Finding a Small Business Payroll Service

Here are some reasons you should consider why you should consider outsourcing your payroll service Using a small business payroll service can minimize the amount of work you have to do as a small business owner. Your time is very valuable and limited. Focus your energy on activities which provide direct value to your organization.…

Here are some reasons you should consider why you should consider outsourcing your payroll service

Using a small business payroll service can minimize the amount of work you have to do as a small business owner. Your time is very valuable and limited. Focus your energy on activities which provide direct value to your organization. Processes such as payroll are extremely time-consuming however they do not add a direct benefit to your company when performed as an in-house function. Consider outsourcing the services to a third-party or integrate your payroll through software such as QuickBooks.

Payroll companies can handle employee related issues along with federal and state regulatory issues as well. It is important to make sure you're filings are done correctly to minimize fines and adjustments to previous tax forms.

Outsourcing your payroll will also eliminate the necessity for you to become an expert on topics such as withholding amounts, FICA, unemployment insurance and other labor laws. Rules are constantly changing, and it can be challenging to stay on top of all these new regulations while running your core business as well. If you have employees in multiple states, you should consider outsourcing payroll. In addition to federal regulations, each state has their own peculiarities when it comes to filing requirements.

Outsourcing your payroll can also help prevent financial penalties from late filings, underpayments, and incorrect paperwork submissions. Small business payroll services will usually guarantee their services, and pay for any errors which result from their mistakes. Payroll companies work by employing economies of scale. A third-party can do this much more efficiently and at a lower cost. One of the things you should do, is add up your time spent on routine administrative tasks. If you are spending more than 20% of your time doing routine tasks you should deftly consider outsourcing. Time spent on non-value added processes can typically be better off spending on projects which will provide direct value to your company.

When you're choosing a payroll service you can search online or ask your accountant or banker. Some of the companies which provide online payroll include Intuit, ADP and others. Be sure to choose a service which allows online billing management. This can save you time by allowing your employees to directly download their pay stubs and statements such as W-2's at the end of the year. You can also tie this valuable information to an online portal for your employees.

Choosing Employee Time Clock Software – 4 Easy Review Criteria

If you are an owner or manager of a business, you know the frustrations that come with trying to keep track of employee time and attendance. There are lots of options available, depending on your needs. If you would like to move away from mechanical punch clocks and paper timesheets, then employee time clock software…

If you are an owner or manager of a business, you know the frustrations that come with trying to keep track of employee time and attendance. There are lots of options available, depending on your needs. If you would like to move away from mechanical punch clocks and paper timesheets, then employee time clock software may be exactly what you need to help your business simplify payroll processing, ensure attendance compliance, and manage labor costs. Not all time and attendance software programs are created equal, so it is important to find the right time tracking system for your business. If a free download is available from the vendor, then you should give it a try. Just make sure that the free version of the software has all the same features as the actual program you will be asked to pay for. When reviewing time and attendance software, make sure you consider what features the program has to offer, what reports are available within the program, how user friendly the program is, and if help is available during and after the review process.

Time Clock Software Features
Timeclock software should do more than just track hours worked. Most businesses can benefit from more than just a replacement of that old mechanical time clock. Good time and attendance software will track holiday, vacation, personal, and sick leave accurual. Better time clock programs will allow you to customize your payroll cycle and overtime settings. Professional time clock programs can track breaks and lunch discounts, as well as the different projects your employees are working on. Make sure you focus on reviewing features that you intend to use most often and do not spend too much time on features that are less important to your business. Features that allow you to manage employees by department or location can increase efficiency and improve office communication. Think of features in terms of making your job as a manager or business owner easier, and making your business or team more profitable.

Time Clock Software Reports
The heart of all employee time clock software programs should be to instantly create a timecard report of all hours worked, both regular and overtime. Some time clock programs will have other useful reports such as attendance reports, labor costing reports, and leave accurual reports. Timecard reports should be compiled in seconds for payroll processing or exported directly to your payroll software. Built-in report writers make it easy to create custom reports or change report options. Database engines based on the popular SQL computer language will offer some of the best solutions for accessing your timecard data. Think of the different ways you may want to use your timecard data. Since you will already be using your time and attendance software to track employee hours for payroll purposes, it would be easy to use the same data for labor cost analysis, job or project tracking, and client billing. Different time and attendance software programs create different reports, so make sure to find timeclock software that meets your reporting needs.

Time Clock Software Usability
All employee time clock software should be easy to use. Even those who will be managing the administrative functions should have no problem learning or navigating the time tracking software. Managers must have easy access to employee data and the tools to audit it for accuracy. Good timeclock software should be easy to install, with an intuitive means to configure your time clock settings. Setup assistants that guide the user through setting up the timeclock software for the first time allow you to be up and running quickly. Think of how much time will be needed to train your employees on how to use it properly. They will need to know exactly how to punch in and out, print their timecards, and what to do if they miss a punch time. Most timeclock software programs use standard industry graphical user interfaces, and are flexible enough to accommodate common business rules.

Time Clock Software Help & Support
Employee time clock software should include a complete built-in help system and technical support via email, telephone, or an easy to navigate web site. Beware of timeclock software companies that do not publish common contact information like a mailing address or telephone number. Software maintenance or support programs that provide free upgrades are the most cost effective way to ensure you always have the latest and best version of your time and attendance software, and priority assistance whenever you need it. The best time to test the troubleshooting and training resources of the timeclock software vendor is during the review process, before going live with your new time and attendance system. Having time tracking software that works effortlessly and effectively will help keep frustration levels low and production levels high.

Managing Unemployment Insurance Tax Liability and Lowering Overhead

Unemployment insurance tax liabilities have skyrocketed. As a result of the recession, employer-paid UI taxes in 2010 and for the next few years will be significantly higher than in previous years – for some employers tax liabilities have increased by more than 300%. No longer a “nuisance tax,” higher UI taxes are having a negative…

Unemployment insurance tax liabilities have skyrocketed. As a result of the recession, employer-paid UI taxes in 2010 and for the next few years will be significantly higher than in previous years – for some employers tax liabilities have increased by more than 300%. No longer a “nuisance tax,” higher UI taxes are having a negative effect on labor costs, cash flow, and profitability. Higher UI taxes are altering hiring and retention decisions and affecting other talent management decisions. Higher UI taxes are increasing employers' interest in effective UI cost control techniques. One technique to measure and allocate an organization's UI taxes liabilities more effectively is internalized experience rating (IER).

SCENARIO: Microbiomics, Inc. develops and sells biomarkers and other specialized microbial based products to the federal government, universities, and the pharmaceutical industry, including a specialized product developed for Placebo Pharmaceuticals, a manufacturer and distributor of proprietary and generic pharmaceuticals and agricultural products. Microbiomics has four facilities in Maryland with the facility in Baltimore dedicated to Microbiomics's contract with Placebo. Employment at the Baltimore facility is cyclical in nature with a period of full production followed by a period of reduced activity – staffing needs are typically reduced by 50%. Currently Microbiomics calculates and allocates annual UI tax liability as a percent of payroll. Question: Is there a more effective technique to recognize and allocate the financial impact of the Placebo contract on Microbiomics's annual UI tax liability?

UI Tax Liabilities: The Basics

Most employers pay two forms of UI taxes: a flat-rated federal UI tax and an experience-rated state UI tax. The federal UI of $ 56 per employee tax is based on a taxable wage base of $ 7,000 and a net tax rate of 0.8%.

The state, experienced-rated UI tax increases and falls each year based on the employee's experience with turnover, UI claims activity, and the amount of benefits collected by separated employees.

NOTE: Under the federal-state UI program, the various states are permitted – within broad standards – to promulgate their own UI financing system. As a result, state UI tax liabilities – as well as benefit entitlements – varies significantly among the states. For 2010, taxable wage bases range from $ 7,000 in six states to over $ 30,000 in five states and state experience-rated tax rates range from 0.0% to more than 15%.

Unemployment insurance cost control begins with a focus on coverage and classification issues. First, the organization should determine whether or not the organization is a “covered employer” under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and the state UI law – most organizations are. Second, the organization must ensure that it has properly classified employees and independent contractors, that is, the organizations must answer the question: “Were services performed in an employer-employee relationship?” Third, the organization must determine whether or not the services performed by the employees are specifically excluded from the definition of employment under FUTA and state UI law. Fourth, the organization must determine if the wages paid are taxable for FUTA and state purposes.

UI cost control then focuses on experience rating, which is the most effective method of allocating costs, incentivizing employment stabilization, encouraging employee participation in ensuring benefit payment integrity, and holding employers' accounting for their use of the UI program. Organizations have an opportunity and incentive to use UI cost control activities to reduce their state UI tax liability. One method of improving UI cost control is the use of Internalized Experience Rating.

Internalized Experience Rating: Background

From a management perspective, a cost that is not accurately measured is not effectively managed. From a labor cost accounting perspective, costs that are not properly identified as direct labor costs become overhead. Thus when labor costs are not accurately identified, measured, and properly allocated to the responsible employing unit, department, division, or profit center, cost controls are weak, accountability is lacking, and profitability / loss is miscalculated.

Internalized experience rating addresses these issues by more accurately measuring the impact on profits and losses and by identifying UI management responsibilities. IER is a tool to help management more equitably aware UI tax liabilities and a process that aids in the preparation of budgets and the calculation of costs, pricing, and profitability. Further, by more accurately assigning UI tax liabilities, IER exposes UI cost management weaknesses and highlights the advantages of employment stabilization. By more accurately measuring each employing unit's impact on the organization's UI tax liability, IER motivates employing units to take action, ie, to improve their UI cost control activities.

Internalized Experience Rating: Implementation

To help organizations implement internalized experience rating, we have developed a four-step implementation process. This process is built on the foundation of senior management's commitment and support for UI cost management.

Step 1: Analyzing the Applicability of IER

The following activities will help you identify critical issues in implementing IER and help determine IER's applicability for your organization.

Activity # 1: Ask the right questions. Start by asking a series of questions about the organization's strategic and business objections, business risks, key business metrics, organizational structure, talent management goals, and employment stabilization activities. The purposes of this activity are to align UI cost control with organizational objectives and determine the potential ROI from IER.

Activity # 2: Assess the organization structure. Identify employing units within your employer registration number, either by division, location, profit center, or function. Do these units have P & L responsibility? Do these units have the authority to make staffing decisions? You should identify the lowest organizational level with P & L and staffing decision making authority.

Activity # 3: Assess turnover and UI data. Assessment turnover, UI claims frequency and severity, changes in employee numbers, and changes in taxable payroll. Are there significant difference in the data among employing units? If yes, your organization will benefit from IER.

Activity # 4: Assess current perceptions of UI costs. Do individual managers consider UI costs a uniform payroll expense like social security that is allocated proportionally based on size of payroll; or do they consider UI costs an experience-rated tax that reduces profitability? NOTE: the implementation of IER will have a dramatic adverse P & L impact on employing units with high turnover and high benefit charge history. To increase high-cost units' objections to IER, you may want to hold all units harmless the first year of implementation and use that period to educate the units on UI cost control and help them develop an effect UI cost management program.

Activity # 5: Determine IER methodology. There are a number of methods to calculate employing units' internal tax rate. The easiest to understand and implement is the ratio of individual unit's benefit charges to the total amount of benefit charges. See the example below. A second method is the Benefit Ratio (BR) method. Under this method, the amount of benefit charges for a one-to-three-year period is divided by the taxable payroll for the same period. The resulting ratio is then applied to an internally developed Tax Allocation Table (TAT) to determine the tax liability for each employing unit. In determining internal UI tax liability, a number of decisions will have to be made:

1) Do you use multiple taxable wage bases that correspond to the taxable wage base used in each state you have employing units or do you use a single enterprise-wide taxable wage base?

2) Do you use multiple TATs that correspond to the tax rates assigned in each state or do you use a single enterprise-wide TAT?

3) If you use a maximum tax rate, how will benefit costs in excess of the maximum be allocated?

4) Should internalized tax liabilities be allocated on a prospective or retrospective basis?

5) How long must new employing units wait before becoming internationally experience rated?

6) What internal tax rate should be assigned new employing units?

7) What happens to the experience of employing units that have been sold, closed, or merged into another unit?

Step 2: Collecting Data and Developing UI Metrics

The decisions made in Step 1 provide the foundation for IER. In Step 2, IER objectives and decisions are quantified. At this point you will need to collect IER data, including staffing, retention, and turnover data, UI benefit claim and charge data, taxable invoices by quarter, and other UI statistics such as UI hearing attendance and decision data, by employing unit.

NOTE: Benefit charge data element by employing unit is critical information. Most states will provide you with a breakout of benefits charges on an employing unit basis. This procedure is referred to as “unit coding.” You should contact the Experience Rating Section of your state UI agency for information regarding the state's procedure for unit coding.

Specifically, the following data elements by employing unit will be necessary for your IER system:
Payroll Data:

1) Gross wages.
2) Federal taxable wages.
3) State taxable wage.
4) Severance pay.
5) Unemployment insurance taxes by state.
6) W-2 count.

Human Resource Data by Employing Unit:

1) Number of positions authorized for reporting period by.
2) Number of employees filling those positions during the reporting period.
3) Number, types, and reasons for separation during the reporting period.

Unemployment Insurance Claims Data by Employing Unit:

1) Number of claims during the period.
2) The reasons for separations for these claims.
3) Current disposition of all claims filed.
4) The benefit year of each claim filed.
5) The maximum charges associated with each claim. This amount is the product of the claimant's weekly benefit amount (WBA), the maximum duration of each claim, and the employing unit's percentage or portion of liability for benefit collected.

Benefit Charge Data by Employing Unit:

1) Actual charges, by claimant, by benefit year for the period.
2) Total actual charges for the period.
3) Benefit charge adjustments (debts and credits) by claimant, by period.

Step # 3: Application of Internalized Experience Rating

In this step, we apply the data collected in Steps # 1 and # 2. Continuing the scenario:

Each facility – including the Baltimore facility – has approximately 100 researchers and production staff. All facilities are reported under a single employer registration number. UI taxes are allocated on a percentage of payroll. In 2008 and 2009, Microbiomics had a UI tax rate of 4.5% and an annual tax liability of $ 180,000. For calendar year 2010, Microbiomics's tax rate increased to 6.4% and has a projected tax liability of $ 256,000.

Through the use of internalized UI experience rating, Microbiomics seeks to more effectively allocate UI costs, more accurately assign costs to the proper account, and reduce the amount of overhead.

Information:

1) An analysis of work force and turnover data reveals variations in each facility's employment stability.
2) Because of research and product line diversity, each facility is treated as an independent employing unit and reports to a different Vice President. Each facility is treated as a profit center.
3) Historically Microbiomics has donated UI taxes as overhead and has allocated UI taxes as a percentage of payroll. A survey of facilities managers has indicated that UI tax liabilities, like workers' compensation and social security, are considered a non-controllable overhead cost.
4) As a part of its enhanced UI cost management activities, Microbiomics has declined to stress the cost and liability accounting aspects of internalized experience rating. As a result, individual facilities may be assigned a higher or lower tax rate than is assessed under state law.

Data:

1) Number of facilities = 4
2) 3-year average total payroll = $ 24,000,000
3) 3-year average taxable payroll = $ 4,000,000
4) 3-year average benefit charges = $ 160,000
5) Claimants collect an average of $ 400 / week for a average duration of 8 weeks
6) Assigned tax rate for calendar years 2008 and 2009 = 4.5%
7) Annual tax liability in calendar years 2008 and 2009 = $ 180,000
8) Assigned tax rate for calendar year 2010 = 6.4%
9) Annual tax liability for calendar year 2010 = $ 256,000

IER Methodology:

1) Assign each employing unit unit an internal design
2) Determine the taxable payroll by employing unit
3) Determine the amount of benefit charges by employing unit
4) Calculate the tax due before IER. The taxable payroll for each employing unit is multiplied by the assigned calendar year tax rate for the company. This method assigns individual employment unit tax liability on the basis of the size of payroll, not actual experience with turnover, claims activity, and the amount of benefits charged.
5) Calculate each employing unit's Benefit Charge Factor by dividing each employing unit's amount of benefit charges for the rating period by the Total for the company.
6) Calculate each employing unit's IER UI Tax Liability by multiplying each employing unit's Benefit Charge factor by the company's total tax liability.
7) Determine the difference in the per employing unit tax allocation by subtracting each employing unit's UI Tax Liability by each employing unit's IER UI Tax Liability.
8) Analyze resulting differences and conduct a root cause analysis.
9) Incorporate the IER calculations into your cost accounting and budgeting procedures.
10) Incorporate the IER calculations into your UI cost control management program.

Analysis. Prior to using internalized experience rating, the Baltimore facility's 2010 UI tax liability is $ 70,400 ($ 1,100,00 times 6.4%); the after IER tax liability is $ 89,293 ($ 256,00 times 34.88%). Thus IER reveals that the Baltimore facility's UI tax liability is being understated by $ 18,900, while the UI tax liability for the Rockville facility is being overstated by $ 28,282. By using IER, the true financial implications of UI taxes are disclosed, the implications of turnover become more obvious, and the value of UI cost management becomes more urgent.

Step 4: Evaluation and Action

With the information developed by internalized experience rating, management now has a clear understanding and perspective of the strategic, operational, and financial impact of talent management, employment stabilization, turnover, and unemployment insurance costs. This insight will improve management's ability to align talent management, accounting, and UI cost management activities with business objectives, allocate UI cost more accurately, and improve performance management.

Importance of Payroll Software For Small and Medium Enterprise

One of the important functions to manage business is handling the human resource processes. And, among the issues one would encounter about human resource function is handling the payroll. Payroll departments are the backbone of any business and managing these processes efficiently as is important a task as conducting other business operations. A manual payroll…

One of the important functions to manage business is handling the human resource processes. And, among the issues one would encounter about human resource function is handling the payroll. Payroll departments are the backbone of any business and managing these processes efficiently as is important a task as conducting other business operations. A manual payroll system is a hectic task; a company with few people can maintain a manual payroll process, however, it is a time consuming task and frustrating to try and run an HR or payroll shop with a mismatched puzzle of spreadsheets and it only gets more complex as your company grows

Payroll administration is a sudden to small companies and at the same time a very critical activity which is repeated every month involving complexities related to calculations, deductions and statutory regulations. While many companies may go with processing the employee payroll side manually, this is not achievable amidst growing business. A robust and cost effective business payroll software is a must to handle payroll processes in order simplify the task and to capitalize on the efficiency in the long run of the business.

Small businesses are often too small to justify the cost of employing their own HR department. In these cases the responsibility of payroll administration can fall on anyone, from the managing director to administrative assistant. While they can go with handling the payroll manually, but this is not just right way and a payroll solution early in the business life cycle help save both time and money.

Payroll processing is an error liberty activity – If organizations have just one or two employees it may seem reliably easy to compute salaries outstanding, taxes etc, but as small business starts adding employees they find spending more and more time in calculation of salaries including variable pay . Errors are common in the full and final settlement and increases when employees join in the middle of a term as the processes are manual. Ultimately, businesses may find that without the right program, business can not grow as quickly as planned.

A payroll solution software or program could make small and medium enterprises improve the overall operational efficiency. It helps in Computing salaries including statistical computation of PF and ESI, Reimbursements as per CTCorms, maintaining employee master details and correspondence in respect to letters, emails and documents in an organized manner, Keep track of Employee leave taken and loan availed.

The second reason to consider this type of payroll software is that it makes meeting any tax obligations much simpler. Calculation of Income tax is another routine and pain staking activity that needs to conform to government regulations and norms. A good software package can help to automate this activity for greater efficiency and accuracy.

For a small and medium enterprise, investment in software to automate processes is contractual in terms of cost and benefits. That's why it is important to choose a solution which is easy to use, customizable to the specific business situations, scalable and robust with tools for making software meet the needs of growing business. Essentially, it should help streamline the entire process, making the task of processing payroll less time-consuming and error free.

When we take it in Indian scenario regarding software vendors for payroll software, we can find two kinds of vendors. First one is very small companies providing payroll software and second one established big software players.

While deciding on payroll software buying we need to keep in mind:

1. Compliance with tax rules and regulation
2. After Sales support
3. Software upgrade support
4. Customization as per organizations need

In India we majorly see small vendors in this scenario, who compete mainly on the pricing advantage, but lacks good customer support and software upgrade.

Employee Time Clock Software – 4 Money Saving Benefits

A traditional timesheet allows employees to record when they start and end specific tasks. For some employees, this just amounts to starting work in the morning and punching out at the end of the day. For others, this may involve keeping detailed start and end times for various activities, projects, or jobs through the day.…

A traditional timesheet allows employees to record when they start and end specific tasks. For some employees, this just amounts to starting work in the morning and punching out at the end of the day. For others, this may involve keeping detailed start and end times for various activities, projects, or jobs through the day. Whatever your business needs, time and attendance software allows your employees to record this information much more easily, accurately, and objectively. Employee time clock software can help lower the operating costs of your business by making payroll processing more efficient, including attendance compliance, making labor costs more visible so you can lower them if necessary, and helping automate the billing or invoicing of your clients.

Time Clock Software Simplifies Payroll
Time and attendance software takes all the punch in and out times that your employees have been recording and generates instant timecard reports based on your payroll rules. Regular hours, overtime, and paid leave time are immediately calculated and totaled for easy input into your payroll software, or sent to your accountant or payroll service. Manual or modified timecard entries should be flagged for easy follow-up and monitoring. Time tracking notes from employees explaining a late or missed punch allow you to quickly adjust timecard entries and print new timecard reports before sending off your payroll. Better yet, export your time clock program data for easy import into your payroll software. Your employee time clock software data should be automatically archived so past payroll reports are always instantly available for any period of time. This means all those hours spent preparing manual timesheets for payroll processing can be reduced to minutes. Timeclock software brings increased efficiency to your business, which saves you money!

Time Clock Software Ensures Attendance Compliance
Time clock software allows you to fully manage time and attendance, even tracking unpaid activities like lunch breaks or unpaid sick leave. Each employee timecard software report should display time spent on unpaid activities completely separated from hours worked. Make it easy to enforce your business rules by knowing how many days off employees have used. Time clock software makes it easy to track unpaid leave taken under FMLA and mandatory furlough policies. If you are an educational institution looking for a way to track time spent by students in learning or tutoring labs, you can drastically reduce the amount of time spent on mandatory state reporting of compliance with the individualized educational plan for each special education student or adult education hours with time and attendance software. Tracking employee attendance helps you schedule employees more efficiently and ensures compliance with certain legal obligations, which saves you money!

Time Clock Software Manages Labor Costs
Time and attendance software uses those same employee timecard payroll punches for labor costing. By including employee gross wages, your timecard software reports can be summarized to provide you with labor hours and dollar costs for any activity, task, job, or department for any period of time. Labor costing reports will quickly show you actual labor hours and costs on a per job basis. You should have easy access to timecard software reports that monitor labor costs for each business activity. Your time clock program reports will accurately track all employee time spent on each job, showing you changes in job labor costs from job to job, or the same job for any time period. Timeclock software gives you the knowledge you need to allocate actual labor hours on a job base, and being knowledgeable about the resource usage of your business saves you money!

Time Clock Software Automates Client Billing
Time and attendance software should summarize timecard reports by client, job, or department for the accurate billing of labor hours. Run timecard software status reports to make sure you are remaining within project budgets before the project ends. Set your time clock program rounding calculations for billing to the nearest minute, or in tenth or quarter hour increments. Your time tracking labor totals can now be easily entered into your invoicing or accounting software for accurate and timely billing of your labor. Quickly add a time tracking note to your reported client hours to explain job details or project tracking status. The key to tracking labor time accurately is to record new job activities as they happen. Most time clock software is easy to install and configure so it can be affordably deployed on any computer at your business. This ensures real time job tracking is convenient and easy for your employees. Timeclock software helps you accurately bill clients and stay within project budgets, which saves you money!

How to Choose the Right Payroll Tax Software

So you've decided to get new payroll software for your company. That can be an important decision for your company. The wrong payroll software can be a waste of your time and limit your options as your company grows. But how do you know whether the software you're thinking about buying will not be just…

So you've decided to get new payroll software for your company. That can be an important decision for your company. The wrong payroll software can be a waste of your time and limit your options as your company grows. But how do you know whether the software you're thinking about buying will not be just as frustrating or limiting as the software you currently have?

Step 1: List the Features You Need
First off, you probably have some features in mind that the new software must have in order to work for you. This is a good place to start. If your current software can not perform a function that you want to be able to use, check the product descriptions of your prospective software titles to make sure you buy software with the feature you need. For example, sometimes your current software only prints checks with the check-at-top format and you need to change to check-in-the-middle or check-at-bottom format. Or maybe you need software software that allows flexibility for different kinds of discounts.

But do not stop your list with just the things you want to be able to do that you can not do now. You also want to list every feature and function that you currently use. Do not assume that they are included in all payroll software. Some are not.

Step 2: Separate Must-have Features from Optional Features and Prioritize
Once you have your list of features, identify which features you absolutely must have. Any product that does not have one of these features should not even be considered. The rest of your list are optional features-features that would be nice to have or will make your job much easier if you have them, but absolutely you could live without them if you have to. Rank your optional features according to their priority. Put a “1” next to the features you feel are most important. Put a “2” next to features you'd like to have if all your number 1 features are met. Put a “3” next to features that are convenient, but optional and a “4” next to those that would be nice to have, but will not really affect your decision making.

Step 2: Look for Payroll Software that Lets You Enter Year-to-Date Payroll Information
If you plan to change to a new payroll software in mid-year, make sure you purchase pay software that lets you enter year-to-date payroll data for your employees. You do not want to get stuck spending hour after hour entering data for each pay period that has already occurred in the year.

Step 3: Look for an Easy-to-use Interface
One of the most common reasons for deciding to change payroll software is that the software currently being used is too complicated and difficult to use. So you'll also want to look for a payroll solution that is easy to use. The key part here is the graphical interface-the window or screen that displays your options and accepts the data that you enter.

Look for screen-shots of the product on the box or web site. Does the screen layout make sense to you? Can you find what you're looking for? If the layout makes sense to you and you can easily see the options you use most often, that's a good sign that the software will be easy to use.

Step 4: Watch Out for Hidden Fees for Updating Tax Tables or Use with Multiple Businesses
Tax rate tables change every year as tax laws change. Do not get stuck paying high fees to update your tax tables. Know ahead of time what you will be paying to get updated tax tables for your software ahead of time. If a company does not state clearly what that fee will be, chances are good that you'll be taken for a ride. The same is true for using your software for multiple businesses. Some software companies require you to purchase the software for each company. Do not buy software that limits your growth.

Step 5: Take Your Potential Software for a Test Drive
The absolutely best way to determine if a payroll software will work for you and your company is to try it. Believe it or not, that does not mean you have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on software you may not like. Reliable software developers who create quality products actually allow you to try their software for free.

Pay Stub Template – Why it is Important to Have a Good One

Nowadays, there are a number of companies that have successfully incorporated a pay stub template into effect for a number of reasons. Depending on what it is that you are hoping to make use of the pay stub, you should be able to successfully find a fitting template that can serve the purpose. These pay…

Nowadays, there are a number of companies that have successfully incorporated a pay stub template into effect for a number of reasons. Depending on what it is that you are hoping to make use of the pay stub, you should be able to successfully find a fitting template that can serve the purpose. These pay stubs come into use in multiple areas, and also help in many ways, legally and otherwise. However, if you are still thinking twice about looking at pay stub templates then you might want to continue reading on.

Cost Effective

In order to keep track of expenses and inflow of money, there should be a suitable management system in place. One of the things that you can do is to implement a system, with which it will become simpler to track all of your expenses and other associated costs. Here, one of the first steps in this regard would be to zero down on a pay stub template. Once this design is completed, you can better manage the finances of the firm and be able to effectively save money, even though initial costs might be a little higher.

Customizable

If you feel that your needs are unique and that your firm will require a certain kind of pay stub template, then you might want to go in for the many different customization options that are out there. In fact, with the use of the right accounting software, it is also possible to get the exact kind of template that can be utilized for your purposes. There are many different kinds of software that are capable of doing this, and it is up to you to choose the kind that will fit the bill in terms of features and overall costs involved.

Appreciating your Employees

It may be hard to believe, but using the pay stub template might be something that your employees might notice as a sign of being accepted. You should remember that your firm is only going to profit when the employees in it are going to have content with what they do and will not end up thinking twice about putting in extra effort. It may seem strange as of now to think about satisfying employees to boost profit, but this is definitely one of the surefire techniques to get what you want with relative ease.

Pay Stub Template – Scenarios Where These Can Be of Use

In daily business activities, there are a number of situations when a pay stub template can be of tremendous use. In fact, if you are the head of a firm, you are bound to be all the more interested in learning more about these as they help quite a bit in making management that much…

In daily business activities, there are a number of situations when a pay stub template can be of tremendous use. In fact, if you are the head of a firm, you are bound to be all the more interested in learning more about these as they help quite a bit in making management that much more easier. In fact, many managers across the world have implemented this for a variety of reasons. Depending on what exactly it is that you are aiming to fix with your firm, you too should consider going in for a pay stub template to build your very own system.

Managing your Money

One of the top uses of this kind of template would be to better manage your finances. In fact, you might be struggling to keep a track of the money that is entering and leaving your business if you do not have this system in place. But, if you do have a decent system working for you, it can do wonders for your firm and help significantly in keeping track of the cash inflow. A firm can only be successful if you are able to track the money appropriately and know where all of it might be going. If you are unable to keep an account of money, it might not really be an easy task to manage the firm effectively.

Keeping Track of your Employees

Another reason why you would want to care about the pay stub template is if you want to know whether or not your employees are happy about what they are doing. If for some reason they are not completely happy with what is being offered to them, you can use these pay slip to try and identify that. In most cases, monetary adjustments are known to work wonders in terms of employee satisfaction and a pay stub template would be the first step to take with this regard.

Ensuring Growth of the Firm

If you wanted to know a way in which you could monitor the progress or growth of the firm, you should definitely consider going in for a pay stub template and typically designing a pay stub from this. There are many ways to monitor growth, but not many might be as successful as you might think of it to be. Here, a surefire and successful way to go about this would be to adopt this system.

Pay Stubs – Ensuring Streamlined Management

With so many things keeping us busy these days, it is quite easy to lose track of things and end up in a lot of financial mess. Regardless of the scale, it will without doubt hurt the future of the company if there is no effective way of managing money and tracking growth of the…

With so many things keeping us busy these days, it is quite easy to lose track of things and end up in a lot of financial mess. Regardless of the scale, it will without doubt hurt the future of the company if there is no effective way of managing money and tracking growth of the firm. A solution that can be employed to curb all of this would be to introduce pay stubs. With this, it becomes significantly easier to know what exactly is going on and how it might be possible to control any unforeseen costs or emergencies, among other things.

Centralized Monitoring

When a firm looks up to pay stubs for managing their money, one of the first big advantages that they are going to have is to centrally track money and where it is being spent. There will be no more loose ends and you can effectively get to know about your money and where exactly it is that you are spending it on. If there are small expenses that were previously untracked, then having pay stubs makes it simpler to know about these and put an end to them, if possible.

Deciding on Future Trends

It is not just the current expenses that pay stubs can help you out with. In fact, if you use them in the right manner, it is also possible to decide as to how you will plan out future expenses. You might not find it to be significant as of now, but you need to keep in mind that planning ahead always works to your benefit. Here, if you are managing something or are an owner of a business enterprise, then you should employ a system that will help you keep track of current expenses as well as provide ideas for the future. These pay stubs are an effective solution in this regard and can work wonders for your firm.

Tying Loose Ends

If you are simply unable to cut costs and need a way in which small expenses can be better controlled, then using pay stubs might be a viable solution. If at first you are hesitant, then consider going in for a trial run before you can decide on what you would want to do. Keep in mind that almost all the successful firms today have this system in place and hence, it is a known concept. If you are worried about it working effectively, then should put those worries to rest as it is sure to give you good results.

HIRE Act and Your Payroll Software – What You Need to Know

The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act was enacted March 18, 2010 with two new tax benefits for employers who hire previously unemployed workers, referred to as “qualified employees”. The first benefit, called the “salary tax exemption”, allows employers exempt from their 6.2% share of social security on the wages paid to “qualified employees”…

The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act was enacted March 18, 2010 with two new tax benefits for employers who hire previously unemployed workers, referred to as “qualified employees”. The first benefit, called the “salary tax exemption”, allows employers exempt from their 6.2% share of social security on the wages paid to “qualified employees” from March 19, 2010 through December 31, 2010. The second benefit is for each ” qualified employee “retained for at least 52 consecutive weeks. Employers will be eligible for a general business tax credit, or “New hire retention credit”, 6.2% of wages paid to that employee over that 52 week period, for up to a maximum credit of $ 1,000. Full details of the HIRE Act can be found at the official IRS Web site. Meanwhile, if you are interested in taking advantage of the HIRE Act, there are several ways you can use your payroll software to help you manage the process.

Tracking Eligible Employees:

Set up and use a tracking field within your payroll software to track eligible employees. If the employee has not yet been set up, this step can be done at the same time the employee is added. Having a special field to track this information will allow you to run reports to see which of your employees are eligible for the HIRE Act benefit.

Payroll Processing:

It is not necessary to do anything special when processing your payroll; you can simply process your payroll as usual. Both the employee and employer share of the Social Security tax will be calculated and should be paid. If and when you meet the HIRE Act requirements, you will receive a refund for an overpayment when you file your 941/943. Some payroll software programs allow you to track which employees are HIRE Act employees, and therefore refrain from calculating and estimated the employer share for your 941. In this case, only the employee share of the Social Security tax is calculated, and the employer does not need to pay and wait for a credit.

Reporting the Social Security Tax for Eligible Employees:

To see the qualifying wages and the Social Security tax withheld by employee, simply run a tax report, filtering only those employees who are HIRE eligible, pulling this information from the custom field you had set up. This information will need to be reported on your quarterly Form 941.

Quarterly Reporting:

New Form W-11, Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act Employee Affidavit, is available in most payroll software program updates, and would be found along with the other federal tax forms. The HIRE act requires that employers get form W-11 from each eligible new hire, certifying under penalties of perjury, that he or she was unemployed during the 60 days before beginning work or alternatively, worked less than a total of 40 hours for anyone during the 60-day period. Although employers need this certification to claim both the salary tax exemption on the 941 and the new hire retention credit, they do not file these statements with the IRS. Instead, they must retain them along with other payroll and income tax records. Most eligible employees will use Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, to claim the payroll tax exemption for eligible new hires. The IRS is currently in the process of revising the 941 for 2nd Quarter 2010 reporting. Another revision is expected for 3rd Quarter 2010. The new 941 report should be available in your payroll tax form updates from your payroll software provider.

Choosing an Online Payroll Company

Although there is no shortage of online payroll companies, there are certain things that you should assess about them before entrusting them with the job of maintaining the payroll of your organization. As their name suggests, it is the job of the company to provide you with the compensation details about your organization as per…

Although there is no shortage of online payroll companies, there are certain things that you should assess about them before entrusting them with the job of maintaining the payroll of your organization. As their name suggests, it is the job of the company to provide you with the compensation details about your organization as per the details provided by you. This helps you access the payroll details from everywhere you like as long as you have access to the internet.

The primary thing you should check out about the online payroll company is accessibility to the support staff. It is fine if the organization has an email support, but it should also provide you support through telephone as well. The next thing that you need to check out is the interface of the program that the organization is using. Even though their software is basically one that is used for data entry, it should be user friendly and should be easy to use. You should also evaluate the pay options of the service provider.

Although direct deposit is quite a popular option, you should see it that the option of printing checks as and when you like is available with the online payroll company in addition to direct deposit. Tax compliance is something that most online payroll companies do not provide. They just provide the client with payroll entry options, but do not deposit payroll taxes. You should there before seek one that can file both quarterly and annual returns on your behalf along with tax deposits too.

This will help save you lots of time. The last but not the least is the price. You can be rest assured that you can get a quality provider if you hunt around a bit. Thanks to immense competition, providers are cutting down on their prices in order to attract more clients. While comparing the prices of various providers you should ensure that all of them are providing exactly the same set of features.

There are various instances when hidden charges are not accounted for and by the time the difference is felt the deal has already been closed. You can also seek feedback from your business friends or check out in any online business related forum about the same. You might be able to find out an online payroll company that is tailor made for your requirements in this way.

The Importance of MICR Toner For Business Check Printing

The MICR toner cartridge is used in printing checks in such a way as to prevent fraud. How is this done? The toner inside the cartridge is formulated with a special type of magnetic iron oxide which in turn causes the characters that are printed on the paper to emit a unique magnetic signal. These…

The MICR toner cartridge is used in printing checks in such a way as to prevent fraud. How is this done? The toner inside the cartridge is formulated with a special type of magnetic iron oxide which in turn causes the characters that are printed on the paper to emit a unique magnetic signal. These signals are then read by a machine that reads and sorts checks or other documents that have characters printed with this ink as a security measure.

The acronym MICR stands for magnetic ink character recognition. Printing with this sort of ink answers a need for ensuring accuracy, speed in processing, and security. This need is found especially in the banking industry, but is also used in the insurance industry for the printing of receipts, by the airlines in the printing of their tickets, and in the events ticketing industry as well.

Precision is also a requirement if the documents or checks are to be read correctly. That includes the right formulation of the toner to produce the correct signal strength. Standards concerning fonts, their size, and the placement of characters on the document must also be followed precisely or the document in question may not be accepted by the reader. The standards that are followed often depend on the country that the transaction requiring that special ink is made in.

Size and placement of characters are also related to the speed in which the documents are processed. If the characters are wrong size or have been printed a little off then the reader machine will be able to interpret the characters correctly and then the document would be forwarded. That in turn would cause the processing time of the document to be increased and questions to be asked.

Another reason for the need for speed is the sheer volume of checks that go through banks every year. If a method was not found to speed up the processing of checks then it would be impossible for an individual to receive his, or her funds, in a timely manner. In other words the banking industry kindly needed to find a way to automate the processing of checks before they found themselves drowning in them.

Printing MICR characters on the bottom of checks enhances the security of the account it is drawn on. It aids in the prevention of check fraud as the numbers and the symbols printed without magnetic properties at the bottom of the check could not be read by the reader / sorter machine.

Other MICR toners are specifically formulated to prevent the chemical alteration of documents as well. If it is attempted then a stain of red, or other colored, ink is spread across the page rendering the document all but useless for what was intended

MICR toner has been developed in response to a need for security, speed, and accuracy in the processing of checks and other documents. The magnetic charge that is in the toner allows it to be read by machines that are designed to do the task. Thus much needed automation was introduced into the processing of checks and other industries.

Payroll Services For Businesses

Professional employee organizations (PEOs) provide comprehensive HR management solutions including payroll services for businesses. What Are the Payroll Services Offered by PEOs? These services include paychecks and stubs, direct deposit to multiple bank accounts, payment delivery, payroll deductions, garnishments and levies, flexible spending accounts, federal and state payroll tax deposits and returns, FICA, FIT &…

Professional employee organizations (PEOs) provide comprehensive HR management solutions including payroll services for businesses.

What Are the Payroll Services Offered by PEOs?

These services include paychecks and stubs, direct deposit to multiple bank accounts, payment delivery, payroll deductions, garnishments and levies, flexible spending accounts, federal and state payroll tax deposits and returns, FICA, FIT & SIT tax withholdings, job cost accounting reports, cost allocation reports, filing of quarterly reports – FICA, FUTA, SUTA, new hire reporting, federal payroll summaries, production and delivery of W-2s, wage / hour law compliance, management of paid leave program, comprehensive payroll deductions, vacation & sick time accurals, and department summary.

Customized Services Just Right for Your Organizations

Payroll services for businesses are only one aspect of the human resource outsourcing solutions provided by PEOs. They enable companies to focus on their core liabilities, their revenue generating tasks, while the work is managed in the most efficient and cost-effective manner by the PEO. PEO services are flexible and adaptable according to the needs of the client company. Whether the company is a multinational concern or a small or medium-sized firm, the PEO can offer economic HR management solutions for it.

Cut Costs and Increase Productivity and Earnings with Professional PEO Services

Client companies can opt to hand over all the HR management responsibilities to a PEO, or outsource part of the tasks such as recruiting and selection, payroll or benefits administration. This is the right way ahead for companies looking to cut costs and increase productivity and earnings. This is how organizations ensure their human resource responsibilities are handled in the most professional manner. With payroll services for businesses, companies can save time and resources processing payroll, all that can be spent on the revenue generating tasks.

Selecting Time Clock Software – Hints and Tips

Evaluating a software purchase can be challenging, even stressful. Here are a few hints and tips that apply to choosing a software system to track employee time and attendance. These ideas may save you some time and money. These tips can be used for all types of software purchases not just Time Clock Software. Start…

Evaluating a software purchase can be challenging, even stressful. Here are a few hints and tips that apply to choosing a software system to track employee time and attendance. These ideas may save you some time and money. These tips can be used for all types of software purchases not just Time Clock Software.

Start Small – Try Before You Buy

For a small business a free trial is essential to determine if the selected system will meet your needs. Larger business should organize with the vendor to conduct a pilot installation. Use this time wisely and plan out what you want to evaluate.

Cooling Off Period

For high end systems for hundreds or thousands of users it may be worth negotiating a cooling off period so that you are not bound to a prolonged, cost contract.

Match To Needs

Keep it simple. A time tracking system should be a tool to simplify your business processes. Do not choose an expensive or complicated system if your needs are basic. A company with 4 staff will not need to invest in a system that can handle a 1,000 employees. Technology moves fast these days so match the system features to your current requirements and to the goals you have set for your business in 12 months time. Some software vendors offer 'light' or reduced feature versions. This can reduce the initial cost while still providing an upgrade path as your business expands.

Computer Equipment

Ensure that you're aware of the hardware requirements of the software. The main thing to make sure of with a desktop system is that you have a version that will run on your PC or Mac and the version of the operating system you are using. If a centralized system is needed there can be large costs beyond just the physical equipment. For example network infrastructure, data and support from technicians. More and more businesses are choosing cloud based solutions to alleviate the resource constraints of IT.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing or Software as a Service has many advantages for most businesses. Basically your time clock software will run on Internet based servers that someone else looks after. You just subscribe to the time clock service and scale up or down as needed. This gives you immense flexibility and reduces your IT cost risks.

Payroll Administration – Various Types of Services and How They Help Your Business

Are you having a hard time managing payroll? Is payroll preparation taking away valuable employee time from tasks that are more productive? Is your staff unable to keep pace with ever-changing deadlines and tax requirements leading to costly fines and penalties? Do you want to improve the efficiency of your payroll system and cut costs?…

Are you having a hard time managing payroll? Is payroll preparation taking away valuable employee time from tasks that are more productive? Is your staff unable to keep pace with ever-changing deadlines and tax requirements leading to costly fines and penalties? Do you want to improve the efficiency of your payroll system and cut costs? If yes, then outsourcing is what you need. Opting for an outsourced solution can be one of the smartest business decisions you make.

Types of payroll services

Provided by bookkeepers and certified public accountants: They help you to prepare payroll and maintain tax records. However, the range of services provided by bookkeepers and public accountants is limited compared to professional services.

Professional services: They include payroll preparation, tax records maintenance, and bank interface services such as direct deposit, IRA and debit card options.

Employee lease companies: They provide all professional payroll services as well as human resource services. Workers of the lease company work for you and under your management on lease basis.

Advantages of Hiring a Payroll Service

Cost Management for larger corporations: For large companies, internal management of pay roll is, both, expensive and time-consuming. Outsourcing is cheaper than hiring full time employees to and is also more efficient.

Free valuable employee resources for small companies: Service companies allow small businesses to effectively manage payroll and save valuable employee-time spent in processing pay checks and maintenance of information needed for tax preparation and filing. However, you must provide a point person to interact with the service and provide relevant information.

Eliminate distractions and improve focus on core business: Professional payroll services free management from all pay roll hassles enabling them to focus on other more important business issues. Hire an experienced service to stop worrying about training, absenteeism, overtime, politics, and other issues that might arise in day-to-day operations of your pay roll department.

Helps comply with payroll and tax laws: Outsource pay roll to a reputed company to ensure compliance with city, state and national payroll and tax legislation without the need to hire a permanent pay roll legal counsel. Additionally, service contracts with professional companies include a clause that ensures the use of best business practices in pay roll preparation and processing, helping you avoid fines, penalties and court cases.

Improve employee satisfaction and retention: Paying employees on time is absolutely necessary if you want them to continue working for you. Employees expect prompt, correct and timely payment and become highly dissatisfied without it. Reputed pay check processing services allow you to efficiently manage all your salary disbursement requirements including computations regarding sick-days, overtime, bonuses, vacations, and payments towards health plans and retirement pensions, ensuring accurate and timely delivery of paychecks to employees.

Internal management of payroll is one of the largest distractions for employees and managers alike and takes valuable time and effort that can be devoted to core business issues. Hire a payroll service to save time, money, improve efficiency of payroll system, maintain employee satisfaction and ensure compliance with rules and regulations.