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How to Handle PTO Rollovers in Excel

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Table Of Contents

As you can probably tell by now, there is no shortage of things you can accomplish using Excel, especially when it comes to tracking PTO.

When it comes to managing PTO rollovers in Excel, things can be a bit dicey—even more so when you’re dealing with multiple employees, who may have different leave balances. Add into this different leave types, locations, and departments, and things can get really messy really fast. So, whether you’re a seasoned Excel pro or a newbie, buckle up and let us show you how you can master tracking PTO rollovers as well as give some tips on how to do it all on our free Excel Leave Tracking Spreadsheet!

What are PTO rollovers?

First and foremost, understanding how PTO rollovers work is essential to mastering them. In layman’s terms, PTO rollovers are extra vacation days that are carried forward from a previous fiscal year or employment year. 

A PTO rollover basically means that an employee can use those extra days at a later time within the next year. If an employee has unused PTO days at the end of the year, you can handle roll-overs in three ways.

Cap the number of PTO rollover days

One option is to cap the amount of PTO days that can be rolled over to the next year. For example, if your company policy allows for a maximum of 10 roll-over days, any unused PTO days above that limit would be lost. 

This option can help to prevent employees from accumulating large amounts of unused PTO, which can create a financial liability for the company. It can also encourage employees to take time off regularly and can prevent situations where employees hoard PTO for a potential cash-out at the end of their employment.

To handle this in Excel, you can create a formula that checks if the number of PTO days left is greater than the rollover limit. If it is, the formula should subtract the excess days from the number of PTO days left.

Allow employees to carry over all unused PTO days

Another option is to allow employees to carry over all unused PTO days to the next year. This option can be more generous and can help to incentivize employees to save their PTO days.

To handle this in Excel, you can simply add the number of unused PTO days to the number of PTO days available in the following year.

Regardless of the option you choose, it’s important to communicate your roll-over policy clearly to all employees. This can be done by including the policy in your employee handbook and in your leave tracker itself for easy accessibility.

Create a “use it or lose it” PTO rollover policy

When it comes to handling unused time off or rollover days in Excel, the policy you set can ultimately vary based on the rules in your area. If your region allows a “use it or lose it” approach, any PTO days that haven’t been used by the end of your fiscal year will disappear into the abyss. So for example, if you have 8 unused days left by December 31, they will be 0 starting January 1.

However, if your area doesn’t allow this type of policy, you have a couple of options. 

You can either let employees roll over some or all of their unused PTO into the following year or pay them for their unused days. Some states, like California, Montana, and Nebraska, treat paid time off similarly to earned wages, meaning that employers can’t take it away from employees. 

How to Handle PTO Rollovers in Excel

If you’ve already snagged our free Excel Leave Tracking Spreadsheet, you’re ready to start tracking PTO rollovers. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Calculate PTO balances accurately

Managing PTO can pose a challenge, but you can handle it effectively with the right tools and strategies in place.

Depending on which rollover policy you choose, you can add a rollover column to the Yearly Totals sheet and add the rolled-over PTO quota there. For example, let’s say your company uses a rollover policy that allows employees to bring forward 5 days to the next fiscal year. In that scenario, Cara would roll over 5 days from the previous year. Do the same for each employee according to their rolled-over days.

She has a yearly PTO quota of 20 days. Hence, her PTO column will show she has 25 days off left to use for the current year. Then, you can update all other columns as need be.

It’s important to remember to communicate your roll-over policy clearly to all employees and update your PTO tracker regularly to ensure that it remains accurate. By doing so, you can improve employee satisfaction, reduce confusion, and ensure compliance with labor laws.

Step 2: Make accommodations for Accruals 

If your company uses a PTO accruals policy for your employees, make sure you factor that into your monthly sheets to keep track of PTO entitlements during the year.

Accruals are a common way for companies to manage PTO, where employees earn PTO hours based on their time worked. They accrue these hours over time (either daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) and can use them as paid time off.

Therefore, it’s essential to keep track of these hours. This is particularly important when it comes to rollovers, as the number of accrued hours will impact how many days an employee can roll over to the next year. 

This also helps avoid any potential misunderstandings or disputes related to PTO entitlements, which can create a negative impact on employee morale and company culture.

Step 3: Modify previous months’ PTO data

After you finish calculating PTO rollovers for all your employees, ensure that you modify the PTO data for all your employees for every month of the year. By adding accruals to your monthly sheets, you can stay ahead of the PTO balance for each employee and guarantee that their entitlements are precisely reflected.

Following PTO accruals so might require some number crunching, so follow along with our Accruals guide to make your job easier!

Step 4: Keep track of all PTO rollovers in Excel

Here comes the kicker…

As the person responsible for managing PTO rollovers, you need to be vigilant and ensure that all absences are recorded in a timely and precise manner. It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s essential to maintain accurate records to avoid discrepancies or misunderstandings down the line. So as you manage your Excel spreadsheet, keep the following things in mind: 

  1. Set a limit on PTO accumulation: To avoid excessive accumulation of PTO days, it’s essential to set a limit on the number of days an employee can accrue. This limit should be in line with your company’s PTO policy and the legal requirements of your state. By setting a limit, you can ensure that employees take time off regularly, which is crucial for their mental health and well-being.
  2. Accurately calculate PTO usage: Accurately calculating PTO usage is crucial to ensure that employees have an accurate picture of their remaining PTO balance. Make sure you record all PTO taken by each employee and update the PTO balance accordingly. This will help you avoid any disputes or misunderstandings related to PTO entitlements.
  3. Handle rollovers appropriately: When it comes to handling rollovers, make sure you follow your company’s policy and the legal requirements of your state to ensure compliance.

How Vacation Tracker can help

Take a minute, sit back, and imagine just how much more complicated managing PTO rollovers will be for bigger teams with dispersed locations, multiple offices, departments, and leave laws to take care of.

Well, with Vacation Tracker, you no longer have to imagine it being complicated.

Our brought-forward policy feature is perfect for teams looking to track their PTO with just a few clicks. You can easily add all brought forward PTO to individual leave quotas by making changes to your leave policies on our tool. Users can also make modifications to PTO accruals without lifting a finger, reducing spreadsheet chaos and saving valuable time. 

Users can pick between:

  • Disabled Rollover – for when your organization does not roll over any days to the following year.
  • Rolling Over All Days – for when you allow users to transfer all unused days from the current year to the next.
  • Limited Number of Days – for when you allow users to transfer a limited amount of unused days from the current year to the next.

I hope our tips helped make tracking leaves in your organization even easier. If you have any additional questions about automating your workflow, please let us know at hello@vacationtracker.io — we’re always here to help.

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Snigdha Gupta
Snigdha Gupta

An avid writer and aspiring marketer, Snigdha is a student at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business.

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