Approving Preliminary Payroll


This article explains why it is important to close preparatory payroll regularly to ensure that modified data, which is flagged in a different colour, is marked correctly.


The Meaning of Font Colour in the Preview Table

One of the core features of preparatory payroll is that new or modified employee data is shown in a different, orange colour. This allows both you and your payroll team to identify at a glance all employees whose data has changed in a manner which is relevant for payroll accounting.

The Function of Font Colour

It is important that payroll accounting is closed after the data has been exported to ensure that any new changes are flagged correctly between one month or one payroll period and the next. This is because the process of closing payroll triggers the start of a new payroll period, and the colour markings are refreshed at the same time. As a result, only the current changes compared to the prior month are displayed in a different colour.

If there are any changes to attributes in your employees’ profiles which are included in the preview table, these are automatically flagged in orange. The preview table is automatically updated at the beginning of each payroll period and then identifies all changes made since the first day of the new payroll period.


If you generate exports without closing your payroll, Personio will use the payroll period which you have defined in the Settings as the reference point for refreshing the flagged attributes. Any modified or new data regarding extra payments, additional compensations, bonus payments, and onboarded and offboarded employees will be flagged irrespective of your defined payroll period.

Careful: If you generate the export before the last day of the payroll period without closing your payroll, attributes which change between the export date and the start of the new payroll period may no longer be flagged in a different colour.


Case Study 1: Preparatory Payroll Is Closed Regularly

If you close preparatory payroll regularly, flagged items are also updated every time you perform this process, ensuring that all newly changed data is flagged in the subsequent month. Even if your payroll date changes for operative reasons and is therefore different from your predefined payroll period, the flags are reliably reset when you close payroll. This ensures that you always have all current changes relevant for payroll accounting at your fingertips.

In the diagram below, the defined balance date for payroll is the 20th day of each month. The yellow bar shows the period for which data changes are flagged. If you close payroll before the balance date, for example on the 18th, the system will flag all changes occurring between that date and the next time preparatory payroll is closed, regardless of the payroll period. No flags are lost, even if you only close your payroll after the balance date, for example on the 21st.



Case Study 2: Preparatory Payroll Is Never Closed

If you only generate an export at the end of your payroll period without ever closing preparatory payroll, the flags are updated on the first day of each defined payroll period. In this case, you will lose all flags for changes made between the export date and the start of the new payroll period if the payroll date changes. The diagram below illustrates the situation when payroll is not closed.

In this example, the balance date for the monthly payroll is again the 20th of each month, but payroll was never closed. If the payroll date changes to the 18th, for example, and an export is generated without payroll having been closed, the system automatically refreshes on the 20th, and flags for data changes made between the 18th and the 20th will be lost.


If you then close payroll at some stage, all subsequent changes will be flagged and no longer refreshed until the next time payroll is closed. If you don’t close payroll again in the subsequent months, the flags will not allow you to identify which of the data changes are in fact current.


Can Subsequent Changes Be Included?

Once payroll is closed, the preview table is finalized and will not reflect any subsequent data changes. This ensures that you always know which information has already been transferred to your payroll department. If there are any subsequent changes which need to be included in the current payroll period, you need to generate another export for your payroll department. While the changes will not be flagged in the preview table, the refreshed export will show them highlighted in yellow. Once the export has been generated, the relevant changes will no longer be flagged as new in the subsequent month.


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