/ Accounting for Payroll in VS .NET

Make QR Code in VS .NET / Accounting for Payroll
250 / Accounting for Payroll
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and credits, moving expenses, special rules for US government employees, travel restrictions, and tax treaties
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1 Residency is the employee s place of employment or, if there is no regular place of employment, the employee s home 2 With the intention of being in the foreign country for at least five years
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Setting Up the Payroll Department
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In most cases, a payroll manager only takes over an existing payroll department when hired, which requires a modest amount of systems reviews and upgrades to manage However, a manager hired into a newly formed company has much more work to do to set up the payroll department from scratch In this chapter, we cover the broad range of activities required to bring a new payroll department into compliance with all legal, procedural, and control requirements In addition, we address the timing of basic payroll data collection, as well as other improvement issues that can be addressed once the initial payroll system has been created
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The following list of steps assumes that a payroll manager is beginning from scratch a company has just been founded and there is absolutely no payroll (or other) information on hand with which to process the first payroll or create a database of payroll-related information Though not all of the following steps will be needed to create a payroll system and the order of events may change in specific cases, the list of presented activities is a good basis for creating a payroll system The steps are: 1 Obtain a federal employer identification number The federal government identifies payroll tax remittances by the federal employer identification number (EIN) Though one can apply for an EIN with the Form SS-4, it will take four weeks to obtain the number, which will arrive too late for the first company payroll A better approach is to call the government s Tele-TIN number at 866-816-2065 to obtain an EIN on the spot 2 Obtain state identification numbers At a minimum, the payroll manager will need a state employer number for each state in which the company has employees and possibly also a state unemployment identification number (some states use the same number for both functions) A number of states allow one to apply for these identification numbers online; if not, it can take several
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252 / Accounting for Payroll
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weeks to obtain a number Generally, one can obtain the state identification number through the Secretary of State s office or some subsidiary business department A Labor and Unemployment department (or some variation on that name) usually issues the unemployment identification number Determine the new employer tax rate for the state unemployment tax The first payroll must include the state unemployment tax rate for a new employer This information can be obtained from 11, Unemployment Insurance, of this book; however, states regularly change the amount of this tax or the range of pay over which the tax percentage applies A better approach is to look up the latest state unemployment rate on the Internet (CCH offers an excellent unemployment tax site at wwwtoolkitcchcom/text/P07_ 1294asp) It is also possible to contact the state government directly for this information, though there is no common countrywide department name to contact Set up a payroll bank account Though payroll checks can certainly be issued on the main corporate bank account, the accounting is somewhat easier if a separate account is used If the payroll manager feels this is necessary, she should obtain one immediately so the bank can order a supply of checks Typically, enough temporary checks will be issued to address the first payroll If payroll is outsourced, then the supplier will issue paychecks from its own account and will only deduct total payroll expenses from the company s bank account in a single entry, which does not call for a separate payroll account Create a payroll permanent file As taxpayer identification numbers come in, do not lose the documentation! Instead, create a permanent file for assigned tax numbers and unemployment tax rates and absolutely do not store it with other accounting records The reason is that nearly all accounting records will eventually be archived and marked for destruction at some later date Instead, store the permanent file in a locking file cabinet, and prominently mark on the file Do Not Archive Permanent File Set up a timecard system If there will be hourly employees, then they should start filling out timecards as of their first day of work, so accurate hourly payment information is available by the time the first payroll is ready to be processed At its simplest level, this calls for a paper time sheet that can be constructed with an electronic spreadsheet or word processing program A slightly more complex approach is to purchase a time clock and timecards from a business supply store Do not initially invest in a computerized time clock using badges, since these typically take a few weeks to set up and will arrive too late to process information for the first payroll Flowchart the system It is prudent to lay out the process flow for all aspects of the payroll system as soon as possible Though the resulting process flow may change significantly before the payroll system has been installed, it provides a visual plan for how processing will be achieved The flowcharts shown in 1 can be used as a starting point for all three types of payroll systems computerized, manual, or outsourced but there will be com-
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Setting Up the Payroll Department / 253
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pany-specific variations in most cases, requiring a unique flowchart A good approach is to dedicate an entire white board to the flowchart, so the diagram is large enough to read from a distance and can easily be changed Create a Gantt chart With a flowchart in place that gives a payroll system overview, the payroll manager can now create a Gantt chart itemizing each action step required to build a payroll system, as well as the likely duration of each step A Gantt chart gives more rigor to the system development process and is useful not only for tracking upcoming tasks but also for spotting missing steps, potential missed deadlines, and bottleneck tasks Create payroll-processing procedures There are a great many possible payroll policies and procedures However, early in the development of the payroll department, the only procedure that matters is one for processing the payroll (which includes timecard processing, tax and deduction calculations, and printing and distributing paychecks) By installing a regimented approach to processing payroll right away, there is much less chance of having to deal with time-consuming processing errors Once completed, have at least one other person walk through the procedure to see if there are any missing or incorrect steps This is the most important procedure in the payroll department and it must be done right the first time Create a tax remittance deadline calendar If a company outsources its payroll processing, then it can rely on the supplier to remit taxes on its behalf However, if payroll is processed internally, remitting taxes becomes a very important task, given the significant government-imposed penalties if remittances are sent too late Accordingly, create a tax remittance calendar right away that shows not only the remittance dates for all state and federal taxes but also the dates by which W-2 and 1099 forms must be sent to employers and suppliers, respectively Further, the calendar should note the filing date for the annual Form 940 or 940-EZ for the federal unemployment tax report, as well as the quarterly Form 941 federal tax return There will also be a variety of unemployment tax and income tax remittance forms to send to state governments, for which the filing requirements will vary by state Create a database backup system Losing the payroll database is disastrous, since so much detailed information must be recreated from paper documents Accordingly, as soon as the initial payroll processing has been completed, obtain backup equipment, create a backup procedure, and follow it rigorously The backup system should include multiple backup copies, so an earlier backup will be available if a later one is corrupted Also, the backup procedure should include the rotation of a recent backup copy into an off-site location One alternative is backup suppliers that dial into the payroll system from an outside location and periodically perform the backup for the company Of course, if payroll processing is outsourced, then the database is already offsite and no backup policy is needed Create payroll policies and complete additional procedures Once the preceding steps have been completed, there is now some breathing room in
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