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Common Payroll Mistakes Small Business Owners Make and How to Avoid Them

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When you become an employer, you’re likely to make some mistakes. Some errors, such as payroll errors, are more expensive than others. Managing even a small group of personnel has difficulties. 

Mistakes made by entrepreneurs in small companies may spell doom for them. It is your responsibility to manage the monthly salary payments to your employees. When analysing the figures, you must also consider taxes and contributions.

This article will cover five common mistakes that small business owners make when managing their payroll, as well as how to avoid them.

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Five Payroll mistakes made by small business owners


Small business owners often make mistakes when it comes to payroll management. Here are some common payroll mistakes and tips on how to avoid them:

Incorrect calculation of employee salaries – 

Ensure that you have a clear understanding of your employees’ pay rates, benefits, and any bonuses. The effects of payroll errors may be harmful to both employers and employees.

Ensure that payroll information is accurately recorded and entered into the payroll system, establish clear policies and procedures for payroll calculation and review, conduct regular audits, automate and simplify the payroll process using technology, train staff on payroll procedures and update policies and procedures regularly, and perform regular audits. Use payroll software to avoid manual calculation errors.

These actions may lower payroll errors, increase employee compensation accuracy, and keep your employees happy and productive.

Failure to pay taxes on time

 Make sure that you understand your tax obligations and set aside money for tax payments. Automated payroll systems can help you stay on top of tax deadlines.

Payroll taxes can result in hefty fines and interest costs for businesses. The best way to avoid payroll tax errors is to calculate payroll taxes accurately, withhold amounts from employee pay checks, stay up to date with payroll tax laws and regulations, set up a system for paying payroll taxes on a regular basis, keep accurate records of all payroll taxes paid, and work with a tax professional or payroll service provider to ensure compliance.

These procedures can assist firms in avoiding the fines and legal consequences that might occur from payroll tax errors.

Misclassifying employees

Misclassifying employees is the act of assigning an employee an erroneous employment status, such as identifying them as an independent contractor rather than a regular employee. 

As a result, the employer may fail to withhold or pay the appropriate amounts of taxes, benefits, and other employment-related duties. Employees who are incorrectly categorized may be denied their legal perks and protections. Employers must accurately categorize their personnel in order to comply with labour rules and avoid unfavourable penalties.

Employers may assist prevent employee misclassification and assure compliance with employment regulations by examining federal and state employment laws. Reclassify misclassified personnel as needed and update their status designations in payroll and HR systems. Establish clear and consistent payroll procedures to guarantee that all employees are paid correctly and that taxes are deducted correctly. Seek legal counsel to avoid any potential fines or legal action.

Neglecting to keep accurate records – 

A lack of accurate payroll records refers to an inability to accurately document and track employee hours worked, pay rates, tax withholding, and other payroll-related information. There can be payroll mistakes, tax concerns, and possibly legal ramifications as a result. 

Employers should take the following steps to resolve this issue:

  • Organize all payroll-related information, such as employee hours worked, pay rates, tax withholding, and other deductions. 
  • Train payroll and HR employees on the importance of maintaining payroll records correctly. 
  • Verify payroll records regularly to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Establish procedures for protecting sensitive information and storing payroll records securely.
  • Make sure your payroll records comply with all relevant federal and state laws on payroll record keeping.

Failing to provide required benefits

When an employer fails to provide the minimum benefits required by law or by an employment contract, it is considered a failure to give the required benefits. It may include not providing health insurance, paid time off, or other perks to employees. 

Employers can address this issue by taking the following steps:

  • Familiarize yourself with federal and state employee benefit rules, as well as the minimum benefits that must be offered.
  • Examine any employment agreements or employee handbooks to ensure they appropriately represent the perks provided to employees.
  • Create and administer a comprehensive benefits plan that satisfies both regulatory requirements and employee demands.
  • Review and update your benefits plan on a regular basis to ensure that it stays legal and satisfies the changing demands of your employees.

By avoiding these common payroll mistakes, small business employers can ensure that the proper employee benefits are being offered while also avoiding any legal and financial difficulties relating to employee benefits.

Payroll solutions for Small Business Norcross help reduce the stress associated with payroll management.

Learn more about our Payroll Accounting Services at BFG and how we support small businesses by providing timely and reliable services.

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