For business owners and organizations with employers, payroll is a significant task. It is an equally time-consuming task requiring compliance with various laws and regulations. Payroll affects every area of a business from employees’ trust to the financial stability of the company. Whether the payroll process is done manually or through computer software, it is essential to eliminate errors and ensure 100% accuracy by maintaining the necessary procedure or checklist for the payroll period.

Before processing starts:

  • Review and make necessary changes to an employee file reflecting changes in address, increase in the rate of pay, or changes in tax deductions.
  • Verify the accuracy of information entered on a timecard.
  • Enter the correct payroll period, total hours worked, and deductions such as taxes, insurance, garnishments, or charitable contributions.

If ‘you’re looking for effective ways to make payroll less time-consuming, here are useful ideas you can put to good use.

Employee Onboarding

Employee onboarding is the key to effective payroll processing. The moment a candidate accepts an ’employer’s offer, the onboarding process begins as a company employee. Right from company completing new hire paperwork to learning the company software and systems. If you hire employees, empower them, and encourage them to do relevant paperwork. A top payroll system lets employees to “onboard” quickly.

Given below are employee onboarding best practices crucial for payroll processing

  • Determine whether an employee is classified as an employee or an independent contractor for employment tax purposes by the IRS.
  • Check ‘worker’s address to verify identity as well as calculate any local taxes.
  • New hire to fill out Form W-4 to calculate federal income tax needed to withhold from ’employee’s paycheck.
  • Sign I-9 form (containing a list of acceptable documents) to confirm new employees can legally work in the US. Upon completion of the form, review the records to prove employee can work in this country.
  • Determine compensation of new hire is hourly or salaried, along with how much ‘they’ll be making.

Integrate Employee Benefits

Rather than hiring different companies to handle benefits, some payroll systems seamlessly integrate benefits solutions in one dashboard. In such a way, there is no need to re-enter employee data in multiple systems. The integration of deductions and payments can also save accounting time and hours.

  • 401(k) plans
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health savings account
  • Commuter benefits
  • 529 college savings
  • Life and disability

Ensure Benefits compliance in Payroll Processing

It can be often overwhelming for small businesses or firms to ensure compliance with mandates and regulations across different states in the US.

  • ACA
  • Dept. of Labor
  • IRS

Delegate Timesheet Entry

Require non-exempt employees to enter their own time. All you need is approve it, and the right timesheet application will take care of the rest. A great timesheet application lets employees record time from multiple options such as…

  • Timecard
  • Cell phone
  • Time off
  • Holidays
  • Weekly Late Pays with the correct Week Ending Date
  • Monthly Late Pays entered and approved
  • Timesheet for any Paid Time Off (PTO)
  • Overtime hours for the week

Eliminate the Annual ‘Worker’s Compensation Audit

Collaborate ‘worker’s compensation vendor to your accounting system. This step will eliminate the time-consuming annual reconciliation report required by ‘worker’s compensation insurance company and avoid large yearly payment because the insurance will be removed from each payroll cycle.

Reduce the Frequency of Payroll and synchronize Pay Schedules

Some companies have maintained varying pay schedules for employees such as Weekly, Biweekly, Semi-monthly, or monthly. Part-time employees might receive paychecks once a month. On the other hand, full-time workers get paid bi-weekly. Multiple payment cycles result in extensive administrative work for payroll staff. By synchronizing all pay schedules, team can spend less time processing paystubs and sending out checks. While it might not be always possible, but if you can pay employees less frequently, you might be able to reduce payroll time and related resources significantly. Reducing payroll frequency increases cash flow.

Here is the checklist to maintain for payroll processing
Worker Types

  1. Employee
  2. Contractor
  3. Both

New Hires

Get all paperwork completed for new hires?

Checklist which includes information regarding:

  1. I-9 Form
  2. W-4
  3. Signed Offer Letter


Do you have any employees terminating? If so, has the distribution ”Stop Date” been entered?


  1. Hourly
  2. Salary
  3. Commission


  1. Health Insurance
  2. Dental
  3. 401K
  4. Vision
  5. Life/ADD

Payment Cycle

  1. Weekly
  2. Biweekly
  3. Semi-monthly
  4. Monthly

Salary Management

  • Always verify department information in Salary Management
  • The day after payroll is done to ensure everyone is paid correctly

Post-Payroll Processing

  • Distribute checks and vouchers, as well as payroll reports
  • Prepare and submit checks for child support, insurance, and 401k
  • Transfer funds in case of payroll bank account
  • Create ACH files as applicable
  • Terminate former employees if any from the timekeeping/payroll system
  • Record payroll entries in accounting system and balance to payroll reports
  • Submit payments to federal, state and local tax authorities

Keep Up with Tax Requirements

Payroll can often be a maze as state and federal tax requirements consistently change as the IRS and government agencies update compliance rules and regulations. In such a dynamic scenario, create a process to stay up-to-date of the latest requirements for payroll processing. Failing to do so could be a costly headache. Alternatively, you can find a payroll outsourcing companies that will deal with compliance for you.

Upgrade Your Payroll Software

With newer, state-of-the-art integrated payroll software such as Xero, QuickBooks, Clover, and more, businesses can streamline the processing of payroll while ensuring greater accuracy in data entry and processing. Integrated platforms help reduce the time spent processing payroll. However, a computer program alone will not solve all your process issues.

Why Outsource Payroll Processing?

As a business owner, if you are running short of both time or resources in building an entirely new payroll system or updating an existing one, outsourcing to a professional payroll management company can be a strategic move and cost-effective option. To get a competitive edge, find a reliable payroll outsourcing partner consisting a team of dedicated, trained, and experienced payroll professionals focused on providing fully managed payroll services.

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