Managing Preliminary Payroll



This article explains how to manage all relevant data for preliminary payroll and create an export file in Excel format. Personio uses the preliminary payroll to help you with your monthly payroll process.


Steps to Review and Approve the Preliminary Payroll

  1. Go to the Payroll section.
  2. Review all the data and, if applicable, changes to the data in the preview or in your Excel export.
  3. Once you have created an Excel export, you can approve the payroll and forward the finished file to the appropriate payroll office or responsible internal department.

Note that if data changes don't appear in the current export or after the preliminary payroll is approved, make these changes manually, create a new export and review again.


The Preview Explained


1. Preview Table

You can clearly view all the payroll-relevant data relating to your active, internal employees in the preview table. Employees for whom changes were made in the previous month will appear at the top of the table. New hires are flagged in green at the beginning of the row. In addition, the whole row is highlighted in orange.

If you click on a change, or anywhere in an orange-highlighted row, a slide-in appears from the right with more context on the data that has changed. The following information is provided in the pop-up:

  • A list of all updated attributes per employee
  • The old and the new value
  • Date from which the new value applies
  • Date the change was made


Employees will appear in the table if at least one of the following applies:

  • At least one day of the payroll period falls between their hire and termination dates.
  • The employee receives some type of salary payment (including supplementary payments).
  • A data change has been made to attributes in the employee's personnel file since the last payroll. However, this will only apply if the attributes in question have been added to the payroll as columns.


2. Separate Spreadsheets

You can display employee and salary data as well as absence periods in three separate worksheets in the preview table and in the Excel export. Configure the required view via Settings > PAYROLL > Salary & Payroll.


3. Subcompanies and their Payroll Groups or Periods

If you manage several subcompanies via one Personio account, separate preview tables will be created for each subcompany. If you have defined payroll groups and periods for your company or subcompanies, you can select them here. The Review and approval of the payroll must be carried out separately for each payroll group and subcompany.


4. Customizing Columns

Any number of attributes can be added to the payroll export. Click on Customize columns to access the settings. Find out more about all the available payroll attributes and proven best practices.


5. Export

Review all the data in the preview table and then click on Create export. If necessary, you can review the created export again after downloading it.

Review and process any outstanding approvals that could affect the payroll run before completing the payroll.


6. Approving Payroll 

Go to Approve payroll to enter the payroll in the books and exit preview mode.

The export created cannot be changed once the payroll has been approved, as the preview table is frozen at that point. For that reason, we recommend approving the payroll on the last day of the payroll period. If you need to make any data changes after payroll approval, please create a new export and send it to the appropriate payroll office.


7. Status

Payroll goes through two statuses each month:

Status Explanation
In review On the payroll date, the payroll status is automatically flagged as ready for review. A to-do appears on the dashboard indicating that the data can be reviewed.
Approved The monthly payroll has been approved. 


8. Payroll Period

The payroll period will be displayed for each payroll group. This defines the period for which the attendance hours and absence days are totaled. Fixed salaries are always displayed on a monthly basis, regardless of the payroll period.


9. Changes Marked Since

You can easily track the dates on which changes occurred. All changes made since the last payroll (or since the last month, if payroll has not yet been completed) are highlighted in orange.

Please do not approve the payroll during the current payroll period, as this could prevent absence periods from being fully taken into account. We recommend approving the payroll on the last day of the payroll period – any new changes will then be color-coded from the start of the new payroll period.

Visit our blog (in German only) for further general information on the preliminary payroll process.




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