How Do I Project Payroll?


Payroll Projections forecasts payroll expenses for budgeting purposes.  The Payroll Projection tool is only available for Advanced Payroll (v2).

Payroll projections best practices begin with creating a baseline projection. After creating the baseline, copies can be created to analyze different scenarios.

All plans, wages, distributions are kept separate inside the Projection. Operational settings don't change when a change occurs in payroll projections.

If not already done, run the New Year Setup for the upcoming budget year

Go to Advanced Payroll (v2) > Setup

Update rates for L&I  and Unemployment for the budget year created.  If the new rates are not available, enter an estimate.  To edit rates entered, use the refresh option to update new projections.  

Make sure you select the correct year in the drop-down box.  Changing the wrong year can impact your current payroll.

Create Initial Projection

Go to Advanced Payroll (v2) > Reports > Payroll Projections

  1. Select year in From (generally the current year)
  2. Click the magnifying glass button next to Projections

Although not shown here, Feb 2019 and later releases allow you to pick a beginning and ending date if you wish to analyze a subset of a year. (For example, calculating retro pay)

Create a baseline projection to compare to subsequent projections

  1. Click Add New
  2. Enter a name for the projection
  3. Enter a column number to compare projections
  4. Enter Projection Description
  5. Click Save

BIAS can create multiple projections. However, you can only compare up to four projections at one time.  The column value determines the order in which projections display.  BIAS will allow you to create two projections with the same number. If this occurs, you will be unable to update the budget accurately.

  1. Click X to close box
  1. Select a projection from the Projections dropdown
  1. Click Generate

Each time you Generate, the selected projection is deleted and rebuilt.  To avoid this, create another Projection in a different date range to compare.


  1. Click Annualize

Annualize converts the current wages to annual wages.  If different payroll groups have different pay periods (monthly, semi-monthly, quarterly), annualization can occur separately.  Also, annualization should occur separately for any new employees or seasonal employees.

  1. The Periods are manually entered and should be the number of periods the generate represents of the total periods per year.   Semi-monthly pay periods ran through June would be 12 periods of 24.

In Employee Totals tab, click History to view an employee's history to determine the number of pay periods for the year.

Often, increases only apply to projections after the baseline.

BIAS does not prevent this from being run more than once, so keep track of where you are in the process, so you do not over annualize.

IMPORTANT - Before continuing, make your baseline projections as accurate as possible. You may need to adjust wages, benefits, and L&I. For example, employees that only worked part of the year must be edited to reflect an entire year of pay. The 'Wages' and/or 'Benefits' options in the toolbar can be used to accomplish this. 

Creating Baseline

 Adding new deductions not currently being used for the new year requires the following steps: 

  1. Go to the Payroll Setup program, select the Benefits & Deductions tab, add the deduction, and at least one setting.  DO NOT assign the deduction/setting to any employee profiles unless you intend to start using it now.
  2. Go back to the Payroll Projections program, select the 'Plans' tab, select 'Add New' and either type in the plan number you just created or double click to pick it from the list. Select 'Save' in the toolbar. (Settings are hidden until you 'Save' the new plan)
  3. The far-right column shows the employees, along with their assigned setting for the highlighted plan.  This section will be blank for the new plan, so click on 'Write All.'  
    • This will write all the employees into the list unless a 'Group' is selected in the filter, then only those employees will be added.
    • 'Edit' and assign the applicable setting in the 'Setting' column for each employee.  If an employee is not receiving the benefit, you can delete them from the list or leave the setting blank.  
    • If you accidentally delete an employee, just run 'Write All' again (using the same Group Filter as before if you used one) and the missing employee(s) will be added.

Go back to the Employee Totals and check some of the employees to see the results.

When changing the value of a drop-down box, you can type the first letter of your choice instead of using the mouse.  In the case of the new FLA which will most likely only have one setting of ALL, type the 'A' then press the down arrow to go to the next line.

<F3> is the shortcut key for 'Delete,' you can press then instead of clicking on the 'Delete' option in the toolbar, again, much quicker!

Employee tax-deferred amounts are not shown but are taken into consideration for Social Security and Medicare costs.

Copying Initial Baseline

  1. Repeat steps 1-15 to create a new projection.  This can be repeated to create as many projections as needed. OR
  1. Click Copy to populate a new Projection from an existing one.

Remember, if you click Generate on an existing Projection it will override all of your previous work!

  1. From- will default to the projection that is currently open, but can be changed in the dropdown menu
  2. To - the destination projection and needs to be selected from the dropdown menu, or click the magnifying glass button to add a new projection.
  3. Click Copy

Universal Wage Tool (Apply Increase)

Steps 21-25 are outlined in the tab sections below

Employee Totals tab

The Employee Totals tab shows wage, tax, and benefit totals by employee.

  1. Click Edit - Increase, L&I Hrs, and Primary Pay can be edited.  If a specific employee needs to have their own increase that is separate from the group, update it here.  To update an entire group, see Apply Increase.  Most of the options in the toolbar are disabled when editing here.
  1. Click Delete to allow the deletion of any employee from the list.  This does not affect the real-time data.
  2. Click Wages, Benefits, Distributions to display the designated list for that employee
  3. Click History to display the actual payroll history for reference
  4. Click Basis Adj to display the Employee's portion of benefits.
  5. Click Edit to change the Primary Pay for an employee.
  1. Click Copy Employee to allow the addition of a new employee to the list, copied from the highlighted employee.  
    • The To value in Copy Employee box must be a number that is not used in the existing list.  Any other number may be used. A best practice is to start with 9000001 and increase the number.
  1. Click Apply Increase to:
    • Enter the percent increase in a whole number, not decimal value
    • Use the group filter for increases to be applied in a more granular way
    • Update all employee wages and refresh the cost of benefits
  1. Click Refresh to update an existing projection if the L&I and Unemployment rates have been changed. Each projection will need to be run separately.
  1. Check Distribution Error to ensure that there is no difference between Owner Cost and Check columns.

If the box is checked and lines remain in view, contact BIAS Support.

This is an example of what you should see if there are no errors.

The SS/Med (Social Security/Medicare) basis adjustment values and overall SS/Med percent of wages are available in the Excel export.

Emp Pay Items tab

The Employees Pay Items tab lists of all employees pay items

  • When increases are updated here and are different from the overall increase, BIAS will not change it.  
  • Print screen to printer or export to Excel
  • If you select a Pay Item in the toolbar filter drop down, the report will filter on that item as well.

Emp Ben & Deductions tab

  • If an increase is applied in the Plans tab, the increase will be shown here.  Only put the increase in here if it is different from the overall plan increase
  • Only plans with employer contributions are displayed here by default.  If all plans are needed, check the Show All box on the tool bar.
  • If you select a plan in the toolbar filter drop down, the report will filter on that plan as well.

Review Employee Basis Adjustments

Use the Employee Basis Adjustments to edit the employee basis of any Benefits and Deductions.

Plans tab


  • See 'Add New Deduction (Plan)' section above to add a plan not in use in the current year
  • If a new plan is not listed but has been created in Payroll Setup, click Add New and search for the plan
  • Either apply a universal increase for all the settings in the plan list or update the settings individually in the settings list
  • Each plan can be increased uniquely
  • Click Write All to add all employees on the plan

Distributions tab

  • Distributions for the current projection can be modified here
  • Distribution Amount is allocated by decimal percentage (0.10 = 10%).  The cumulative distribution total is shown above.
  • The far right column shows the employee pay items that are affected
  • If any change is made, the overall costs are recalculated

Compare tab

  • Shows each BARS code and its cost for up to 4 projections.  (This is where the Column option from creating the projection is used)

Budget tab

  • Shows all the employee pay distributions and the source
  • After printing a budget, there is an option to update either the budget or proposed budget with these numbers
  • BIAS also has the option to round the totals to whole numbers


  • If you click Print from any tab, the same dialog box appears except for the Distributions & Compare tabs.  They have their own report.
  • The options checked it based on the tab it is called from.  The options can be changed without having to leave and to to another tab.


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