Open liabilities do not equal balance due

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Our Support department is closed on Friday, April 28th for a company event. However, limited Accounting CS phone support is available on that date from 9 AM - 5 PM ET due to the approaching deadline for quarterly payroll tax forms.

Links to our most popular payroll tax processing topics are available in the Alerts and notices section on the right side of most pages.

Open liabilities do not equal balance due is a critical diagnostic message that can appear during payroll tax form processing. The application displays this message when the open liability amounts on the Payroll Liabilities tab of the File > Print Checks screen (or for impounding clients, on the Actions > Manage Impound Payments screen) for the tax agent do not exactly match the balance due on the corresponding payroll tax form.

Note: Accounting CS automatically creates liabilities whenever payroll checks are printed.

Use one or more of the following methods to resolve this diagnostic message and process your payroll tax forms successfully.

This method can be used for after-the-fact payroll clients or for live payroll clients with after-the-fact payroll checks entered:

  1. Choose Actions > Enter Transactions.
  2. Verify that the correct client is listed in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Click the Generate Liabilities for Handwritten Payroll Checks link.
  4. In the Generate Liabilities dialog, use the drop-down menu to select the appropriate check type.
    • Selecting Handwritten Checks will generate open liabilities and post the payroll checks to the General Ledger.
    • Selecting Historical Checks enables you to choose which liabilities to generate as open, and removes the payroll checks from the General Ledger and the bank reconciliation.

      Note: Liabilities generated as closed are not posted to the General Ledger. Liabilities generated as open are posted after they are paid.

  5. In the grid, select the payroll checks for which you want to generate liabilities.
  6. Click the Generate button to generate liabilities and close the dialog.
  7. Choose Actions > Process Payroll Tax Forms and process your form again.

In certain cases, such as when there is a change to the SUTA rate after payroll checks have been entered, you can process adjustments during payroll tax processing. Follow the steps below to have the application create liability adjustments to reconcile the diagnostic before you process the form.

  1. Choose Actions > Process Payroll Tax Forms and then select Reconciliation from the Form type drop-down list.
  2. Mark the checkbox for the frequency of the form that you want to process and select the appropriate month, quarter and year.
  3. In the Form Selection grid, click the plus sign next to the client to view the list of forms that are available to process for the client.
  4. Mark the checkbox to select the appropriate form.
  5. Click the Process Adjustments button.
  6. Complete any necessary tasks in the Process Adjustments dialog.
    1. If a Liability dialog displays the message "No liability adjustments are needed", you may have already paid the liability that should be sent with the form. In this case, choose Actions > Enter Transactions and delete the liability payment so it is open, and then process the form.
  7. Process your client form again.

See also: Processing liability adjustments

Typically, you will need to record liabilities as paid or delete them if the amount on the payroll tax form is lower than the open liabilities on the Print Checks screen. This may happen if you pay liabilities outside of Accounting CS. You can prevent the application from creating liabilities by marking the Do not create tax liabilities checkbox on the Payroll Taxes tab of the Setup > Clients screen.

If you need to record the liability payment in the application, follow these steps.

  1. Choose File > Print Checks and click the Payroll Liabilities tab.
  2. Click the plus sign to view the liabilities that are available to process.
  3. Mark the checkbox for the liabilities that you want to process as paid.
  4. Click the Print Selected button.
  5. Choose Actions > Process Payroll Tax Forms and process your client form again.

See also: Adding historical or closed liabilities

If you want to delete the liabilities:

  1. Choose Actions > Manage Payroll Liabilities.
  2. Verify that the correct client is selected in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Click the plus sign to view the list of liabilities.
  4. Mark the checkboxes next to the liabilities that you want to delete.
  5. Click the Delete Selected button.
  6. Choose Actions > Process Payroll Tax Forms and process your client form again.

If the amount on the payroll tax form is greater than the open liabilities on the Print Checks screen, follow these steps.

  1. Choose Actions > Manage Payroll Liabilities.
  2. Verify that the correct client is selected on the top right.
  3. Click the Add Liability button.
  4. Fill out the required information in the dialog.

    Note: The transaction date must fall within the same period as the payroll tax form being processed for the application to calculate the correct due date for the liability.

  5. Choose Actions > Process Payroll Tax Forms and process the form again.

If overrides were made to the payroll tax form during the previous payroll tax form processing period, they appear in red text and stay on the form until the overrides are cleared.

  1. Choose Actions > Edit Payroll Tax Forms.
  2. Verify that the correct client is selected in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Use the filtering fields to display only the payroll tax form being processed.
  4. Choose Edit > Clear Form Overrides to clear all form overrides.
  5. Choose Actions > Process Payroll Tax Forms and process the form again.

Related topics

Creating payroll tax reconciliation forms that include payment

Entering historical payroll data

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