Online Payroll Services for Small Businesses


As a business owner, you’re responsible for making sure your payroll is accurate, but that doesn’t mean you need to manage all aspects of the process yourself. In fact, 45% of small businesses use a payroll service, according to a 2021 report by the National Small Business Association. The payroll schedule determines when you make payments to your employees. You need to determine this payment period before you hire employees.

The business owner must withhold payroll taxes from their employee’s paychecks and send them to the IRS on their employees’ behalf. The next step is to calculate net pay by taking the gross pay amount and subtracting deductions. Net pay is often referred to as an employee’s take-home pay. Paycards are offered by employers to function as debit cards, with wages added to the card account during each payroll period. Cardholders can use these to pay for goods and services, withdraw cash, or make balance enquiries.

You will also need them to complete a W-4 tax withholding form to document their filing status and monitor personal allowances. This will determine how much money is deducted from their pay in taxes during each payroll payment. All employee details need to be kept up to date in order to meet tax compliance regulations. If you have hackers spell trouble for e employees who are paid on an hourly basis then you’ll likely want to use an automated time tracking system. Having employees fill out time cards manually isn’t reliable and could cost you money from time theft. You can increase efficiency and speed up the payroll process by using the right tools to track your employees’ time.

The Retail Client Experience

Paper checks can be used to draw money from the employer account for transfer to employees, although this is generally a slow and inefficient method of payment. You may choose to outsource your payroll to a dedicated company but there is also a big choice of payroll software if you want to keep things in-house. Payroll software may be cheaper than outsourcing but you have to think about the time constraints managing your own payroll system may place on you. Outsourcing means that most things will be taken care of by professional payroll managers. This needs to be in place for each employee on the payroll system.

  • This is a tax identification number (TIN) for your business.
  • If you have employees who are paid on an hourly basis then you’ll likely want to use an automated time tracking system.
  • It is very important you pay these deductions on time or fines/penalties may be levied on the business, which can be steep.
  • Gross pay includes salary or hourly wages, tips, commissions, overtime pay, bonuses, shift differentials, vacation pay, sick pay and holiday pay.
  • Note that the current percentages for Social Security is 6.2% for the employer and 6.2% for the employee.

Employees expect a pay stub that lists the gross pay and itemizes all deductions. Pay stubs include the business name and address, the employee’s name, address, Social Security number, gross income, withholding amounts, deductions and net pay. There are some online services that will help you generate professional pay stubs for your payroll.

My boss migrated from QBDT to QBO last May and included in his subscription was the payroll. However, he did not use it since he has his QBDT payroll, so he wanted a refund for it. Anyway, I ended up cancelling payroll in QBO and requested refund.

How To Do Payroll (2023 Guide)

If you are giving employees paid time off (PTO), you’ll want to track this as you process payroll. Most employers don’t count lunch breaks in the total hours worked. Record the tally of hours worked on a spreadsheet, noting any PTO that should be paid as well. Also, record overtime hours which will get paid at a higher rate. Learning to manage payroll on your own requires paying attention to the legal and tax requirements involved. We’ll break down the process and important considerations to keep in mind.

Learn how to get set up, pay your team, find HR support and benefits, and sync with accounting so you can manage everything in one place. The largest benefit of manual processing is the cost, as you don’t have to buy any software or pay someone else to run payroll. However, if you calculate what your own time is worth and how long it takes to process payroll, you may find that you aren’t saving money. Reviews suggest Gusto is easier to navigate than other platforms because of its simplicity and well-designed user interface. While employee information is typically collected during the onboarding process, employees also need to let you know when their information changes.


For some small businesses, outsourcing the whole process to a specialist may be the easiest way to do payroll. But with the use of available software, learning payroll procedures can now be easily achievable in-house. A payroll management system is software technology designed to make running payroll easier for businesses. It automates many of the most labor-intensive processes, such as calculations, deductions and payments, and in some cases, includes tax reporting services and compliance support.

How to Manage Payroll for Your Small Business

Be mindful of simple updates — like new addresses — and watch for adjustments that affect pay rates, deductions or taxes. A recent pay raise could affect the pay rate, for example, while benefit elections could affect deductions and an updated W-4 could affect an employee’s tax withholdings. In partnership with three expert business owners, the PayPal Bootcamp includes practical checklists and a short video loaded with tips to help take your business to the next level.

This means that you need every employee to complete a Form W-4 that documents filing status and records their personal allowances. The charges are part of the QuickBooks Online Payroll terms before you sign up for the subscription. To review the details, check our pricing details and disclaimers on our website.

Get pricing specific to your business

It takes attention to details with requirements that you can’t make mistakes on. While it is possible to process payroll manually, you are likely better off paying a small fee to have a payroll provider do all the work for you. The IRS says to store payroll records for at least four years from the date when the taxes are due or from the date that you made the payment―whichever is later. This means that you need to keep time cards, spreadsheets and copies of checks and deposits for this period of time should an audit or a discrepancy arise. This guide is intended to be used as a starting point in analyzing an employer’s payroll obligations and is not a comprehensive resource of requirements. It offers practical information concerning the subject matter and is provided with the understanding that ADP is not rendering legal or tax advice or other professional services.

Many providers today offer payroll management as a standalone product or as part of a larger suite of integrated HR capabilities. When people think of working for small businesses or startups, one of the biggest concerns is often that they don’t want to lose health insurance or retirement planning account contributions. So having access to “corporate” benefits makes the platform appealing to business owners who want to offer competitive perks. If you prefer handling payroll on your own, payroll software can help you save time, automate certain processes and reduce the chance of mistakes. Many products can handle payroll tax filing and payments on your behalf, but you’re still ultimately on the hook for meeting those obligations.

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. We will help you transfer any existing payroll information to QuickBooks. Now that business is expanding, get tools to simplify new demands and set everyone up for success.

While you can handle payroll yourself, we recommend finding an affordable payroll software or service to handle it for you to save time and headaches. Employees want to be paid on time and if you can’t manage payroll efficiently, then you could lose important members of your team and even have legal difficulties. It’s important to understand the right way to manage your payroll so you’re compliant legally. Now is the time to start cutting checks or making direct deposits.

For employees who have temporary work visas, pay attention to expiration dates, since employers are responsible for knowing when to update employment forms without official notice. More importantly, knowing how to set up and manage payroll is fundamental to the success of any small business, even if you’re just starting out with a few employees. Payroll systems are put in place to manage everything from pay calculations for employees to tax deductions and generating accurate pay slips. They can even help to calculate bonuses, holiday pay and expenses, and make end-of-year reporting much less of a burden. You can manage payroll manually on your own or with the help of payroll software or a third-party payroll service. Payroll management is vital to the success of your business.

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