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Chapter 5: Payroll Implementation Overview

CHAPTER 5: PAYROLL IMPLEMENTATION OVERVIEW Objectives The objectives are •

List the typical roles in a Payroll implementation team and describe their responsibilities.

Classify payroll data according to how you will manage it through the implementation process.

Describe the five stages of a Payroll implementation.

Identify at which stage each classification of payroll data becomes part of the master dataset that is being prepared to go live.

Introduction Payroll implementations are significant projects, requiring close collaboration. This chapter assumes that you have experience managing successful implementation projects. It offers recommendations specific to implementations of the Payroll module. The Microsoft Customer Source and Partner Source web sites have valuable resources that you should use in your implementation project. •

Payroll implementation plan template (Microsoft Project document)

Payroll Quick Start database

Payroll wizards

Payroll statutory deductions are available for some jurisdictions

Payroll import utility

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Microsoft Dynamics速 AX Payroll

Payroll Implementation Project Team A payroll implementation team should fill the following roles. If the project is large, multiple people might share a role. If the project is small, one person might fill more than one role. Make sure that you clearly allocate the responsibilities listed here to members of your implementation team. Typically the implementation project is shared between the organization and the partner.

Partner Implementation Team Members The partner implementing Payroll must fill the following roles: Role

Responsibility

Project Manager

Oversee the project Coordinate customer and partner resources

Implementer

Collect customer requirements Install Payroll Set up Payroll Import legacy data Test implementation

System Developer

Collaborate with customer IT Engineer to transform legacy data into importable format Write any custom reports required by the customer Write any custom code that is required by the customer

Trainer

Train the customer users and power users

Technical writer

Prepare customer-specific quick reference guide

Organization Implementation Team Members The customer must provide resources to fill the following implementation project roles.

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Role

Responsibilities

Executive sponsor

Make sure that project objectives align with organizational objectives, that project costs align with benefits, and that appropriate resources are available to the project.

Project coordinator

Coordinate with the partner Project manager to make sure that the project is proceeding as expected and company resources are available to the project as needed. Coordinate user acceptance testing.

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Chapter 5: Payroll Implementation Overview

Role

Responsibilities

Payroll subject matter expert

Make sure that company's payroll policies and procedures are captured in requirements. Might be responsible for confirmation of user acceptance testing.

Payroll power user

Learn how the new payroll system is set up, in order to be able to maintain it in future. Participate in testing the new payroll system.

Payroll administrator

Learn the routine processes of the new payroll system. If participating in parallel testing, learn it before the start of parallel testing.

IT Engineer

Extract relevant data from the legacy payroll system and transform it for import into the new payroll system.

Scenario Contoso has contracted a partner to implement Payroll. Simon is the System Implementer/Consultant. He fills the roles of: •

Project manager

Implementer

Trainer

Technical writer

Simon works with Mort, who is his IT Systems Developer. Mort fills the role of systems developer. At Contoso, Sara, the CFO, fills the role of executive sponsor. Mia, the Payroll administrator, fills the roles of: •

Project coordinator

Payroll subject matter expert

Payroll power user

Payroll administrator

Chris, Contoso's IT Engineer, fills the IT engineer role.

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Microsoft Dynamics® AX Payroll

Payroll Data Classifications for Implementation In the context of implementing the Payroll module, there are four classifications of payroll data. You will manage each type of data in a different way through the stages of your implementation. •

Setup data defines how the Payroll module operates. It includes, for example, the list of benefits and deductions that the company administers and the calculations associated with them, the list of pay groups and pay period dates, and jobs. It does not include data about particular employees or transactions.

Employee data includes the employee and position information about how earnings, benefits, deductions and entitlements should be calculated for each employee. It includes, for example, the employee's position, rate of pay, bank account for direct deposit, the list of which benefit/deductions apply to that employee, and the amount to withhold each pay period from a specific employee for child support payments. It does not include payroll transactions.

Running total data is cumulative information that changes each pay period. Most of the running total data is employee-specific, but you will probably also have to manage some company-level running totals. Running totals include, for example, year-to-date totals of taxes withheld and taxable earnings, balances for employee vacation banks, outstanding garnishments and advances and negative nets. Much, but not all, running total data is stored in accumulators. Running totals are based on transactions.

Transactions are the employee-specific, date-specific records of time, earnings, benefit/deductions, entitlement increments and decrements and payments that occur within each pay period.

Reusable Categorize Activity Categorize the following items: Categories (Payroll implementation data classifications): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Setup data Employee data Running totals Transactions

_____ Item 1: An employee's hire date _____ Item 2: A fixed garnishment amount to be withheld from an employee's pay _____ Item 3: The total amount that needs to be garnished from an employee over multiple pay periods.

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Chapter 5: Payroll Implementation Overview _____ Item 4: The amount that has been garnished from an employee's pay so far. _____ Item 5: The amount that was garnished in pay period 5 this year. _____ Item 6: The formula for the amount withheld from married employees for their health plan _____ Item 7: The fact that Alfredo Fuentes is subscribed to the health plan for married employees _____ Item 8: The amount of tax that the company has withheld from employees so far this year

Reusable Categorize Activity Categorize the following items: Categories (Payroll implementation data classifications): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Setup data Employee data Running totals Transactions

_____ Item 1: The hourly rate an employee receives for a position _____ Item 2: The rules for paying overtime at time-and-a-half _____ Item 3: An employee's overtime pay for pay period 8 _____ Item 4: The number of hours an employee must work in a day to qualify for overtime _____ Item 5: The number of hours an employee worked on February 23 _____ Item 6: The number of overtime hours worked in the Production organization so far this year _____ Item 7: The hourly rate for employees on step 6 of the Production salary grid.

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Microsoft Dynamics® AX Payroll

Payroll Implementation Project Stages A Payroll module implementation should follow five stages: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Plan Prototype Set up Parallel test Go live

1 - Planning As with any implementation project, in the planning stage you will build requirements and project plans and establish team membership and responsibilities. Develop a detailed data migration plan that specifies what legacy data will be migrated to the new system, where it is located in the legacy system, how it will be extracted, and how it will be transformed in preparation for import into Payroll. Schedule when you need people available to do these data migrations. If you decide to import setup data, you will do that before you import employee data or running totals. When you import employee data, you will also import running totals. You will also need to import running totals without employee data. You will want to repeat these steps to make sure that you have a reliable, repeatable data migration process. Develop a detailed plan for managing multiple environments for development, testing and going live. Test each environment as the first step in using it. Develop a detailed plan for coordinating data ownership across dependencies. Data that is used by only the payroll module is stored in tables whose names begin with PHR. However, Payroll shares data with other modules:

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Employees, including addresses and contact information

Positions

Jobs

Organizations

Dimensions

General ledger accounts

Accounts payable vendors

Number sequences

Bank accounts and checks

Project accounts, projects and categories, if you use Payroll's integration to Project.

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Chapter 5: Payroll Implementation Overview Note that there are payroll-specific data fields for employees, positions, jobs and bank accounts that do not exist in your database until you install Payroll. If some data that Payroll uses already exists in a live environment or if other teams are working on other modules in preparation for going live at the same time, determine whether module-specific data will be developed in separate databases, then merged, or developed in a single database. If data is being created in one central database, develop plans to coordinate roll-back procedures, should any team need to revert data, and plan take data from that central database for testing. When you merge data, make sure you have copies of the unmerged data in case you must roll back, and test the merged data rigorously.

Scenario At Contoso, Simon works closely with Mia to implement Payroll. In the planning stage, they determine a rough scope and schedule. They meet with Sara, the CFO, to discuss reassigning some of Mia's current responsibilities, to make her available for the project. They agree that in addition, April, the Accounts Payable Coordinator who fills in when Mia is on vacation, will help out during the parallel testing. Simon and Mia meet with Tim, Contoso's IT Manager, to make sure that Chris, Contoso's IT Engineer, will be available for the data migration part of the project, and to coordinate the availability of test environments. They hold a project kick-off meeting in which Sara, as executive sponsor, outlines the objectives of the project. Simon gives the team a demonstration of the Payroll module, so that they understand the objective. Then Simon reviews the roles and responsibilities, and some preliminary target dates with team members. Simon gives Mia Payroll power user training, so that she understands both how to use the system and the system operates. Then Simon works with Mia to document the requirements of the new system, recording Contoso's current payroll policies and procedures, and some new procedures made possible by the new system. Mia finds the training very helpful background for identifying some detailed requirements. Simon also starts developing test plans with Mia, to make sure that Mia is satisfied that the system will be thoroughly tested for acceptance.

2 - Prototyping The objective of the prototyping stage is to establish a simple working Payroll system as early as possible. Start with the Payroll Quick Start database that is available on the Microsoft Customer Source and Partner Source web sites. Import them into your test environment. As soon as your Quick Start database is running, you will set up and test additional functionality incrementally.

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Microsoft Dynamics® AX Payroll Scenario Simon confirms with Chris that the test environment is available. He installs Payroll, imports the Quick Start data, and configures it to connect to Contoso data in the Basic, General ledger, and Bank modules. He makes a copy of that data, then add a test employee and position, gives the employee an earning, generates a manual payment, approves the payment, posts the transaction and closes the pay period. The prototype is working and ready to build on.

3 - Setting up The objective of the setup stage is to configure all the Payroll module functionality according to your company's requirements. During this stage, you will also prepare your legacy employee and running data for import. This stage ends when you do your final import of live employee data in preparation for parallel testing. Start this stage by designing your implementation. Look for opportunities to minimize the data that payroll administrators have to enter. For example, examine the rules that you can set up for occupations. If you can use occupations to derive the appropriate rule groups for your employees, then you can train your payroll administrators on how to select the appropriate occupations, and you can remove the rule group fields from the employee and position forms.

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Position data is the data that is used when you process payroll.

Job data provides default values for some fields when you create a new position. A payroll administrator can always change a specific position field to a different setting, including deleting the value. If you change a job field, the corresponding change is not applied to positions associated with that job.

Employee data is used only when there is no corresponding data on the employee's position. For example, there is a benefit/deduction rule group field on both the employee and the position form. The value on the employee form is used only if there is no benefit/deduction rule group selected on the employee's position form.

Occupation data is used only when there is no corresponding data on either the employee or the employee's position. If you can define standard rules for deriving a rule group or a union affiliation from an occupation in combination with other selecting in the occupation rules table, then you can save your payroll administrators effort and opportunity for error.

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Chapter 5: Payroll Implementation Overview An important strategy in the setup stage is to build up your setup incrementally. For example, establish an earning, test it, then add another and test it. As soon as all the earnings are working, move on to features based on earnings. Establish earning thresholds and test them. The setup tasks are sequenced in the payroll implementation project template and in this training to accommodate the dependencies between Payroll module features. The Setup sections of this training outline how to test the features that you set up. They emphasize testing by processing test data as much as possible. For example, to test an earning calculation, give that earning to a test employee then verify that you can generate a manual payment. It is not enough to simply verify that the calculation is valid. Test all the variations that are relevant to what you have set up. For example, give the earning to employees from each rule group that should get the earning, and to each rule group that should not get the earning. Importing employee data is a significant part of this stage. Details are available in Course 14. Plan to invest significant resources building a reliable, repeatable process to migrate data from the legacy payroll system into Microsoft Dynamics AX. Plan to execute this process and test the results multiple times before you find all the data is importing reliably. Your objectives are is to be able to reliably: •

import a fresh copy of all the employee and running total data at the moment that you want to start parallel testing.

•

import a fresh copy of all the running total data at the moment that you want to go live.

You can start importing legacy employee and position data As soon as your setup and initial testing is substantially complete. You have to know all the calculations, occupations, rule groups, and the rest of the objects that incoming employee data needs to link to. The Payroll import utility includes specifications for the format of the legacy data files it can process. Create those Excel spreadsheets. Use the Payroll import utility to transform those spreadsheets into linked .csv files ready for import into Dynamics AX. Configure Dynamics AX to import those files according to the Payroll import utility documentation, then import them. Process payroll and inspect the results for a broad sample of imported employees to verify that both the setup and the import are ready for parallel testing. Toward the end of the setup stage, train the Payroll module users who will maintain data and execute the parallel test.

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Microsoft Dynamics速 AX Payroll Scenario At the beginning of the setup stage, Simon uses the policy information that Mia provided in the Planning stage to strategize how he will use occupations, jobs, positions and employees to manage the detailed data that controls how employees are paid. He wants to minimize the amount of data entry required from the payroll administrators. For example, the benefit/deduction rule group controls how an employee's earnings are calculated. Simon determines that he can set up occupation benefit/deduction rules that use occupation and position rule group to determine the appropriate benefit/deduction rule group for each employee position. The occupation alone is enough to derive the appropriate entitlement rule group. Simon follows his project plan, building and testing one section, then moving on to the next. He has a master copy of the data that contains no employees, just setup data. He sets up data for one section of his project plan, then makes a copy of his master data, enters test employees, time or earnings, and processes them to test his setup. He repeats this process until that data is fully tested. Then he moves on to the next section of his project plan. Early in this phase Simon meets with Chris (Contoso's IT Engineer) and Mia. They review the data that is available in their legacy system and what is needed in their new system and identify which data elements they want from their old system. Simon and Chris discuss how to transform data from the old system into the data elements and structure for the new system. As soon as Simon has completed his initial setup, he provides Chris with the names of all the payroll setup objects that the legacy data must refer to, including occupation names, rule group names, benefit/deduction calculation names, accumulator names. Chris builds them into the data that he's preparing for import into Payroll. He generates Excel spreadsheets for Simon. Simon processes the legacy data files in the Payroll import utility, then sets up a Dynamics AX definition group to import them, then imports the data and tests the results. Simon and Chris do three iterations of extracting legacy data, transforming it, importing it into Dynamics AX, and processing payroll to verify that the imported data is processing correctly or identify problems and confirming that they will be able to extract and import the data reliably on the day scheduled for parallel run data import. Mort, who is Simon's IT Systems Developer, develops some custom reports that Mia requires and writes code that uses the Payroll API to import time records. Simon tests Mort's report and import code to verify that they are working in Contoso's test environment with the data that he is assembling. Simon customizes a quick reference guide for Contoso, covering the standard procedures for a Contoso payroll administrator, highlighting the data elements that are important for Contoso's configuration.

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Chapter 5: Payroll Implementation Overview 4 - Parallel Testing The purpose of parallel testing is to run your legacy payroll system side-by-side with your new payroll system and compare the results. You are looking for any differences that identify problems in your setup or your employee data that have to be corrected. You will ignore differences resulting from deliberate changes that you have made in your policies, or minor effects of rounding differences between the legacy and new payroll systems. This is also an excellent opportunity for payroll staff to confirm that their training has prepared them for all the routine tasks that they do in a pay period. Parallel testing is the stage at which employee data goes live in the new system. That means that as soon as you extract the employee data from your legacy system, any subsequent changes (for example, wage changes, deduction amounts) must be entered into both your legacy system and your new system. Payroll staff will be entering data twice until you have gone live with your new Payroll system and stopped using your legacy system. Plan to run in parallel for at least 2 pay periods, and make sure that you apply sufficient time and resources to the project to satisfy yourself that you have verified the complete system. Test all the integration points for data input and output. Test any customizations, including custom reports or any custom code that uses the Payroll import API. Make sure that all the test cases and user acceptance plan are completed and signed off by the end of this stage. Make sure that all employees who will use the Payroll module are trained before you go live.

Scenario To set up the parallel test database, Chris extracts employee and running total from the legacy system, transforms it into the importable form, and provides it to Simon. Simon creates a new database that contains Contoso's data. The only Payroll data he includes is setup data. Then he imports employee data from the legacy system and takes a SQL backup of his database. For the duration of the parallel test, April, in Accounts Payable, runs payroll in the live system, so that Mia has time to participate in the parallel test. They enter all changes to employee information, including new hires, terminations, changes in benefit enrollments in both the legacy system and in Dynamics AX.

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Microsoft Dynamics速 AX Payroll Simon imports the running totals from the legacy payroll system and Mia uses Mort's customization to import time records for the current pay period. These time records match what is being processed in the legacy payroll system. Mia and Simon produce the same manual payments in both systems to make sure that all the deductions are being calculated correctly. They generate the same regular pay checks and direct deposit files. They compare pay registers from both systems to verify that to make sure that the right amounts are being calculated for all earnings and benefit/deductions. They compare entitlement banks to make sure that additions and consumption is being processed consistently. They post to general ledger in both systems to make sure that postings are correct. They generate statutory reports and files. They run all the standard and custom reports that they plan to use when the system goes live to make sure that they are getting the information they need. As Mia finds variances, Simon diagnoses the reason, and they decide how to respond. They discover that one of the benefit calculations in their legacy system was incorrect. They will leave AX Payroll set up as it is - different, but correct. They also find that a taxable benefit's calculation sequence number was too high, and it wasn't being calculated until after the tax deduction, and was thus not being included. Simon will correct that. They find some employees whose benefit withholdings were based on a grandfathered rate, rather than the standard calculation. Simon will correct that, too. Simon restores the database to a state without time or other transactions, fixes the benefit's calculation sequence number, the employee benefit amounts, and makes any other changes needed in setup or employee data and takes another backup. Then he and Mia run the test again. They keep repeating this process until they have resolved all the issues and can restore the database without payroll transactions, then generate all transactions, and verify that the results are what they want. Next, they test rare situations that did not occur in the current pay period, such as Jury duty earnings and Annual bonus payments. When they are ready to test against the next pay period, Chris exports running totals again. Simon restores the database without transactions, imports the new running totals from the legacy system, and he and Mia start testing again. As she participates in the parallel test, Mia verifies the quick reference guide that Simon provided. Late in the parallel testing stage, Simon uses that guide to train April on routine procedures in the new Payroll module. When Mia has signed off on all the test cases, and when Simon, Mia and Chris are confident that the new payroll system is operating as it should, it contains accurate and complete employee data, and that they have a reliable process for migrating running totals, then they are ready to migrate to the live environment.

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Chapter 5: Payroll Implementation Overview 5 - Going Live Once you have finished parallel testing and trained your Payroll module users, you are ready to go live with your implementation of Payroll for Microsoft Dynamics AX. Migrate your data into your production environment if you have not already done this, update running totals, test your production environment and configure your starting number sequences and pay period for entering live Payroll data. If you needed to merge data, rather than bringing the entire database that you tested in your parallel test, then test a copy of the merged data before going live. You don't want to wait until you're trying to post live payroll transactions to discover that someone changed the dimension codes. After you have gone live, continue to run your legacy payroll system in parallel for one or two pay periods to make sure that all the needs are being met.

Reusable Categorize Activity Identify the stage in which each of these activities typically occur: Categories (Implementation stage): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Planning Prototyping Setting up Parallel testing Going live

_____ Item 1: Create calculation for retirement savings plan deduction _____ Item 2: Train company super-user _____ Item 3: Train payroll clerk involved in parallel testing _____ Item 4: Train payroll clerk not involved in parallel testing _____ Item 5: First trial import of running totals _____ Item 6: Final import of running totals _____ Item 7: Install the Payroll module

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Microsoft Dynamics速 AX Payroll

Payroll Data Maintenance During a payroll implementation project, the company continues to pay employees with its legacy payroll system. Therefore until the new Payroll module goes live, all payroll data needs to be entered in that legacy system. As soon as the implementation project is underway, some of that payroll data needs to be added in both systems. As the project progresses, increasing amounts of data have to be entered in both systems. Keep the data that you are finalizing and maintaining in both systems in a master dataset, separate from the data that you are merely using for test purposes and planning to replace. You can designate one company within a database to be your master set, and create other test companies in the same database, or you can have one SQL database that contains your master data, and create copies of it for testing. During the planning and prototyping stages, payroll data is entered in the legacy system only. Once you start setting up, any changes to setup data have to be entered in both the legacy system and the new Payroll module's master dataset. For example, if your benefit provider changes premium rates, you must remember to enter the new rates in both payroll systems. Your master dataset should contain setup data only. Enter employee data, running totals and transactions in test copies of your master data only. When you are ready to start parallel testing, add employee data to your master dataset. After that, any changes to either setup data or employee data have to be entered in both the legacy system and the new Payroll module's master data. For example, if you hire a new employee or an employee's wages change, the data entry needs to be done in both systems. Enter running totals and transaction in test copies of your master data only. During parallel testing, you will enter and generate transactions in both your legacy system and the new payroll system, but those transactions and running totals must remain in the test dataset only. They are not part of your master data until you go live. When you are ready to go live, bring running totals from your legacy payroll system into your master dataset, go live with it, and start to generate live transactions.

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Setup data

Employee data

Running totals

Transactions

1 - Planning

not applicable

not applicable

not applicable

not applicable

2 - Prototyping

Master dataset

Test dataset only

Test dataset only

Test dataset only

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Chapter 5: Payroll Implementation Overview

Setup data

Employee data

Running totals

Transactions

3 - Setting up

Master dataset

Test dataset only

Test dataset only

Test dataset only

4 - Parallel testing

Master dataset

Master dataset

Test dataset only

Test dataset only

5 - Going live

Live dataset

Live dataset

Live dataset

Live dataset

Reusable Categorize Activity Which dataset should you put the following data changes into: Categories (Dataset): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Master Test Master and Test Don't need to record it

_____ Item 1: A new earning code, when you are setting up _____ Item 2: An employee raise, when you are setting up _____ Item 3: Employee raise, when you are parallel testing _____ Item 4: Employee extra shift worked in current pay period, when you are setting up _____ Item 5: Employee extra shift worked in current pay period, when you are parallel testing _____ Item 6: A changed entitlement calculation, when you are parallel testing _____ Item 7: An adjustment to an employee's entitlement balance, when you are parallel testing

Summary A successful payroll implementation requires careful planning and coordination. Because payroll policies and rules are complex and can involve many permutations, develop your implementation incrementally, and test meticulously.

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Microsoft Dynamics速 AX Payroll

Quick Interaction: Lessons Learned Take a moment and write down three key points you have learned from this chapter 1.

2.

3.

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Chapter 5: Payroll Implementation Overview

Solutions Payroll data classifications for implementation Reusable Categorize Activity Categorize the following items: Categories (Payroll implementation data classifications): 1. 2. 3. 4. 2 2 pay

Setup data Employee data Running totals Transactions

Item 1: An employee's hire date Item 2: A fixed garnishment amount to be withheld from an employee's

3 Item 3: The total amount that needs to be garnished from an employee over multiple pay periods. 3 far. 4

Item 4: The amount that has been garnished from an employee's pay so Item 5: The amount that was garnished in pay period 5 this year.

1 Item 6: The formula for the amount withheld from married employees for their health plan 2 Item 7: The fact that Alfredo Fuentes is subscribed to the health plan for married employees 3 Item 8: The amount of tax that the company has withheld from employees so far this year

Reusable Categorize Activity Categorize the following items: Categories (Payroll implementation data classifications): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Setup data Employee data Running totals Transactions

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Microsoft Dynamics速 AX Payroll 2

Item 1: The hourly rate an employee receives for a position

1

Item 2: The rules for paying overtime at time-and-a-half

4

Item 3: An employee's overtime pay for pay period 8

1 Item 4: The number of hours an employee must work in a day to qualify for overtime 4

Item 5: The number of hours an employee worked on February 23

3 Item 6: The number of overtime hours worked in the Production organization so far this year 1 Item 7: The hourly rate for employees on step 6 of the Production salary grid.

Payroll implementation project stages Reusable Categorize Activity Identify the stage in which each of these activities typically occur: Categories (Implementation stage): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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Planning Prototyping Setting up Parallel testing Going live

3

Item 1: Create calculation for retirement savings plan deduction

1

Item 2: Train company super-user

3

Item 3: Train payroll clerk involved in parallel testing

4

Item 4: Train payroll clerk not involved in parallel testing

3

Item 5: First trial import of running totals

5

Item 6: Final import of running totals

2

Item 7: Install the Payroll module

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Chapter 5: Payroll Implementation Overview Payroll data maintenance Reusable Categorize Activity Which dataset should you put the following data changes into: Categories (Dataset): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Master Test Master and Test Don't need to record it

1

Item 1: A new earning code, when you are setting up

4

Item 2: An employee raise, when you are setting up

1

Item 3: Employee raise, when you are parallel testing

4 Item 4: Employee extra shift worked in current pay period, when you are setting up 2 Item 5: Employee extra shift worked in current pay period, when you are parallel testing 3

Item 6: A changed entitlement calculation, when you are parallel testing

3 Item 7: An adjustment to an employee's entitlement balance, when you are parallel testing

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Microsoft Dynamics速 AX Payroll

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