Cost Centers - What are they? What do they do?

Cost Centers - What are they? What do they do?


In this article, we cover Cost Centers explaining what they are and how they are used. 


Cost Centers are essentially used to determine "departments" in the most common manner but are also used to tell the system how to tax employees, where employees' checks and W2s should deliver to, and in some cases are used for the clock-in/out toggle and even Advanced Scheduling. In this article, we break down each type of Cost Center and how they are used. 


Cost Center - Department


The first and most Common Cost Center used is called the "Cost Center - Department". This is essentially the Division/Department Tree of your organization, which allows for 10 levels down and 10 levels out. The "Cost Center - Department" is typically used to help organize employees and assist with accounting needs. For clients that have more than one entity in the system, each EIN would be the first "Division" followed by the subsequent departments. Below is an example of the "Cost Center - Department" tree look and feel. To see  Cost Centers in your instance, navigate to Hamburger Menu > Gear Icon > Global Set Up > Cost Centers


When employees are added to the Departments, various reports can be pulled to show payroll data by Cost Center, such as "Register by CC" and "Cost Center Department" can also be used for "grouping needs". For example, let's say the entire Dr. Green Packaging department, should use the mobile app for timekeeping but no one else, we can use the Department to filter the use of the app. 

Typically the "Cost Center -Department" is a required field during the new hire process. To add or change the Cost Center manually on the employee record, navigate to the Hamburger Menu > Team Icon > My Team > Employee Information - find an employee and click the "Employee Info" icon. 


Once in the employee's record, search "Cost Center" in the upper right, which will pull to the "Cost Center Widget". There you can update the Cost Center by clicking the drop-down and choosing the Division to the Department the employee should belong to. Make sure to SAVE.



When pulling reports, or looking at the employee roster by Cost Center, the "Cost Center-Department" can be added to any filter or added/removed in the ellipses. For additional information about customizing reports visit this article. The payroll report overview can be found here


Work Site/Delivery Location


The "Work Site/Delivery Location" cost center, essentially tells the system where to tax the employees and where to send any live checks or W2s to. When Green Leaf sets up this Cost Center Tree, we set it up to show the EIN as the main first level, then we add a "child" per physical location. Each physical location would have an address associated. This address is what the system looks to in order to determine which taxes the employee/employer should be paying. For example, if the address is in a state that has local taxes, the zip code on the Cost Center will be the determining factor that locals are expected to process. By default, we would assume any live checks or W2s that print to send to the location the employee works at. Below is an example of the "Work Site/Delivery Location". If an employee is Remote, the "location" remote would be used, which is set up to tax the employee based on the employee's home address. Any delivery to home addresses would require notification to Green Leaf. Please be sure to reach out to your Payroll Specialist in order to have home delivery set up. 


By default, the "Work Site/Tax Location" is an option to add upon adding new hires along with the State Unemployment to choose for the new hire. To manually make changes to the employee, navigate to Hamburger Menu > Team Icon > My Team > Employee Information - find the employee info icon. Once in the employee record, search "Cost Center". This will bring you to the Cost Center Widget. 



For any employees that were set up in the wrong Work Site/Delivery Location during a payroll, you may need to make changes in the middle of the payroll. This article covers what to do in order to make the changes on the employee as well as in the open payroll. It's essential to ensure the employee is being taxed in the correct state both for withholding and employer-related taxes. Any employees taxed inaccurately can potentially cause a need for amendments and erroneous tax payments. 


Limit Cost Center


The "Limit Cost Center" is essentially used to limit the employee's toggle choices when clocking in and out using the clock toggle feature. For example, let's say you have an employee that upon clocking in or out, you need to select a job or cost center to properly allocate their wages, but you want to ensure they don't have all cost center options but only 2 lets say. Then we would need to set up a "Limit Cost Center" and assign the cost center to the employee. 


Let's do an example, lets's say Zach needs to only choose Packaging or Labeling when clocking in or out. We would go to the employee's record, find the "Limit Cost Center" and choose from the drop-down "List". 



Then click the magnifying glass in the box on the right that says "choose". The pop-up below will show. Click "Create New"



Add a "Name" that will help for easy choosing later, such as "Zach" or if the list applies to multiple employees, something like "Packaging/Label Toggle". Then choose the locations on the right you'd like them to be able to toggle from and click add to move them to the left. Close. 



Now you can choose your new list for the employee. 



Hit SAVE:



Now when the employee goes to clock in, they can select "Change Cost Center" and when prompted to choose from a list, they have a limited view. 



If your account was not set up to allow a toggle and you'd like to enable this feature, please reach out to your Payroll Specialist to update your Timesheet options to allow the "Change Cost Center" as an option to enable. To check if your Timesheet currently allows "Change Cost Center" navigate to the Hamburger Menu > Gear Icon > Profiles and Policies - "Timesheets". Find the timesheet in question and hit the pencil. Scroll down to see the punch options. If the "Timesheet Punch Settings" indicate "Show Change Cost Center" is active, then you're good to go. If not, your Payroll Specialist can enable it. Be sure to tell them which Timesheet Profile you'd like updated. 



Scheduled Cost Center



The last Cost Center is the "Scheduled Cost Center". The Scheduled Cost Center is only used when utilizing our Advanced Scheduling and is essentially the "WHERE" an employee would or could work. For example, when schedules are built, you may have two physical locations that an employee can work at. In this instance, both "Scheduled Cost Centers" must be added to the employees profile in order for the system to allow them to be scheduled at that particular WHERE or location. To find the Scheduled Cost Center on the employee record, navigate to the "Schedule" tab. From there you can see all "Scheduled Cost Centers" assigned. To add or remove, click the ellipses. These cost centers would not be used for any other reason outside of Advanced Scheduling. For more information on Advanced Scheduling, visit the training articles found here.



For any edits or changes to any exisiting cost centers, please reach out to your Payroll Specialist or HR Contact for assistance. 


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