Table of Contents
This article will walk you step by step on what needs to be set up within Aspire in order to lay the foundation of your Payroll Set Up with Accounting programs 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 and everything related to successful Payroll processing.
The first step is to configure your Time Reporting settings in Administration.
Go to Settings and then Administration in the blue tool bar.
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. 👇
Mobile Time Reporting Timeout – If field employees will be using a Mobile device for time reporting, this is to set the seconds before the mobile will timeout on the Aspire Crew Mobile application.
This is configured by seconds, you will need to do a bit of number crunching. A good example would be is if you want the time out to be after 3 Minutes of no activity, you would enter 180 seconds into this field.
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.
Default GEO Perimeter – The GEO perimeter allows Aspire to determine if the crews have clocked in or out within a certain distance of each property in feet. The distance is measured from the center of the property, so base the number on your standard property size. In certain cases, for large or small properties, a special GEO perimeter can be set on the property itself that will override the default setting here. To get more tips on special GEO perimeters, click the tool tip next to the header of this field.
When using mobile time entry, Production Managers will be able to identify where the crew was in reference to the GEO perimeter based on the three colors of pins:
Green - employee was within the GEO perimeter!
Yellow - the system could not read the location of the employee's mobile device or, the time was changed on the Time Entry screen or manually entered into the Time Entry screen by someone that has user role permission to edit time entry on Aspire Desktop.
Red - the employee was outside the GEO perimeter. Aspire shows you where the employee was located when they clocked in/started time.
Green and Red pins are hyperlinked to Google maps to show the location the employee punched in or out at the time that has been recorded.
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.
Include Date in Paychex Export – This box is normally not checked; check this box if you need the hours to export for each day of the week for each employee when using the Paychex Export option.
Payroll Export Format – There are multiple options to choose from in the dropdown menu. Choose the option that best applies to you.
🧠 Read our Choosing a Payroll Export Option article to understand what information each export contains for your payroll system.
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.
📌 Note: Remember the following when filling Branch Code box:
Branch Codes are required for Payroll services and some Payroll Services use Departments, the Branch Code in Aspire is the same thing as a Department.
The Branch Code will be used to export/import into your Accounting System or Payroll service.
Branch Codes have character limits!
Paychex has a six character limit.
For other Payroll Services, please contact your service to find out what their limits are.
Find the Branch Code box in the Branch details screen.
Add your Branch Code.
Click the Save icon in the upper right of the Branch Code window.
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.
Display Order - This is where you assign a number to specify the order the division will show on the reports.
Active slider - When on, this means that this is an active Division to be used.
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
📌 Note: This is only necessary if you have different payroll withholdings based on the locality where the employee works. If you do not have different payroll withholdings based on locality, skip to the next section.
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.
📌 Note: Aspire will export localities only if your accounting system has the ability to accept these locality codes for state withholding calculations.
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.
🧠 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.
Enter information in the following boxes:
Pay Code Name - This is where you add the Pay Code name. A Pay Code determines how time is calculated and tracked.
Pay Code - This is where the actual Pay Code is entered. ⚠️ The Pay Code must match the Pay Code used by your payroll service.
Paychex users can only be two characters for the Pay Code.
For other Payroll Services, you will need to reach out to your payroll provider to find out which format will export best.
Premium Dollars - This is the premium amount the employee is paid, in addition to their base pay. Put a zero if this doesn’t apply. 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. Put a Zero if this doesn’t apply. 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. Put a Zero if this doesn’t apply.
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 Over Time on this type of pay. For example: Vacation, Holiday, Sick, Overtime
For INOVA, it must be checked
OT Pay Code – This is only checked for Overtime Pay Codes that are added as a default on an employee’s Pay Schedule.
Create Vacation, Sick Pay, or Holiday Pay Codes following the above steps:
If you want your payroll service to keep up with any time off still available.
If you are exporting more than 40 hours, the Pay Code will indicate not to pay Overtime for these hours.
It will show those specific codes on the employee’s paycheck.
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 salary employee’s hours will not be exported from Aspire into the payroll service or accounting system.
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.
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 - You can place a time here and the time you place will not allow anyone to clock in before this designated time.
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 you mark sure the slide is in the On position, as shown below, or the Pay Code will not be available to assign to employees.
📌 Note: You can set up pay schedules for subcontractor labor or 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
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.
Enter the following information into the boxes:
Pay Schedule - Select the correct Pay Schedule for the employee from the drop down.
Employee Number - Employee’s number must match their employee number from your Payroll Service.
Employee PIN - An employee PIN might already be setup. If a PIN has not been setup:
Employee PIN's are necessary for all crew members that will be using Aspire Crew Mobile.
This PIN is their access into the system from a phone or tablet to track their time for the day.
PIN's allow employees quick access to Aspire from the Aspire Desktop if their role permissions allow.
We recommend they should be a minimum of 4 characters long and preferably alpha numeric (numbers and letters).
⚠️ DO NOT MAKE THESE NUMBERS SEQUENCIAL (like 1234).
It can be the same as their Employee Number.
Accounting Sync ID - Only applies to QuickBooks Desktop. It will fill in automatically when Aspire & QuickBooks Desktop are synced. For other Payroll Providers, this number will remain empty or blank.
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.
Add the Effective Date, Base Rate, Burden %, and Hourly Cost fields will appear.
Effective Date - Enter the date the new rate will take effect.
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 NOT delete these when giving a raise.
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 that you calculate based on employee costs for the company to provide here. The burden rate is the calculated percent of base rate that accounts for additional employee cost paid by the company such as company-paid insurance, retirement, vacation time, bonuses, etc.
Hourly Cost - This will automatically populate after the Effective date, Base Rate, and Burden % are correctly 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 an at an example as to when you would use an Override Paycode.
An employee may make $15/hour during Green season, but $18/hour for Snow season.
If your premium for Snow is consistent across all employees, you can set up the Premium on the Paycode. If the premium rate varies by employee, then you could set it up as an Override Paycode 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.
If the option you want is not a choice, 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 lock in your Override Paycodes.
Once finished adding the needed Override Paycodes on the contact record, click Save on the contact record.
⚠️ Overtime will not automatically calculate on a regular Override Pay Code. If overtime is to be paid on an Override Pay rate, an Overtime Pay Code must be setup and added here.
📌 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, it will use that rate.
Repeat this process for all needed employees so Payroll can be exported later.
Next, as employees clock onto jobs and log time, and that time is approved, you are ready to proceed to the next step: Exporting your Payroll!