Processing payroll can be a tedious and mundane task. It requires good math skills, attention to detail, and a high level of accuracy. It’s a task that many employees take for granted, not realizing how much time goes into it. Yet employers complain about the amount of time it takes away from other work.
Listed below are several ideas you can use to shorten your payroll process.
Use a Payroll Service Provider
There are many advantages to outsourcing this function to a payroll service provider. These professionals have a better understanding of the laws regarding taxes and Social Security, which means you are more likely to avoid any tax penalties resulting from inaccurate filing. These services use the latest in technology and are continually upgrading their accounting software – two major expenses you won’t have to incur.
A payroll service provider will always be ready and available, as they will never need a week of vacation. The service can also manage your employee’s vacation and sick leave.
File Payroll Taxes Online
You can file your Form 941 Quarterly Federal Tax Return online to save time. If you already use a payroll service provider, they can easily handle this for you. If you don’t use a payroll service, find an IRS-approved provider to electronically file your payroll taxes.
When possible, use direct deposit for employee paychecks. It will save time for you by not printing checks and time for your employees by not having to make a trip to the bank. Additionally, direct deposit typically gives employees access to their money sooner than if they were receiving a paper check. Many employees prefer direct deposit – they can boost their savings by depositing a portion of their paycheck directly into a separate savings account.
Do-It-Yourself with Payroll Software
If a payroll software provider is simply not in your budget, you can still manage your payroll by using a specialized software program, such as QuickBooks Payroll. No prior accounting knowledge is necessary, which makes it great for small businesses that don’t have an accountant on staff.
The software can walk you through tax-related issues such as quarterly payments and year-end W-2s. You can even receive reminders when tax payments are due if you’d like. The software can also help you print paychecks, set up direct deposit, and calculate payroll deductions.
If you are manually processing payroll for your company, consider using one of the options above. Not only will it save you time, but your employees will appreciate their paychecks being accurate and on time.
Amy Kirkegaard is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics, including social media, online reputation management, and processing credit cards. She previously worked in marketing and human resources for an oilfield equipment manufacturer.