How To Handle Your First Payroll

Irrespective of the number of employees involved in your first payroll, it is imperative that the process is carried out with precision and adheres to compliance regulations. To achieve this objective, we have outlined a set of steps to assist you in managing your initial payroll.

It is imperative to obtain an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service and complete any necessary state registrations. This includes registering with the state department of revenue for employee tax-withholding purposes and the state department of labor for state unemployment tax purposes. As such, we recommend promptly acquiring an EIN and fulfilling all applicable state requirements to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

When selecting a payroll system, it is important to consider the available options. These options include performing all payroll tasks in-house using internal resources, outsourcing the entire payroll process to a service provider, or combining in-house and outsourced activities. To make an informed decision, it is recommended that research be conducted regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each system..

Conduct employee verifications and classifications. This includes:

  • The process of ascertaining the eligibility of employees to work in the United States through the completion and submission of Form I-9.
  • To ensure accurate classification, it is essential to verify the employment status of individuals as employees rather than independent contractors.
  • In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and relevant state regulations, it is imperative to accurately categorize employees as either nonexempt or exempt.

Give employees the appropriate payroll forms to complete. Typically, these include:

  • The proper documentation for federal income tax withholding is the W-4 form.
  • Forms for state or local tax withholding are required to be completed in order to comply with state and local tax regulations.
  • Please complete the direct deposit form to receive your electronic wage payments.
  • Forms for enrolling in employee benefits, such as health insurance and 401(k) plans.

It is imperative to ensure that your employees are furnished with the necessary labor posters and notices mandated by federal, state, and/or local law. Kindly take note of this critical requirement.

Best practice advice

  • Establish a regular pay frequency for your esteemed employees, with options such as weekly, biweekly, or semimonthly. Provide clear and concise pay period start and end dates.
  • Design a comprehensive time and labor system to monitor the work hours of nonexempt employees. Consider implementing an automated timekeeping system that can seamlessly integrate with the payroll software for efficient tracking and processing of employee hours.
  • As a responsible employer, it is imperative that you remain mindful of your legal obligations. This includes upholding obligations for wages and hours, employee taxes, employer taxes, payroll reporting, and payroll recordkeeping. It is crucial to ensure that all relevant legal requirements are met to maintain your business’s compliance with the law.
  • When considering ways to streamline business operations, outsourcing payroll management is a viable solution for business owners who prioritize growth and management over the nitty-gritty details of payroll administration.

Additional considerations

  • When considering your business’s payroll practices, it is important to determine the optimal approach for managing payroll taxes. One option is to handle regular payroll processing internally while outsourcing payroll tax administration to a third-party provider. Alternatively, some businesses choose to handle all aspects of payroll management in-house. It is recommended that you carefully evaluate your company’s needs and resources before deciding on the most appropriate approach for your organization.
  • Familiarize yourself with the available integrated payroll software solutions. Certain systems offer a comprehensive platform for HR management, time and labor tracking, payroll processing and benefits administration, while others only incorporate specific functionalities.
  • We propose the implementation of a self-service platform that empowers employees to independently carry out specified payroll duties, including the retrieval of pay stubs and Form W-2s.

When outsourcing your payroll, it is important to ensure that your provider is equipped with all necessary resources to effectively handle your first payroll. Additionally, it may be beneficial to leverage online resources, such as the U.S. Department of Labor’s and the IRS’ Publication 15: Employer’s Tax Guide, in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of your payroll obligations.