Running Payroll Yourself for a Small Business

doing payroll yourself

Some states require additional data or have shorter deadlines, so check with local authorities. Additionally, many states have wage theft prevention laws, which require you to provide your employees with specific information in writing about their pay and other benefits. This generally must be done on the date of hire and whenever there are updates. You have to retain these notices for the period of time designated by the state. Records required for tax purposes must be kept on file for at least four years.

While manual payroll might be enticing with its initial look of being free, the costs can add up quickly. Incorrect calculations can cause you to pay employees the wrong amount. Periods for which employees and recipients were paid while absent due to sickness or injury and the amount and weekly rate of payments you or third-party payers made to them.

Step 9: Deduct Amounts for Tax Purposes, Retirement Accounts, Insurance

You must make payments for federal unemployment tax on a regular basis in addition to federal withholding and Social Security/Medicare deduction payments. You must also make payroll tax deposits to your state, and possibly your locality, in addition to federal payroll tax deposits. Enter the identifying information, pay schedule, pay rate, deductions, withholdings, and payment details (e.g., bank account data for direct deposit) for each employee.

The government will usually notify you if your employee has a wage garnishment. Small businesses with several employees may benefit from outsourcing payroll. However, if you have just a few employees and intend to keep your business small, you may be better off running payroll yourself as it will be more cost-effective. Use payroll software – Payroll software can be purchased as a package or can be accessed via the cloud. They do the heavy lifting of calculating pay and deductions, generating pay slips, generating tax returns, and maintaining payroll records for you. The good news is you can avoid all of these issues by investing in a good payroll software. Gusto is typically the best payroll software for small business owners because it’s user-friendly and affordable.


To get started, you’ll need to provide federal and local authorities with information about your business and your employees. Creating a payroll scheduleand deciding what benefits to offer are also important, as are purchasing workers’ compensation insurance and opening a bank account dedicated to payroll. If you want to manually process payroll, you do not have to suddenly start completing all the calculations yourself. From here, calculating everything from gross pay to net pay and tax requirements should be an easy task.

Does ADP connect to QuickBooks?

RUN easily integrates with QuickBooks Online and Desktop versions. Seamlessly import your account list from QuickBooks into RUN Powered by ADP® payroll to enable easy account mapping, and to push payroll transactions from RUN into QuickBooks with one click!

While complex, the payroll process doesn’t have to give you a headache. Here’s what small business owners need to know to successfully set up and run payroll. If your employee pay is salaried workers, divide the salary by however many pay periods are in your payroll schedule for the year.

Register with the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

You’ll also need to calculate stipends, bonuses, and tips for gross pay. Just as the IRS uses Social Security numbers to identify individual taxpayers, organizations must have an employer identification number to file their taxes.

doing payroll yourself

Many businesses choose to open a bank account separate from their business account just for the purpose of payroll. If you do so, use this account only for paying employees and fulfilling tax obligations. This will allow you to keep more accurate records of your payroll transactions. For example, manufacturing employers or those that are covered by a collective bargaining doing payroll yourself agreement may mandate a more frequent pay schedule than the general jurisdiction provision. These regulations also typically include requirements for how soon employees must be paid after the end of the pay period. Some payroll software options charge for their services, but many of these are still cheaper than paying an employee or outside company to do the work for you.

When does your company require human resource software?

The final part of the payroll process is reporting and paying payroll taxes to all taxing agencies. Many business owners dread the thought of doing payroll because it can be a complex and exacting challenge. You might want to do it yourself rather than hire a third party, however, if you have only a couple of employees. It’s doable if you take some basic steps, understand what you’re getting into, and pay attention to detail. QuickBooks provides a full payroll suite that you can add to your services. Should you add this aspect to your QuickBooks accounting program, you can follow these easy steps to process payroll in QuickBooks and manage your financial information in one place.

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Payroll services are third-party entities that take care of your entire payroll process. You can use your payroll system to pay both employees and contractors. But if you only have independent contractors, you probably don’t need payroll. Most states require a business to have a state tax ID once they hire employees. When you bring on an employee, paying them isn’t as simple as just writing them a check at the end of the week or month.

Calculating Gross Pay

I cover various small business topics, including technology, financing and marketing on and Business News Daily. Gather the preliminary information you need to process payroll.Find your EIN through the IRS. The 10 Best Nanny Payroll Services of 2022 We evaluated the best nanny payroll based on tax features, accessibility, pricing, payroll options, and… At, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services. Remember, the information above is far from an exhaustive list of your tax responsibilities as an employer. Like we said, it’s essential to read Notice 931 yourself and meet with a tax professional to talk through your business’s unique situation.

doing payroll yourself

You’ll need to keep the documents for whatever duration state and federal governments require. Moreover, to perform a payroll audit, you need comprehensive and accurate payroll documentation. Similarly, states mandate you pay a state unemployment tax to help fund unemployment programs. Each state has its own tax rate that can vary depending on how much you pay employees and those you’ve laid off. Payroll deductions come in many forms, but the most common is for tax purposes on both the state and federal level. Employees filled out W-4 forms to declare the rate you need to tax them, and you’ll need to make this unique calculation for each team member.