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Table Of Contents

How To Track PTO Accruals In Excel

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Table Of Contents

As your company grows, so does your team. And with a bigger workforce, come bigger responsibilities — such as managing employee benefits, like PTO Accruals. 

While Accruals may seem like a straightforward concept, calculating Accruals can quickly become complex and time-consuming if not done right. Furthermore, if you’re tracking this on Excel, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of formulas and spreadsheets, and even the smallest mistake can have a ripple effect on your employees’ work-life balance and PTO.

So if you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry because we’re here to lend a helping hand. Our guide will show you how to master tracking PTO accruals using the power of Excel. So without further ado, let’s get started!

What are PTO Accruals?

PTO Accruals refer to a system where employees earn PTO but are not allowed not use it immediately. Instead, the time off is gradually accrued over time and can be used at a later date.

Despite the challenges, many companies see PTO Accruals as a valuable employee benefit that can help attract and retain top talent. By offering a generous PTO policy and managing accruals effectively, companies can create a positive work environment that values work-life balance and employee well-being. What’s not to love about that?

Things to keep in mind about PTO accruals

First things first… there are a few things you should take care of before you start tracking Accruals in Excel.

Clearly define your policy

Before you even decide to start tracking and managing Accruals, it’s important to define the rules surrounding it. Many companies choose to implement different PTO policies depending on factors such as employee tenure, job level, or even their geographic location’s local leave laws. Many companies don’t implement Accruals at all. 

So, before you begin tracking PTO Accruals, make sure that your company’s policies are clearly defined and internally communicated with all employees. Doing so will help ensure that everyone in your office understands how PTO accruals work, how much time off they’re entitled to, and any restrictions or limitations that may apply.

Decide on accrual rates

Hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly… the options are endless.

The rate your employees accrue their PTO depends on what works best for your company. Hence, in order to properly track and manage PTO accruals for your employees, make sure you decide on a common accrual rate for everyone that syncs with your payroll cycles. It’s important to carefully consider the various options available and select the one that best meets your needs.

Once you have chosen an accrual rate, it’s also important to communicate this clearly to your employees and ensure that it’s applied consistently across the organization.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Finally, it’s essential to be transparent and communicative with your employees about PTO accruals. Make sure that they understand how accruals work, how much time off they’re entitled to, and how to request PTO. By being open and honest, you can foster a positive work environment and avoid misunderstandings or conflicts related to time off.

How To Track PTO Accruals In Excel

Setting up PTO Accruals (manually or otherwise) is by no means an easy task. However, the method you end up choosing ultimately depends on your organizational needs and the number of employees you need to track. If you’re trying to do so in Excel, here is how you can manage it.

Chances are that you are already using our template to manage your PTO data. If you aren’t using it already, start by downloading your Free Excel Leave Tracking Spreadsheet here.

How To Track PTO Accruals In Excel

Create a dedicated Accruals Allotment Table

Insert a new sheet on the file and name it Accruals. Then, start by adding all data relevant to your PTO Accruals tracking. In our example, we added employee names, departments, start dates, locations (to keep track of individual leave quotas), PTO quotas, and Accrual rates. 

This is what the sheet should look like.

How To Track PTO Accruals In Excel

Calculate individual Accrual allotments

Now it’s time for some number-crunching! Let’s start calculating each employee’s accrual based on their leave quota and accrual frequency. The general formula is as follows: 

PTO accrued per week = Quota ÷ (Number of workdays in a week × Number of hours in a workday)

Let’s start calculating this for Cara, who is located in Belgrade and accrues PTO weekly. Substituting all values, we get:

PTO accrued per week = 18 days ÷ (5 days/week × 8 hours/day)

PTO accrued per week = 0.45 hours/week

So, if your employee’s PTO quota is 18 days per year, they would accrue approximately 0.45 hours of PTO per week. This means they’ll earn about 0.56 days of PTO per week (assuming that 1 day off equals 8 hours of PTO). It’s worth noting that the above calculation is an approximation. Actual accrual rates may depend on your company’s policies and practices, including rounding rules and any limitations or restrictions on the use of PTO.

Now, let’s do the same for Monica who is located in Phoenix and accrues PTO monthly. Substituting all values, we get:

PTO accrued per month = Quota ÷ 12 months = 2.1 hours/month

Therefore, with a quota of 21 days, she would accrue approximately 2.1 hours of PTO per month. Easy, right? Now do the same for each employee in your company. Depending on the numbers, you may round up or down the accruals to the nearest hour or fraction of a day, or you can use different formulas to calculate PTO accruals.

This will be your reference page for any questions you or your employees may have about Accruals.

Add Accrual allotments to your Monthly sheets

To keep easier track of PTO Accruals on a day-to-day basis, create a dedicated column for it on each Monthly sheet. You can add any data you think is relevant to Accruals here. We added columns for Total PTO accrued, PTO taken, and PTO remaining.

How To Track PTO Accruals In Excel

Then, calculate the total PTO accrued so far for each employee. Since we are in February, each employee has a relatively low accrual at this point.

Let’s say Tony wants to take a day off on February 14. When logging his day off request on the Monthly sheet, calculate the total PTO he has accrued by then and fill in the other columns. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Keep up the progress

Here comes the hardest part!

While it may require some extra effort and attention to detail, keeping track of PTO accruals manually is still possible. Just make sure to document everything accurately and stay on top of any changes or updates as they come. Remember, the key to success is to stay organized and consistent. Keep up the progress, and before you know it, you’ll have a system in place that works for you and your team. You got this!

Automating Accruals with Vacation Tracker

We don’t know about you but even reading about managing PTO Accruals sounds tiring. If only there was a way to automate this all…

Vacation Tracker is here to help you get there. With our tool, your employees can stay on top of their PTO accruals with just a few clicks on their User Profile page. Our Accruals feature completely eliminates the need for manual calculation of employee leave balances. So if you’re looking for an easy way to keep track of PTO Accruals for your business, we have you covered. Wondering how? Keep reading to find out.

Log into the online dashboard, go to Settings, then click on Locations, and choose the location to which you’d like to add the Accruals feature to.

How To Track PTO Accruals In Excel

Then, select the Leave Policies tab and select the Edit icon on the right-hand side of the Leave Type. Within the Accruals section of the Leave Policy window, you will be able to set the frequency of the accrued days.

How To Track PTO Accruals In Excel

After that, simply choose the desired frequency (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly), and our system will handle the rest.

How To Track PTO Accruals In Excel

We will then automatically calculate all PTO Accruals for each user with the selected leave type. This information is also accessible from each User Profile.

How To Track PTO Accruals In Excel

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! Our tool offers a bunch of other awesome features that can help you achieve so much more. So why not give it a try and see for yourself? Your HR department (and your employees!) will thank you.

I hope these 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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