Payroll templates are pre-designed spreadsheets or forms that can help you calculate and track employee payroll, as well as file and pay payroll taxes. While they don’t often make sense for larger teams, payroll templates can help small business owners with only a few employees feel more organized.
Downloading a payroll template is often the first step a business owner takes when creating a payroll process. They may use a template before they invest in a more automated payroll software solution. Payroll templates can work in conjunction with other payroll tools, such as time tracking, scheduling, or invoicing.
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- Biweekly payroll calendar template 2021
- Yearly payroll calendar template 2021
- What’s included in the payroll template?
- How to use the payroll template
- Payroll best practices
Why it’s important to keep accurate payroll information
Keeping accurate, organized payroll records is important for legal and personal reasons. From an employee perspective, payroll records are necessary to file taxes or apply for a mortgage or car loan. Employers need them to comply with state and government regulations that call for several years’ worth of records. For employers, it helps to have accurate payroll information on hand for things like hiring, measuring cash flow, or building cash flow projections.
Payroll templates offer several benefits to small business owners, especially those who don’t yet have a payroll software. To start, they provide organizational relief simply by providing a place to keep all that payroll data. Payroll templates are also handy for anyone who struggles to create working spreadsheets on their own.
A yearly payroll calendar can help you view payroll costs year over year and make informed plans about the future. If you have hourly or billable employees, a yearly payroll calendar can help you spot patterns in your payroll costs. You may find they’re higher in some parts of the year than others, which is something to consider when building a budget or strategy.
We designed our standard payroll template to help you easily record and calculate employee payroll, plus track state and federal payroll taxes. Fill in each field to create a complete payroll record, whatever your payroll period setup.
Employee payroll information
These fields can help you keep track of each team member. Later, you’ll be able to look back and see what you paid and when by searching their name or employee number.
- Employee number
- Pay date
- Pay rate
Employee wages and tax
This is where you’ll record the hours that go into your employee’s pay. This template takes into account that, typically, overtime pay is the employee’s regular rate of pay multiplied by 1.5.
- Regular hours
- Overtime hours
- Vacation hours
- Sick hours
- Holiday hours
These are the taxes you’ll need to withhold from your employee’s paycheck each pay period. Locality income taxes, if applicable, are taxes specific to your employee’s city or county that go beyond state and federal taxes.
- Social Security
- Federal income tax
- State income tax
- Locality income tax
These are taxes you owe as the employer per employee. It helps to track how much you owe, so you always have enough money in your account to meet your business’s tax deadlines.
- Social Security
- Federal unemployment
- State unemployment
Our payroll Excel template works for biweekly or semimonthly pay periods—or any other pay period you use. Follow these steps to start recording and tracking your employee payroll.
- Select and download the template format that makes the most sense for your business.
- Create copies to break up the amount of payroll information in each sheet. For example, 12 copies if you want to organize your Excel sheets by month.
- Record employee payroll information.
Few things are more stressful than a disorganized, inefficient payroll system. Review these best practices to ensure your payroll records are always up to date and accurate.
- Know your payroll budget: The first step to staying organized is to take preventative measures that will keep you from falling behind. Before finalizing an employee’s pay, make sure you know your budget and what you can afford.
- Know the tax deadlines: Missing tax deadlines isn’t an error you want to experience. Set calendar reminders to make sure you file your payroll taxes on time, every time.
- Know what records to keep: Various state and federal laws require employers to keep payroll records for extended periods.
- Know the regulations: Payroll can be confusing, but even accidental errors can result in painful fines. Review the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for details, as well as any local labor laws posted to your state’s .gov website.
- Update records regularly: Whether you’re using a payroll spreadsheet or any other tool, it’s important to update your records on a schedule. The more often you check in, the more organized your payroll can be.
- Consider non-manual solutions: While an Excel spreadsheet can help you stay organized initially, nothing beats a fully automated payroll software. Solutions like QuickBooks Payroll can help you stay ahead of payroll tax deadlines, run payroll reports, and pay employees through direct deposit.
Managing and organizing payroll is a challenging task for any small business owner. But with the right tools, you may find keeping accurate payroll records is as simple as it is rewarding.
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