The Basics of Payroll That Every Employer Should Know

November 23, 2017

If you’re in the process of starting up your own business and are ready to take on employees, here are a few of the most basic payroll pointers to get you started. For more detailed information, you should seek advice from a professional company offering specialized payroll services.

When should you pay your employees? 

This will depend greatly on your personal preferences as a business owner, or upon the needs of your employees. You can pay weekly, bi weekly, or monthly. Once you’ve decided upon a pay schedule, wages can be calculated, taxes can be withheld, and pay checks can be issued. 

Paying payroll taxes: 

Federal and state taxes withheld from your employees pay checks must be paid to the government, along with any payroll taxes that your business might owe. The best way to ensure that you pay the appropriate taxes without risking costly penalties, is to outsource payroll and let a team of experts handle things. 

Filing tax forms: 

Forms can be mind boggling and confusing at the best of times, but tax forms are renowned for being particularly complicated and long winded. Filing your businesses tax forms can be time consuming, too, but if you outsource payroll, then the pressure is relieved, and the stress should be somewhat lessened. Your tax expert will file the appropriate forms, and this is usually done quarterly, although some businesses choose to file monthly or yearly. 

Avoiding costly errors: 

Without wishing to sound like a stuck record, the only way to be certain that you don’t make mistakes when filing your taxes, paying your staff, calculating withholdings and health care benefits, is to work with a payroll specialist. Laws, rules and regulations are frequently changing, and a payroll advisor will be aware of them all and will help you to avoid having to pay costly fines for miscalculated taxes or late filing. 

Which form of payroll will work best for you? 

You can of course seek advice and guidance from other businesses, but there will be no business quite like your own, so only you will really know which form of payroll will work best for you. So, what are your options: 

  • Payroll software

    Some good payroll software packages, allow you to keep control of your employees’ wages with minimum input, but if you are the type of business owner who enjoys being in control of payroll, then this might work best for you. However, if you are not the biggest fan of having to report and file taxes, then you might not be so keen to install software, and will instead seek the help of a payroll expert.

  • Payroll and accounting software 

    For small businesses, software such as Intuit Payroll and QuickBooks, work very well together and offer business owners a great payroll and accounting software package. You have complete control over payroll and financial data, and payroll expenses are updated automatically, eliminating the risk of ‘double entry’.

  • Payroll provider 

    Outsourcing payroll is often the safest way to ensure that your employees are paid in a timely manner and that all taxes are reported and filed on time. A payroll provider will work with your schedule, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business that might need your attention. Paying for their services can save you money in the long run, and you can’t put a price on peace of mind.


As mentioned previously, for more detailed information about payroll for new business owners, please seek advice and guidance from professionals who specialize in payroll and its myriad complexities.


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