.

When an employee is applying for leave in say six months time, does the leave balance reflect what the balance would be at the time of applying for that leave?

Projected leave balance functionality is available in IMS Online Max. In IMS Online Express, the leave balance displayed reflects the leave balance as at the last closed pay period in IMS Payroll (assuming an IMS Online Update has been completed).

It appears that Leave without Pay is not showing in the Leave History area of IMS Online (sourced from IMS Payroll). Why not?

Leave without Pay is not a standard leave type in IMS Payroll. For this reason, IMS Online can only show Leave without Pay if the description is exactly “Leave without Pay”. It will show as “Other Leave” if the name is labelled as anything else.

The leave history shows leave on the last day of the pay period - why hasn't it been assigned correctly to the actual days the employee took as leave?

The leave history screen uses the leave dates as entered into IMS Payroll. If the leave dates weren't entered with the correct dates at the time of data entry, by default, the pay period end date is used. As future leave transactions get generated by IMS Online via leave requests, this will be correct once IMS Online is used (however historical transactions cannot be changed in IMS Payroll).

What are multiple approvals?

If employees work across more than one Work Area, it is possible to allow all relevant Managers to approve the timesheet.

How do I know whether more than one approval is required?

On the Timesheet Summary, the timesheet will display as a solid block of green if fully approved, and if partially approved, it shows as a green stripe.

How do we get multiple approvals set up for our organisation?

This functionality will work automatically if you are already capturing Work Areas on your timesheet. Some configuration will be required if you're not capturing them already, however this is minimal.

Can Managers enter time against any employee’s timesheet (even if they’re not in their Work Area)?

No. The entry is initiated by either the employee when filling in their timesheet, or by that employee’s Manager. Only then will the other Manager have access to the timesheet in order to approve the time.

I have employees who work across multiple sites in Auckland – however they sometimes make errors and select Work Areas based in Dunedin. Can I prevent this from happening?

Yes. We can modify the Business Rules to ensure employees only see Work Areas that you want them to be able to see. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

Is this functionality available in IMS Online Express and Max?

It is only available in IMS Online Max, since this is the only product that has timesheet functionality.

How can I find out more about this?

There is a document available on the Documentation page which has further information, including screenshots

Do Administrators receive leave request e-mails, as well as Employees and Managers?

This may be customised functionality in IMS Online Max. Administrators do not receive leave request e-mails in IMS Online Express.

Do Assistant Managers receive leave request e-mails, as well as Managers?

Yes, Assistant Managers receive a copy of the e-mail that is sent to the employee's manager.

What happens if the employee applies for leave during a period for which they are not rostered to work?

A warning will display since no leave payments are generated for non-rostered days.

Can managers access and manage employee roster information?

Managers may be given the ability to maintain employee rosters in IMS Online Max. In Express, only Administrators may modify employee rosters.

Our employees work variable rosters that can vary from fortnight to fortnight. How is this set up in IMS Online?

In IMS Online Express, it is only possible to specify a pattern that repeats every x days, usually every 7 or 14 days. If your roster pattern is variable and needs to be updated by managers each fortnight or month, then this can be handled via IMS Online Max.

How does IMS Online know whom to create a Statutory Holiday payment for?

In IMS Online Express, it is simply based on whether or not the non-casual employee is rostered on the public holiday or not. IMS Online Max may be customised to use a four-week averaging rule as well to determine whether today is a "normal"; day of work or not.

If an employee is rostered, how does IMS Online know how many units of Statutory Holiday to pay?

IMS Online Express simply pays on the number of rostered hours for the day if the Alternative Holiday unit type is hours; if in days, the employee receives one day Statutory Holiday. This may be enhanced in Max to deal with increased complexities if required.

If an employee takes leave over Christmas, do they have to submit multiple Leave Requests to ensure leave is not deducted on a public holiday?

IMS Online recognises that the day is a public holiday based on the Holiday Group the employee is linked to in IMS Payroll, and although the reason code will display as Annual Leave (or whichever leave type they have applied for), the day will actually pay as a Statutory Holiday. A yellow warning will display alerting the user that leave will not be deducted on this day.

Will IMS Online accrue an Alternative Holiday if the employee works on a public holiday?

Yes. IMS Online Max handles worked time, and will automatically accrue an Alternative Holiday should the employee work on a "normal" day. Note that IMS Online Express does not handle worked hours so this functionality is not available in these products.

One of our managers is going away on holiday for a month. How do we assign another manager to the pay point while he is away?

Date-effective manager delegations are available in IMS Online Max. In Express, this is handled via IMS Payroll by assigning a new manager to the Pay Point. IMS Online Express will be updated upon the next IMS Online Update. Note that this is not date effective, so it will apply immediately.

What are the minimum system requirements for using IMS Online?

Employees and managers will require:

  • Internet connection (preferably broadband)
  • Internet browser (Internet Explorer 7 or 8, Firefox 2 or 3, Safari 3.1 or 4.0, Google Chrome).
  • Note that IE6 (with recent MS patches) is supported, however it is not recommended.
  • Minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768
  • A PDF viewer installed in order to print reports

In addition, the IMS Payroll Administrator user will require:

  • Windows 2000, or later
I have forgotten my Administrator password; how do I reset it?

If there is more than one Administrator set up, then the other Administrator may log in and reset your password under Masterfiles. If this is not the case, you will need to contact us to reset the password for you.

Please note however if this Admin login is also used to synchronise data in the IMS Online Sync Tool, then you also need to update the password in the Details area of IMS Online Sync. Please see pages 6 to 8 in the Administrator guide.

IMS Cloud

Why use IMS Cloud?

It's exactly the same as our simple and easy to use PC version but in the Cloud. You can now access IMS Payroll from anywhere, anytime. Suitable for all small, medium and large businesses.

Employee maintenance

An employee who was previously terminated has now been re-employed. How do I re-activate them?
  • On the ‘Standard’ tab in the ‘Employee Information’ area double click on their finish date and press the delete key on your keyboard. As start/finish dates are reported on the Employer Monthly Schedule, a new start date should also be entered (if you wish to keep a record of the employee’s original start and finish date these could be entered on the employee’s ‘Notes’ tab). Press ‘Enter’ to save the changes to this record.
  • You will also need to check that the details on the employee’s ‘Standard’,‘Payment’, ‘Leave’ and ‘KiwiSaver’ tabs reflect the employee’s new employment status.
  • Delete previous 'Leave Earnings' history.
I have tried deleting an employee’s finish date but the field remains red
  • Click on the cancel button (red circle) if it is active to re-instate the finish date, or re enter the finish date and press ‘Enter’ to save. This should enter a valid date in this field. Then double click on the ‘Finish Date’ to select it and press the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard. Press ‘Enter’ to save.
  • A date cannot be successfully removed by clicking in the field and using the ‘Backspace’ or ‘Delete’ keys to delete one character at a time. The easiest way to delete a date is to double click on the date to select it, then press the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard.
I am entering a new employee but do not have their bank account number yet.

IMS Payroll Partner will not allow you to save the new employee record if this field is left empty. Therefore, to save the record you have just created we recommend you set their payment method to cheque until you receive a bank account number for this employee.

I am entering a new employee but do not have their IRD number yet.

Set their tax code to ND and fill the IRD number field with 000 000 000 until they complete an IR330 and provide you with their IRD number. This will calculate their tax at the no declaration rate until their code is changed. We do not advise the use of another employee’s IRD number as both employees will show on your Employer Monthly Schedule with the same IRD number and the tax deducted will not be correctly recorded on Inland Revenue’s records.

I have entered an employee’s IRD number but the field remains red.

A Modulus check is performed which will not allow entry of an invalid IRD number. Check the entry of the number. Alternatively, verify the number provided with the employee or Inland Revenue. IRD numbers now have 9 digits, if you have an 8 digit number place a zero (0) at the beginning.

I have an employee who works two different jobs and gets paid a different rate of pay for each job. How can I set this up?

On the employee’s ‘Payment’ tab you are able to set up various pay rates. If an additional pay rate (eg Pay Rate 2) is used you will then be able to select this rate when entering transactions on the employee’s ‘Permanent’ or ‘Timesheet’ screens by clicking on the ‘Rate Override’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the rate box. This will activate a ‘Rate Override’ dialog box where you can select ‘Employee Rate’ and choose the appropriate rate from the drop-down list.

I have entered an employee’s bank account number but the field remains red?

A Modulus check is performed which will not allow entry of an invalid account number. Check the data entry of the account number and suffix. A common error is trying to enter more than 2 digits in the suffix. Alternatively, verify the number provided with the employee or bank.

Direct credits

I created a file to transmit to the bank but now realise there was an error with one of the employee’s wages.
  • If the pay period is still open and the file has not been transferred to the bank yet you can alter the employee’s timesheet and progress through the pay period again (ie check, calculate, reprint reports etc.). Create another bank file (if you do not change the file name, the new file will replace the previous incorrect file) and transmit this file to the bank.
  • If the pay period is closed and the file has not been transferred to the bank yet you can restore your backup taken just prior to closing the period. This will restore you to an open period state for the pay run, allowing you to go back and alter the timesheet (see above).
  • If the file has already been transmitted to the bank then an adjustment will need to be made in a future pay period.
I wish to start using electronic banking to pay the wages. How do I set this up?
  • On the ‘Company’ tab ensure the ‘Schedule Method’ is set to ‘Electronic’ and you have correctly specified the electronic banking format required for your bank. Depending on the format selected you may also be required to enter a ‘Batch/Subscriber No’ which will be provided by your bank.
  • Check each employee’s ‘Payment’ screen to ensure the ‘Payment Method’ is set to ‘Bank’ and a valid bank account number has been entered.
  • When you process each pay period you will be required to create a bank file. The ‘Banking Due Date’ will be the day before the funds are required to be in the employee’s bank accounts, (check with your bank to see when the funds are available to your employees). The ‘Banking File Name’ will show the location (path) and name of the file being created and can be changed by clicking on the ‘Options’ button.
  • Once the file has been created it needs to be presented to your bank (eg via diskette or by using banking software).

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