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Public holidays, US reports and more Payroll in Xero updates

Posted 5 years ago in Xero news by
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We’ve released updates to Payroll in Xero today following on from previous monthly updates in November and October.

Public holidays

Managing leave requests where the dates include public holidays is a real chore. Today we’ve added Holidays to make it easier for you to more accurately calculate your employee’s leave requests.

You can add any number of custom Holidays and Groups for your business and assign them to employees as required. The first step is to ensure that you have the right groups and holidays configured. You then assign the employee a Holiday Group on their Employment screen. An employee can be assigned to one Holiday Group.

We’ve created Holidays and Groups automatically for you based on your country with dates entered for 2015. We’ll keep public holidays up to date each year for you so automatically.

Holiday leave requests in Payroll

This is just the first step for Holidays and it currently works with leave requests. When the request dates includes a holiday for the employee, the number of hours requested is automatically reduced by the number of holidays falling within the date range. For example, a request for 26–30 January 2015 will automatically calculate the 26th as public holiday in Australia, for Australia Day, and reduce the required number of hours requested.

To use Holidays for new requests in the remaining few weeks of 2014 you simply need to manually add the holidays you need and assign the employees to the correct group. Any new request will use this information and previously completed requests will not be affected.

We have plans to roll this out to more areas in the coming releases including timesheet visual indicators, automatically including a days pay within the pay run and a visual calendar for everyone to see when key payroll dates and who’s away from the office.

Why not use My Payroll (employee self-service portal) to let employees apply for leave online? It makes life easier for them and for you. You’ll be able to approve requests online and have electronic records at your fingertips. It also allows your employees access to information, such as how much time off/leave they have due, without asking the HR department. Employees and managers can plan December holidays better, knowing at all times exactly how much time off/leave is available.

Check out the help information on getting holidays setup correctly, click here if you’re in Australia and here if you’re in the US.

Payroll settings

Pay Items

As we continue to build UK and New Zealand Payroll in Xero we get the opportunity to give key pages a refresh. In this release you’ll notice that Pay Items have moved to a left-hand navigation.

Payroll Earnings

As a result we’ve added a Display Name field for Earnings. We understand that sometimes an earning name can be confusing for employees, especially due to penalty rates flowing in from timesheet add-on partners. This optional field allows you to control what name is displayed to the employee on their pay information, on timesheet entry and in the employee portal.

For our US customers we’ve also added support for additional Benefit categories including:

  • Group Term Life (GTL)
  • Personal Use of a Company Car (PUCC)
  • S-Corp Health Insurance (S-Corp)

Payroll frequency

When setting up payroll frequency in Calendars (Australia) or Schedules (US) we’ve made it clearer to understand how this works to ensure you get setup and ready to go correctly.

Payroll Frequency

You’ll now see the next three payment dates depending on the Start Date and First Payment dates you select. The Name will be auto-populated based on the type you select, but it’s editable.

US payroll reports, annual forms and electronic filing

As the financial year comes to an end in the US we’ve released key updates to US Payroll in Xero including state annual forms and payroll reports.

Under Taxes & Filings we’ve added support for the following forms: New Jersey NJ W-3, Utah TC-941R and Virginia VA-6.

You’ll also notice five new reports under Payroll Reports that are specific to US Payroll. These include:

  • Opening Balance Summary
  • Opening Balance Details
  • Total Cost Summary
  • Total Cost Detail
  • Taxable Wage Summary

Coming in January will be the first release of State electronic payroll filing and payments with the focus on our current seven states. This will allow you to file and pay your state payroll taxes with a click of a button. More on this coming really soon! We will then begin rolling out calculation and filings for new states.

For full details of this release see the 9 December release notes.


December 9, 2014 at 12.10 pm

I like the additions, but I would have preferred a termination wizard as terminating employees in Xero is a mega pain compared with stepping around public holidays.

Cassandra Scott
December 9, 2014 at 1.18 pm

Great initiative BUT it does not appear to contain the balance of Public Holidays for this year – specifically Xmas Dan and Boxing Day.

Billy Richards
December 9, 2014 at 1.38 pm

Seconded Cassandra’s Comment, Xmas Day and Boxing Day are not included for 2014 Holidays. Will have to add them manually for this Year…

They are included under 2015’s holidays though

If it helps Xero… this is related to Australian Holidays.

Tina Kaye
December 9, 2014 at 2.48 pm

This looks like the work of the sniper team?? One of my fave Xero teams…
On this very topic, I am hosting a webinar this Thursday covering how to prepare the holiday period payrun for those that want to see it live and ask questions. Details on our website 🙂

Sarah Jennings
December 9, 2014 at 3.18 pm

Yah Cassandra I just logged on to comment on the same thing – New Years Day 2015 is in the 2014 year (& not where it should be in 2015) and Christmas Day & Boxing Day 2014 are missing all together!! Does this mean Christmas has passed us by again and I missed it… It would also be nice if they were actually in date order & you could add dates as required.

Oliver Furniss
December 9, 2014 at 3.48 pm

Thanks for the feedback. As per above in the blog to use Holidays for the remaining few weeks of 2014 you need to manually add the holidays. Any new request will use this information and previously completed requests will not be affected. We tried to get the remaining holidays for 2014 released but there were several reasons why this wasn’t possible and we had to release without them. From 2015 holidays will automatically be updated with the correct dates.

The issue for January 1st 2015 showing in 2014 will be corrected in the coming days.

@Tina, this was the Payroll team in San Francisco.

@Sarch, you can add custom holidays as required and select the date that is required.

James Elia
December 9, 2014 at 6.38 pm

I accidentally deleted one of the preset public holidays. When I try to add it back again i get an error saying that is already exists.

Debbie Todd
December 9, 2014 at 7.30 pm

I have just entered a Christmas period annual leave request and Boxing Day 2014 is being picked up but not Christmas Day 2014 .. I have manually entered Chrsitams Day 2014 into the Holidays .. reentered the Leave request and now works OK.
Will just have to let clients know to add Christmas Day to Holidays before entering any leave requests for this year

Tina Kaye
December 9, 2014 at 7.44 pm

Well – go San Fran Payroll team! Love it that you are adding features like this – just adds to the ‘automated’ feel.

Charles Klvana
December 10, 2014 at 2.37 pm

Great work guys. Once the bugs are ironed out (the Jan 2015 NYE) this is going to be a great help for all of us. There’s been a number of times we’ve had to fix client payrolls because they’ve over done AL on an employee and not taken into account public holidays!

December 10, 2014 at 11.34 pm

I’m not sure if this would help others but it would be great for us if an employee could be assigned multiple holiday groups. Some of our employees have additional annual leave dates (eg. religious holidays) so it would great if we could assign all employees the State public holidays and set certain people to have an additional group of holidays.

December 12, 2014 at 5.17 pm

I’ve deleted New Year’s Day from 2014 (1/1/2015) and tried to re-enter it into the 2015 Calendar and it won’t go..?! “A Holiday with the same date already exists in this group.” – although I can’t see it…and I have tried entering it with various names including Donald Duck Birthday… Suggestions..?

Michal Turek
December 14, 2014 at 4.27 pm

Good work. As for the planned features, it would be great to see all scheduled leave and public holidays greyed out in the relevant time sheets with a “AL” or “PH” or just “Leave” written in the relevant days, so employees do not put any figures in them.

December 15, 2014 at 5.19 pm

This is a great development – it is certainly a saving grace from the previous requirement to add multiple periods of leave.
What would be exceptional, is if the scheduled public holidays actually pulled into an Earnings Rate Line and deducted those hours from the Ordinary Hours as regular scheduled Leave does…

Oliver Furniss
December 15, 2014 at 9.30 pm

@James and David, we’ve picked up an issue that we’ll get fixed ASAP around removing and adding the holiday again. Thanks for highlighting this.

@Michael this is the plan for timesheets. We’ll indicate when the employee has leave or a public holiday so they know they shouldn’t add hours. We won’t prevent them from entering hours as we know some people do work on holidays.

@David thanks for the feedback. The team always love getting first hand comments from out customers. This is also on the radar for when we re-work the pay run process so that a days earnings is automatically added. No timeframes on this but it’s on the list.

Ashlea Pelchen
March 11, 2015 at 10.49 am

Hi, I am trying to post a pay run but it is not recognising the labour day public holiday (victoria). The employee is added to the Victoria public holidays group, and has submitted their pay sheet with 0 hours worked for monday, however when posting the pay run it does not come up like annual leave and is not calculating the total amount we need to pay.

Patrick O'Halloran
March 12, 2015 at 11.08 pm

Hi there, I too am having trouble with the labour day public holiday. Look forward to a response on Ashlea’s query.

Jim Shaw
April 9, 2015 at 4.07 am

Can anyone tell me if weekends are deducted from a holiday request. I assume not as I haven’t seen anywhere to indicate that an employee works Monday-Friday in the Employee set up area.

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