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Year-End: W2 Process Guide

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Click the links below to jump to a specific section: 


Generate the Greenshades Feed and XML

Error Resolution


Building the W-2


Filing the W-2


Reporting Employer Sponsored Health Insurance (Box 12)


Setup Employee Payroll Contribution


Posting the W-2s to the Employee Portal 


Notifying Employees W-2s are Ready


Correct a W-2




Please ensure a copy of the W2s mailed to employees are saved. 

Please ensure a copy of the filing submitted to the government is saved. 


Generate the Greenshades Feed and XML

The first step required for printing and filing Forms W-2 is to generate the data. Access the data feed through the normal Avionté core application sign in.

  1. From the Main menu, select Weekly Process.

  2. Click on the Generate Green Shade shortcut button and the Green Shades window will load. The Green Shades window includes four sections.

  3. In the Company & Date section, choose the applicable information: 

    Property Definition
    Staffing Supplier Company name by Federal ID.
    Year ID
    Select the current year. Historically, you will have as many years as you have with Avionté.

    Select the quarter from the drop-down menu.

  4. In the File Info section, designate a folder to store the XML (optional). Please make note of the folder to which the file will be saved, as you may need to refer to it later. 

  5. From the File Action section, select the Generate Feed & XML button.

    NoteThe File Generated message will load once the feed and XML have been generated successfully and are available in the designated folder. This file is now ready to send to Greenshades to build the year-end returns.

  6. Click OK to launch Greenshades from the Green Shades window.

    NoteThe XML houses all of the raw data to build returns. This is not a formatted view and may be difficult to review. The file is very large and will take time to open.






Error Generating Feed

If you receive a message stating that errors occurred, refer to Greenshades Guide - Troubleshooting.






Building the W-2

If you are signed up with Greenshades, they have limited power of attorney to submit them to the SSA on your behalf.  This requires that you use their software to complete the submittal process described below.

Federal W-2

  1. Launch Greenshades using the Launch Greenshades shortcut button. 

  2. To start building the file, select the Build checkbox.

  3. Click the Next button to build the file.

  4. In the next screen, select the Click to Begin Filing link.

  5. Select the View Details link. The details of all W-2s will load in an Excel spreadsheet.

  6. Avionte recommends saving or printing the totals AND saving the E-File for future reference using the available links.

  7. Note: These totals include your W3. However, since you will be filing electronically, filing of the W3 is not required.

  8. You may prefer to manually upload the file to the Social Security Administration (SSA) instead of using Greenshades. In this case, select the Save E-File link. You must save the file to your local computer with exactly the same name and file extension as the default.

    Note: Greenshades has given these files a specific name that can NOT be changed prior to uploading to the website. If renamed, or the file extension is changed, an error will occur during the transfer.

  9. Select the Next button to continue.


Printing the W-2 using Avionté Reports

To print and mail W-2 reports, rather than outsource to a print vendor, use either of two reports available in Avionté.

W2 4up Blank Report

  • 4up blank paper is required to use this report. 

Pressured W2

  • Pressure seal paper is required to use this report. 
  • A pressure seal machine is required to use this report.  


Filing the W-2

  1. Completed the process to Generate Feed & XML.

  2. Launch Greenshades Tax Filing Center from within Avionté in Weekly Process. 

  3. Click on "Create E-File Returns" in Greenshades Tax Filing Center. 

  4. Click Next to follow the instructions provided by Greenshades. The same information is filed whether you choose to submit manually or automatically through Greenshades. The manual submission does not provide an email from Greenshades. However, the SSA will let you know when the W-2 is filed.

  5. If you choose to have Greenshades file the W-2 electronically, select Automatic Submission.

  6. Select the Next button.

  7. Enter your name, phone number, and email address in the appropriate fields.

  8. Click Next to have Greenshades transmit the W-2(s) to the SSA. You will receive an email confirming the submission.







Reporting Of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance (Box 12)

Beginning in 2012, the IRS requires that contributions for health insurance are reported. This is found on the W2 in Box 12 labeled DD. Qualified employer contributions made on behalf of the employee must also be reported. The IRS website provides additional detail:

To display information in Box 12 on the W-2, users need to enter the W2 Box and W2 Label fields in Admin Tools > Transaction Type for the healthcare transaction types in the system.


In the Avionté core application, you can set the employee contribution to automatically populate the W2.

  1. Open Admin Tools from the Start Page
  2. Select System from the left panel.
  3. Double-click Transaction Type from the right panel. The Config Transaction Type window opens.
  4. In the Name column, filter to find your healthcare transaction types you use for employee healthcare deductions. 
  5. Select the transaction type in the grid. The W2Box and W2Label fields are available in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  6. Type 12 in the "W2Box" field.
  7. Type DD in the "W2Label" field.
  8. Save your updates.
  9. After saving changes to the W2 Box and Label fields, users will need to Generate Feed & XML in Weekly Process > Generate Greenshades to see these values display on W-2 forms.



Avionté also provides an import that can be used to populate this information on the W-2 if it is not being tracked in the system. Further instruction on that import can be found here, Employer-Healthcare-Contribution-Import.

Please check with your accounting or legal counsel to determine if the contributions you make to employee healthcare need to be reported on the W-2. 






Set Up an Employee Payroll Contribution

Within the Payroll section of Avionté, company-provided benefits (employer contributions) can be set up for an employee. Items that appear as contributions in this section must first be setup and defined as contributions in the Transaction Type section of Admin Tools.

  1. In the Employee section, search for and select the employee for which you are setting up contributions.

  2. Expand the Payroll option in the Employee sub-menu and select the Contribution tab.

  3. Click the New Contribution button. This will clear the fields for new data entry.

  4. Click the Type drop-down menu and select the contribution type from the list.

  5. For Amount/Percentage, choose one of the following options:

    Option Description
    Fixed Amount Choose this option when a fixed dollar amount is contributed by the employer and enter that amount in the Amount field.
    Percentage Choose this when using a percentage contribution amount. When this option is selected, there are additional options available to indicate whether the percentage is applied to Gross pay or Net pay. Enter the percentage to apply in the Percent field.


  6. Check the Flag During Payroll checkbox if the benefit should be flagged during payroll processing. If checked, a warning will appear for this employee, allowing you to verify, and if needed, modify the benefit when the payroll batch is processed.

  7. The Active checkbox (checked by default) makes the contribution immediately active for the employee once the contribution is saved. If the contribution is made inactive, then the contribution is not included in calculating payroll for the employee.

  8. In the Limits options, enter amounts as needed:

    Option Description
    Pay Period Limit The maximum amount that can be contributed to the employee for this contribution. This may be useful when a percentage value is entered for the benefit, but there are regulations around the total benefit amounts that can be provided per employee.
    Yearly Limit The maximum amount that an employer can contribute to this employee in a yearly cycle.
    Life Time Limit The maximum amount that an employer can contribute to this employee throughout their lifetime.


  9. In the Date field, enter dates as follows:

    Option Description
    Start Date Enter the date that the contribution is to become effective by entering the date in MM/DD/YYYY format or by clicking the down arrow and selecting the date from the calendar.
    End Date Enter the date the contribution is to end. Typically, this would apply in a case where an insurance benefit is offered on an annual basis, thus this date would indicate the final day the current policy is effective. If the benefit is open ended, leave this field blank.

  10. In the Authority Info options, enter the following if applicable:

    Option Description
    Agency Enter the name directly related to the benefit, such as insurance company or 401k provider.

    Reference Number
    Enter the number associated to the employee's benefit account.

  11. Click Save Contribution when finished entering contribution information.

    Note: If the contribution created is based on a transaction type that also has a deduction defined to it, a red icon will appear to the left of the contribution in the grid. This indicates that a deduction also needs to be set up. An example of this is where an employee has money deducted for 401K (deduction) and the employer contributes matching funds (contribution) towards that 401K.

    For additional details please visit our Support Center Knowledgebase:







Posting W-2s to the Employee Portal

  1. From the Main Menu, select Weekly Process.

  2. Select the Generate Green Shade shortcut button and the Green Shades window will load. The Green Shades window includes four sections.

  1. In the Company & Date section, choose the applicable company and date information: 

    Property Definition

    Staffing Supplier
    Company name by Federal ID.
    Year ID
    Select the year of the W2 to be posted. 

    Select Q4 to generate year-end reporting.

  2. In the File Info section, designate a folder on your local computer to store the XML (optional). Please make note of the folder to which the file will be saved, as you may need to refer to it later. 

  3. From the File Action section, select the Generate Feed & XML button.

    NoteUsers may receive a message indicating that errors were discovered when generating the feed. Click Yes to review and then resolve those errors on the Employee record. Select the Generate Feed & XML button again and repeat this process until no error message is received. 

  4. Select Flag as Complete.

  5. Select Yes in the pop-up window to post the W-2s to the Employee portal. 

Alternatively, the quarter can be flagged as complete in Admin Tools so that the W-2 form displays in the Employee Portal. 

  1. From the Start Page, navigate to the Actions Menu.

  2. Select Admin Tools from the drop-down menu. 

  3. Under Category, choose Employer.

  4. Double click the staffing company (employer) issuing the W-2.

  5. Select the Config Year tab at the top of the window.

  6. From the Year drop-down menu, select the year of the W-2 forms that are to be available for display. 

  7. Save the data by selecting the correct date from the Q4 EndDate column.

  8. If the DateCompleted and LastDataGeneratedDate fields are not populated automatically, manually select the correct dates from the calendar drop-downs.

  9. Click Save to post the W-2s to the Employee portal.



Viewing W-2s in the Employee Portal

If employees consented to receive their W-2s electronically, the forms will be available in their Employee Portal under the Pay History tab. 

  1. Sign in to the Employee portal.

  2. Navigate to Pay History.

  3. From the Pay History menu, select W-2.

  4. Select the View hyperlink for the appropriate year.

A PDF document will open that employees can download or print.

Note: The IsVisible box must be selected in order for the W-2s to be accessible to employees. To manage those settings, go to Admin Portal > Employee > Pay History and select the View hyperlink next to the W-2 label. Then, check the IsVisible box.


Temporarily Remove W-2s from Employee Portal 

If W-2s are posted to the Employee portal in error, they can be removed from Admin Tools.  

  1. Navigate to Admin Tools.

  2. Under Category, select Employer.

  3. Select the company name from the visible list.

  4. Choose the Config Year.

  5. Select the appropriate year for the W-2s to be removed.

  6. Delete the date from the ‘DateCompleted’ field. 

  7. Click Save to finalize the changes.




Notifying Employees Their W-2s Are Available

The Get W2 Details AQ can be used to determine who was consented to receive their W2 electronically and provides employees' contact information.

  1. Navigate to Reports in the Avionté main menu.

  2. Locate the Get W2 Details AQ from your reports list. If you cannot find the report in your list, you may need to grant yourself or other users permission in Admin Tools > Report

  3. Double click on the Get W2 Details AQ in your list to open it.

  4. Enter the desired parameters. 
    1. Select the proper supplier that you would like review
    2. Enter the reporting year in the Year field. 
    3. Select Detail from the Return Type field.


  5. Click Run Query.

  6. Filter the ElectronicW2 column to those who responded Yes by using the drop-down list at the column header.

  7. Click the Options right-side tab and choose Export to Excel.

  8. A dialog box will open to save your exported file. Select a file location and click Save.

  9. Another dialog box will populate, asking if you would like to launch this exported file. Click Yes.

  10. Once opened in Excel, scroll to find the column labeled Email Address. You may then choose to filter out the Blanks in this column.

  11. Select all items in the column and choose Copy (or Ctrl + C on your keyboard).

  12. Open your Email application (Gmail, Outlook, etc.) and Paste the copied email list into the To field. You may then craft your email to notify employees that their W-2s are available on the portal or are in the mail. 







Correct a W-2

A filed W-2 can be corrected manually with the IRS via Form W-2c and its accompanying transmittal form, W-3c - both available at 


The corrected W-2 information should also be corrected in the Avionté application including the W-2 Report. To correct information in the W-2 report, correct the information in the Avionté application then re-generate the Greenshades Feed and XML to Greenshades. 




Greenshades Year-End Video Help

Greenshades online documentation includes video tutorials at

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