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Start of Year Payroll Preparation

Start of Year Payroll Preparation

While the end of the year presents many opportunities with regard to payroll, equally important is ensuring you start the new year off on a good foot as well. Ahead of your first payroll of the new calendar year, there are some important things to consider.

Clean

Before processing your first payroll of the new year, review any discrepancies in employee data, including missing addresses or missing/invalid Social Security numbers. Clean up your database by removing any terminated employees and ensure they all have zero balances for loans, garnishments, vacation, and sick time.

Verify

After cleaning and organizing your payroll data, you should then move to verify changes impacting payroll. This includes determining if Earned Income Credit (EIC) coding was properly submitted, reviewing any discrepancies such as negative quarter or year-to-date fields, verifying new state unemployment insurance and disability insurance rate, as well as the corresponding taxable wage limits.

Apart from data verification, you’ll also want to verify your payroll calendar for the year and ensure reports are scheduled properly.

Test

In addition to verifying any changes, it is also important to test existing tax withheld, including Social Security, Medicare, and state unemployment insurance. Compare payroll register totals to totals found on Form W-3 and total wages reported for each tax.

Check

The final step in preparing your payroll for the first process of the new year is to confirm any changes requested. For example, ensure that employee tax has been removed if requested and that fringe benefit deduction changes have been applied.

Despite its importance, processing and maintaining payroll can be a tedious task. If you need to take back control of your time while ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of your payroll, consider partnering with our Elevate team. We will take the burden off your plate, so you can focus on what matters most. Contact our team to discuss how we can help you further.

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