The Library

Online Payroll Process: Part 2

Input and Verification

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While time can be tracked many different ways, and through various systems, all relevant information, including every employee‘s time worked and any needs related to payroll, needs to be entered into the payroll system. Southwestern allows you several options here.

Input Payroll Information:

You may access our system in either PC or web-based form and enter the information at your convenience, or you can provide the data to one of our payroll specialists and they will enter it for you.

No matter who enters the data, you can still access the system to review and look up information as needed. We can even provide access for your CPA, or other service providers, so they can access information without having to go through you first.

Three business days before the desired pay date, payroll data should be sent to us for processing with control totals. For example, if pay day is Friday, data should be sent to us some time before close of business on Tuesday.

This allows us 24 hours to process the payroll and to transmit needed electronic banking files.

Payroll Pre-process Steps:

Once the data is entered, it is submitted to us for processing. If the data is sent to us and entered by our staff, we ask that it include totals to which we can balance after data entry is complete.

However, if the data was entered by the employer, then we ask for control totals to be transmitted via email or fax, in the form of a pre-process register. Unlike many systems, with us you know exactly what the result of your data entry will be before you submit it to us.

This report shows the gross to net calculation for every check in the payroll to be processed. We need the totals from this report so that, after processing, we can verify that we match exactly what was submitted.

We believe that this step, requiring human intervention, is one of the critical factors that separates us from our competition. It also acts as a double check that you intended to submit payroll and that we should be looking for an electronic submission. Once the totals are received, the payroll is ready for pre-processing by our operations department.

Pre-processing can include a variety of steps ranging from additional data entry, importing of third party or supplemental information, or changes in company or employee setup to meet the needs of a particular client.

Southwestern Payroll uses a log system to create alerts when payrolls require special pre-processing steps outside the normal processes. One example is setting up a new general ledger export to process with payroll.

Perhaps the most significant pre-process step is our garnishment administration service.

Other pre-processing steps include checking for validity of SSN formats and for the presence of addresses for all new employees. We also verify that the amount of direct deposits is in line with predetermined limits for each company.

Process Payroll Data and Verify:

When all pre-process steps are completed, the payroll is ready for processing by our production department. Submitted payrolls are processed and control totals are verified to be sure that all earnings deductions and taxes match what was submitted by our client.

During processing, several verifications take place that could cause a payroll process to be interrupted and placed on hold. These include looking for abnormally large check amounts and other data integrity checks.

If the post processing totals do not agree with the submitted control totals, then our operations department will contact the client to determine the cause of the discrepancy and to resolve as needed.

Processing payroll can also initiate a variety of automated communications that expedite receipt of information by interested parties. This can be electronic delivery of payroll reports, uploading of files to third party secure sites, or internal communications within our staff.

We go through a few more checks in post-processing, and you can choose to package your payroll in a variety of ways.

Have questions about your payroll process?

Call 918.587.3321 for answers to your questions, or Get Free Info Here.

Check out the rest of our series:

Payroll Processing Cycle: Gathering Data
Payroll Processing Cycle: Automated Processing
Payroll Processing Cycle: Payroll Tax Services

Online Payroll Process: Part 1

Gathering Data

Over the years, I have found that most employers are unaware of the many steps involved with properly processing a payroll.

If you are outsourcing your payroll to Southwestern Payroll, then you might like to learn about the processes, procedures, and controls that are in place when we process your payroll.

If you are not processing with us, then you should ask about these steps with your current provider. Each is critical to maintaining accurate records, as well as ensuring payroll is done correctly and according to your wishes.

Recruiting and Hiring Employees:

The payroll process starts long before data is sent to us to pay employees. It begins when you hire an employee.

Properly documenting employee data is critical so you are in compliance with all state and federal laws and so you can report all information required.

Time and Attendance Tracking:

Once you have properly documented an employee and put them to work, it is likely that you will need to track their time worked and their attendance in general. This can include tracking hours to specific tasks or just tracking how much paid time off they have coming.

Using an electronic system to do this brings great efficiency and provides excellent record keeping. We provide comprehensive web-based time and attendance systems that allow you to track time using computers, time clocks, bio-metric devices, smart phones, mobile devices, and other methods, separately or in combination.

Using an electronic time keeping system should also provide for electronic signatures of employees and supervisors, time card approval, and ultimately electronic feed into the payroll module.

Regardless of how the time is tracked, all employee demographic information, time worked, and all payroll-related information needs to be entered into the payroll system.

Southwestern provides great flexibility in this process.

While time can be tracked many different ways, and through various systems, all relevant information needs to be entered into the payroll system.

Southwestern allows you several options here, which we will cover in our next article.

Have questions about your payroll process?

Call 918.587.3321 for answers to your questions, or Get Free Info Here.

Check out the rest of our series:

Payroll Processing Cycle: Input and Verification
Payroll Processing Cycle: Automated Processing
Payroll Processing Cycle: Payroll Tax Services

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