In honor of National Payroll Week, Sept. 2-6, 2013, Asure Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASUR), a leading provider of workplace management software solutions, offers tips for human resources and payroll professionals to ensure that 2013 wraps up smoothly and that the new year – with any new regulations, initiatives, etc. that it may bring – launches with ease for their organizations.
“For those of us who are fortunate to collect a paycheck, we may not give much thought as to how that paycheck gets processed,” said Steven Rodriguez, Asure Software Chief Operating Officer. “In honor of National Payroll Week, Asure Software would like to recognize all of those payroll professionals who go unrecognized for making that important process happen.”
Year-end/year-begin is a known challenge that presents itself each year for human resources and payroll. Preparation and organization are critical strategies to meet the typical challenges and address any new challenges that may arise. Communication is key to success, providing the education and important news and developments needed by management and staff to properly negotiate these challenges. Asure offers the following tips for planning:
1. Start Now: Preparation is critical – the time to start year-end/year-begin planning is NOW.2. Get Organized: Organize the elements that your organization needs to address to wrap up this year and begin next year. Create and communicate a master calendar of year-end activities; ensure requisite employee training is offered and completed; reduce year-end/year-begin issues by continual reconciliation and error correction throughout the year. 3. Communicate, communicate and communicate: The more your employees are aware of what’s ahead, the better positioned you will be for the transition into the new calendar year. Make sure all your associates who will be involved in executing, supporting and assisting in year-end/year-begin initiatives know what will be happening and when. 4. Publish a calendar: Create and publish a master planning calendar that shows key tasks, duration, critical milestones, task ownership, and contact information. This will aid the communication process. 5. Develop your checklist: In connection with the calendar, make sure you have developed and published a task checklist well in advance of year-end. As a starting point, include the following (Source: Steven M. Bragg, Payroll Best Practices, John Wiley & Sons, 2005): Year-End Tasks
- Report the amount of employee income associated with group term life insurance exceeding $50,000.
- Withhold for and report on taxable fringe benefits.
- Withhold for and report on third-party sick pay.
- Verify that all manual paychecks cut during the year have been included in the payroll database.
- See if full-year pension plan deductions exceeded the allowable limit.
- Schedule a year-end bonus payroll.
- Create W-2 forms.
- Review holiday schedule for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, and Presidents’ Day. Enter holiday hours where applicable.
- Verify the amount of unemployment tax rates and associated wage limits.
- Determine whether a voluntary unemployment contribution should be made to reduce the upcoming unemployment tax rate for the new year.
- Notify employees to review their W-4 forms.
- Update employee withholdings based on revised W-4 forms.
- Notify employees of unused flexible spending account deductions.
- Verify the need for special income or deduction accumulators.
- Verify the amount of standard employee deductions for the new year.
- Reset pension plan deduction levels for the new year.
- Purge terminated employees from the payroll database.
- Verify that upcoming payroll processing dates do not fall on a weekend.
- Issue a schedule of payroll processing dates for the new year to employees.
- Review your document retention schedule.