The comparison tool compares exports and provides a summary of the differences

Payroll & leave > Reports > Comparison tool

The comparison tool helps you compare two previously run custom shift or custom loading CSV exports, generating a file summarising the differences between them for costs and hours.

File comparisons

File comparisons may be useful when:

  • Payroll needs to be processed early before all shifts are fully authorised, for example due to a public holiday falling on the last day of a pay cycle, or on a weekday when payroll would usually be run. Run the export before your early payroll, then the same export again once the pay cycle is finished and actual hours have been authorised, and use the comparison of the exports to identify any manual adjustments to make in the following pay cycle.
  • You want to compare two pay cycles covering different dates to compare total wage costs for a similar period.


Export types for comparison

Reports commonly used for comparison may include:

  • Loading Summary
  • Loading Summary by Staff
  • Daily Loading Breakdown
  • Daily Loading Breakdown by Staff

Best practice is to run these exports in parallel to your payroll system specific exports each pay run. Even if you use an API payroll integration and are not required to export a file each pay cycle, generating these reports as part of your pay cycle review process, for simple filtering and referencing, is quite useful.

Only custom shift or custom loading CSV export templates can be used for these comparisons. Loadings reports must include costs and units for comparison, along with identifying columns for however the file is flattened. For instance, if it’s flattened by date, it needs the ‘Date’ column added, and if it’s flattened by Date and Shift, it needs the ‘Date’ and the ‘Shift ID’ added, allowing the comparison tool to pick up what it’s comparing.

Using the comparison tool

To run a new comparison:

  • Go to Payroll & leave > Reports > Comparison tool and select an export type from the dropdown list
  • From the ‘Compare export’ dropdown list select the original or earlier export file – Export File 1
  • From the ‘With’ dropdown select the export you want to compare it with, Export File 2. The most recent file will be at the top of the list. Click Save.



The ‘export comparison scheduled’ message will display if successful. Report will fail if files being compared do not include cost or units data for comparison.


Comparison results

Once completed you will see the screen with the options to download either of the files being used in the comparison, or just the comparative analysis file.



Click the green ‘Comparison results’ button. A CSV file will be generated in the same format as the files, but the cost and hour totals columns will be replaced with the variance between the files. For example:


Data in Export File 1 Data in Export File 2 What will show in the generated file
Anja worked 8 hours Monday Anja worked 6 hours Monday Anja, Monday, -2 hours
No hours for Xander on Tuesday Xander worked 5 hours Tuesday Xander, Tuesday, 5 hours
Willow worked 7.5 hours Wednesday No hours for Willow Wednesday Willow, Wednesday, -7.5 hours

This will allow for easier manual reconciliation for payroll systems.


Where to now?

Leave types

Other related articles

Running payroll

Custom Loadings Templates

Was this article helpful?

Comparison tool
4.9 of 42 votes