Payroll is the one of the biggest expenses for most small businesses and also one of the most time-consuming administrative responsibilities for owners and managers. A survey of small business owners found that bookkeeping and taxes were widely considered the worst part of owning a business. Of those surveyed, over 40% of small business owners reported spending 3-10 hours each month on payroll duties while 11% spent more than 10 hours each month.
While payroll management is a complex and unpopular time drain for many small business owners, an accurate, timely payroll system is an essential part of maintaining an energized and engaged team. Establishing a reliable and tax-compliant system from the start will make managing paychecks smoother, more efficient, more accurate, and less time consuming in the long run, while also enabling your business to easily add employees later on if your company continues to grow. Online payroll software, widely available to businesses of all sizes, can take a lot of the headache out of running payroll while still keeping it in-house. Cloud-based payroll and paycheck services offer an affordable way to get assistance while still keeping the overall costs down.
Payroll schedules vary
Once a business has adopted an online payroll service provider to assist with the complex tasks of calculating deductions, filing payroll taxes, and computing each employee’s take-home wages, a pay schedule needs to be established. Online providers of payroll services often stress the importance of choosing a pay schedule that is both compliant with state laws and also works best with your business’s cash flow patterns. Many workers are accustomed to receiving paychecks twice each month, but there can be variation depending on the industry, worker classification, and the number of hours worked. An online check-printing service is the perfect complement to payroll software, as it allows you to print each calculated paycheck and pay stub on demand, record the amounts, and update financial records automatically in real time.
Businesses that rely heavily on hourly workers may opt to run payroll on a weekly basis, since hours worked and paycheck amounts can have wide discrepancies from one week to the next. Using an online check service that integrates with the payroll software enables you to print the weekly paychecks—with pay stubs—right from your office in a matter of minutes. No special supplies or printing equipment needed for on-demand weekly checks.
Semi-monthly and bi-weekly payments
Businesses that rely on salaried workers most often run payroll twice a month, at least. Semi-monthly pay periods are the most common for businesses, though bi-weekly paychecks tend to be attractive to many people, as well, because paychecks are issued predictably every two weeks on a designated day, and a bi-weekly pay schedule generates a third pay period two months per year, creating a “bonus” check that makes personal budgeting easier. Using an online check service as an add-on to the payroll system allows you to have all your employee checks printed offsite and mailed to your office in one batch mailing for distribution. For little more than the price of a stamp and envelope, payroll and check printing services can have employee checks printed and mailed in a single day.
Employees expect to be paid on time, every time, and for their deductions to be accurate because no one likes to owe more later. Employers have a legal obligation in many states to pay employees on time. Receiving habitually late checks drives down morale and will compel workers to seek employment elsewhere. Payroll and paycheck services can take a lot of the hassle and time out of figuring out payroll so that business owners’ energy is better spent on growing the company and employees are assured documentation and top support.