How-To: Finalize and Unfinalize Time Cards

Finalizing time cards prevents edits from being made
Finalizing is a way to protect time card data from being changed after timekeeping is submitted to payroll. When a client finalizes a pay period, it locks out all levels of users from editing and approving the time cards. The normal process is to finalize after supervisors and clients (managers) have checked, edited and approved time cards, and the timekeeping file is ready for payroll. 

Finalizing is not necessarily permanent. You can unfinalize a pay period, which will be explained later in this article. 

Finalizing can only be done per pay period and for all employees. There is no way to finalize individual days or time cards.

This article explains

Benefits of Finalizing

There are a few reasons why finalizing is important:
  • Finalizing ensures that historical time card data is consistent with payroll. If a time card is not finalized, a manager or supervisor may accidentally, or intentionally, alter a time card post-payroll, exposing your company to compliance violations.
  • It preserves any rules in place on your account at the time of running payroll. If you ever change account rules, like overtime, shift compensation or your accrual policy, then finalizing makes sure, when those changes are made, they don't retroactively alter historical time card data.
  • Finalizing improves page load times. Finalizing also provides a way for our system to run more efficiently and improve performance.

Auto Finalization

Because of the reasons listed above, the timekeeping system will automatically finalize pay periods in a rolling manner. Any pay period older than two prior pay periods will be finalized. That means the:
  • current pay period
  • prior pay period
  • and the pay period prior to that
will remain unfinalized unless you choose to finalize them manually.

The Auto Finalization routine is usually run in the overnight hours between 6pm and 6am Mountain.

Finalizing Pay Periods

Once a pay period has been completed and all punch data is deemed accurate, follow these steps to manually finalize:
  1. Click the Maintenance Menu and select Finalize Pay Period.

    Finalizing is found under the Maintenance Menu
  2. Any unfinalized pay periods will be listed with radio buttons to the left of the pay period dates. A summary of any pending time card issues will also be shown. These include missing punches and unapproved time cards.
    The Time Card Finalization page warns you if their are missing punches or unapproved time cards
    Neither of these will prevent you from finalizing, but in the case of missing punches, it is strongly recommended you address them before proceeding.

    If you click on the "Missing Punches" link, the Clock Activity pane will appear on the left with a list of employees missing punches.

    Quick access to time cards with missing punches
    through the link on the Finalization page
    If you click the "Approvals Report" link, you will see a list of employees with unapproved time cards and the managers responsible for those employees.

    The Time Card Approvals report
  3. Once you are satisfied that all time card data is accurate, choose a pay period with the radio buttons and click Finalize.

NOTE: Finalizing Multiple Pay Periods

You can finalize more than one pay period at a time. For example, if both your prior pay period and pay period before that are unfinalized, finalizing the prior pay period will also finalize any pay periods preceding it.

Unfinalizing Pay Periods

It may be necessary to unfinalize a pay period on occasion for some of the following reasons: to make a change to a time card or time off request, adjust accrual balances or, retro-actively apply a rule change. If that is the case, you can use the Unfinalize tab to re-open up to 1 year of time cards. Just be aware, this not only allows you to edit the time cards, but it also exposes the time cards to any rule changes that may have been instituted since they were originally finalized.

Unfinalized pay periods will be automatically re-finalized within 24 to 72 hours, usually overnight between the hours of 6pm and 6am mountain.

Follow these steps to unfinalize:
  1. First, you may need to contact your timekeeping provider to unaccept the pay period. When a pay period is accepted, the payroll provider has indicated that they have run payroll and the client cannot unfinalize on their own. You can tell if a pay period is accepted by choosing the Select Other Periods option under the Time Card section of the navigation menu. If the pay period says "Processed", then your timekeeping provider will need to unfinalize for you.

    If a pay period says "Processed", it means the timekeeping provider has
    accepted the pay period and they need to unfinalize
  2. If the pay period hasn't been accepted, then choose the Unfinalize tab from the Finalize Pay Period page and select a pay period.

    The Unfinalization page
  3. Click Unfinalize and confirm the action on the resulting pop-up. The pay period(s) will remain unfinalized for 24 to 72 hours.

    Because of the potential for data being changed, you will be asked to confirm that you want to unfinalize.

NOTE: Unifinalizing Multiple Pay Periods

We have changed the process so that now, a user can unfinalize multiple pay periods at one time. To do this, choose the oldest pay period that you want unfinalized and all periods following it will also be unfinalized. Unfinalizing is limited to 1 year. Anything older than that cannot be unfinalized.

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