Electronic Funds Transfer
For this tutorial, we will discuss how to pay your employees using the EFT - Electronic Funds Transfer feature (also referred as Direct Deposit). There are a number of steps you need to perform before you can create the actual EFT file, including:
Step 1: Entering Your Company's Bank Information
- Choose the Current Payroll - EFT menu command. This opens the EFT screen where you must enter the information that will be used to create the electronic file that will be forwarded to your company's bank (or other financial institution) for processing. EFT Help Screen...
Note: Setting up this information and using the EFT feature requires that you have made previous arrangements with your bank and that you have the pertinent information you will need in order to complete the various cells on this screen.
- Choose the New button from the Button Bar. This inserts a new EFT row into the table and activates Edit Mode for the cells.
- Complete the account data for each cell as it relates to your company's bank or financial institution. Use the Online Help system if you need to look up a definition for the various cells.
Example: In our example below, we have entered the information for our sample company. The Return Bank Account number will be used in the event that the EFT is not deliverable (in such a case, the EFT funds would be returned to the company's general account). The Creation Number is set to "1" and will increment automatically each time a subsequent EFT run is processed.
Fig. 11a The company's bank information will appear in the EFT file.
- Save the changes to the row when you are complete.
This completes the company's bank account information. Now you must enter the bank information for each employee who is to be paid using the EFT feature.
Step 2: Entering Each Employee's Bank Information
Each employee requires a number of settings if you plan to pay them using the EFT - Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) feature.
Note: If you completed the employee-creation process earlier, then you will have already entered the required information for each employee's bank account (in which case you may skip Step 2). However, if you have not yet entered the bank account information for your employees, please proceed with point number 1 below.
- Choose the Employee - Bank Accounts menu command. This opens the Bank Accounts screen where you can review or edit the bank account information that is required for each employee who is to be paid using via EFT. Bank Accounts Help Screen...
- Move to the row for the person whose information you wish to enter, then click on the Expand button (the right-facing triangle at the beginning of the row). This expands the row to display two further sub rows. Employees can have EFT funds distributed to up to three separate bank accounts.
Fig. 11b: Expand a row to reveal sub rows for each additional bank account.
- Double-click on the Primary row for the employee, and then ensure hat there is a check in the Enable cell. This will ensure that the program includes the data for this bank account when calculating the current payroll.
- Move to the Bank cell and enter the name of the employee's financial institution (Royal Bank, ABC Credit Union, etc.). This name is used in eNETEmployer only and will not appear outside the program.
- Move to the Transit - Bank ID - Account cell and enter the bank's Transit, ID and Account number. This number is typically found on an employee's personal cheque and must be entered in a specific format as outlined below:
- Transit - The transit or bank branch number. This is typically a 5 digit number, e.g. 12345.
- Bank ID - The bank identification number. For example, the ID number for the Royal Bank is 003.
- Account - The bank account number. This can be up to to 12 digits in length, e.g. 123456789012.
- Lastly, if the employee wants a specific amount of funds deposited in this account (with the remainder issued as a printed cheque), move to the Max Amt cell and enter the maximum amount of funds that can be placed into this account during the EFT process. This cell is not used for most employees since they typically have their entire cheque amount deposited into a single account.
Example: In our example below, we have entered the bank information for the first employee (Gregory House). He will have his funds deposited into two accounts; $1000 into the first, and the balance of his pay into the second as shown below.
This completes the employees bank account information. Now you can learn how to generate the EFT file that can be sent to your bank or financial institution for processing.
Fig. 11c: The first bank will have $1000 deposited, and the remainder of his pay will go into the second account.
Step 3: Generate the EFT File
Once you have defined your both your company's bank information as well as each employee who is to be paid via EFT, you can generate the electronic EFT file. The file will contain each employee's net pay amounts and other information needed to pay employees electronically.
Note: Generating an EFT should only be done after you have verified and closed your payroll. The following steps assume you have closed the associated payroll.
- Choose the Payroll Processing - Reports menu command. This opens the Reports screen where you can review or edit the bank account information that is required for each employee who is to be paid using via EFT. Reports Help Screen...
If you have never created a report, the screen will not contain any report rows (as shown in the example below).
Fig. 11d: The Reports screen with no report rows.
- Select the drop down list that appears beside the New button, select the Generate EFTs option from the list, and then choose the New button. This action inserts a new report row into the table with its cells ready for editing. We will use the default settings for the row for this lesson.
Fig. 11e: The EFT report row is added.
- Select the Generate Report button. A brief message is displayed as the program uses the payroll data to create the EFT data file. Once the process is complete, the EFT file is stored in your Downloads folder.
Default Row Settings - As you review the row you have just inserted, you will notice that there are a number of columns and settings available. Some options are greyed out, indicating that the particular option is not applicable to an EFT file. Conversely, other options are available for EFTs and can be modified as needed to suit your unique payroll situation. For example:
- Employees - Use this cell to specify the employees that should be included when the EFT file is created.
- Last - Use this cell to instruct the program to create the EFT file based on the most recently closed pay period.
- Payroll - Use this cell to specify the payroll on which the EFT file will be based. Note: If the value in the Last cell is set to Yes (i.e. its checkbox is activated), this cell will not be available for editing.
Depending on the browser you are using, the downloaded file will either
appear as a link at the bottom of your screen (as it does in the Google Chrome version below), or perhaps as a link near the top of your browser, as it does with FireFox, Internet Explorer and others.
In the Google Chrome browser shown below, we can right-click on the
downloaded file to view a menu that allows us to instantly navigate to the Downloads folder.
Fig. 11f: The EFT is created and a link to your Downloads folder appears (depending on your browser type)
- Open your Downloads folder to view the generated EFT file location. In our example with the Google Chrome browser, we will choose the Show in folder command.
You can now forward this data file to your bank or financial institution for processing.
Fig. 11g: The EFT is created and stored in your Downloads folder.
Step 4: Forward the EFT File for Processing
Once the EFT is complete, you can transmit the data file to your bank or data processing centre using any of several methods. View the sections below to learn how to locate the EFT file on your computer, and how to submit it to your bank or financial institution for processing.
To Locate the EFT File:
- Navigate to the location of the EFT file on your computer. The default location is the Downloads folder of the user who was logged into Microsoft Windows when the EFT file was created. If you did not create the original EFT file, or if the file is not in the Downloads folder, will need to recreate it using the instructions shown previously in Step 3.
With the EFT file now located, you can proceed to the next section that discusses how to forward the EFT file for processing.
To Forward the EFT File to Your Bank:
EFT data files contain confidential payment information. Therefore, you should choose the transmission methods that provides the best security. Some transmission options are:
- Electronic Portal - The suggested transfer method (and most secure) is via your bank's electronic portal. This step involves logging in to your online account and using the upload facility that your bank has provided.
- FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - Certain financial institutions will provide a secure FTP site to which you can upload your file. These sites can only be accessed by a valid user login and password. The FTP process is less secure than a direct electronic portal (as listed above) because the files may be vulnerable for the period of time before the final point of handoff at the receiving network.
- Email - Some financial institutions permit the submission of EFT files via email. This method is not suggested due to the security issues associated with email, but may be used if circumstances require it (and a more-secure method is not available).
- Manually - Some financial institutions permit the submission of EFT files via USB drive or disk file. This method is not suggested, but may be used if circumstances require it (and a more-secure method is not available).
To Deliver an EFT File via Electronic Portal:
- Contact your bank and obtain the username and password for your electronic portal account.
- Using an internet browser, navigate to the portal page and login using your user credentials.
- Transfer the EFT file using the upload facility that the portal provides.
To Deliver an EFT File via FTP:
- Contact your bank and confirm that you can transmit your data file via FTP - File Transfer Protocol. If this is possible, the bank will provide you with an FTP address, username and password that you can use to access to their FTP site.
- Launch your FTP browser and connect to the bank's site.
- Transfer the EFT file using your FTP program's Copy command.
To Deliver an EFT File via Email:
If you must deliver the data file to your bank via a standard email transmission, you should verify the bank's email address that is to receive the EFT file. Note that security for this particular method is limited as many email programs do not offer file encryption.
- Launch your email program and create a new message addressed to your bank.
- Add the EFT data file to the message using your email program's Attach command.
- Send the email and ask the recipient to confirm the file's reception. Note: Depending on your email program's settings, a copy of your message may be stored in a Sent folder (or any other number of folders). To protect your EFT confidentiality, ensure that you manage these folders accordingly.
To Deliver an EFT File Manually:
If circumstances are such that you must deliver the data file to your bank manually via a USB, CD or other electronic media, we suggest you employ a level of security that is satisfactory for your business. This may include bonded couriers, registered mail, etc.
- Navigate to the location of the EFT file on your computer, and then copy the file to the electronic storage device.
- Store the media in a non-destructive package.
- Deliver or post the package and employ all necessary procedures (sign off for the package, confirm delivery and processing schedules with your bank, etc.).