You told yourself that this would be the year you started tracking vacation and sick time in Sage 50’s payroll instead of on a spreadsheet or in a notebook. But that still hasn’t happened and vacation season is in full swing.  Don’t worry, it’s not too late. The Payroll Settings Wizard will help you set up the required payroll fields and formulas; then you just need to enter each employee’s starting balance.

Setting Up Vacation Fields in Payroll

Open the Maintain menu and choose Default Information, then Payroll Settings.  Click on Benefits, select Vacation, and click Next. The options for setting up sick time are the same, so when you are done setting up vacation you can come back here and choose Sick Time instead of Vacation.

The first option is Vacation settings are based on.  Leave it on The answers to the questions below, unless you want to write your own custom vacation formula. If you want to create your own formula, such as to accrue vacation based on hours worked instead of per pay period, you can look up formula in the help or contact me for assistance.

Next, enter the number of vacation hours each employee receives per year. You can adjust individual employees later. If new hires don’t get vacation you can leave this at 0 and change employees as they become eligible.

The third option is to choose whether employees receive all of their vacation hours in January (lump sum method) or accrue it over each pay period. If it’s accrued, the total vacation hours per year will be divided by the number of pay periods to determine the hours accrued on each check.

Fourth, decide if vacation time can be carried over from year to year, or if unused hours are lost at the end of the year. If you answer No it is important to know that this setting assumes a calendar year. There is no option to have vacation hours reset based on the company’s fiscal year or an employee’s anniversary.

Finally you have the option of setting a maximum number of hours an employee can accumulate. Leave this field blank if you don’t want to set a maximum. This setting primarily affects those who allow balances to be carried over from year to year.

Click Finish to close the wizard.

Any time you want change your company-wide vacation settings you can go through this wizard again.

Adjusting Employee’s Vacation Settings

If you need to adjust the vacation settings, such as the number of hours earned per year, for an employee go to the Maintain menu, then Employee/Sales Reps. Enter their ID, select the Vacation/Sick time tab, and clear the check box next to This employee uses the company default settings for vacation to make the changes.

Entering Beginning Balances

When setting up vacation mid-year (or even at the beginning of they year if hours can be carried forward), you’ll need to enter starting balances for each employee.  While still in Maintain Employees, go to the General tab and click the Beginning Balances button. In the window that opens, go to the first available column, enter the “as of date” for your balances. Enter the balance on the VAC_Remain line. Click Save and repeat for each employee.

Recording Hours Used

When entering payroll, simply enter the number of vacation hours used during the pay period on the VAC_Taken line. The VAC_Remain line of the pay stub will show their balance in the Year To Date column. Remember that this tracks vacation hours earned and used. You’ll still pay for those hours through the regular hourly or salary pay fields.