A wise businesswoman once said, “The goal is to transform data into information and information into insight.” Even after almost two decades, these words still ring true — and they’ll probably always be relevant. The data within your UKG Dimensions™ solution helps you string together the details of how your organization operates and understand the actions of the people who are part of your story. Of course, there are many chapters in the tale. Let’s flip to accruals.
To accrue something is to collect or gather it over time. When it comes to managing your people, accruals are amounts or balances that a person earns. Why do you care about accruals? Well, among many reasons, tracking accruals accurately ensures managers are approving time off that employees have rightfully earned and contributes to employees receiving accurate pay.
If you’re managing accruals configuration for your organization, this blog contains some of the common terms you’ll want to know.
Fundamentals of Accruals
Whether they live to work or work to live, the time employees put in on the job leads to a collection of days, hours, or money accrued for their benefit. We refer to days, hours, or money accrued as accrual units. Each type of accrual is assigned an accrual code that collects or holds the different accrual balances depending on the situation. Vacation, sick, and bonus are typical examples where accrual codes are assigned.
All accrual codes have names and types. The accrual code name is, of course, what you call it — how you label it. The names must be unique compared to others already entered into your system and are case sensitive. The accrual code type is the code tied to the accrual policy and is determined by the accrual profile.
The accrual profile allows you to group different accrual policies and assign them to one or more employees. Organizations typically have an accrual policy outlining the parameters for how accruals are credited and debited to employees.
To get to accrual codes in UKG Dimensions, go to the main menu and select Administration > Application Setup > Accruals > Accrual Codes.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, you’re ready to dive deeper into accruals data terms.
Accrual reporting period
The accrual reporting period is perhaps the most critical term to remember as you’re reading through the rest of this article, because it is the basis for many of the data definitions that follow. The accrual reporting period provides information about accrual balances from the time frame you select. When you create a report or Dataview (or even use this information in the accruals tab on the timecard), you’re using the accrual reporting period as the foundation.
Your UKG Dimensions system offers numerous accruals metrics. First, I’ll cover the terms for the two types of balance data — current vested balance and available balance. Now, confusion between these two terms is common. They are similar; they are both based on the accrual reporting period. But the significant factor setting them apart is that the former includes projected accrual amounts, and the latter does not. Let me explain.
- The available balance is the encumbered balance for accrual codes, meaning that it does consider projected accrual amounts (like upcoming grants or requests). You might think of the available balance as the current vested balance plus some extra details.
- The current vested balance is the existing balance for an accrual code. In other words, it’s the exact amount owed to an employee. This metric does not include projected accrual amounts. I like to think of this as the actual accrual amount for the time selected.
There are even more terms in the vested balance category.
- An opening vested balance is the vested accrual balance on the first day of the reporting period.
- As you might expect, the ending vested balance is the vested accrual balance on the last day of the reporting period. Remember that neither of these data points includes any projection data. They will show the actual balance due to the employee at the beginning and end of your reporting period.
Prior period data
Now, let’s address prior period data.
- The prior ending balance is calculated on the last day of the previous reporting period and does not include grants or taking activity. It differs from the opening vested balance because it’s an alternative starting point for the reporting period.
- The prior period ending vested balance is the total ending vested balance for the previous reporting period. The prior period ending vested balance differs from the prior ending balance because it is the total calculated balance for the reporting period, not just the balance for the last day.
You can also pull current, opening, ending, and prior period ending balances for probationary periods. Probation periods specify when accrued time or money can be used within a specified time period.
• The current probationary balance is the existing balance for the reporting period.
• The opening probationary balance is the balance on the first day of the reporting period.
• The ending probationary balance is the balance on the last day of the reporting period.
• You can also identify the ending probationary balance for the prior reporting period, known as the prior period ending probationary balance.
Accruals earned and taken data
Accruals earned and taken data is connected to grants and takings. Grants define how and when accrual balances are credited to employees, while takings constitute the amount of time or money available to employees based on their accrual balances.
- When you see earned to date, this metric refers to grants between the first day of the reporting period and the “as of” date or the specified date you’ve identified to end the reporting window.
- Taken to date data characterizes withdrawals or takings between the first day of the reporting period and the “as of” date.
- Planned takings are withdrawals or takings from accruals entered between the “as of” date and the end of the period.
- Pending grants are grants that are expected to occur but haven’t happened yet. They are based on the “as of” date and the end of the period.
Reporting and Dataviews
Why is it important to understand these definitions? Because you can use them to create Dataviews and reports that provide insight into your employees. To learn more about Dataviews, be sure to check out the Data in Dimensions video series.
I want to draw your attention to two reports you can run in the Report Library.
- The accrual detail report shows accrual transaction details for a specified time. Use it to see how each transaction impacts the accrual balance and show disqualified, suspended, and probation accrual statuses.
- The accrual debit summary report reviews a particular day of the week during a specified time, and displays accrual code abbreviations alongside the time debited to employees. You can also see a daily breakdown of accrual debits for each employee and the total number of accrual debits for all employees in the report. If managers are interested in getting to the bottom of trends they notice, this is the report to use. It helps answer questions like, “How often is Joan sick on Fridays? Is it a recurring event?”
Where to Learn More
Are you curious about a term or report I haven’t defined? Go to Online Help and search for it there. Online Help is a great place to find definitions and steps for application setup and configuration. You can also search the Data Dictionary to find explanations of individual building blocks represented as data columns in Dataviews.
For questions about Dimensions, please post in the UKG Dimensions WFM group in UKG Kronos Community.