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Payroll Setup for Other Payroll Systems
Payroll Setup for Other Payroll Systems

Learn the necessary steps to complete a successful payroll setup for Other Payroll Systems, including QuickBooks Online!

Aspire Software avatar
Written by Aspire Software
Updated over a week ago

Table of Contents


This article will walk you step by step on what needs to be set up within Aspire related to your Payroll system other than QuickBooks Desktop.

This article is also for those using QuickBooks Online!

Setting Up Time Reporting

In Aspire, we need to ensure all the settings are correct for how your company will use Aspire for Payroll.

The first step is to configure your Time Reporting settings in Administration.

  • Go to your Profile Icon and then Administration in the blue side menu.

  • Select Configuration.

  • Then, click on the Time Reporting tab. Check the boxes that apply to your company and how employees report their time. Each field and checkbox is described below. 👇

  • Break Time – If crews are required to take a lunch during the work day fill in the Break Time field with the required time. This will show on the Time Entry screen.

    • You would configure this in decimal format, a good example is for a half hour break, enter .50 or if you provide an hour lunch, enter 1.00

  • Disable Mobile Crew Management – If checked, Aspire requires Crew Members to clock themselves in and out individually as well as clock in and out for lunch if required, and not the Crew Leader to perform these functions on their behalf. This is only for clocking in at the beginning of the day, and clocking out at the end of the day.

  • First Day of Week – Choose the first day of your payroll workweek.

  • Round Clock in/out times to the nearest 15 minutes – Check this box if you want an employee’s clock in/out time to round up or down to the nearest 15 minutes. If the employee’s clock is between 8:00 and 8:07 the clock rounds back to 8:00 exactly, anything after 8:07 means it will round up to 8:15.

  • Payroll Export Format – There are multiple options to choose from in the dropdown menu. Choose the option that best applies to you.

  • After all changes have been made, click the Save Icon in the upper right corner of the Time Reporting screen.

Adding Branch Codes to Your Branches

Next, you'll need to ensure your Branches have Branch Codes. If you haven't entered Branch Codes yet, this will be done next.

  • Go to the Settings and then Administration in the left blue side menu.

  • Select the Organization tab.

  • You will see the Branches subsection default after selecting Organization. Select a branch from your list of existing branch names.

  • Add your Branch Code.

  • Click the Save icon in the upper right of the Branch Code window.

Remember the following when filling Branch Code box:

  • Branch Codes are usually required for payroll services. Some payroll services use Company Code and Department. The Branch Code in Aspire is similar to a Company Code while a Division in Aspire is similar to a Department.

  • The Branch Code will be used to export/import into your Payroll Service and/or Accounting System.

  • Branch Codes have character limits!

    • For other Payroll Services, please contact your service to find out what their limits are.

Repeat these steps for the branches you'll be using during payroll until all Branch Codes are entered.

Adding Division Codes To Your Divisions

  • You'll also need to add your Division Codes to your Divisions. Click Settings in the left blue side menu, and then select Administration.

  • Select the Application tab and click on Lists.

  • Select Division from the drop down list.

  • Set up your Division Codes by selecting a Division from your list.

  • Once you select your division, add your Division Code.

Enter information in the following fields if not already filled out:

  • Worker's Comp Name - Available for companies that integrate their external payroll systems with Aspire. Workers Comp Codes can be specified here at the division level if desired to be used when exporting employee time from Aspire to the external system. If a Work Comp Code, tied to a Worker's Comp Name, must be created, go to Administration ➡️ Lists ➡️ Worker's Compensation.

    Workers' comp codes may alternately be provided for individual employees or for services. When time export occurs, the workers' comp code exported is determined based on the following hierarchy:

    • Use workers comp code assigned to the employee if provided.

      • If not, use the worker comp code assigned to the service performed if provided.

        • If not, use the worker comp code assigned to the division of the service.

  • Revenue Account Number, Material Expense Account Number, Equipment Expense Account Number, Sub Expense Account Number, and Other Expense Account Number are fields are used for purposes outside of Payroll.

  • Indirect - The Indirect checkbox is only used with the “OH” or overhead account so that indirect labor can be tracked. If you have an indirect division, none of the other divisions should have indirect checked.

    • Direct labor is time tracked directly to work done on job sites.

    • Indirect labor is time tracked to services such as shop time, vacation time etc.

⚠️ For some Payroll Services, a Division may be considered a department.

  • After adding in your Division Code, click the Save icon in the Division window.

Creating Locality Codes

Localities are additional city or county taxes withheld from an employee's paycheck based on where they live or where they work. This is not your federal or state taxes.

❗ If you do not have different payroll withholdings based on locality, skip to the next section. This is only necessary if you have different payroll holdings based on the locality where the employee works.

📌 Note: Localities can be exported depending on the Payroll export format. Amounts can be obtained by creating an Hours Pivot Report in Aspire.

To setup your locality code:

  • Click the Settings button in the blue side menu. Then, go to Administration.

  • Select Application, and click on the Lists tab.

  • Select Locality from the drop down list.

  • Click New to set up a new Locality and Locality Code.

Enter information in the following boxes:

  • Locality Name – This is where you name your City or Municipality.

  • Local Code – Put the code name here and place up to 6 characters for the best description of the Locality.

  • Active – This should be on when first creating a new locality. Click the slider again if needing to inactivate.

  • After all information is entered, click the Save icon .

Creating Pay Codes

Next, we'll create Pay Codes. Creating Pay Codes are necessary to build the Pay Schedules necessary for employees in Aspire and determine how time is calculated and tracked.

⚠️ You should at least have a Default Pay Code and a Default OT Pay Code set up for your employees.

  • To set up your Pay Codes in Aspire, click the Settings button in the blue toolbar.

  • Then, go to Administration.

  • Once in Administration, click the Application tab and go to Lists.

  • In the dropdown, select Pay Code.

  • Select the New button to add a new Pay Code.

Enter information in the following boxes:

  • Pay Code Name - This is where you add the Pay Code name.

  • Pay Code - This is where the actual Pay Code is entered. ⚠️ The Pay Code must match the Pay Code used by your payroll service if the Hours export file from Aspire will be imported.

  • Premium Dollars - This is the premium amount the employee is paid, in addition to their base pay. For example: Snow Premium. An employee is paid an additional $5.00 for each hour worked for snow.

    • If you pay employees a Premium Dollar, be sure your payroll service has the ability to add the premium dollar amount to that employee’s base rate if the Premium Dollar Pay Code is chosen.

  • Premium Percent – This is the premium percent the employee is paid, in addition to their base pay. For example: Overtime - 50% would be entered if you pay Overtime at time and one-half the base rate.

  • Fixed Rate – This is the employee’s fixed rate of pay, regardless of his/her base rate.

    • For example: Prevailing Wage. If an employee works on a prevailing wage job and is paid $29 per hour instead of their base rate of $18 per hour. The Pay Code would be Prevailing Wage with a fixed rate of $29.

  • Exclude from OT – Check this box if no matter what the Pay Code is, you will not pay Overtime on this type of pay. For example: Vacation, Holiday, Sick, Overtime

  • OT Pay Code – This is only checked for Overtime Pay Codes that are added as a default on an employee’s Pay Schedule.

    • For INOVA, it must be checked!

  • Create Indirect Pay Codes (Vacation, Sick Pay, or Holiday Pay) following the above steps if:

    • You want your payroll service to keep up with any time off still available.

    • You are exporting more than 40 hours, the Pay Code will indicate not to pay Overtime for these hours.

    • You will show those specific codes on the employee’s paycheck.

    • For indirect hour pay codes, there will need to be a corresponding service set up! To read how to set up a service, click here.

Once all of the necessary fields are filled out, click the Save button.

🔑 Key Takeaways to Remember about Pay Codes:

  • Pay Codes used must match your Payroll Service's codes.

  • If you have a salary employee that is paid Flex Overtime Hours, the flex overtime pay will be calculated in Aspire at a fixed rate. The actual variance will have to be manually calculated.

  • Most salaried employees' hours will not be exported from Aspire for payroll purposes.

  • There are several export file choices in Aspire for exporting to a payroll service.

Creating Pay Schedules

A Pay Schedule defines how a person is paid (Hourly or Salary) and how their Overtime is calculated. Once Pay Schedules are created, they are assigned to individual employees.

💡 A Pay Schedule in Aspire will also group employees separately on the Weekly Time Review for exporting to your Payroll Service.

  • To set up your Pay Schedules in Aspire, click Settings in the blue tool bar.

  • Then, click Administration.

  • Once in Administration, from the Application tab, go to the Lists tab. In the dropdown, select the Pay Schedule list.

  • You can create new pay schedules, by selecting the New button.

Enter information in the following boxes:

  • Pay Schedule Name - Add the Pay Schedule name.

    • Examples would be: Weekly 40, Hourly, Salary with OT, Salary without OT, Daily 8, etc.

  • Daily Hours Before OT - This is where you would place how many hours you can work in one day before being eligible for Overtime. This usually applies to business in Califnornia.

  • Weekly Hours Before OT - This is where you would place how many hours you can work in one week before being eligible for Overtime.

  • Minimum Start Time - If you enter a time here, any crew clock-ins prior to this time will be changed to this value. This will affect all employees under that pay schedule. Not usually used for employees who work past midnight, such as snow crews.

  • Default Pay Code - Enter the Pay Code that applies to this Pay Schedule. Examples would be as follows:

    • Weekly 40 Pay Schedule - Default Pay Code would be Hourly.

    • Salary with OT Pay Schedule - Default Pay Code would be Salary.

    • Salary No OT Pay Schedule - Default Pay Code would be Salary No OT.

  • Default OT Pay Code -This is the default OT Pay Code if they get paid Overtime. If they are not paid overtime, you leave it as NONE. Pay Code options listed here would have the checkbox checked on the Pay Code's record called OT Pay Code.

  • Active - If you are using the Pay Code, make sure it is marked Active, or the Pay Code will not be available to assign to employees.

📌 Note: You can set up pay schedules for temporary labor if you have the need to track their hours to jobs in Aspire.

  • Once all of the necessary fields are complete, click the green Save button.

Setting up Employees with Payroll in Aspire

Next, you will set up your employees to be ready for Payroll Processing. This step is important to make sure your payroll exports correctly.

  • Go to the Contacts module in the blue menu.

💡 If you don't already have employees in your system, make sure to create new Contacts first. If you aren't sure how to do this, check out our article about Creating an Employee Contact. If you are creating contacts for field crew members (not crew leaders), check out this article instead!

  • Select your Employee from the Contact Screen.

  • Scroll towards the bottom of the employee's Contact Screen to the Payroll section.

📌 Note: All employees must have a branch and employee PIN assigned to them.

Enter the following information into the boxes:

  • Pay Schedule - Select the correct Pay Schedule for the employee from the drop down.

  • Employee Number - If using this field, an employee’s number must match their employee number from your Payroll Service.

  • External Contact Reference - INOVA will automatically fill this field in to process payroll when Aspire & INOVA are sync’d. For other Payroll Providers, this number will remain empty or blank.

Adding Pay Rates on the Contact Record

Once the employee's payroll information is entered, pay rates will need to be added for labor to be calculated and job costing to happen in Aspire.

  • Enter your Pay Rates for your employee in the section right below Payroll by clicking the New button. ⚠️ DO NOT delete these when giving future raises or pay rate changes.

  • Next, you'll add information into the Effective Date, Base Rate, Burden % fields to calculate Hourly Cost.

    • Effective Date - Enter the date the new rate will take effect.

      • You can back date the effective date on this page to reflect the original effective date for this pay rate.

      • For future new pay rates entered in Aspire, the effective date should be set to the day before the first day of the week of the pay period (which was set back in Administration ➡️ Configuration ➡️ Time Reporting). This will help for accurate reporting!

    • Base Rate - Enter the hourly amount the employee will be receiving.

      • Salaried employees will also have an hourly rate entered here (not a salary rate).

      • DO enter a new Base Rate line when the employee has received an increase in pay

    • Burden % - Enter the burden % if you are using a burden % in Aspire. This is a percentage (of employee's base pay) that you calculate based on employee costs to the company. Costs may include payroll taxes, company paid insurance, company retirement contributions, bonuses, etc.

  • Hourly Cost - This will automatically populate after the Effective Date, Base Rate, and Burden % are filled out.

Once everything is filled in, click the green Save icon on the Employee's Contact Screen if not adding Override Paycodes.

Adding Override Paycodes to Pay Rates

If you have an employee who is being paid a rate different than what was setup at the Pay Code List, it can be added to an employee’s contact record. This is called an Override Pay Rate.

Let's look at an example as to when you would use an Override Paycode. We will use the common example of Fixed Rate.

An employee may make $15/hour during Green season but $18/hour for Snow season.

If your fixed rate for Snow is consistent across all employees, you can set up the Fixed Rate on the Pay Code in Administration. If the fixed rate varies by employee, then you could set it up as an Override Pay code on the employee Contact record.

  • To add an additional (override) pay rate, click on the 3 vertical dots to the right of the current pay rate on the employee's Contact Screen under Pay Rates and select Add Override Paycodes.

Under Pay Code drop down list, choose the Pay Code option that you want based on the Pay Codes you have created.

  • 💡 Reminder: If the option you want is not a choice in the dropdown, you will need to go back to Pay Codes in Administration to add it.

  • Next, enter Override Rate or dollar amount.

  • Then, click the Save icon to save your Override Paycodes.

📌 Note: When a Pay Code is selected for an employee on the Time Entry screen, Aspire will look at the employee’s Override Pay Codes to see if that Pay Code is listed. If it is, the admin can use that rate.

⚠️ Overtime will not automatically calculate on Override Pay Codes. If overtime is to be paid on an Override Pay rate, an Overtime Pay Code must be setup and added here. For example: a pay code of Snow OT with a fixed pay rate of $27.

Once finished adding the needed Override Paycodes on the contact record, click Save on the contact record.

Repeat this process for all needed employees so Payroll can be exported later.

Next Steps for Processing Payroll

After the first full pay period has been completed, you are ready to export your Payroll!🎉However, you will want to make sure these things have been done first:

Aspire is Synced with Your Accounting System (QuickBooks Desktop or Other Accounting Systems)!

As employees clock onto jobs and log time, and that time is approved, you are ready to proceed to the next step:

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