Best Practices for Managing Your Small Business Payroll

Giving your employees an inaccurate or faulty pay stub can cause significant stress for your workers and even more work for the accounting department. In multiple U.S. states, …

Business Payroll

Business PayrollGiving your employees an inaccurate or faulty pay stub can cause significant stress for your workers and even more work for the accounting department. In multiple U.S. states, it’s a crime to withhold information on a check, so it’s essential to get a handle on this process as soon as possible, and online software can help. Use these tips to handle payroll processing like a pro.

What Information Must be Included on a Check?

When employees are paid, an employer must provide a pay stub. A pay stub can be issued either electronically or digitally, but most businesses still print physical checks for tax purposes. Most states will ask employers to provide a detachable check, draft, separate page, or voucher with the following information listed somewhere on the document.

  • Gross and net wages earned.
  • Total hours worked by nonexempt employees.
  • The number of piece-rate earned if paid in piece-rate.
  • Deductions (health insurance)
  • Dates of the period in which the employee is paid.
  • Name, last four digits of SSN, or an employee identification number.
  • Name and address of employer or business.
  • The hourly rate during a pay period and overtime rate if applicable. 

You may need to add whether the employee fell ill and received sick leave or paid time off, but only if applicable. Keeping track of all of this information can be difficult for large businesses, and you could be held legally liable for issuing a bad check. To ensure your employees are given a proper check, we recommend using a check stub maker.

The Best Practices for Small Business Payroll

Organization and Software

HR staff and payroll managers work with a bunch of information on the daily. Even small businesses can have dozens of names, records, numbers, and reports to read through every day. On top of that, there are endless rules, policies, and regulations to follow, many of which have a deadline for completion. For example, bi-weekly paychecks or health insurance.

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Another problem occurs when employees quit, move on, change roles, or require onboarding paperwork. Without the proper tools, organization will be difficult for an HR professional who has multiple priorities and little time to accomplish everything. Payroll can make their life easier by separating tasks into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly lists from a computer.

You may also want to create a universal filing system that makes looking up physical documents easier. Ensure that everyone is on board with this method to avoid confusion.

Investigation and Audits

Conduct regular, ongoing audits, especially if there are frequent complaints about the payroll process. To resolve payroll issues, your team could develop a detailed workflow analysis to create a list of steps necessary to complete the audit from beginning to end. Flowcharting can help you spot redundancies as long as you assert the process step-by-step during the review.

Never go into the investigation stage assuming that everything is working fine because you likely won’t stop problems without a critical eye. Flowcharting is meant to discover shortcomings in the payroll process, and only your payroll officer can determine which changes, additions, and corrections are necessary. Some minor changes can save time and money.

Your staff members are never going to be 100% accurate all the time, but you can treat errors as a way to improve on a process, so fewer mistakes happen in the future.

Communication and Explanation

Payroll staff can create extensive reports that will improve your business, but if they can’t communicate their ideas effectively, all changes will fall on deaf ears. It’s essential to provide a clear, written explanation so no spoken words can be misheard or taken out of context. Once may not be enough to drive a point home, so repeat your decisions to your employees.

If something isn’t written down, it won’t be taken seriously, no matter how often a manager corrects the behavior. It’s not enough to state something in various letters that will add up and won’t be read. Create a manual that describes your processes to your employees that extend across departments. Clear communication can minimize most payroll issues.


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