Time Recording

In any business, it's essential to understand your employment costs. Employment costs have increased such that they form a significant proportion of any company's cost base. This is true of both direct and indirect costs. It becomes even more important where employees spend their time on some direct work, and at other times they are…

In any business, it's essential to understand your employment costs.

Employment costs have increased such that they form a significant proportion of any company's cost base. This is true of both direct and indirect costs. It becomes even more important where employees spend their time on some direct work, and at other times they are an overhead.

Realizing that you need to analyze the time spent on direct work is not a new idea. Everyone can see the value of understanding how long and how much it costs to make the products or services that you supply to your customers.

Making sure that you utilize resources efficiently is clearly important. And of course by examining recorded time you can see other trends on down time or sick leave as well as the more important information on direct costs of production.

It is also valid to explore the amount of time that your indirect staff spend on the activities set for them. What are your marketing staff doing with their time? Are they working on projects that you want them to move forward? Or does their time get dissipated on other less important tasks?

The same analysis can be undertaken in the finance area. Are your senior finance staff spending their time on journal entry that should be done by more junior and therefore cheaper staff? How much analysis are your senior members of staff doing as opposed to transaction processing. Should you review your procedures to improve the amount of time that staff spend on value add tasks?

How do I find out what my staff are doing?

Just asking them to fill in a timesheet is not going to give you the answers you require. In the direct area there will usually be a job number for staff to use so you know which job they are working on. This allows the analysis of which jobs take longer than others to help understand why this is happening, where improvements can be made, and of course to price your work for the customer.

A similar structure can be applied for overhead functions. Market research can be a 'job' or 'project', as can email campaign or direct mailing. This way you will understand where your human resources are spending their time.

Will my staff want to record their time?

Yes and no! If they feel that you are spying on them so that you can weed out the weak links in the organization then they will feel alienated by the system, and not only resent it but may not accurately record their time which will lead to poor management decisions.

If they believe that the data recorded is allowing better allocation of resources, to increase the profits of the company to protect their jobs and to make their working life as useful and enjoyable as possible then they should not feel that it is too onerous. However it should not be in too much detail, such that the staff spend all their time recording time rather than working on those added value tasks.

Is it expensive?

It does not have to be. Sage and Quickbooks have add-ons, and there is a plethora of software systems that will allow you to collect and evaluate the data that is grouped. Just pick a system that suits your needs.

Payroll Time Clock Software – How it Can Benefit Your Business

Are you wondering whether employees are really there when they say they are? Does your payroll staff spend time re-entering hours instead of pulling them in electronically? If so, then your company may be ready to implement a time clock, and integrate it directly to your payroll software. There are several distinct benefits your company…

Are you wondering whether employees are really there when they say they are? Does your payroll staff spend time re-entering hours instead of pulling them in electronically? If so, then your company may be ready to implement a time clock, and integrate it directly to your payroll software. There are several distinct benefits your company can enjoy by doing this.

Eliminate double entry. With the implementation of a time clock, hours worked are entered directly into the time clock by the employee, eliminating the need for hand-written time cards. This can eliminate the confusion of unclear or inaccurate handwriting. When it comes time to process payroll, the time worked is dropped in electronically from the clock, eliminating the need for somebody to re-enter hours. This not only saves a significant amount of manual work, but also ensures better accuracy.

More accurate tracking of hours worked. Do you wonder whether employees are actually working the hours they recorded by hand? This worry can be drastically reduced or eliminated with the implementation of a time clock; there are various methods that provide to ensure the employees are actually recording their own hours and not 'buddy punching', a term which indicates to people punching in and out for each other. There is a wide variety of clocks providing different methods of verifying time worked, such as the biometric clock, which verifies employee identity based on their actual fingerprint.

Smoother processes. Integrating your clock with your payroll software makes your whole payroll process faster and simpler. After all, if you have to re-enter data from that system into your payroll software system, you are losing out on a great deal of the benefits you were meant to have. Be sure the clock you choose will work together with your software application; this will guarantee much faster and simpler payroll processing for all involved.

By implementing a time clock, your business can gain more accurate pay information and streamline billing processes. Make the most of your time clock with a direct interface to your payroll software, and you will be on your way to a much simpler and smoother billing processing system.

15 Things Must Know Before Choosing Payroll Software

Whether you're starting up a new company, making the jump from books to computer, or looking for replacement payroll software, it's important to get payroll software that is going to do everything you need to and fit the needs of your company. Here are 15 questions to ask about any payroll software you are considering…

Whether you're starting up a new company, making the jump from books to computer, or looking for replacement payroll software, it's important to get payroll software that is going to do everything you need to and fit the needs of your company. Here are 15 questions to ask about any payroll software you are considering purchasing for your company. When you have answers to all these questions, you'll easily be able to identify the right payroll software.

1. Does this software have current tax information for your state?

Most software has this information, but make sure you're not buying a previous year's edition that has outdated tax information.

2. Does this software have the flexibility to add local tax info?

If your company is in a region with local income taxes, this is an important feature.

3. Will you need to options for pre-tax and / or post-tax deductions?

If your company offers health plans or retirement plans or something similar, then you will need this option.

4. Will you be printing on blank checks or checks preprinted with your company and bank info?

If you want to be able to print on blank checks, which are less expensive than pre-printed checks, you'll need software that can print your company and bank identification information on the checks.

5. Do you want to print signature images on checks or sign checks by hand?

Signing checks by hand is more secure, but can be time consuming if you print a lot of paychecks every week.

6. Which tax forms will you need to print using your payroll data? ie Form 940, 941, W2, 1099, etc.

Make sure your software can print the forms that you need or at least has an add-on component to allow you to print them.

7. Does this software support your payroll period, ie daily, weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or monthly?

Some companies may even pay some positions in one period and other positions in another period, ie, paying hourly workers weekly or even daily while paying salaried management positions monthly or semimonthly. Make sure the software you purchase has the flexibility you need.

8. Will you need to be able to calculate tips and or responsibilities?

This is particularly important for restaurants and companies employing commissioned sales reps.

9. Does this software support printing for the check format you prefer?

For example, do you use check-at-top, check-at-bottom, or check-in-the-middle formats for your blank checks and stubs?

10. Does the software offer year-to-date payroll data entry?

If you are changing software or making the jump to computer-based payroll in the middle of a year, you'll want to enter year-to-date information for employees instead of having to enter every previous pay period by hand.

11. What level of technical support does the software developer offer?

Usually, unlimited technical support is best, but it is not offered by all software titles.

12. Will you need to do pay for more than one company?

If you run an accounting firm or own multiple businesses, this is an important consideration.

13. Does this software have a trial version you can test drive?

There's no better way to make sure the software you buy is right for you and your company than to give it a trial run. Look for titles that let you try the software for free-companies that do not let you try their software risk free are afraid you will not like their software.

14. Are there any hidden fees?

Do you need to pay extra money if you need to update your tax tables in the middle of year or if you need to handle multiple companies?

15. Are database back-up and restore features included?

Software without these features can cost you thousands of dollars if something happens to your computer or your data becomes corrupt. Back-up and restore features will allow you to get back to normal operations with a minimum of fuss.

Answering these questions will help you identify software titles that are likely to work well for your company. Taking extra time before you buy to get the features you need, will save you time and money while reducing frustration down the road.

Things You Need to Know Before Signing Up With PEO Services and Understanding Your PEO Quote

A little history never hurt anyone! The PEO industry took a grapple on the business sector back in the 80's. With health insurance costs increasing along with the inability of small business to be competitive due to the costs of Workers' Compensation, the PEO became an effective product for the problem at hand. For example,…

A little history never hurt anyone! The PEO industry took a grapple on the business sector back in the 80's. With health insurance costs increasing along with the inability of small business to be competitive due to the costs of Workers' Compensation, the PEO became an effective product for the problem at hand. For example, for every dollar paid in salary for a roofer in home construction, the owner had to pay approx. 25 cents. So if a roofer made $ 500 that week, the owner paid $ 125 according to the average W / C rates. That is just one roofer per week.

Professional Employer Organizations have the ability to be competitive using what is known as the law of numbers. In lamens terms, the more people you have in a group sharing risks, the cheaper the monthly costs there are to protect against those risks. Health Insurance is a prime example of this. So what this means to businesses looking for PEO quotes is that when they sign up, you will be joining an organization that has the power of numbers and allows you to utilize these numbers to get cheaper rates. Along with these savings is the fact that companies transfer liability of salary compliance to the PEO as well.

A PEO salesman knows this and approaches businesses knowing that he can get clients by using the fact that the PEO can charge a much less rate on Workers' Compensation. In the end, a business owner paid less in W / C and also had the total liability of payroll and salary tax compliance. It is a win-win for business and the PEO services alike. But not every company has the need for a PEO. Also, some companies were put into a huge liability risk for not understanding a few principals about the transition from in-house payroll to PEO services.

First off, the technology that Professional Employer Organizations have acquainted the past few years have made the PEO quote easier to understand and compare to what they were basically doing. So let's say, you have a quote in your hand and want to start today. But something is telling you that a informational piece is missing from the broker that you are dealing with. So here is a list of 5 things to look at when looking at a PEO Quote and PEO Service

1. Are they licensed to do business in your State?

2. Get your current workers compensation policy and compare W / C codes with your PEO quote to make sure you are going to be rated correctly

3. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT cancel anything that you are doing with your payroll until you have confirmation from the PEO company that all the applications have been approved. There is a YouTube video from a lawyer in Florida about things to know before signing up with a PEO, if you want to check it out.

4. When dealing with a broker that tries to sign you up with a particular PEO company, call that company to find out if he is allowed to represent them in business sign-up transactions.

5. Last, but not least, consult your lawyer to make sure you are covered contractually within that particular PEO.

Now, there is a new reason why PEO companies are starting to gain even more speed in the market. Unemployment not only hits the workers and their families, every time a company let's an employee go, the company has increases on its State Unemployment Tax Rates (SUTA). So now, there are companies that pay close to 5% of its payroll to SUTA. A PEO can be helpful with this as well to lower the SUTA rate that the PEO currently has through the state. Sometimes the PEO company can get as low as a 1-2% SUTA rate for its clients.

Here are some reasons for not getting with a PEO. The main reason is the human control factor. Some business owners like the fact that they know if the business goes down, it is because of the owner themselves. They like to be in control and not share it with anyone else. When I come across this type, I mention the fact that many of their competitors (I do my research on this first of course) are using PEO services to cut overhead costs. But it is up to personal preference.

For more information on getting a PEO quote and common FAQ's, visit our site that you can find in our profile or click on the blue link in the sentence before this one. Take care,

Bryan

Expanding Your Horizons, Freeing Your Resources

Your business is solid; you have weathered the financial storm and are ready to move from survival mode back to wealth creation. Your market analysis tells you it the time is ripe to move into one of the rapidly developing economies. But exciting as any expansion might be, there are challenges to be met, as…

Your business is solid; you have weathered the financial storm and are ready to move from survival mode back to wealth creation. Your market analysis tells you it the time is ripe to move into one of the rapidly developing economies.

But exciting as any expansion might be, there are challenges to be met, as all multinational businesses know. Not least of these is how you handle the complexities of payroll and especially international payroll.

The global payroll function on its own will suck up valuable resources while simply examining the details of compliance with local regulations, and the cost of hiring and managing local employees for administration. On top of all that there is risk management to be assessed, there are IT issues, questions over how to integrate data with your existing systems and reporting, all wrapped up, of course, in cultural and language differences.

It is obvious from that one paragraph above that management of non-core activities pulls plenty of time and energy away from your core business goals.

There is an increasing trend in tackling these problems through outsourcing. But while simply outsourcing to a local vendor can be a solution, it often throws up yet more challenges. How do you chose those vendors, how do you manage them, and how do you ensure the service and data they will provide matches that which you get from your other overseas operations?

There is a more recent trend within the trend, identified as such by experts like the global strategic advisory firms; a trend that smart businesses are finding is giving them an edge: centrally managed international payroll outsourcing.

It is a solution that brings almost too many benefits to mention, only the most obvious of which is that, instead of dealing with a series of vendors in each country, you deal with one centrally located service provider. That means a single point of contact, a single contract, a single invoice, and a single operating language.

Your head quarters could be in New York, with branches in France, Norway and Abu Dhabi, say. Now you are moving into Brazil. That's already five languages, five treaties, five different legal frameworks, and potentially five different reporting methods. But a centrally managed business process outsourcing partner rolls those all into one for you. Dedicated international teams guarantee local compliance as part of the service contract, but still give you consolidated reports and standardized processes. Payroll is taken on by expert professionals who do nothing else, meaning an improvement in quality of service for your employees, coupled with a drop in overheads for you.

Better yet, given that you are moving into a dynamically developing market, and may well want to expand further at short notice. Its approach can fit virtually any size of business, its fee structure is clear and, like its services, scalable. Whether you need to expand or contract head count, you know what the costs will be, and you know your BPO provider can follow you, even into any remote market.

That single contract also allows you to transfer responsibility and risk on to someone else. And because it could not begin to operate a global payroll solution without lock-tight data security, business continuity and disaster recovery planning.

All of which allows the vital but non-core payroll activity to be taken on by dedicated professionals, freeing up time and resources for you to concentrate on your core business goals.

Having a Separate Payroll System – Good Or Bad Idea?

If you're running a business opportunities are that you run it on a computerized accounting package such as MYOB, Quicken, Quickbooks or something similar. Now these particular software companies have been clever here because you may notice that the basic versions do not actually have a payroll module included, and you still have to pay…

If you're running a business opportunities are that you run it on a computerized accounting package such as MYOB, Quicken, Quickbooks or something similar. Now these particular software companies have been clever here because you may notice that the basic versions do not actually have a payroll module included, and you still have to pay your employees, right? So now you need to purchase a separate payroll module.

But, what happens when you decide to shop elsewhere and see what other payroll software can do? You might want a simple program “that just pays people” and you're not worried about anything else. Or, what you're looking for is a complete HR suite that tracks employee holiday / vacation time, staff training needs, provides details reporting etc.

If you have selected a third parties payroll software, you now have to quickly establish it's compatible with your current accounting software. If not, then you run the risk of having to do manual journal entries to bring the data across into your general ledger. This not only is time consuming, but increases the chance of human error resulting in inaccurate information in your financial reports. This is not an ideal situation, therefore you need to research each salary product carefully and ask as many questions as you feel necessary so you can be sure that your systems will “talk to each other” without the need for human intervention.

When it comes to installing accounting systems, I've been there and done that and if I can pass any advice on to you, it's that more research and preparation you can do early on the more likely the installation will run smoothly.

Efficiency With AP Audits

Your accounts payable is very important in growing and maintaining your business. The concept is simple, but it can often become very confusing and complex. If your bottom line income looks a little off, there may be errors that are affecting your monetary flow. Investing in an AP audit can help you understand exactly where…

Your accounts payable is very important in growing and maintaining your business. The concept is simple, but it can often become very confusing and complex. If your bottom line income looks a little off, there may be errors that are affecting your monetary flow. Investing in an AP audit can help you understand exactly where your money is going and how you can keep it from deviating from your business. With a little Accounting 101, you can understand how your accounts payable can go from your worst enemy to your greatest tool.

Simply put, your accounts payable is the record of the amount of money you owe to your suppliers. If you are running a carwash, you would probably purchase soap in large quantities. The soap supplier would come with an invoice, and you would apply that invoice to your accounts payable, and the supplier would receive his money at a later date. The money that you owe to this supplier constituents your AP. Paying off your accounts payable effectively and in a timely manner keeps your business growing. Oftentimes, this process can experience mistakes, an a recovery audit can help recover money from this mistakes.

There are a variety of ways that your AP can experience error. Duplicate charges and unapplied discounts are very common ones, and even if they do not occur very often, they can put a dent in your company's profit. This system also can allow opportunities for fraud, in which a fictitious supplier is added to your accounts payable. So, instead of that money going towards your business, it is going into someone else's pocket. With the increasing complication in a growing business, an owner often installs an automated charging system, making charging the business more convenient and prompt. However, both a manual as well as an automated system are prior to errors, making keeping track of your money tricky. A accounts payable audit diagnoses these problems and discovers the root cause.

Often times, these errors can end up making you short on money and not able to make the payments to your suppliers. This in itself holds many potential problems. Paying on time is a vital component to your business' success. Late or sporadic payments can put stress on the relationship you have with your suppliers, and it also effects your business' credit score. Keeping a good reputation with suppliers can only benefit you, and an accounts payable audit can help you stay on top of your payments. An accounts payable audit looks through everything concerning your money, from invoices to contracts to bank statements and determinates where you may be experiencing problems. They then suggest a solution and how you can make your company more fiscally efficient.

Payroll and Tax Administration Services

Payroll and tax administration services are one of the exhaustive services offered by PEOs (professional employer organizations) to client businesses. PEOs offer comprehensive human resource management solutions. The other solutions provided as part of human resource management include human resources administration, employee benefits administration, workers' compensation, risk management and support, regulatory and government compliance, and…

Payroll and tax administration services are one of the exhaustive services offered by PEOs (professional employer organizations) to client businesses. PEOs offer comprehensive human resource management solutions. The other solutions provided as part of human resource management include human resources administration, employee benefits administration, workers' compensation, risk management and support, regulatory and government compliance, and recruitment and selection services.

A Range of Payroll and Tax Administration Solutions

As part of payroll and tax administration services, the solutions generally included payroll delivery, filing of quarterly reports (FICA, FUTA, SUTA), new hire reporting, federal payroll summaries, flexible spending accounts, job cost accounting reports, cost allocation reports, vacation and sick time accruals, paid leave program management, wage / hour law compliance, payroll deductions, W-2 production and delivery, and department summary.

Comprehensive, Cost-effective Services for All Types of Organizations

These services are comprehensive, flexible and cost-effective. PEOs are extremely adaptive to the needs of client companies, and are there before feasible for organizations of all sizes, be they 25-employee strong organizations or Fortune 500 concerns. Companies also have the choice to either hand over all their HR outsourcing responsibilities to the expert hands of a PEO or outsource one or two of the responsibilities.

By welcoming a PEO, companies enter a highly advantageous partnership with an organization consisting of experts in the various disciplines that make up human resource management. With the work taken care of, client companies can count on their full potential and focus on their core tasks, leading to streamlined business performance and the vital edge over the competition. Outsourcing payroll and tax administration services is the right way forward for businesses.

Time Clocks And Your Payroll System

Time and attendance software is perhaps one of the least understood of the payroll family products. Sometimes known as award interpretation software it is the “glue” between your electronic time clock and your payroll and accounting software. In a completely manual system, staff fill out time sheets. Payroll staff calculate payroll hours based on their…

Time and attendance software is perhaps one of the least understood of the payroll family products. Sometimes known as award interpretation software it is the “glue” between your electronic time clock and your payroll and accounting software.

In a completely manual system, staff fill out time sheets. Payroll staff calculate payroll hours based on their knowledge of the award rules and they then key those payroll hours for each employee into a payroll system and job done.

In an automated system, employees clock in and out using a electronic time clock, that data is electronically usually through your network into award interpretation software which has been pre-configured with the award rules, the system automatically calculates the payroll hours and this can then be transferred into your payroll software and, again, job done but much more accurately and much faster

The misunderstanding in the general business community regarding this process is that electronic time clocks will be able to do the collection, interpretation and export to payroll steps which is exceptionally unlicensed.

It is most likely that electronic time clock or bundy clock you own or purchase is unlikely to be able to perform any complex calculations. Some are reasonably clever and they may disagree with simple rounding and overtime calculations but that's about their limit.

This is not surprising as the process of translating an employee's In and out clockings into the hours worked can get quite complex. It gets more complex when an electronic time clock is involved … take a look at these two examples and you will see why:

Example 1; The Time Sheet: Joe fills in a time sheet for the week. His shift starts at 7.30 am and finishes at 4:00 pm. He gets 30 minutes for lunch. On Monday he worked back for 3 hours and wrote 7:00 pm on the time sheet. Pretty simple calculations here. 8 hours normal time and 3 hours overtime.

Example 2: The Electronic Bundy Clock: Fred clocks in on the electronic bundy clock when he gets to work at 7:15 am. He clocks out at 7:07 pm. The reports on the time clock calculate that he has been at work for 11 hours and 52 minutes. This is clearly not correct so there needs to be some manual intervention to “round” the in and out times to the start and end of the shift. Lunch has to be deducted and the split of overtime categories must be taken into consideration.

This is a relatively simple example. A few electronic bundy clocks can cope with this however it gets quite a lot more complex. For example, these are some of the manual calculations done by payroll staff that will challenge the very best time clock.

Multiple rounding scenarios – Rounding to the shift start time when an employee clocks late or early while not rounding for timed lunch breaks and rounding to the nearest 15 minutes on clock out

Daily Balancing – Taking time from an overtime category and placing it into the normal time category if the normal hours are short of the nominal shift hours.

Payroll Balancing – As above but on a payroll period.

Automatic breaks – Auto deduct lunch breaks or not deduct taken breaks under a length

Leave entry – Become important when you want to export to pay and save data entry time

Flextime Accrual – Bank time, flextime, rostered days off are all examples of the need to accrue special leave for time worked.

Again, these are common requirements when calculating payroll and they are, ostensibly, outside the capacity of electronic bundy clocks.

The ultimate problem for most time clocks is that they simply can not interface with a payroll system and if they do, the information they send is likely to be an inaccurate calculation of payroll hours unless your rewards or pay rules are very very simple.

Award interpretation software (time and attendance software) will almost certainly be required if you want to automate the accurate calculation of employee payroll hours and import that into your payroll system. If you are a small enterprise with less than 30 employees the required investment may not justify the time saving. However, if you have more than 30 employees the return on investment becomes more appealing.

The Advantages of Payroll Outsourcing

Every business that enrolls people is accountable to maintain a payroll system. It is also a mandatory document that requires while auditing. There are many ways available to take care of the payroll activities. Many companies prefer outsourcing their payroll accounting tasks to accounting outsourcing companies and get it done. Few companies rely on payroll…

Every business that enrolls people is accountable to maintain a payroll system. It is also a mandatory document that requires while auditing. There are many ways available to take care of the payroll activities. Many companies prefer outsourcing their payroll accounting tasks to accounting outsourcing companies and get it done. Few companies rely on payroll software and they will complete their payroll activities by themselves. Both the option has its advantages. This article would explain you the benefits of outsourcing payroll function and using payroll software.

Benefits of outsourcing payroll activities:

The purpose of payroll is to calculate the correct income and the national insurance contributions to be deducted. This will also be used to deduct the employer national insurance. Running a payroll system is common in any size of companies no matter if it is a small or large scale industry. There will be a salary specialist who can take care of all the payroll entries and maintenance.

Payroll outsourcing is absolutely suits for the small business companies. In fact, they are not familiar with the consequences of recording the employee accounts. They can not afford the software as it will be too costly for the small business companies as they will not have many employees. The only left out option is to outsource their payroll accounting to a third party company who specializes in accounting. They have to pay a reasonable amount and forward their details to the outsourcing company.

All their payroll details will be up to date and they can focus on some other mandatory tasks. The payroll system not only focuses on calculating the income tax and the insurance contributions but also dealing with the tax codes, taxable benefits, allowances which includes sick pay, maternity benefits, student loan plans and pension benefits etc. Here, it is a huge system according to the size of the company. Medium sized companies also have started adapting the outsourcing techniques considering the time saving and cost effectiveness.

Here, outsourcing your payroll system to a genuine outsourcing company is always worth doing it. It saves your money and time. On top of everything it brings in more profit by allowing you to focus completely on your core competency.

Benefits of using payroll software:

A big alternative to outsourcing is to implement software system for payroll calculations. Here, you need to recruit a dedicated payroll specialist or a team of payroll experts according to the size of the company. It will be done in house and all the details will be operated within the company. You should choose potential software which has various option that suits your company. Also you have to consider the pay scenarios while choosing the software.

Mostly large scale industries prefer having a separate payroll section with all these software facility as they do not have to worry about any of the data. Everything will be maintained with in their office premises. Here, you can have a personal access to all the details. Maintaining your payroll accounts using the software is much more easier than doing it manually. It will reduce your entire administration burdens. You will be able to access the particular data of an employee with in few mouse clicks. There is less chances of making mistakes. Here you can choose to follow any methods mentioned above according to your financial status and the size of your company.

Online Payroll Provider Shopping Tips

Online payroll systems provide small business owners with convenient access to compensation details from the office, home or any other location with an Internet connection. The process is simple: you subscribe to a service and pay a monthly fee, and the service provider calculates payroll based on the information you input. Although service offerings can…

Online payroll systems provide small business owners with convenient access to compensation details from the office, home or any other location with an Internet connection. The process is simple: you subscribe to a service and pay a monthly fee, and the service provider calculates payroll based on the information you input. Although service offerings can vary broadly from one provider to the next, here are some of the most important factors to consider when evaluating web-based billing systems:

* Customer Support. Look for a service provider that consistently receives high marks in customer satisfaction. In addition to an email support system, a good online payroll provider will also provide telephone access to live support staff, as well as the ability to participate in live online chats.

* Ease of Use. While all online payroll systems are designed around basic data entry, the interface should be user-friendly and leave little chance for error. If you prefer a system with some extra guidance, look for one that offers an “interview style” set-up.

* Pay Options. Direct deposit is a popular employee payment option, although many small businesses still prefer paper checks. With online payment systems, most services will enable clients to print checks at their convenience, in addition to offering direct deposit.

* Tax Compliance. While most online payroll providers offer convenient payroll entry, many do not deposit or file payroll taxes. Look for a provider that can file quarterly and annual returns and make mandatory tax deposits on your behalf.

* IT Infrastructure Integration. Utilizing an online payroll provider should help your business run more smoothly and efficiently. Typically, services will allow for integration across multiple software packages, eliminating the need to make duplicate entries into your accounting software. Before choosing a provider, be sure to check for software integration compatibility.

* Price. In a competitive market with many online payroll providers from which to choose, it pays to shop around to find the service that offers the features you need at the best possible value. When comparing prices, be sure to take into account that some providers offer inclusive packages, while others have separate charges for special features. Expect to pay a monthly fee between $ 50- $ 90 for a full-service provider that offers tax services.

Before enrolling in an online payroll system, it's a great idea to read reviews of specific providers. Ideally, look for feedback from businesses that mirror your own. This due diligence can offer assurances about your choice and can prevent you from making a costly mistake.

2010 Payroll Calendar – Payroll Software

Employers must adhere to a strict timeline for filing forms and tax payments to the IRS. Penalties may incurred if deadlines are not meet. The 2010 payroll calendar published by the IRS can be an important tool for employers. The tax year is divided into four quarters January, February and March make up the first…

Employers must adhere to a strict timeline for filing forms and tax payments to the IRS. Penalties may incurred if deadlines are not meet. The 2010 payroll calendar published by the IRS can be an important tool for employers.

The tax year is divided into four quarters January, February and March make up the first quarter. The second quarter of the year consists of April, May and June. Third quarter includes July, August and September leaving October, November and December as the fourth quarter.

January is the first month of the year however employers will be wrapping up the end of the previous year, completing year end forms. Employers and payers are required to provide employees and contractors with Form W2 and Form 1099 Misc. These forms must be issued no later than January 31st. Employers must file their tax return, for the previous year, no later than January 31st that maybe Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Form 944 Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return. Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return (FUTA) is another form due by January 31st. If employers have deposited all tax payments when due they have an additional 10 days to file Forms 940, 944 and 941.

These types of pay tax forms can be complicated and time consuming to complete. The forms may take many manual calculations which can cause costs errors. Payroll software is a smart alternative to manually figuring payroll or using an expensive payroll service. Payroll software automatically prepares W2, 941, 944 and 940 Forms.

On February 16th W-4 forms claiming exemption from withholding expires. Previous to this date request new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, from all employees who claimed exemption from income tax withholding in the previous year. If the employee does not give their employer a new W4 form the employer must start withholding at a single rate zero allowances.

The end of February, by February 28th, file Copy A of all paper 1099 forms with Form 1096 with IRS and file all paper W2 Copy A forms with Form W3 to SSA. These forms can be electronically filed with the respective agencies moving the deadline to March 31st. Employers submitting more than 250 forms may be required to electronically file.

Form 941 is due the month following the end of the quarter. April 30th, July 31st October 31st and January 31st of the following year are the due dates for Form 941.

Before December 1st supply employees with a new Form W-4. If they have any changes for the coming year have them make the appropriate changes on the new form. On December 31st Form W-5, Earned Income Credit Advanced Payment Certificate, expires. Eligible employees who want to receive advance payments for the next year must submit a new W-5 to their employer.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Payroll

Payroll outsourcing can save companies time and money. It allows the business to not waste man hours handling a function that does not bring in any revenue. The cost of payroll processing is greatly reduced by using a payroll service company. It usually costs more to pay an employee to handle the salary than it…

Payroll outsourcing can save companies time and money. It allows the business to not waste man hours handling a function that does not bring in any revenue. The cost of payroll processing is greatly reduced by using a payroll service company. It usually costs more to pay an employee to handle the salary than it would cost to outsource to a professional company.

Another cost savings of outsourcing is avoiding penalties and fees from the IRS and state if a tax filing or payment is submitted late or incorrectly. In the event that an error does occur most payroll service companies will pay the penalties and interest that are accrued.

Payroll companies stay up to date on the newest tax tables and tax laws. Tax laws are constantly changing and payroll companies stay on top of the new changes to keep the business out of trouble. Payroll companies offer services like direct deposit and pay as you go workers compensation insurance that some employers can not get by themselves.

Outsourcing payroll offers some safety to employers. You never have to worry about your payroll service company calling in sick on a payroll day. They are always available to process your payroll. You also do not have to worry about paying the fines for something being done incorrectly like you do if an in house employee makes a mistake.

For many small business's the benefits of outsourcing this function are much greater than the costs. Any business owner should really consider having a professional company handle this function for them.

The Benefits of Employing Service Bureau For the Payroll Processing of Your Company

There is an accounting firm that focuses on preparing for payroll of other companies and it is called a payroll bureau, which is being run by accounting professionals better referred to as certified public accountants. Such bureau typically claims being referred to as service bureau to being called CPA firm because it wants to set…

There is an accounting firm that focuses on preparing for payroll of other companies and it is called a payroll bureau, which is being run by accounting professionals better referred to as certified public accountants. Such bureau typically claims being referred to as service bureau to being called CPA firm because it wants to set itself apart from general accounting and tax services, which it does not provide. Typically, people who procure this kind of payroll services own companies that are big enough to have complicated payroll but not too big that it can sustain a payroll department.

Managing and preparing a payroll is a complicated job that consumes a lot of time. Since a carelessly made payroll can cost a company a lot, then it is just in order that having it done accurately is seriously considered. This time, many companies are already farming out this task, just as they are outsourcing other key processes like bookkeeping and accounting.

A payroll bureau performances a lot of tasks. They print employee paychecks before salary dates or make direct money deposits to employees' bank accounts. The services also include accurate computation and withholding of taxes – federal, state, and local. The bureau also performs computation of payroll taxes that the employee or company owner needs to remit. Payroll reports are to be filed annually or quarterly. There is also a need to print and file employee tax documents by the end of the year.

Aside from the previously mentioned general services, there may be additional services, which depend on the payroll service firms. Some firms offer retirement plans or savings plans, health benefits plans, and other services.

There are a lot of payroll firms and they compete to get business companies. Prudence in choosing the right payroll firm is necessary. First of all, not all companies need such services. You may want to evaluate your company size and discern whether you actually need payroll assistance. However, you must act on time. There are companies that wait too long before ever realizing they actually need payroll assistance. Either the company manager has had second thoughts or thought they are not yet big enough to need that kind of assistance. For some company owners, payroll management is difficult and time-consuming. But for others, it's impossible to perform. The latter businessmen need immediate assistance from firms who can do the job efficiently. The former may need serious evaluation of their company operations.

You need assistance when you have enough number of employees to bury you with wage and tax computation. If you are spending substantive number of hours doing nothing else but calculating the wages and taxes of employees and are getting complaints from employees for miscalculated wages, then you should look up the practicality of procuring payroll services.

Many companies can not deal with their own payroll because it exhausts effort and time in one, yet complex, function. However, managers and owners of businesses can not leave this aspect imprecisely attended because this would cause fatal errors. Employees complaining about their miscalculated salaries can cause work interruptions and they may lose trust in the financial management system. Yet there are even grave repercussions of mistakes in payment. The only solution is to obtain services from an external firm that specializes in this line of service.

If you are in need of such services, consider a service bureau that has qualified professionals and has the advanced technology to support your payroll needs. With the right bureau or local service, you can gain information about year-end returns without having to deal with the complexity of computations and preparation yourself. You also gain knowledge about exact payments to workers and employees as well as discounts incurred. Such support firms can also take away the burden from you and let you focus on functions that are more appropriate to your position and expertise.

Shopping For the Right Software to Create a Paystub For Your Business

The days of being able to hand write your employees' paystubs are long gone as this takes far too long for most company payroll departments to deal with. The other problem is that the amount of information that now goes on the average paystub is far more complex than it was even a few years…

The days of being able to hand write your employees' paystubs are long gone as this takes far too long for most company payroll departments to deal with. The other problem is that the amount of information that now goes on the average paystub is far more complex than it was even a few years ago. With most companies now managing all of their finances including payroll on a computer the best answer to this is the use of paystub software.

Why Should I Use Software to Create a Paystub?

There are many different reasons why you should be using some form of software to create a paystub through your payroll department. The most obvious is that integrating this type of software into your system will save your payroll department both time and effort each time payday comes around. If you have a reliably large staff it can take hours for your salary clerk to sit down and calculate each employee's hours, taxes, allowances and any other miscellaneous calculations that must be made in order for them to fill out a paystub.

When your payroll staff has access to the right type of software they should only have to select the employee from a drop down list, enter the correct number of regular and overtime hours that they have worked and let the software go to work. Good software will integrate seamlessly with your existing accounting software so that when the paystub is filled out both it and a paycheck can be printed. The money should then be deducted from the appropriate account.

What Information Should the Software I use to Create a Paystub Include?

Where once a simple statement of how much your employees have earned and how much they got to keep may have been enough, this simply will not do anything. Most employees are very concerned with knowing just how much they are paying in taxes and discounts. Not only do your employees want to know but under certain laws they have a right to know what is being taken out of their checks each pay period.

This information should include but is not limited to federal taxes, state and local taxes as applicable and of course social security and Medicare deductions. Most software used to create a paystub now has lines included for showing discounts such as health insurance payments, health savings account debts, union dues and any miscellaneous discounts such as payments to a company store. There also must be places to include information about the employee such as name, address and social security number.

When you are shopping for software to create a paystub your best bet is to try several different versions until you find the one that is going to mesh with your accounting software and provide the clearest and most concise paystub possible for your employees.