Creating and downloading a pay run

Once you've selected and reviewed the data you'd like to export for use in your payroll provider, you can create a draft pay run, which is a 'frozen' grouping of pay data. Then, you can do a final review of that data and mark the pay run as Complete before downloading it for use in a third party app.

Creating a pay run

The pay data included in a pay run is ‘frozen’, meaning it will not update if users reopen and modify timesheets or time off bookings included in the pay run.  This allows you to be confident that you’ve had an opportunity to review all of the data you plan to export. Any changes users make to pay run data will be saved as adjustments you can include in a future pay run.

Data freezing only applies to pay data; approval statuses and user data are not frozen, and always show the current value. Groups always show the historical value in effect at the time of the entry.

To create a pay run:

  1. Go to Payroll > Payroll Workbench.
  2. Select and review the data you plan to export.

Only pay data that displays in the data grid is included in the pay run; pay data in hidden columns is not included.

  1. Click the Create Pay Run button.

This freezes the pay data you’ve selected in a Draft state.

An auto-incrementing pay run number displays. You can manually overwrite this number if you want to, and add a description of the pay run, if desired.

  1. Now you can finalize your data. Sort data, as needed.

You can remove columns and filter by user when reviewing pay run data, although you can't add data to the pay run. These filtering options are available so you can review data retroactively, after a pay run is downloaded. For example, if an employee inquires about why they were paid a given amount last month, you can review the pay run, and use the filters to find the data in question more easily.

If you remove users or columns, only the data that displays will download, but all data and filter settings will be saved for that pay run. We don't recommend that you filter or remove columns from the pay run before downloading data it since that would make the export status of pay data difficult to track.

  1. Once you’re satisfied the pay run data is complete and accurate, click Mark as Complete.

This will update the pay run’s status to Complete. This has no effect on the data; you can click Revert to Draft to revert the status at any point. The purpose of the pay run status is to help you keep track of which pay runs you’ve finished reviewing and are ready for download.

If you prefer, you can mark pay runs as Complete when you've finished downloading them.

Exporting a pay run

Before exporting a pay run, be sure the export format you plan to use has been added to your system. You can export a pay run at any time, even if you haven’t marked it as Complete, although we recommend marking pay runs you intend to import into your payroll provider as Complete before you download them.

To download a pay run:

  1. Go to Payroll > Payroll Workbench.
  2. If the pay run you want to download isn’t already open, select All Pay Runs from the top, right-hand corner of the page.

And then select the pay run from the list that displays. Use the Creation Date and Description filters to help you find a pay run, if the list is long. 

  1. Click Export, and select the file format you want to use.

The file should download to your computer, ready for import into your payroll provider.


Why is the User filter available, but not the other filters?

The User filter is available so you can track pay details for particular users retroactively if, for example, an employee wants clarification on why they were paid a certain amount. Other filters typically aren't needed once a pay run is created.

Can I delete a pay run?

You can cancel any pay run that's in a Draft state. You can set Complete pay runs back to Draft, if needed, by clicking the Revert to Draft button.

To cancel a pay run, click the Cancel Pay Run link in the top, right-hand side of the page.

The pay run will be given a status of Canceled and data will be grayed out and will no longer be associated with the pay run – that is, that data will be returned to the pay data pool. The pay run will also no longer display in the Payroll WorkbenchPay Runs page, but you can click the Show canceled pay runs button to see it, in case you need it for audit purposes.

Why can’t I click Create Pay Run?

Try clicking Refresh Data – data must be current before you can create a pay run. Be sure that you've reviewed all of the updated data before creating the pay run.

Why aren't columns I can see onscreen showing up in my downloaded file?

Your downloaded file and onscreen grid will match exactly only if all of the columns you've selected to view are enabled in the file format you're using. If, for example, you've included the Timesheet Period column onscreen, but that column wasn't selected to appear in the download file, it won't display in the download. The file format is the ultimate column limiter; be sure all columns you need in your export are included there.

Can I re-download a previously exported pay run or roll back an export?

Yes, you can re-download data you previously downloaded, and you can cancel a pay run that is in Draft state.

Can I include the same data in multiple pay runs?

Yes, you can do this, although we don't recommend it. You'll see a warning message if you attempt to do this.

Does a pay run have to be marked as complete before it can be downloaded?

No. The ability to mark a pay run as complete is simply intended to help you keep track of whether or not you’ve completed your review of the data. Marking data as complete doesn’t enable download of a pay run – you can download pay runs of any status.

Related links

Using the Payroll Workbench to prepare payroll
Preparing payroll using the Payroll Workbench (video)
Selecting and reviewing payroll data
Reviewing payroll data using the Payroll Workbench
Managing payroll download file formats