Payroll Accounting Setting Up and Calculating Staff Payrolls

payroll bookkeeping

SLC Bookkeeping’s payroll partners specialize in payroll management for small businesses. We simplify the most complex payroll functions with ease, giving you back your valuable free time and ensuring employee compensation is handled appropriately. Whether you’re launching a new enterprise or you need help managing your growing business’s needs, get in touch with SLC Bookkeeping for a complimentary consultation. An employee fills out this form if they want their check deposited into their bank account. Direct deposit is a better option for the payroll accountant who’s seeking to avoid manual payments when filing employee information. Depending on the benefits an employer offers, they’ll withhold an employee’s part of healthcare premiums, savings plans for retirement or contributions to nonprofit organizations.

SLC Bookkeeping has helped hundreds of small businesses simplify their back office functions through outsourced accounting services. When you partner with SLC Bookkeeping, your business gets outsourced, part-time bookkeeping with a full-time presence. That means you can spend more time with your customers and less time working on the books. Because they are paid amounts, increase the expense account. Debit the wages, salaries, and company payroll taxes you paid. A journal entry is best described as the recording of debits and credits. It generally includes an effective date, a debit amount, and a credit amount.

Year End – Preparing to Close the Books

This information is vital for when you file taxes and shows how much can be taken out of their paycheck by the government. Reverse the payable entries with a debit and decrease your Cash account with a credit. If they don’t balance, double-check your totals and look for accounting mistakes. Compensation includes the employee’s salary or wages, plus any paid time off, bonuses, or commissions. Calculate taxes and other deductions based on compensation. You pay unemployment taxes, both federal and state , separately from the taxes shown in Journal 2 and Journal 3.

How important is accuracy in payroll accounting?

Failure to maintain precise payroll records may result in time-consuming and expensive accounting chores. In addition, inconsistent or inaccurate payroll accounting may cause your business to accrue expensive penalties and may raise your risk of a tax audit.

One final stage in payroll accounting is to do a payroll reconciliation. A payroll reconciliation is a process you follow to ensure your payroll accounts within the general ledger accurately reflect the transactions that occurred in the payroll system. It also helps you to ensure that you are within budget throughout the year. We gave you some tips in prior steps to help check yourself along the way, but a payroll reconciliation is a more in-depth approach. If you are reimbursing employees for business expenses, such as mileage, travel or office supplies, these should be posted to their respective expense accounts in your accounting system.


As you do your payroll accounting, record debits and credits in the ledger. Whether you debit or credit a payroll entry depends on the type of transaction made. The debits and credits in your books should always equal each other. Payroll accounting helps you keep track of employee compensation and other payroll accounting payroll costs. Accounting for payroll gives you an accurate snapshot of your expenses. In that journal entry, you’re recording all of the deductions you have to take, as a business owner, from the employee’s check. For transparency and visibility, employees can find these deductions on their pay stubs.

Since you, as the business owner, are ultimately liable for all payroll, taxes and employee liabilities, you will want to ensure that you are tracking this all appropriately. Further, payroll must be posted correctly so that your CPA can take these deductions appropriately on your annual tax return. Prepare schedules, account analysis, account reconciliations, and financial reports through the use of spreadsheet software and accounting software.

Percent of companies that outsource these accounting services

The types of compensation you offer can determine the longevity of an employee, and the amount of effort required to perform tasks and projects assigned by their manager. In this article, we will outline what payroll accounting is, what’s included in payroll accounting, examples of this concept and how to start payroll accounting. When you record payroll, you generally debit Gross Wage Expense and credit all of the liability accounts. After you get the information to record payroll entries in accounting, head on over to your books to get cracking. But if you follow these seven steps, you can learn how to account for payroll with ease. To get a clear picture of your company’s finances and stay compliant, keep your payroll accounting up-to-date. A liability is an amount you owe, while an expense is an amount you’ve already paid.

payroll bookkeeping

Because it’s a liability, decrease your Payroll Payable account with a debit. We provide third-party links as a convenience and for informational purposes only. Intuit does not endorse or approve these products and services, or the opinions of these corporations or organizations or individuals. Intuit accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content on these sites. Paid time off , and other taxable income reported on a Form W-2 at the end of the year.

Bookkeeping/Payroll Specialist

In addition, it gives its users the option to choose between a manual self-service plan or a fully automated service plan. It also gives bookkeepers the option for more customization and personalization of payroll tools. The next task in payroll accounting is to calculate the compensation owed to each worker. Calculating compensation can be relatively simple or fairly complex. Calculating pay for independent contractors, for example, simply involves multiplying the contracted pay rate by the number of hours worked. The first task of payroll accounting is to collect daily, weekly and monthly records of individual employees’ time worked.

  • As you can imagine, the payroll accounting process is a time-consuming one, even if you have a small workforce.
  • Payroll processors make sure employees are paid on time and at the correct rate.
  • Below, please find a SAMPLE journal entry that shows you appropriately how to post your payroll in your accounting system.
  • This guarantee is possible through a dedicated in-house pool of experts that QuickBooks Pro assigns to each of its users.

Many businesses hire a payroll accountant to keep track of IRS filings and employer taxes, but when you’re just starting out, you may not be able to afford it. The full-time salary of an accountant depends upon where you live, but did you know that their average wage, according to Payscale as of 2019, is $50,757? After you pay your employer taxes, you’re going to be closer to $56,000 a year, and that’s only likely to go up.

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A great thing about this platform is that it is not limited to payroll processing. As a complete HR software, it has a unified employee database and also offers functionalities for onboarding, task management, position management, and approval automation.

payroll bookkeeping

As you pay off amounts you owe, your assets (e.g., cash) decrease. To show the decrease in assets, credit the appropriate asset account, such as your Cash account. You eventually pay amounts you owe to employees and government agencies. Calculate taxes and deductions to find out how much you need to withhold from employee wages and contribute as an employer.

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