The [not] so scary Custom Reports

TLDR; When viewing any report (most screens within BeyondPay), you have the ability to quickly select columns, filter, and save your reports to grab later.  You can also schedule any report to be emailed based on a day of the week, time of year, or when payrolls are processed.  


Custom Reports

To many, custom reports are a scary word.  They leave impressions of SQL queries, crystal reports, Microsoft Report Writer, and endless wizards that require long tutorials and user guides to get through.  While Workforce Ready has some pretty advanced options available [not the purpose of this guide], 99% of users will get what they need by our [not] so scary Custom Reports.  Here are the brief steps:

  1. Identifying the correct report to use as a starting point.

  2. Clicking on the Select Columns button

  3. Filtering the report

  4. Saving the report [perhaps as your default!]


What report should I start with?  

This is probably the one area that has a bit of a learning curve, since our reporting works differently than database queries [think SQL or Crystal Reports].  The starting point is to think about the primary type of data you need.  For example, if you want to run a report showing you YTD wages for each employee, or a specific department, then you should start with one of the payroll reports, such as the Earnings/Deduction/Tax Listing or the Labor Distribution (Summary).  If you are looking for employee profile data such as name, address, and salary info, then My Employees > Employee Information is probably a good starting point.  

Here is a [hopefully] helpful list of reports to start out with:

My Employees > Employee Information

  • Census and 3rd party demographic integrations
  • Imports to other systems when signing up for new software/services
  • Employee birthdays
  • Addresses
  • Quick find employees at specific work locations, departments, or states
  • Quick view of employee annual/month/hourly salaries for budgeting

My Reports > Payroll > Labor Distribution (Summary)

  • Great "roll up" report, by adding or removing an employee specific field, the data rolls up to the cost centers.  
  • This is your report for allocated earnings, compared to employees' default cost centers.  So if an employee works in 2 departments, the employee would be listed in both departments as two separate rows.
  • Allows a lot of employee demographic information in addition to payroll specific data
  • Includes Earnings, Deductions and Taxes, along with good pay date range control

My Reports > Payroll > Retirement Plan Report

  • A report with one of the largest available sets of fields to select from.  
  • Payroll based, with Earnings and Deductions Lists available to group without the need of a custom field
  • Good for annual 401(k) census as well as periodic retirement plan reports with each payroll

My Reports > Payroll > General Ledger (Summary)

  • Includes Workers' Compensation calculations along with payroll invoices
  • Good ability to customize through Company Settings > Payroll Setup > General Ledger (ask for help!)
  • Good report to email to bookkeeper each payroll processed to be imported into your account system
    (Great Plains, MAS, Sage, Oracle, Blackbaud, Peachtree, Xero, Intacct)  
  • Nice view at our native QuickBooks export available under Company Settings > System Data Export
  • Helpful report to get summaries by department/cost center

My Reports > Time & Labor > Time Allocation > Detailed Hours

  • Includes estimated gross calculations based on timesheets
  • Based on period dates, as opposed to check dates
  • Helpful for estimating adjusting journal entries for month end or fiscal year end accrual calculations
  • Can pull in daily and time entry notes, which can be useful for integrating with a time & billing system

My Reports > Time & Labor > Calculated Time > Calculated Time Summary

  • Excellent roll up report, similar to the payroll-based Labor Distribution (Summary), though this one is timesheet/pay period based, rather than check date based.
  • A good report to send department summary totals to managers
  • A good report to highlight overtime situations, or excessive time off


Select Columns - Simple Custom Reports

Let's create a pretend scenario.  Kathy is responsible for making sure all new hires complete the appropriate paperwork and that all staff members complete all the necessary steps necessary to make the employee successful on their first week.  She utilizes BeyondPay's Onboarding, specifically Checklists that are automatically assigned to employees when they are hired in Workforce Ready.

When she first logs in and goes to My Employees > Employee HR Maintenance > Checklists, the screen looks like this:

Notice how there are at least a few columns carrying over by scrolling to the right, and that there are some fake users and multiple types of checklists on the default screen.  Let's customize the report to be more helpful.

Let's begin by clicking on the Select Columns icon, located towards the upper right corner of the screen. 

Next, click on the Magnifying glass: 

I typed in "last" to find the field for Employee: Last, First Name.  I like to use this field because it takes up less space on the reports and allows me to see things quicker and include more columns if necessary.


Next, on the right hand side, let's re-arrange and remove columns we don't need.  I'm going to remove "View Checklist Items," "View/Edit Employee," "Employee Id," "EIN," and move Status to the end.  I also removed "Checklist Created".  When done, I click on "SELECT COLUMNS".


Now my screen looks like this. Much nicer!


But we can do better.  Let's filter out so we only see the New Hire Checklists that are not yet completed.  I'm going to enter in some filters showing only records that are not yet completed, and with the name containing the word "Hire" in it.  


And now this is what my report looks like!


Save the report

Last step is to now save my report.  Click on Settings > Save Settings.


Now my report is easily accessible, and I get to see it like this every time I go to this screen in the future, since I checked off the Default box.  


Email Reports

Another really helpful feature is to schedule reports to be emailed to you.  Any time you save a report, like we just did, that report is available under My Reports > My Saved Reports.  Any report available in My Saved Reports is able to be scheduled for email.  

Let's start out with My Reports > My Saved Reports:

Next, click on the View Email Settings icon  next to the report you want to send.  Let's continue our example of a New Hire checklist report.  Let's setup this report to be emailed to myself every Monday morning @ 8am, so I have a good old fashioned hit list to review Monday morning.



Enter the appropriate settings and click SAVE in the upper right.


Here are a few notes, and thoughts to consider when scheduling emails.

  • Choose recipients you want to receive this report.  
  • If you are sending to a recipient other than yourself, be extra careful that you have the correct report selected!
  • Take advantage of the "RUN AS" section.  This allows you to run the report as either yourself, or as the Recipient.
    • Run As Recipient: This is helpful when you want to setup a single report to multiple people, such as a group of managers.  By running as the Recipient, each manager will receive a report as if the manager logged into the system and ran the report themselves.  Be careful with sending it to a specific email address though!  Run As Recipient will not work in this case and will send the whole report!

    • Run As Me: This is helpful when you want to "break the glass" so-to-speak.  In other words, it allows you to send a report to someone based on your own security credentials.  This is helpful when you want to email a manager a report that they would not typically have permission to run themselves.

  • Sending as a Report Format of "HTML" will cause the report to show in the body of the email, which is handy when you don't need an attachment of a pdf or excel file. 
  • Generate Email If Report Has 1 Or More Rows is really handy to schedule a report be sent EVERY day, but it only triggers if there is a row.  For example, only send a report if someone has an expiring license.  If no one has an expiring license, then no report gets emailed.  This is a really helpful way to "catch" situations that you don't want to happen!
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