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Employee Work Classifications Not Showing As Desired

Last Updated: 17 February 2013
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While a normal or familiar error message box will not appear when employees are not being classified correctly on the final certified payroll reports, it will be easily recognized when you preview or print your certified payroll reports. Use the following information to diagnose WHY your employees are not being classified correctly.  HINT this is not a program error!

The program help and the manual, contains a more detailed section on dealing with Work Classifications, which includes 8 different examples on how you might need to set things up - both in QuickBooks and Certified Payroll Solution. Please feel free to download a copy, by pdf clicking here .

Dealing with Work Classifications

There are many ways that different contractors deal with employee Work Classifications in QuickBooks when those employees work on prevailing wage projects; and there are many ways that Work Classifications can be dealt with in Certified Payroll Solution. Here are three examples of how contractors may need to classify their employees.

Simple: All the employees for this company are Traffic Flaggers, and that is the only type of work this company does. Their work classification and pay rates do not change from job to job.
Medium: Each employee has one Work Classification; they are either a Journeyman, Equipment Operator, or Foreman. Their Work classification or pay rate will not vary within any given week or by any given job.
Complex: Joe, usually a Carpenter, worked on 3 jobs this week. On one particular job, he worked as a Carpenter, Equipment Operator, and a Foreman.

How these are handled in QuickBooks and CPS:

• SIMPLE - In this case, each employee has one (1) rate of pay and all the employees in the company fall under a single work classification called, for example, "Traffic Flaggers", and you use the QuickBooks Hourly Rate payroll item in timesheets and paychecks. In Certified Payroll Solution, under Linked Data -> Wages, the Hourly Rate payroll item from QuickBooks will be linked to a new Work Classification that YOU create called Traffic Flaggers. You are telling the program when you see Hourly Rate used in timesheets & paycheck; print Traffic Flaggers on the Certified Payroll Report.
• MEDIUM - While it is preferable to deal with case using the instructions for the COMPLEX example below; this is not always the way your existing QuickBooks file has been set up. If you have been using Hourly Rate or another "generic" payroll item in timesheets and paychecks; this payroll item is linked, or will be linked, to a special Work Classification called Defer to Employee. This special work classification tells CPS that you use a single payroll item for multiple employees/work classifications, and in order to find the correct Work Classification to print on the final report, to go and LOOK to see how you have each employee classified under the Linked Data menu -> Employees.
• COMPLEX - Since Joe, in the example above, needs to be reported on this specific job, under three (3) different Work Classifications. Joe will need three different payroll wage items in his QuickBooks Employee Record -> Payroll & Compensation Info tab for Carpenter, Equipment Operator, and Foreman, with the appropriate rate of pay assigned to each payroll item. Joe's hours are entered into the timesheet using the appropriate payroll wage item, number of hours, and the job name. In Certified Payroll Solution, the Carpenter payroll item from QuickBooks would be linked to the Carpenter Work Classification. Ditto for "Equipment Operator" and "Foreman".

It is important to note that on the EEOC/Work Utilization reports, all employee hours are classified by the work classification assigned to the payroll item that was used in the QuickBooks time sheet. All Employee counts come from the Work Classification that is assigned to the employee in the CPS Linked Employee Record. This is because the employee may only be counted once. In other words, using the example above, where Joe works as an equipment operator, a foreman, and a carpenter on one job during the week, the hours are split according to the hours entered on the time sheet using the different payroll items, but his "employee" count will be based on the Carpenter Work Classification that was selected in the CPS Linked Employee record.

It is recommended that nearly everybody use or move, to the "Complex" method. This is because pay rates and employee classifications change over time. As Joe moves from an apprentice to a journeyman, you would need to change his employee Work Classification in his CPS Linked Employee Record, so that the proper classification would print on older reports without changing his classification in CPS.  It is also worthy of note, that Wage Manager Solution can be of assistance when dealing with employee's payroll wage items and changing rates of pay, as it allows you to add, change, delete, and view, all employees and their payroll wage items, in a spreadsheet format.

Wage Manager Solution is part of the Certified Payroll Solution program and can be accessed from the CPS Run menu -> Wage Manager.