Version 6.1 | Version 4.1

What’s New in Version 6.1

Version 6.1 of Aren Payroll and Aren Register was released in February 2015, replacing version 4.1. Here are the main improvements as of Update 11 (post-release changes are shown in blue).

Employee Details

  1. Additional personal details are captured in the personnel file—photo, next of kin and dependants. (Register only)
  2. Passport number and work permit number are captured to cater for employees who are not citizens.
  3. Data in the personnel or payroll master file can be exported to a text file.
  4. Data for new employees can be imported from a text file.

Leave and Absence

  1. Maternity leave has been generalised to parental leave so as to cater for paternity leave. Compassionate leave has also been added. (Register only)
  2. The user can comment on why someone was absent from work. (Register only)

Local Service Tax

  1. Changed the amount of Local Service Tax (LST) deductible monthly to one quarter of the annual amount. This is because LST is deductible in four equal monthly instalments.
  2. Added an option to turn off LST for the whole organisation. This will allow the user to turn easily turn off LST in the months when it is not deductible.

Payroll Processing

  1. Earnings can be calculated on the numbers of days worked.
  2. Earnings can be a percentage of the actual basic pay earned, rather than the fixed monthly salary.
  3. Deductions that are a percentage of total earnings (excluding lump sums and refunds) have been added.
  4. Time and attendance data can be imported into the payroll. Users with clocking systems no longer need to enter this data manually. (Premier edition only)
  5. Pay groups have been added to the Standard edition. This makes it possible to filter certain reports (e.g. payslips, cash list and bank transfer report) by pay point, pay date or any other user-defined criterion. Previously, pay groups were only available in the Premier edition.
  6. The payroll can handle employees paid in foreign currency—US Dollar, Euro and Pound Sterling. (Premier editions only)
  7. Profiles have been introduced where users can specify the working hours per day and pay period, leave entitlement, etc, for a group of employees.

Payslips

  1. There is an option to print ID numbers (PIN, NSSF and national ID numbers).
  2. There is an option to print the payment mode (bank transfer, cheque or cash). Where the payment mode is bank transfer, bank account details are also printed.
  3. Generic messages e.g. Merry Xmas can be printed on payslips. Employees in each pay group have their own message.
  4. Headings in payslips can be printed in black, royal blue, firebrick or forest green (default).
  5. Job title, co-operative contribution balances and the PAYE Info section have all been made optional.
  6. There is an option to print each payslip on a full page.
  7. Payslips can be emailed to employees from within the payroll. In Update 4 the electronic payslip format changed from plain text to password-protected PDF.
  8. Payslips can be sent in batches, instead of just one or all of them at one go.
  9. Should the connection fail while sending payslips, the software no longer tries to send the remaining messages.

Other Reports

  1. There is a joiners report showing employees who joined the organisation in the last one year, last three months or in the current year.
  2. The payroll variance report has been added. This report shows the differences between the muster rolls for any two pay periods.
  3. The basic pay report has been expanded to show pay rate and time worked.
  4. There is an option to show non-cash benefits in the muster roll.
  5. All reports can be exported to text files. In the previous version only about half the reports could be exported.
  6. Unlimited report history has been scrapped. Instead, report files are retained for a maximum of ten years and a minimum of two before being discarded.
  7. Individual NSSF statements for a calendar year have been introduced.
  8. A bank codes report has been added to make it easier to review the list of banks, bank branches and sort codes stored in the banks file.

User Interface

  1. There is a single Find dialog box. Previously, there were separate dialog boxes for finding by employee number and finding by last name.
  2. The message Do you wish to back up your data? that appears when the program is closing can be switched off.
  3. The program remembers whether the last user logged on in multi-user or single user mode. In the login dialog box, it defaults to the last login mode. (Premier edition only).
  4. A list of available data folders can now be viewed from the Start dialog box. This makes it much easier to work with multiple data folders.
  5. In the Banks dialog box, on adding, deleting or editing a bank branch, the payroll would at times select a branch with the same name but in a different bank. This has been fixed.

Other Refinements

  1. In previous versions arrow keys were inactive within edit boxes in data-entry forms. This has been fixed.
  2. In data-entry forms, when records are ordered by last name, the first name is also taken into account so as to correctly order employees with the same last name. For example, Muwanga, Alfred comes before Muwanga, Eric. In the previous version, only the last name was considered, so the order of employees with the same last name was often wrong.
  3. When the control account is longer than one page, the program prints as many rows as possible then prints --more-- to indicate the there are some missing rows. To print the entire report, the user can save it as a text file and then open it with a spreadsheet e.g. Microsoft Excel.
  4. In some unusual cases, reports for the current period are not updated automatically by the program. It is now possible fix this problem by deleting all temporary report files using a menu option.
  5. Users can use any file name for the logo, not just logo.bmp.
  6. Users can edit the coinage denominations used in the cash list and coinage summary report.
  7. IR10 report shows low interest benefit and other non-cash benefits.