Are you ready for the holiday season?

A guide to running payroll early and preparing your account for 2021

We usually field a few questions around this time about the best ways of running payroll over the holiday period, so we’ve put together this guide to help for a smoother time!


  • Confirm any award changes
  • Check your public holidays are entered
  • Run your payroll early
  • Compare changes
  • Reconcile differences

Confirm any award changes (eg. Extended Trade adjustments)

Often we see a mad rush to finalise award changes due to changes in trade to coincide with extended Christmas trade. If you require any changes prior to the end of the year, don’t leave them until the last minute! Please let us know by no later than December 10 to ensure we can have these in place prior to Christmas. 

Check Your Public Holidays Are Entered

Go to Payroll & leave > Public holidays, and check they are all entered for the holiday period. It’s always a good idea to check, and we’d even recommend preparing for the year ahead and adding in all your Public Holidays for 2021 now! 

If you have missed creating any, or need to adjust them for any reason, you can do that now, but take note of the displayed warning – any existing shifts scheduled for these days will not have their costs re-calculated. If you create/modify a public holiday for a date where shifts already exist, contact Ento Support and advise which date/s you need recosted, to ensure your staff receive the right rate!


Running payroll early

Sometimes you may want to run payroll early, either due to a planned absence of someone on your admin team, or due to where public holidays fall.

If your pay cycle ends on a Sunday and a public holiday falls on a Monday when you would usually run payroll, you may want to run payroll the Friday before the end of the pay cycle. The simplest way to do this is to export the pay cycle as usual, before the end of the pay cycle, and pay staff as rostered for any currently unauthorised days. When you export a paycycle early, it will include all authorised shifts, and for any shifts that aren’t yet authorised (or haven’t yet occurred), it will include the latest published version of a shift, so you can pre-pay them on the assumption that they’ll work as-rostered.

We don’t recommend actually authorising timesheets before shifts have been worked, as this will stop staff from clocking in and out of their shifts, and you will have no record of actual hours worked.

Having a way to compare what you paid with what was actually worked will allow you to manually adjust any variance once all shifts have been worked within the pay cycle e.g. after Christmas.

  • Start by running all the reports you use to check a payroll – the Daily Loading Breakdown by Staff export is recommended as a comprehensive loadings report (it has each loading rate split out by staff and date)
  • Run the loadings export, check for usual anomalies, then run payroll as normal
  • Then later once the shifts have been worked and authorised, run the same loadings reports again
  • Important note: To ensure you can keep recording staff times against shifts and make changes for the actual worked times later, pay cycles being run early should be exported only, and should not be ‘Processed’ in Ento, which locks them down and cannot be undone.


Compare what you pre-paid vs actuals

If you plan to use Ento’s built-in Comparison tool, make sure the loadings export template/s you want to compare include the data required for comparison. If the loadings template is flattened by date, you need to include the ‘date’, if it’s flattened by ‘Shift’ include the ‘Shift ID (internal)’, etc.

To perform the required Comparison tool calculations, and advise which staff have a reportable variance, all loadings reports must include:

  • Staff ID
  • Extra field ‘Cost’
  • Extra field ‘Earning rate units’ 

It’s a good idea to do a test of comparing the exports you want to use,  to ensure you have all the required fields included before you need to use it!

If you’re unsure about the above but you plan to use the comparison tool, contact Ento Support before you run payroll.


How to reconcile differences after the holiday

Now you have reports covering what was paid, and newer reports covering what should have been paid.

Use the Comparison tool to compare the reports once hours worked have been recorded and authorised, to get a list of manual adjustments to make by Staff ID.

Ensure your loadings export templates include the data required for comparison, at a minimum that will be Staff ID, Extra field ‘Cost’, and Extra field ‘Earning rate units’ .

To run the Comparison tool:

  • Go to Payroll & leave > Comparison tool
  • Ensure know the name of the export template used, and the date you ran the early payroll export
  • Run the same export again after shifts have been authorised, so the comparison tool can compare the shift costs.

The Comparison tool article covers this in more detail.


Processing the paycycle

When running payroll early, it’s recommended to only Process the pay cycle after the usual payroll run date, to ensure you have time to adjust any variations. Once it is confirmed no further changes are required, click the green Process button to lock down the pay cycle, and update the leave accruals for the period.



If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out and we’re happy to help! We wish you all a happy, safe, and productive holiday season!

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