Accruals - Getting Started

The accrual questionnaire below is a PDF that you, or your client, fills out when requesting an accrual setup through SwipeClock Technical Support. Use of this form helps ensure an efficient and accurate setup of your client's policy while also providing a reference document if further support of your client's accrual is necessary. 


Filling this form out completely and accurately assists us in making sure we understand the details of your client's paid leave policy.

This article also explains

Accruals Setup - What to Ask

When setting up accruals for your client, you will want to spend some time gathering the most complete and accurate information from your client as possible. 
  • Are there multiple policies for different groups of employees? Are some employees excluded from the policy? How are they identified, by department, location, employee type?
  • What frequency to the employees earn the accrual. Is it once a year, once a month, per pay period, per week?
  • Are there any employees that earn accruals outside of the normal, defined accrual policy? How are these exceptions determined?
  • If the client refers to paid leave in “days”, verify with them how many hours equal a day.
  • When defining tenure thresholds, ask if the years/months of service value is in terms of years “completed” or “start of”. For instance, your client might say, “Employees earn 3 weeks vacation at 3 years of service,” but is that the start of the 3rd year or the completion of the third year?
  • What happens if an employee does not have enough available balance to cover the requested time off?
  • What is the desired start date for tracking accruals in our system? This is normally chosen to be a pay period start date and your client will need to know the employee’s existing balances as of the beginning of that day.
  • Are employees allowed to carry over paid leave from one accrual year to the next?
  • Do balances have an expiration date? What is that date.
  • Is there a max cap which, when reached, prevents the employee from earning any additional time? This would most often be used for clients that have a carryover policy.

Accrual Terms & Notes

The following article can be used as a reference for understanding how certain parameters of our accruals system operate.
  • Accrual Amounts - When paid leave is accumulated in SwipeClock, it does soby hours, not days. So while an employee may earn 5 days of Vacation annually, the script for accruing the vacation will need this calculated as 40 hours, provided the employee’s work day is an 8 hour day.
  • Accrual Period - When writing an accrual script, the interval at which the leave accrues is the accrual period. This could be weekly, per pay period, monthly or annually. The accrual script will need an amount, in hours, to accrue per period. So if the accrual period is weekly and the accrual amount is 40 hours annually, the accrual per week will be 0.769 hours per week.
  • Accrual Max - This is a cap that can be set on an accrual category which will “turn off” the accrual at a certain upper limit. For instance, if an employee earns 80 hours per year annually and has the option to carryover 40 hours into the next year, a Max limit of 120 would allow the employee to rollover the 40 hours while preventing any additional accruals the following year if they do not use any time. Once an employee falls below the max, the accrual will continue up to that max limit.
  • Vesting Date - This allows for a waiting period before accrual balances can be used by the employee. This would apply if the employee earns time from date of hire, but does not get to use time until a probationary period has been passed.
  • Expiration Date - An expiration date applies if there is no carryover and the client has a “use it or lose it” policy. It is set at the moment of the accrual. So when an employee earns time, the expiration can be set.
  • AccrueUp - The script line(s) that actually increments the accrual bucket.
  • AccrueDown - The script line(s) that diminish an employee’s bucket based on the use of hours on the time card.
  • Accrual Categories - These are the names of the accruals. These could be Person, Vacation, Sick or whatever the client requests. These will need to be set as categories in the AccrueUp script and also have a corresponding pay category in the Punch Categories rule.
  • Bucket - A shorthand term we often use to refer to an employees balance. For instance, "They have 56 hours in their Vacation bucket."

Accruals Processing Rules

The rules associated with accruals are all found in the Processing Rules page under the Accruals category. This section covers some basic items you will need to know when implementing a client with accruals.
AccrueUp Script is used for automating additions to an employee’s paid leave balance. This normally looks at an employee’s length of service and adds hours to a “bucket”. The script can be entered in one of two boxes. The Top AccrueUp box runs per line on the time card that has activity. This is normally used in situations where employees earn based on hours worked. The Bottom AccrueUp box is run per day on the time card, regardless of whether there is clock activity on the time card. It is normally used for most accrual policies where an employee earns per period, like annually, monthly or bi-weekly.
IMPORTANT: It is important that in addition to the scripting, you add the names of the accrual categories to the bucket list at the bottom of the page.
AccrueDown Script is used to diminish an accrual bucket when an employee uses time. The script looks for a punch category on the time card, and if it has a corresponding accrual category, it will subtract the hours from the buckets.
Basic Accruals is a tool that you can use to setup some simple accrual policies without scripting. If you are using Basic Accruals, you do not need to use an AccrueUp or AccrueDown script.

AccrualFactor, when turned on, adds a field to Employee Setup that you can use to store an individual accrual amount. This can facilitate overriding the client's normal Accrual Schedule for select employees.

Finalizing Pay Periods

Finalizing Pay Periods is necessary for accruals to work; you must have a finalized pay period. Also, accrual scripts will not run on pay periods that have already been finalized, so when you initially finalize a pay period in advance of accruals, you will want to finalize a pay period preceding the start of your accrual policy


AccrualSetupV2.pdf AccrualSetupV2.pdf

Did you find this article helpful?