Tips before uploading your payroll

The following are tips for ensuring a successful upload of payroll reports for your Guideline 401(k) plan.

Keep your Guideline roster up to date

Before uploading your payroll report, make sure that your Guideline roster is current and accurate, including ensuring:

  • New hires are added
  • Newly eligible employees are accounted for, by providing any missing information for employees
  • Employment status is updated for individuals no longer with your company
  • Employee personal information is accurate
  • Employee contributions are updated

Ensure your payroll report is correctly filled out

It is highly recommended that you use the “Payroll Report Template” available in the Forms & Templates folder of the Resource Library on your Guideline dashboard.

However, regardless of whether you use the template or produce your own report, errors in the information provided can result in issues preventing you from uploading the report, including missing or duplicate information. See "Common Errors in Payroll Reports" to review and correct issues in your payroll report.

Upload your payroll report as a CSV

Once all relevant columns in the report have been filled out, save and upload your payroll report in CSV format.

roster.png

More information on how to generate a .csv file format:

Once your payroll report is properly formatted, upload your CSV by clicking the “Submit a payroll report” button in the Payroll tab of your Guideline dashboard.

Upload or correct payroll reports in a timely manner

  • Make sure that you upload your payroll report by your pay date to ensure employee deferrals are timely deposited to the plan. If you upload your payroll report late, you may be responsible for any lost earnings owed to participants for the time their funds are left out of the market. Learn more about what to do if employee deferrals are not timely deposited. 
  • If a discrepancy in the payroll report is immediately identified after you upload the report, you can update the submitted payroll report up until 8:00 PM PST on the day the payroll report was submitted by clicking the “Edit deduction amounts” button in the Payroll tab of your Guideline dashboard.

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  • If a discrepancy in the payroll report is identified after 8:00 PM PST on the day that the payroll report was submitted, then you can correct and make edits to that payroll by clicking the “Edit deduction amounts” button in the Payroll tab of your Guideline dashboard once the payroll status shows as “Completed”, which may take 2-3 business days. 
  • If you are correcting a payroll to perform a reversal, the reversal amount will be returned to the plan as part of plan cash (forfeitures, gains, or basis amounts). 
    • Guideline will deplete any outstanding eligible funds in the “plan cash” balance before withdrawing from your bank account
  • If you are correcting a payroll to add additional funds, the additional funds will appear as a separate ACH withdrawal from your bank account or other funding source.

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Troubleshooting: Common Upload Errors

When uploading a payroll report for your Guideline 401(k) plan, our system will flag errors that block your payroll report from uploading successfully. These errors are typically related to formatting issues or errors in contribution amounts. Below are detailed explanations of errors you may receive. Please use this to help you further troubleshoot each error.

Unrecognized column headers

  • Column headers in your payroll report must match headers provided in our payroll report template.
  • The contribution report formatting must match the payroll report template layout.

Last Name

First Name

Traditional (Pre-tax)

Employer Contribution

Roth (Post-tax)

Pay Date

Pay Period Gross Pay

Pay Period Hours Worked

Loan Repayment

Dunn

Liz

200

100

 

5/15/2021

2000

80

 

Villanueva

Christin

200

100

 

5/15/2021

2000

80

 

 

Additional titles/text within the document

Last Name

First Name

Traditional (Pre-tax)

Employer Contribution

Roth (Post-tax)

Pay Date

Pay Period Gross Pay

Pay Period Hours Worked

Loan Repayment

Contribution Report

               

Dunn

Liz

200

100

 

5/15/2021

2000

80

 

Villanueva

Christin

200

100

 

5/15/2021

2000

80

 

Please scan the document for additional titles or text within the rows. Guideline’s system will block the upload. 

Incorrect pay date format

Pay date must follow one of these formats:

  1. 01/01/2001 (mm/dd/yyyy) 
  2. 1/1/2001 (m/d/yyyy)

Please note - all employees on the document must have a pay date included in their contribution entry. Please review the image below:

Last Name

First Name

Traditional (Pre-tax)

Employer Contribution

Roth (Post-tax)

Pay Date

Pay Period Gross Pay

Pay Period Hours Worked

Loan Repayment

Dunn

Liz

200

100

 

5/15/2021

2000

80

 

Villanueva

Christin

200

100

   

2000

80

 

 

Missing information

First Name, Last Name, Pay Date, and Pay Period Gross Pay fields must be filled out for each employee.

All applicable deduction fields, such as Traditional (Pre-tax), Employer contribution*, Roth (Post-tax), and Loan Repayment, should be filled out or updated for each employee.

Unidentifiable employee

New employees hired since your last payroll run must be added to your Guideline roster before you upload a payroll report.

Employee names in your payroll report must match what is in your Guideline roster, but must not contain any accented letters (i.e. “â, î, ô”). If an employee changes their last name due to marriage or other circumstances, please remember to also update that change in your roster.

Ineligible employee

Only eligible employees should be included in payroll reports. You can confirm your employees’ eligibility in your Guideline roster under the “Status” column, and may have to provide missing information for employees in your roster to determine or update eligibility.

Unexpected values

Columns or information that do not apply to your employees must be left blank. For example, if your plan does not have a match, leave the column blank instead of putting “N/A” or “-”.

Do not apply “-” or “%” to the field values.

Last Name

First Name

Traditional (Pre-tax)

Employer Contribution

Roth (Post-tax)

Pay Date

Pay Period Gross Pay

Pay Period Hours Worked

Loan Repayment

Dunn

Liz

-200

-100

0%

5/15/2021

2000

80

 

Villanueva

Christin

-200

-100

0%

 

2000

80

 

Duplicate row

Each employee should only have one line item for each pay date in the payroll report. If there are multiple contributions for a single employee for the same pay date, consolidate the contributions into a single line item. 

Blank rows 

Please ensure the payroll report does not possess any additional blank rows or columns. 

Last Name

First Name

Traditional (Pre-tax)

Employer Contribution

Roth (Post-tax)

Pay Date

Pay Period Gross Pay

Pay Period Hours Worked

Loan Repayment

Dunn

Liz

200

100

 

5/15/2021

2000

80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Name

First Name

Traditional (Pre-tax)

Employer Contribution

Roth (Post-tax)

Pay Date

Pay Period Gross Pay

Pay Period Hours Worked

Loan Repayment

Dunn

Liz

200

100

 

5/15/2021

2000

80

 

Villanueva

Christin

200

100

 

5/15/2021

2000

80

 

Template Format

Save/Export the template as a CSV file. Guideline’s system will not accept PDFs or Excel documents. 

Payroll Report Title

Please title the document as “Payroll Report - (Company name) (Date).” In the past, we’ve seen upload errors caused by title formats. 

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