Project Exceptions and Category Exceptions

Create exceptions to the automatic payroll item default you created. It's like an exception to the rule, or default, you created. You can create a project or category exception—we’ll discuss both options in this article. (Sometimes a category exception is referred to as a labor code exception, depending on your company's lexicon settings.)

First, project exceptions. Vacation is a common type of project exception. With this exception, employees can select “vacation” from the project picklist (dropdown menu) in their timesheet, and the payroll associated with vacation will be applied.

This is how a system administrator can set up a project exception:


1. Click the triangle next to ADD EXCEPTIONS, and then click ADD PROJECT EXCEPTION from the picklist.

2. Click on the red triangle, which will populate a picklist. Find the project you want to create an exception for. In our case, it’s ABC Consulting Site Design.


You’ll see your exception added to your Payroll Filters screen. 

4. Now select the payroll item you'll want BigTime to use when employees choose “Site Design.” 

Click on the GRAY ARROW under each employee type to make your selection. 

Remember that the payroll items you select in BigTime are linked with QuickBooks, where these values are configured.

Now when an employee logs time in their timesheet and selects the “Site Design” project, then their PTO rate for that project will be applied.

Read about creating a category exception below.


Category Exceptions

A second type of exception is category exceptions. Sometimes system administrators create these exceptions with hourly employees that work overtime. This way hourly employees, for example, can select “overtime” from the category picklist in their timesheet to note the payroll change.

Here’s how a system admin can setup this exception:

Click on the triangle next to ADD EXCEPTIONS, and choose ADD CATEGORY EXCEPTION.

A new window will pop-up, and you’ll click on the red triangle. This will populate a picklist with your BigTime categories.


Choose the sick exception for your hourly and salaried employees by using the picklist options associated with each.

Save your work by clicking SAVE CHANGES.


If you’ve created multiple exceptions, then the order of the exceptions listed in the payroll filter matters! The exception listed first is applied first, and so on.


You can change your list order by clicking on the rows of dots on the left side of the Filter box and drag it to where you want it.


In the example above, we clicked on Project exception: "ABC Consulting: Site design” and will drag it above “Category exception: Plan and Prepare.” This way the former is applied before the latter.

Don’t forget to save your changes!


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