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TOPS (The One Payroll System) was originally written for the forestry industry and has been used by major companies throughout the country for several years. As some of these clients have in excess of 1000 employees, it was necessary for the program to have some payroll features and payment methods (Cheque-printing, direct deposits etc.) that are not normally needed by the SME market, but they nevertheless form part of all versions of TOPS.

Some items used in particular industries are only available in specialised versions (Forestry production, Real Estate sale tracking, Personnel Consultant invoicing). Concise Data are able to add special features should any be required.

Program language
Microsoft Access was chosen as the programming language because Access is a member of the Microsoft Office family of products. Inter-operability between Word, Excel and Access is a very powerful tool.

The program has many of its own reports, but clients with specialised needs will appreciate this flexibility.

Program Features
TOPS is a multi-user application which runs on peer to peer networks or Client / Server networks.

Program Set-up
The initial set-up takes a little time, as unfortunately various returns require certain otherwise unnecessary information. PAYE, UIF registration numbers etc. have to be entered and employee details (addresses, bank details, education, etc.) are necessary for SARS returns and the Employment Equity report. Employees need an employment category assigned to them, and this determines their rate of pay.

On a regular monthly basis though, it is only necessary to start a new month by entering a date. Salaries automatically accrue to employees, but unpaid leave needs to be entered.

Daily paid employees, will by default, receive pay for the number of days in a particular month, but this can be changed so as to reflect any days missed by an employee. The program then computes pay using the employee’s daily rate.

UIF and PAYE are automatically calculated.

Adjustments (pension fund, loan repayments, bonuses etc.) can be made to each employee’s earnings each month. These adjustments are made while viewing the salary/wage form that shows all earnings and adjustments for each employee. Any adjustment can be designated as regular for any particular employee, and it will be automatically added each month. There is no practical limit to the number of adjustments which can be defined.

Each type of adjustment carries a SARS code and is automatically included or excluded from PAYE calculations and shown appropriately on IRP5 certificates.

Once adjustments have been made it is only necessary to print payslips and cheques if required, and close the month by clicking a check box on the period end form.

Various reports can be reviewed and your actual SARS monthly return is printed with all PAYE, SDL and UIF calculations complete and entered. You only need sign the form as printed and submit it to Revenue. The new UIF file is also produced and needs to be emailed to the UIF Commissioner. This replaces the old hand written returns showing new and terminated employees. This electronic submission of UIF data is soon to be made compulsory.

IRP5 and IT3a certificates are printed at year-end, and the necessary reconciliation file for the Receiver of Revenue is created and can be copied to a stiffy disc, CD or approved tape for submission to him. Statistics for the Equity Employment report are also produced.

Leave can be recorded and the program will pay daily paid employees for the value of their leave and sick leave taken. If accumulated leave or sick leave is exceeded, the excess leave taken is not paid and is recorded as unpaid. Leave earned is accumulated each month according to each employee’s leave rule recorded in the set-up. (15 days per year or 1 day for every 17 worked etc.)

Weekly or Fortnightly pay is also catered for, as are employees on an hourly rate. Hours worked can be recorded via a time sheet and are entered either as start and end times or as actual hours for the day. Pay and overtime is automatically calculated. Any overtime rate can be used. (150%, 200%, 133.33% etc.) The program can interface with time keeping systems. (Clock cards)

Training courses attended Medical examinations, Clothing and Tool issues and Disciplinary Actions can all be recorded in an employee’s record.

N.B. On running TOPS for the first time you will receive a message "Can't find linked tables …". Click OK and navigate to your DemoDataStd.mdb file and double click it. The tables will be relinked and the program will run as usual from then on.

Once you are familiar with the operation of TOPS you can choose "Different Division" and link to TopsData.mdb to start setting up your own system. Note that using TopsData.mdb will require you to contact us to arrange purchasing and a licence number. If you connected to TopsData.mdb in error you can rename TopsData.mdb then rerun TOPS this time linking to DemoDataStd.mdb