Dataloss when changing accounts on "Payslip Deduction Items" items

When you setup payslips, the Payslip Deduction Items by default use an account called “Payroll liabilities”.
If you later change that account to a new account, all entries that use this “Payroll liabilities” account are altered and are now put on the suspense account (banks tx, journal entries) etc.

The entries don’t show up in the suspense account of the bank account (the uncategorized column)> They do however show up in the general suspense account.

Also, the “Payroll liabilities” account is nowhere to be found.

I would have expected this to remain active, as I have entries on this account.

If I restore the edit of the “Payslip Deduction Items” (make the account empty), things are back to normal.

It also does not adhere the lockdate.

I assume this happens with other built-in accounts as well

Also, if you’ve editted the entries, and change the setting, it updates everything back. Including things it shouldn’t

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What you describe is not loss of data. As you said yourself, transactions are moved to Suspense because they are now incomplete. When the action that moved them there is reversed, “things are back to normal.”

Please clarify this remark. Are you changing the name of the account in the chart of accounts, or changing the account to which a specific payslip item is posted?

Bank accounts do not have Suspense accounts of their own. There is just one Suspense account. All incomplete or erroneous transactions are posted temporarily to that account.

But you apparently changed it, if indeed that is what you meant. Why would you expect it to still be unchanged?

That is because you are not modify a transaction, you are modifying the chart of accounts.

I’ve created a video to show what happens, and what is simply not correct.

higher res video:

Sorry, but the video stopped in the middle and no I get a message saying We’re processing this video Check back later

It would actually be clearer if you just posted the various edit screens of the transactions and payslip items, etc. I have to keep pausing the video to check the entries

The new video should be up… screenshots would take something like 20-30 screenshots.

OK, I can now see what you are saying

But once you setup your payroll properly, this should not be an issue. You do not usually re-configure your accounts in the way you describe regularly, if at all

No… it is a problem. I have booked 5 years of taxed under that account. Then wanted to split up these 2 accounts, and I had to rebook every single entry because all of a sudden, my entries were adjusted. If the account is in use, it should be available. It also changed the bookings before the lock date. It is an issue.

As a user, I can only comment that there are structures internal to the working of the payroll accounting module that are hard-wired and that you need to take care if you want to change the way it is setup. I agree it is inconsistant in the way it shows the bank payment.

I presume that the internal structure of the database is using the payslips items to manage the accounting transactions so changing them is fraught with problems.

I understand that for all the features, there are built-in accounts. The thing is that I simply changed the account for the payslip items, and it affected all other transactions (bank, journal, any transaction that uses that account), that have nothing to do with the payslips itself. It did so without warning, and without adhering the lock date. At first I thought I had deleted the account by accident, and that why all transactions were under the suspense account.

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I have tried to duplicate what you describe. I cannot reproduce your reported behavior. It is true that if you change the posting account for a payslip deduction item, all transactions using that payslip item will be changed to the new posting account. That is to be expected, because you have redefined the payslip item. But Payroll liabilities does not disappear. See below, where New test account is where the only deduction item is now assigned:


Nothing appeared in Suspense after the change was made to the payslip item. So I think you have done something else.

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I just updated to the latest version, and if you follow the exact steps, it does exactly what I said.

I can send you the manager file.

If you then go the settings -> payslip items -> edit the deduction, and change the account to “wage taxes”. You’ll see that summary now has and item on the suspense account.

@joris_manager, I tried to follow your example, but in the file you provided, the change to Wage taxes has already been made. And your 100 payment is posted to Suspense. To be useful, you need to upload a test file that does not yet demonstrate the problem you think exists. Only then will I be able to follow your steps.

You can simply clear the “wage tax” in the payslip items.
You’l see everything is normal. And if you then set it to wage tax again (or any other account), the error happens

No, I tried that. The problem is your payment is posted to Suspense. Where was it originally posted?

It’s under payroll liabilities. This is the whole problem I’m trying to explain.
My payment is posted under payroll liabilties.

If I then change the payslip item’s account to “Wage Tax”. My payment goes to the suspense account:

I understand that, @joris_manager. But your complaint included the fact that transactions showed up in Suspense. What I am saying is that you provided an example data file in which the change had already been made and the payment was already posted to Suspense. So I cannot test whether it was influenced by what you did to the payslip item or not. Your sample could have been incorrectly entered to begin with.

The current file (same link) now has:
Payroll liabilities - 80,00
No suspense account

OK. Starting where you started, I can reproduce the problem you describe with your test data file. But I cannot reproduce it in another test business. I thought perhaps it was related to the fact your payment posted to Payroll liablities was larger than the balance, driving that account into debit territory. But that wasn’t it.

No matter what I do, or in what order, I can freely switch posting accounts on payslip items in my test business and they behave as expected. But the same actions with your test file generate the issues you describe. This is something @lubos will need to look at.

Sorry I can’t help.

Ok, we’re getting somewhere. For me it’s 100% repreducable. If you want we can do a skype or remote session. I can also record a video with a brand new file. I’m using the mac desktop version.

To me it seems like the built-in account gets deactiveted because the payslip-items aren’t using it. And then, the suspense account is used, because there’s an ‘error’ (similar to when you create an expense claim, but fail to set the payer… it will then also be on the expense account)

@joris_manager I can reproduce this. You are right about what is happening.

Payroll Liabilities and Wages And Salaries accounts are only enabled if payslip items are using them.

But as @Joe91 pointed out, it is by design.

I think payroll implementation in Manager could have been simpler. There is some work I’m doing on payroll to support country-specific payroll reports. So I will keep this issue in mind.

I’d say this is not a bug since the system does behave the way it’s designed. But I agree the design does give unexpected result which is not good.