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Calculating payroll for group practices

Calculating payroll for group practices

No matter what business you're in, calculating payroll can be challenging. This is especially true if there are late client payments or if you take insurance. That's why we've created the Income allocation report, which includes Past Pay Period Snapshots to help you stay on top of changes and figure out what to pay your team members each pay period.  

Learn more below about the Income allocation report and best practices to use:

Note: To learn how the Income allocation report is calculated, please see this guide: Income allocation: How the report is calculated.

Current Payments

Many group practices successfully calculate their payroll in SimplePractice using the Income allocation report. You can access this report by navigating to Analytics > Reports from your Calendar homepage, and clicking Income allocation under Income.

Note: For more information about the different reports available to you through SimplePractice, see this guide: Understanding your Analytics dashboard and reports.

The Income allocation report lists all clinicians who have received payments for their appointments in the selected time frame.

To customize your view of this report, you can:

  • Adjust the date range to show income received over a certain period of time


  • Choose whether or not to Include Insurance


  • Select to view payments for individual or all clinicians


The Current Payments portion of the report is organized into 4 columns:

  •  The Source column indicates the type of income received and whether or not it was allocated


  • The Description column lets you know the type of income was received (appointments or product fees)
  • If you're viewing All Clinicians, you'll see the descriptions divided by clinician and the total amount for each category of payment


  • The Clinician column shows the name of the clinician that received the payments


  • The Amount column indicates how much each clinician received based on payments that were allocated to invoices as well as the total amounts for each Source category


Clicking Unallocated Client Payments and Credits will take you to the report that lists the clients that have unallocated payments and credits. You can also see the total amounts and quickly navigate to the client's Overview page to fix any discrepancies. The Unallocated client payments and credits report only displays payments that were added in the selected date range. Widen the date range for more information about past payments. 

Note: Payments that are entered into SimplePractice are automatically applied to the oldest invoice they can cover in full within a client’s billing record. If an appointment hasn’t been invoiced, the payment can’t be allocated and it instead sits in the client’s account as a credit. Learn more about how payments are applied to invoices.


Tip: Practices who are currently having success with this report are making sure that all payments are allocated. A best practice that helps every type of business with payroll is invoicing and collecting payment at the time of service. If a payment is added to a client’s file, but that payment isn’t allocated to an invoice, it will not appear as part of a clinician’s total, nor on the Total allocated to Clinicians line.

Manually closing a Pay Period

You have the option to manually create Pay Periods for group practices. Most Account Owners choose to pay their team members either every 2 weeks or once a month.

Note: Only Account Owners, Billers, and Practice Managers who have been granted access to financial reports will be able to view Pay Periods. All other team members can only view their own information on this report.

To manually calculate the correct pay for team members for a set amount of time, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Settings > Team Members > Payroll
  • Make sure Manually is selected (this will be the default selection)
  • Click Save


  • Go to Analytics > Reports > Income allocation
  • Select the correct date range of your Pay Period
    • Note: Each date can only be associated with one Pay Period
  • Determine whether or not to Include Insurance
  • Click Close Pay Period at the end of each Pay Period cycle

Important: Make sure that you close your Pay Periods every cycle if you choose to calculate these manually. If you delete the first Pay Period, you’ll delete all of them.

Note: It's not possible to close a Pay Period that includes today's date. This means that the latest date you can include in a Pay Period when closing it manually will be yesterday.

Automatically closing a Pay Period

You have the ability to set your SimplePractice account to automatically close Pay Periods on a set schedule. This helps make calculating payroll easier for group practices.

To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > Team Members > Payroll
  • Select one of the automatic options from the dropdown menu
  • Click Save


Here are the different drop-down options:


Weekly Pay Periods will automatically close every week on the night the Account Owner selects.



Biweekly Pay Periods will close automatically every 2 weeks on the night the Account Owner selects.

  • The Account Owner will be prompted to indicate which day they’d like the next pay period to close
  • Once selected, Pay Periods will begin closing every two weeks from that date



Semi-monthly Pay Periods will close automatically on the two days of the month the Account Owner selects.


    • Note: If the Account Owner selects the 2nd and the 29th, 30th, or 31st day of the month, this message will appear: “Pay periods will be closed on the [31st] day of the month or on the last day for months with fewer days.”


Monthly Pay Periods will automatically close on the day of the month the Account Owner selects.


Note: If the Account Owner selects the 2nd and the 29th, 30th, or 31st day, this message will appear: “Pay periods will be closed on the [31st] day of the month or on the last day for months with fewer days.”

When the Pay Period auto-closes:

  • If no Pay Periods have been closed before, the Pay Period will include the last 30 days since it's the default view of the Income allocation report.
  • If Pay Periods have been created in the past, the start date will automatically adjust. This means the Pay Period's end date is the day it automatically closes, and its beginning date is the day after the last Pay Period was closed. 
  • If the automation is set up, the Past Pay Periods tab of the Income allocation report will show the date that the next Pay Period is set to close.

Past Pay Periods

The Past Pay Periods tab shows a list of all of your past Pay Period snapshots. A Pay Period snapshot helps you see your payments for a certain time frame to better help you manage your payroll.

Adjustments from previous Pay Periods will show in the Adjustments column in the following Pay Period, so you can manually calculate them into your payroll.


See Accounting for Adjustments under Best practices for managing payroll below.

Note: You can export data from each Pay Period snapshot as CSV or Excel files.

Best practices for managing payroll

How you choose to manage your payroll will vary from practice to practice. Some teams pay clinicians an hourly rate, others a percentage, and others based on the total number of appointments they conduct in a given time period. If the needs of your team are complex and require a full-featured payroll system, we recommend that you use one. If you pay clinicians a percentage or based on the number of appointments, and want to use SimplePractice to see what you owe, here are some best practices that have worked for our customers:

Invoicing and client payments

Your ability to identify and allocate payments easily and efficiently starts with invoicing. These tips will help set you up for invoicing success in SimplePractice, and will make it much easier to pay your team.

  • Create individual invoices for each appointment, rather than one invoice that contains many appointments. This way payments can cover the whole invoice. This is important because...
  • You can’t allocate a partial payment to a specific invoice. The entire invoice amount must be entered into the client’s account in order for that invoice to be marked PAID.
  • Invoice and collect payment at the time of service. If a payment is added to a client’s file, but that payment isn’t allocated to an invoice, it will not appear as part of a clinician’s total, nor on the Total allocated to Clinicians line.
  • Payments will be ‘unallocated’ and not included as part of the clinician's total if the invoice is too large and there are not enough payments to cover the invoice.
    • For example, an invoice is created for $300 and it covers two appointments. A payment is added for $150 (or one of the appointments). The $150 will not appear on the report because it hasn’t been allocated to an invoice yet. The $150 is therefore considered unallocated.
  • Date your invoice in the same month as the client's session. If you invoice October's session in November, the session fee amount will display as part of November's income (even if you enter the payment in October).
  • Date payments correctly as soon as you receive them. When you add a payment, the payment date defaults to the current date. If you'd like to line up payments with sessions and you add a payment later, be sure to edit the date so that it matches the session.

Note: For more information about invoicing, please see our guide on Creating invoices.

Accounting for adjustments

At the end of each Pay Period, you can take a picture for your records to compare any changes between Pay Periods. Adjustments happen when you use any payroll system, and comparing your current Pay Period to past ones can help you stay on top of the changes.

If a billing change is made to a past Pay Period, that change will be reflected as an adjustment on the current pay period once it’s locked. Adjustments from previous pay periods are highlighted in yellow and appear in the Adjusted column in the current pay period. These adjustments will either need to be added to the clinician’s total or subtracted if the amount is a credit.

Note: A dollar amount followed by a CR represents a credit.

What causes an adjustment:

Positive adjustments

A positive adjustment means income from services rendered have increased for the amount that has already been tracked for a clinician in a previous pay period. Positive adjustments need to be added to the clinician’s total. A positive adjustment occurs when:

  • An invoice is reassigned to a clinician
  • A client payment is added and backdated 
  • A manual insurance payment is added and backdated

Here’s how a positive adjustment will appear on a closed pay periods:


In the example above, you’ll need to add the total listed in the Amount column with the total listed in the Adjusted column to calculate this clinician’s total.

Negative adjustments

Negative adjustments are followed by a CR on a closed pay period. These amounts will need to be subtracted from the clinician’s total. A negative adjustment occurs when:

  • A refund is issued for an invoice outside of the current pay period
  • A client payment is deleted, edited to be smaller, or the date is changed
  • An insurance payment is deleted, edited to be smaller, or the date changed
  • An invoice is deleted or assigned to another clinician

Here’s how they’ll appear on your closed pay periods:



In the example above you’ll need to subtract the total in the Adjusted column from the total in the Amount column to calculate this clinician’s total.

Important: For these reasons, we recommend that you save Pay Periods (especially if you deal with insurance payments) so if anything changes, you'll have an accurate record of what changed.

  • Reviewing past Pay Periods and checking for adjustments is a necessary process in any payroll workflow. Pay Period Snapshots provide a historical record so you know what you paid last time and you can easily note any changes. If a clinician asks you where you got the numbers for their payment, or why an adjustment is made, you’ll be able to refer back to your Pay Period history.

Note: Currently, there isn’t a report that tracks adjustments. The best way to track them is in your Account Activity. We’re working on making it easier to identify adjustments. If you have any suggestions on the best way that we can communicate when an adjustment happens based on how you manage payroll for your practice, we'd love for you to contribute your idea to our Community Forum by adding to our Ideas and Suggestions board.

Unallocated client payments and credits

Unlike adjustments, the amounts on the Unallocated client payments and credits report don’t need to be factored into your clinician’s totals. This report tracks the income that was received or removed outside of the pay period.

The best way to avoid having clients on this list is to create invoices daily and collect payments at the time of service. You can track this information in the Appointment Status report

To learn more about calculating payroll in a group practice, see Income allocation: How the report is calculated.

Exporting Pay Period Drill Down reports

As an additional resource when calculating payroll, you can now download a Past Pay Period report as a CSV file for closed pay periods. This will offer a detailed breakdown of all payments that contribute to the Total Allocated to Clinician amount in the Income allocation report. By displaying all of the transactions, this report gives full transparency into the allocation for each clinician, making calculating payroll for your practice more comprehensive so you can know with confidence that you are paying your clinicians correctly.

Important: Only Account Owners, Clinicians with Administrative Access, Billers, and Practice Managers who have been given access to financial reports will be able to export this report. This report is not accessible in the SimplePractice web app, it will need to be downloaded to view. Past Pay Period reports will not be available for any pay periods that were closed prior to the release of this feature on 5/28/20.

To generate a Past Pay Period report:

  • Navigate to Analytics > Reports > Income allocation and click on the date range of a closed Pay Period


  • Select Download Report in the upper right of the page to export the file to your desktop 

The exported file will provide a complete spreadsheet that includes client names, payments, DOS, and links to all allocated payments received within the report’s date range.

Please note that once the report has been exported from your account, it will be your responsibility to securely manage the PHI included in the file. 

Note: The underlying formula for how the Income allocation report is calculated has not changed with this release. This new feature simply gives additional insight into how our system calculates the totals that are included in a Past Pay Period.

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