August 30, 2022
How to Set Up QuickBooks Payroll Direct Deposit in 4 Steps
The setup for QuickBooks Payroll direct deposit will require the input of your company’s basic information (such as business name, address, and employer identification number or EIN), your business bank account details, and your employees’ banking information (like account and routing numbers). In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to set up direct deposit for QuickBooks Payroll online and then highlight the differences in setting it up for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll. Step 1: Connect Your Business Bank Account to QuickBooks Payroll When you’re ready to set up your QuickBooks Payroll direct deposit, you have two options. If you are in the process of setting up QuickBooks Payroll, just click the Start button located beside the Connect your bank task and then select Get Started. QuickBooks then leads you through the steps for inputting (or verifying) bank account and other information needed to set up your account. On the other hand, if your payroll account is already in use, and you’ve been processing paper checks, you can go directly to the system’s Settings and then click on Payroll Settings to get started. Next, you will have to connect your business bank account to QuickBooks. The setup screen will walk you through what information you’ll need to include. Log in to your bank account online; this makes it easier for QuickBooks to connect to it. Input your business information, including your EIN. Click Next. Enter the information about your company’s principal officer—one legally in charge of the business bank account you want to use (the person who signs the checks). Aside from their full name, the system will require you to input their birth date, home address, and Social Security number. Input your account information into QuickBooks. It already has some bank information loaded, but if you do not see your bank in your choices, you can manually input the information. Click Accept and Submit, then OK. If you connected your bank account to QuickBooks Payroll manually… It’s easiest to connect to QuickBooks by signing into your account online first and letting the platform handle the rest. In such a case, it can verify the account in moments, whereas manual connection can delay the verification by a few days. However, if you could not find your bank or preferred to input the information manually, then QuickBooks will need you to verify the connection. QuickBooks will send a test deposit transaction of less than $1 into your account within two business days. You can call your bank and check your bank statement online to see if the test transaction pushed through. It will appear on the statement as either “Intuit: Verify Bank” or “QuickBooks: Verify Bank.” This transaction will disappear in a few days. You will receive an email requesting you to verify the test transaction. After you have confirmed the amount, you will receive another email stating that your account has been verified. If you don’t receive the email prompting you to verify the test transaction, you can log in to your QuickBooks Payroll account to complete the verification. There are several ways to do this. a. You can check your to-do list on the Overview screen and click Let’s Go on the Check Your Account for Small Deposit, then verify option. Select Verify your Account and then enter and confirm the amount of the test transaction from your bank account. b. If the verify account task doesn’t appear on your Overview screen, you can select Settings, and then Payroll Settings. Under Bank Accounts, select Company, and then click Verify Account. Then, enter and confirm the test amount. If you don’t see the option to verify your account, it means that the test amount hasn’t been debited. You’ll need to restart this step—Connect Your Business Bank Account. You can also contact QuickBooks’ payroll support team for assistance. Step 2: Have Employees Authorize Direct Deposit for Their Pay Connecting your bank account is only the first part of paying employees with direct deposit. Next, you need to set up their accounts. For that, you need two things: Their account information. That includes the account number and routing number of their bank account—or accounts, if they want to split their pay. Signed permission to pay them via direct deposit. You need to have each participating employee sign an authorization form for direct deposit. This is for your protection, as you’re not legally allowed to send a paycheck to an employee’s bank account unless they give you their approval. QuickBooks has a form that you can print and use, but you can also use your own direct deposit form. In addition to signing the document, have each employee attach a voided check for each of the bank accounts in which they want their paychecks deposited. To access the direct deposit authorization form within QuickBooks Payroll, go to the Taxes menu and click Payroll Tax. Then, select Filings and Employee Setup. Next to Authorization for Direct Deposit, you’ll select Bank Verification. Select View and print enough copies for employees who prefer to receive their pay through direct deposits. Step 3: Enter Employees’ Bank Account Details You can enter employee information in one of three ways—add it when you add a new employee, update it before running payroll for an existing employee, or have the employee add their own information. Regardless of how you do it, be sure you have a consent form and that you double-check the numbers. Putting in the wrong numbers can delay your employee getting paid on time. Step 4: Send Your First QuickBooks Direct Deposit After your business bank information has been confirmed and all of your employees’ data has been entered into QuickBooks Payroll, you can start sending electronic payroll deposits. You can enjoy same- or next-day deposits, depending on your chosen plan. Differences in Setting Up Direct Deposit for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll If you’re a QuickBooks Desktop Payroll user, the overall process to set up direct deposits for your business is the same. However, the system’s menu and/or button selections are just a little different, plus there are a few extra steps. For example, to connect your business bank account, you go to the Employees menu, then My Payroll Service, and then Activate Direct Deposit. From there, you add your company, principal officer, and bank account information just as you do with QuickBooks Online. However, you will need to manually add the information. This is where the process diverges from QuickBooks Online. You need to connect to your account through QuickBooks, which may require additional verification. You also need to select a PIN that will be used whenever you process payroll. Just like when manually entering account information with QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop will send a test deposit within two days, and you will need to verify the deposit in QuickBooks. In setting up each employee for direct deposit, you open each staff record through the Employee Center. Click on Employee Center. Double-click on the name of the employee. Click on the Payroll Info tab, then the Direct Deposit button. Select Use Direct Deposit and then enter the bank account information for where the money should be deposited. As always, double-check that the numbers match what your employee gave you, and be sure you have a signed consent form. What Sets QuickBooks Payroll Direct Deposit Apart While most payroll software providers offer a direct deposit feature, most usually have a standard two- to four-day processing period. This means that you have to initiate the payment two to four days before the employee will actually receive it. With QuickBooks Payroll, you can send same- and next-day direct deposits at no extra cost, depending on the plan you choose—no prior approval needed. However, QuickBooks may put you on a five-day direct deposit plan. If that is the case, you need to manually request a faster time, submitting six months of financial data. You may also need a five-day direct deposit plan if your payroll goes beyond your direct deposit limit, such as for holiday bonuses. Talk to your QuickBooks representative in these cases. Bottom Line By following four simple steps, you can easily set up your QuickBooks Payroll direct deposit. Just be sure to have all of your company and bank account information, including your employees’ bank account details, ready to prevent processing delays. Once you have successfully completed the setup process, you can start sending same- or next-day paychecks to employees.
August 26, 2022
New Hire Announcement: Everything You Need to Know (+ Free Template)
A new hire announcement is an internal communication introducing a new employee, typically sent a few days before they join your company. It includes who the new hire is, what role they’ll fill, who they’ll work with, and when they'll join your team. It may also include some interesting personal details about the new employee, so your existing team gets to know them better. In today’s remote and hybrid work environment, a new hire announcement is best sent via email. It should go to the entire company, so everyone can take a moment to welcome the new hire (don’t forget to include the new hire, so they see all the replies). To help you streamline your new hire announcements, download our free new hire announcement template. Elements of a New Hire Announcement While you want to keep it brief, make sure you’re including information your existing employees should know. Including key details about the role and individual will make your new hire announcement effective. Introduction of New Hire While it can signify closing up the recruitment process of an open role, the main point of a new hire announcement is to introduce an employee who’s about to enter the company. As such, it’s important to provide a few details, such as: Their name Start date Previous experience (if applicable/relevant) This helps personalize the announcement and paves the way for your team to give the new hire a warm welcome. You can also add some other facts about the person to make it even more interesting (more on that in a bit). Position Details Include position-specific information in your new hire announcement: Job title Department and supervisor Three to six key responsibilities Other departments or employees the new hire will work with closely If your company is remote, the new hire’s city This is the drab stuff, but it’s important. These details tell your existing team how the new hire fits into the bigger organizational structure and highlights your reasons for hiring the employee. Interesting Personal Information (Optional) Here’s where you can add some personality to your announcement. Consider sending your new hire a few questions to answer before they onboard. Here are some ideas: What’s the best trip you’ve been on and why? What’s your favorite meal? What is your favorite hobby, and what makes it special to you? Ask the new hire questions to get them to explore their personality—but make sure you don’t ask any inappropriate or illegal questions. If your new hire wants to describe their family, they certainly can, but you can’t ask them to. Remember that this part should likewise be brief. You don’t need a short story here, just a few sentences on something unique to the new hire. This is a great way for existing employees to bond with their new colleague and promote employee engagement. Another way to add personality to the new hire announcement is to ask for a fun picture. Make sure it’s workplace-friendly, of course. The picture could be a recent trip, a fun night out with friends, or anything the new hire feels comfortable sharing. A picture also helps your existing team recognize the new employee on video calls or when they’re on the floor. New Hire Announcement Process (When, How & Who) Send your new hire announcement one to three business days before your new employee starts. This gives your existing employees time to read and review the announcement and for them to send a welcome greeting for the new hire to have in their inbox when the new hire officially starts. Look at your company’s use of communication tools and determine the best way to send it. Consider sending a new hire announcement email—or, if your company uses a dedicated chat software like Slack or Teams, you may also send it through there. Sending it through email is a bit more formal, but through a messaging service, it could be more personal (and eliminate those long reply-all email threads). Send the announcement to the entire company, including your new hire. This creates an opportunity for existing employees to better understand how the new hire’s duties will affect them and how they’ll interact together. You also want the new employee to feel part of the team on day one, so including them in this message lets them see all the replies and welcome notes from their colleagues. If you’re using a messaging service instead of email, this can be a great way to give your new hire a fun and energetic welcome to the team. Tips for an Effective New Hire Announcement Why Small Businesses Should Send New Hire Announcements Regardless of your size, you want to ensure open and effective communication with your team. Sending a new hire announcement helps your existing employees stay in the loop on new colleagues, and it also helps your new hire feel welcome. This helps set the right tone for your organization. Your notice of a new hire also helps the onboarding process. The new employee will receive welcome messages from the rest of your team, making them feel welcomed and a part of the team from day one. This camaraderie helps with employee engagement and, ultimately, productivity. Bottom Line A new hire announcement is your way to welcome the new employee to the team and prepare your existing employees for the new hire’s arrival by giving them brief but specific information. This keeps your existing employees in the loop and makes your new hire feel special and important.
August 26, 2022
How to Do Payroll in Pennsylvania: What Every Employer Needs to Know
Learning how to do payroll in Pennsylvania is simple overall, as most of its regulations are in line with federal employment laws. However, the multiple taxes to factor in makes the process a bit complex. With state income tax, earned income tax, and local and city taxes, you’ll need to know which taxes you and your employees are responsible for paying. If you’ve found yourself needing to process payroll in Pennsylvania and want to avoid making any mistakes that could result in penalties, consider using . It is an all-in-one HR platform that can help you onboard new employees, pay with direct deposits at no additional costs, and file payroll taxes. Get 50% off Payroll Software for 3 months. Running Payroll in Pennsylvania: Step-by-Step Instructions Step 1: Set up your business as an employer. At the federal level, you need to apply for a Federal Tax ID and register for an account in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Step 2: Register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. You can register for both Income Withholding and Unemployment Insurance tax accounts online using the PA-100 Business Entity Registration Form. You should receive your account number automatically after completing the online registration. Step 3: Register for City Taxes. If you are paying an employee in either the City of Pittsburgh or the City of Philadelphia, you will be required to register for tax accounts with those cities individually. City of Pittsburgh: If you do not have a City ID and will be paying an employee in Pittsburgh, then you must register your business with the City of Pittsburgh. You will want to select Payroll Expense Tax, Local Services Tax, and Earned Income Tax with Jordan Tax Service. You should receive your number one to two days after registering. City of Philadelphia: If you do not have a City ID and will be paying an employee in Philadelphia, you must register your business with the City of Philadelphia. You can register with the City of Philadelphia Department of Revenue online. You should receive your account number automatically after completing the online registration. Step 4: Register for local taxes. If one of your worksites is located in Pennsylvania, you are required to withhold and remit the local Earned Income Tax (EIT) and Local Services Tax (LST) on behalf of employees working in Pennsylvania. Worksites include factories, offices, branches, and warehouses. You can register by completing an Employer Registration Form and remitting it to your local tax collector. Step 5: Set up payroll and collect employee forms. Whether you’re going to do payroll yourself or use payroll software, you’ll need to determine a pay cycle that is compliant with PA law and establish a process that works for your business. It’s best to collect employment forms from new hires during the onboarding process. Forms include the W-4, I-9, and direct deposit information. Pennsylvania does not have any additional forms. Step 6: Collect, review, and approve time sheets. Make sure to do this a couple of days before payday, as Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law says employees must receive their wages no later than the specified payday. There are multiple ways you can track employee time—use one of our free time sheet templates to help if you don’t yet have an established system. Step 7: Calculate payroll and pay employees. There are many ways to calculate payroll, and it’s up to you to decide which is best for your business. You can use payroll software, a calculator, or even Excel. Step 8: File payroll taxes with the federal and state government. All state and local tax payments need to be made directly to the applicable agency based on whatever schedule is assigned to your business. Federal tax payments must be made via EFTPS. Generally, you have to deposit federal income tax withheld and both employer and employee Social Security and Medicare taxes based on the schedule assigned to your business by the IRS. The IRS can assign you to one of the following depositing schedules: Monthly Depositor: Requires you to deposit employment taxes on payments made during a month by the 15th day of the following month. Semiweekly Depositor: Requires you to deposit employment taxes for payments made Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday by the following Wednesday. Deposit taxes for payments made Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and/or Tuesday by the following Friday. It’s important to note that schedules for depositing and reporting taxes are not the same. Employers who deposit both monthly and semiweekly should only report their taxes quarterly or annually by filing Form 941 or Form 944. Step 9: Complete year-end payroll reports. You will need to complete W-2s for all employees and 1099s for all independent contractors. Both employees and contractors must have received these documents by Jan. 31 of the following year. Download our free checklist to help you stay on track while you’re working through these steps: Pennsylvania Payroll Law, Taxes & Regulations Pennsylvania payroll laws are in line with most of the federal regulations. There are some overtime laws and specific taxes you’ll need to stay abreast of. Overall, it is important to remember that Pennsylvania has state tax, earned income tax, and local taxes, which can make things a bit more complicated. Pennsylvania Payroll Taxes While there are no state or local taxes that you will be directly liable for as a Pennsylvania employer, you will be responsible for withholding and remitting them on behalf of your employees. Pennsylvania has both state and local taxes for its residents, so it’s important that you have a general understanding of what those are to ensure you’re in compliance. Unemployment Insurance Tax Pennsylvania has a state Unemployment Compensation (UC) fund that protects workers against job loss by providing temporary income to qualified individuals. Employer contributions, charged for the first $10,000 that each employee earns in a calendar year, are the primary funding. Every calendar year, a contribution tax rate is computed and mailed to each employer for the following year. If you disagree with the information on the rate notice, you can file an appeal within 90 days of the date of the rate notice. The first time you pay wages in Pennsylvania, you will be considered a “new employer” and assigned a contribution rate of: There are exceptions to the Pennsylvania UC Law that exclude certain employers from being liable. Those exceptions include: Sole Proprietorships/Partnerships: Owners of an individual entity or partnership are considered self-employed. Self-employed individuals are not technically employees, and their earnings are not considered wages. Family Employment: If an individual is employed by a son, daughter, or spouse, or a child under the age of 18 is employed by a parent. Additional covered family include stepchildren and their parents, foster children and their parents, and adopted children and their parents. Agricultural Employment: If there are fewer than 10 employees for over 20 calendar weeks or if there is less than $20,000 in cash wages paid. Domestic Employment: Individual homeowners, local college clubs, fraternities, or sororities paying less than $1,000 during any quarter of the calendar year. Elected vs Appointed Officials: Services of an elected official It’s important to remember that you will also be responsible for federal unemployment taxes. The standard rate is 6% on the first $7,000 of each employee’s taxable wages. The maximum tax you’ll pay per employee is $420 ($7,000 x 6%). Workers’ Compensation Insurance Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages for employees who get injured or experience a work-related illness. Coverage is mandatory for most employers under Pennsylvania law. You can obtain workers' compensation insurance through a licensed insurance carrier or the State Workers' Insurance Fund (SWIF). Some employers are exempt from workers' compensation coverage. Exemptions include railroad workers, longshore workers, federal employees, domestic servants, and certain agricultural workers; there are also exemptions for religious beliefs and executive status in certain corporations. Pennsylvania Minimum Wage The below updates to the state minimum wage will be effective as of July 1 of each year, so you’ll need to ensure that what you’re paying employees aligns with it. If you do any of the following, you will violate the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act: Misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime when their job duties should qualify them from overtime pay. Deducting expenses in large enough amounts that the employee’s take-home pay falls below the minimum wage. Not making up the difference for tipped employees whose tips don’t raise their pay to the minimum wage. Violating the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act may subject your business to serious fines, penalties, and other legal consequences. Pennsylvania Overtime Regulations There are three major differences between federal overtime laws and Pennsylvania’s regulations. Pennsylvania does not recognize the highly compensated employee exemption, which allows employers to avoid paying overtime to employees who earn more than $107,432 annually. You’re liable for paying eligible employees overtime regardless of how much they earn. Federal overtime laws do not require overtime for certain computer employees; however, Pennsylvania does not have an exemption for these employees. Pennsylvania requires that overtime must be paid. Pennsylvania’s rule has a higher salary threshold that executive, administrative, and professional employees need to make in order to be exempt from overtime. The salary threshold is set to increase annually on Oct. 3 as follows: Starting in 2023, the salary threshold will adjust automatically every three years based on the average wages of occupations in Pennsylvania that are exempt. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor requires an employer to pay overtime to employees, unless otherwise exempt, at 1.5x the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. Different Ways to Pay Employees in Pennsylvania While there are many different ways to pay employees, Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Law specifies that an employer must pay wages by either: Cash Check Direct Deposit (with employee consent) Pay Cards (while originally not permitted, an amendment was passed in 2017 allowing the use of pay cards—as long as your employees are explicitly made aware of all payment options, and it is their choice to be paid via pay card) Pennsylvania Pay Stub Laws There are no guidelines set forth by Pennsylvania law regarding pay stubs. It is not required that a certain format is followed or even that an employer provides a pay stub at all. Minimum Pay Frequency Pennsylvania employers are required to pay their employees at least semimonthly, meaning that they are paid two times per month. The first payment has to be between the first and 15th day of the month, and the second payment must be made between the 14th and the last day of the month. The waiting time between the end of a pay period and payday must not exceed 15 days. Final Paycheck Laws in Pennsylvania When a business parts ways with an employee, it’s very important that their final paycheck is paid in a timely manner. Pennsylvania law requires that final paychecks be paid on the next scheduled payday, regardless of whether the employee quit or was terminated. The final paycheck should contain the employee's regular wages from the most recent pay period, plus other types of compensation due to them (commissions, bonuses, and accrued sick/vacation pay). Employers are legally allowed to withhold money from the employee's last paycheck if the employee owes your organization. This could be the result of things like unpaid loans from the company, money for uniforms that were never paid, or even unauthorized expenses on a company card. Severance Pay in Pennsylvania As a Pennsylvania employer, you don’t have to provide your employees with severance pay if they are terminated or voluntarily leave. Pennsylvania law will only enforce that you pay severance payments to your employees if there is a signed written agreement in place between an organization and employee. Accrued Paid Time Off Payouts There is no regulation in place requiring accrued vacation payouts. Both Pennsylvania and federal law leave it up to employers to decide. Similar to Severance Pay, an employer is only required to pay accrued vacation upon separation if it is included in a previously signed employment contract or policy. Pennsylvania HR Laws That Affect Payroll Although Pennsylvania does have many HR laws in place, most of them align with federal HR laws. You’ll want to pay extra attention to required breaks and work permits for minors. Pennsylvania New Hire Reporting As a Pennsylvania employer, you will have to report all employees who reside or work in Pennsylvania to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. All new employees need to be reported within 20 days of their hire date. The Pennsylvania CareerLink website gives employers a few ways to report, including: Manual Entry: Use a web form to enter new hires one at a time (best for 10 or fewer) File Uploads: Copy your data into a template to upload at once (best for 10 or more) Secure File-Transfer: Use a web portal to send a file to their server (best for large companies to automate reporting) Breaks, Meals & Paid Leave Pennsylvania’s break laws are all based on age. As a Pennsylvania employer, you are required to provide a 30-minute break period to employees aged 14–17 who work five or more consecutive hours. Employers are not required to provide breaks to employees 18 and over. While not required, it is, of course, at the discretion of the employer if they would like to provide breaks to their employees. It’s important to know that if you do decide to provide breaks, there are regulations about pay. If the break provided is less than 20 minutes, an employee must still be paid for that time. However, if the break is more than 20 minutes and the employee is not working during the break, it does not have to be paid. Child Labor Laws The Pennsylvania Child Labor Law (CLL) was put in place to help protect children under the age of 18 and provide a safe and healthy work environment. The CLL prohibits children from working in certain establishments and occupations and also regulates the number of hours that they can work. Minors under the age of 18 are also required to obtain a work permit before they are able to seek employment. Minors under the age of 16 must also submit a written statement from their parent or legal guardian acknowledging and granting permission for the nature of the work and the hours of employment. Work Permits for Minors Employment Certificates, also known as Work Permits, are mandatory in Pennsylvania for minors under 18. The certificate has to be obtained by the minor and given to their employer to verify their ability to work before they are able to be hired. In Pennsylvania, minors can apply for a Work Permit of Employment Certificate through the public school in their district. It is vital that if you intend to hire a minor, you follow these regulations and ensure that you obtain a copy of their work permit before hiring. Failure to do so can result in fines and penalties against your business. Payroll Forms The only state-specific payroll forms you’ll need to worry about as an employer in the state of Pennsylvania are for unemployment compensation. Otherwise, you’ll just use federal payroll forms. Pennsylvania W-4 Form Pennsylvania does not have a statewide withholding document like the federal W-4 form. Since Personal Income Tax is based on a flat tax rate of 3.07% in Pennsylvania, there is no need for separate state documentation. Pennsylvania Unemployment Tax Forms The Department of Labor and Industry requires employers to electronically file UC wage and tax information. The most frequently used include: Form UC-2 Employer’s Report for Unemployment Compensation: This form is used to report an employer's quarterly gross and taxable wages and UC contributions due. Form UC-2A Employer's Quarterly Report Of Wages Paid To Each Employee: This form is used to list employees' Social Security numbers, names, gross wages earned, and credit weeks for a particular quarter. Form UC-2B Employer's Report of Employment and Business Changes: This form is used to report any recent change in name, mailing address, or business location. It is also used to report that an employer no longer has employees or that a business has been sold or discontinued. Form UC-2X Pennsylvania UC Correction Report: This form is used to make changes to the gross and/or taxable wages previously reported. Federal Payroll Forms Form W-4: To help employers calculate taxes to withhold from employee paychecks Form W-2: To report total annual wages earned (one per employee) Form W-3: To report total wages and taxes for all employees to the IRS (summary of W-2s) Form 940: To report and calculate unemployment taxes due to the IRS Form 941: To file quarterly income and FICA taxes withheld from paychecks Form 944: To report annual income and FICA taxes withheld from paychecks Form 1099-MISC: To provide non-employee pay information that helps the IRS collect taxes on contract work Resources & Sources Pennsylvania Department of Revenue: Find links to COVID-19 resources, e-file your state taxes, and learn about how property tax and rent rebate programs can help you with your cash flow. Pennsylvania CareerLink: Find hiring resources for your business, learn about disability service partnerships, and report new hires. Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation: Register for a UC Tax Account Number and Appeal a UC Contribution Rate directly from Pennsylvania’s Office of Unemployment Compensation website. It also provides employers with state-specific information about audits, appeals, common paymasters, and more. There is an employer quick guide with contact information for each department that employers can use to call for guidance on everything from registrations to tax filings to labor law posters. Also, check with your payroll software or service for resources and state-specific features. Bottom Line While processing Pennsylvania payroll is pretty simple overall, it’s important to remember all the taxes that come into play. Though many of its labor laws align with federal guidelines, there are quite a few that are unique to Pennsylvania. With state income tax, earned income tax, and local/city taxes, you will want to make sure that you are diligent with your payroll to avoid penalties.
August 26, 2022
How to Hire Veterans in 6 Simple Steps
Veterans make many sacrifices, yet they often find it challenging to get work upon their return. Luckily, companies are beginning to realize the benefits of hiring veterans. For one, you can receive tax credits for hiring veterans—and you’ll be hiring a terrific and highly qualified worker. When considering how to hire veterans, you must create a job description that includes veteran-specific language and post it to veteran-targeted job boards like Hire Heroes USA. You’ll then review and interview your candidates (noting that gaps in employment or frequent moves are likely related to their military service) and ultimately make a great hire. Step 1: Write the Job Description & Determine Salary Your job description is crucial, as it lays the foundation for the position. It should include as much detail as possible about the work you need done and the key skills that a qualified worker should have. Be sure to include information about what military roles might be similar to the role you’re hiring for and include language veterans might be familiar with to describe responsibilities, tasks, etc. At this stage, you also need to figure out the salary for this role. You may not be able to provide exactly the same salary and benefits as the military, so you need to take this into account, especially when discussing salary with candidates. Make sure you know similar military positions and check those salary levels, along with salary levels for similar non-military roles. If you use benchmarking software or if you already have other people in similar positions, it may be easy to create your salary range. If not, set aside time to do market research and make sure you’re offering a competitive wage. Step 2: Post Job Ad When you’re targeting veteran workers, you need to adjust what you include in your job advertisement. This is especially important if your job is one that someone with a military background could excel in. Familiarize yourself with the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) codes used in the different branches of service, as each branch uses different codes to describe certain job qualifications. For example, Army MOS code 36A refers to financial management—if you’re hiring an accountant or even a payroll specialist, this may be a good code to include in your veteran job ad. Using these codes in your job ad could garner increased search results, and it speaks the language of the veteran, making them feel welcomed. You also need to add information about your company. What makes your company special and why would a veteran want to work there? Include details about your company culture, values, and mission, as these can particularly resonate with veterans. Information about your benefits is also a key selling point. There are many general job boards where you can post your job, some for free. CareerOneStop is run by the US Department of Labor and, while it doesn’t specifically target vets, it’s a great place to post your job for additional exposure. You should also consider some job board options specifically targeting veterans: Step 3: Review Applicants After you’ve gotten a batch of applicants, you need to screen your applicants. Make sure you keep in mind you’re looking at people with military backgrounds, so there may be gaps in employment or frequent job title and location moves—these aren’t negatives but instead just the military way. It’s a good idea to have a list of must-haves to compare to each resume. Make sure you know what a comparable military position would be so you can check for similar attributes. Don’t expect everything—no one will match up perfectly. But if you have a list of a dozen or so key skills necessary to do the job, you can quickly sort through the resumes. Look at each resume for how it matches up to your must-haves list. The more matches you get, the better. Check our guide for an effective resume screening process to streamline your effort. Don’t leave candidates hanging. If you’re not going to call them or interview them, send them a quick rejection so they’re not left in limbo. Some job boards and applicant tracking systems will even automate this process for you. Step 4: Interview Candidates After screening, you will need to schedule interviews with the most qualified candidates. Keep this list to about 10 or fewer. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with the time required to conduct all the interviews. Although an email will typically do, we recommend calling them to notify them of their interview schedule, as this allows you to do a quick phone screen interview. With this, you can gauge their interest level and even ask them a few quick questions to further understand their qualifications. When you sit down with candidates, we recommend you follow a structured interview process where you ask each candidate the same questions. Not only does this help avoid discrimination, it lets you evaluate each candidate based on their answers to the same questions. With military candidates, you should also dive into their military training and experience. Don’t ask about their discharge or where they served. Instead, ask about how their military service has prepared them to work for your company. Step 5: Call References & Run a Background Check Once you’ve interviewed the most qualified candidates, you’ll hopefully have one shine as the person you want to hire. Even if you narrow it down to two or three, that’s a good step. Veterans often have gaps in their employment history, especially those who served for a long time or stayed in the reserves. As such, getting references can sometimes be challenging. However, you should still ask for three supervisory references so you can get a better idea of what it’s like to manage the veteran. You’ll have limited time with the reference so make sure you ask direct questions. Avoid asking any questions about the veteran’s military service and if that impacted their ability to do the job. For more detailed information, check our guide on how to conduct an employment reference check. You may also want to run a background check. Not every position requires one, but if the job will include confidential work or financial information, you should consider running one. Make sure you get the veteran’s signature first before you run a background check. Step 6: Make a Job Offer When you’ve gone through all the above steps, you’ll have a veteran you want to hire. Call them to give them the good news so you can gauge their excitement level and discuss any final details like salary and start date. Once you and the candidate have agreed to all the terms, write a formal offer letter. Make sure the letter includes: Job title Salary and pay frequency Employee classification Start date Reporting structure Include the full job description with the offer letter. Having the candidate sign off on their ability to handle the duties of the job lets you more easily hold them accountable if they fail to meet your expectations. Send the offer letter to the candidate and give them several days to review, sign, and send it back. Once you’ve received the signed offer letter back, it’s time to begin the onboarding process. Benefits of Hiring Veterans There are many reasons to hire veterans. Many vets are extremely well trained, and that translates into hard workers who can add extreme value to your organization. Beyond that, however, there are also incentives offered to employers that hire veterans. Here are some of the most notable. Bottom Line There are many benefits of hiring veterans. From tax credits and salary reimbursement to having a generally great employee, your small business can see exceptional value from actively working to hire veterans.
August 23, 2022
How to Set Up & Run Payroll With Patriot Payroll
offers a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use software for processing payroll for any number of employees. You can choose the Full Service payroll plan, which costs $37 plus $4 per employee monthly, or its Basic option, which is priced at $17 plus $4 per employee monthly and requires you to handle tax filings. Patriot Payroll provides free setup for companies, but if you want to do it yourself, the process is not difficult. The interface is also intuitive, and there are multiple help features if you get stuck. In this guide, we go over the basic steps to set up an account and run payroll with Patriot. You can follow along by signing up for a free demo on Patriot or taking advantage of the free 30-day trial. If you want to set up Patriot Payroll with more than just screenshots as support, follow along with our video on how to set up and run payroll with Patriot. Payroll Setup Checklist: Info to Have on Hand Before you dive into your payroll setup, take a look at the items Patriot recommends you have ready beforehand. This will make your setup process quicker and easier. Step 1: Create Your Account To create an account on Patriot, simply sign up for the free trial from the homepage. The system will then prompt you to enter basic company information, like your tax filing name, business name, number of employees, phone number, and mailing address. You will have at least 30 days to try out the software for free before having to select a plan. Alternatively, you can jump straight in and choose either the Basic payroll plan or the Full Service payroll plan. With the Full Service plan, Patriot files and pays the payroll taxes for you. In contrast, the Basic plan requires you to manage and file tax forms on your own. Both plans also come with free payroll setup, wherein you provide Patriot with all the required employer and employee information, and it will handle the setup for you. Depending on your needs, this may make it worth forgoing the free trial, which requires you to input everything yourself. If you decide to do your own setup, you’ll find most of the functions you need in “Settings” and can use Patriot’s setup wizard to simplify the process. If, at any point, you want to complete the steps in a different order than the wizard suggests, then you can skip steps and come back as needed. Step 2. Add Payroll Settings To complete Patriot’s payroll settings, you’ll be asked to provide your tax identification number, SUTA (state unemployment tax) rates, and employee payment methods. It also has an “optional” section that lets you add workers’ compensation, benefits contributions, deductions, and other money types to its system. Step 3: Set Up Payment Details Patriot Payroll supports employee payments done via direct deposits and paychecks you print or handwrite yourself. You can choose either one for your employees or a combination of both payment types. Note that for direct deposits, Patriot’s standard processing timeline is four days. While it also offers a two-day option, this is available only for qualified customers. Step 4: Set Up Other Payroll Details In addition to setting up tax and payment details, Patriot has an “Optional Settings” section where you can input other payroll information such as deductions, contributions, and money types. To help you set up additional payment details for your employees, Patriot will ask you the below questions. If your answer is no, simply skip the questions. If your answer is yes, then click the “Yes” button and provide the required information. Do you use deductions? You’ll need to add specifics about each deduction type you need set up, including benefit premiums, 401(k) contributions, and garnishments. Do you use contributions? If you match retirement contributions or pay a portion of employee benefit premiums, add a description of each and how the contribution will be calculated. Do you use workers’ compensation codes? If you use codes to report workers’ compensation for each employee, enter them here along with the applicable state. Do you use departments? If you want to organize employees by department, you can include department information in your payroll. Patriot even allows you to assign departments to specific work locations, which is great for tracking the per-department payroll data of multi-location businesses. Are there any employer payroll taxes your business is NOT required to pay? Tax-exempt organizations, like nonprofits, can add their tax exemptions here (such as unemployment insurance). Do you need to customize your hour and money types? Hour types can be used to label your employees’ work hours (such as regular and overtime hours), while money types are payments made to employees on top of their regular wages (like bonuses and commissions). Patriot has a list of commonly used hour and money types in its system. You can customize these or add your own, such as PTOs and allowances. Step 5: Add Employees After entering the basic payment details, you’re ready to add each employee to the software. You can choose to manually input each employee’s details directly into Patriot Payroll or do a bulk import of your staff information via a single file upload. Note, however, that its bulk import feature is in Beta (testing) mode as of this writing. If you want to add employees in bulk, you’ll need to contact customer support, and Patriot will help with setup for free. Step 6: Review Patriot Payroll Setup Patriot provides a summary of information for each employee added to its system. This allows you to see and review all of the information you entered for your company, taxes, payment settings, and employees. If you spot errors or have missing data, click the “Edit” button to make the necessary changes. Step 7: Enter Payroll History Patriot needs to know your payroll history for the current year to ensure your tax payments are up-to-date and any year-to-date information it provides is accurate on pay stubs and year-end tax forms. To do this, answer the following questions: Has your company paid any employees during the current year? You’ll have to verify that you understand that providing all payroll and tax history for the current year could lead to additional fees if Patriot has to do corrections in the future. What payroll provider did you previously use to run payroll? It’ll list common providers for you to choose from, like Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll. Now you’re ready to enter your payroll history. This can be time-consuming because you can’t enter lump sum totals. Instead, you’ll have to enter payroll information by pay period and for each individual employee. When you’re done, you’ll be able to review and approve a summary of the payroll history you entered. Step 8: Give Tax Authorization To finalize your payroll setup, you have to officially authorize Patriot to act as your Reporting Agent. This means it will deposit and file federal, state, and local taxes on your behalf. Note that this is only applicable to those who subscribe to Patriot’s Full Service payroll plan. Select “Preview Unsigned form 8655” to download a PDF of the form you need to sign. It should pre-populate with basic information like your name and title. Review it to ensure you understand what you’ll be electronically signing, and then check the box on the page to verify you have the authority to sign Form 8655. Select “Submit” when you’re ready. Step 9: Start Running Payroll With Patriot Once you enter all of the necessary employee, payroll, and tax information, it’s time to start using Patriot to manage your payroll. Follow these steps to run payroll with Patriot: Congratulations! You just ran your first payroll with Patriot Payroll. After this, you can print the payroll, review the pay register, or run other reports. If you have contractors, you can either process a separate payroll to pay them or include them in your employee payroll runs. You’ll find that doing payroll with payroll software is much easier than doing it without. Payroll services make the process much smoother. Bottom Line By following these nine simple steps, you can create an account online and set up Patriot Payroll in just a few minutes—provided you only have a few employees and have all the required information on hand. While it has an online wizard to guide you through the process, Patriot provides free payroll setup to all its new customers if you don’t want to handle this yourself. What’s also great about Patriot is that it offers a full-service payroll package that includes payroll tax filing services. However, if you prefer to simply run payroll with Patriot and file tax forms yourself, its Basic plan has all the essential tools you need to accurately calculate salaries, taxes, and deductions. Sign up for a Patriot Payroll plan today.
August 23, 2022
Internal vs External Recruitment: A Guide for Small Businesses
To find the best candidates for your company’s open roles, you can look internally or externally. Internal recruiting is when you fill an open position from within your current bank of employees—by promotion or transfer—while external recruiting entails posting job ads to hire a candidate that does not currently work for your company. When considering internal vs external recruitment for your next hire, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Hiring internally, for example, is cheaper, saves time, and can increase overall employee engagement. Hiring externally, on the other hand, opens your job search up to a multitude of candidates, which can result in higher-quality candidates. Keep in mind these two methods are not mutually exclusive; you may use one or the other at different times for different roles. If you find that you are unable to recruit from within, consider using an external recruiting source, like , to help you find your next top candidate. With ZipRecruiter, you can follow your candidates through the entire hiring process—from applicant tracking to interviewing—starting at $16 per job post per day. Start now with a free trial, plus get an Exclusive Free Highlight Enhancement ($60 value) to help your posts stand out. Internal Recruiting Internal recruiting can have several advantages. You already know the person’s work ethic and that they fit in with your company culture. They’re familiar with your company policies and will require less training on processes typically covered in new hire onboarding. Internal recruitment may also boost employee morale. Your employees see firsthand that you value them and their contribution to your organization, even if you select someone else for the role. Besides that, letting an employee develop their career or putting them in a better-suited role can positively impact employee turnover. If you have qualified candidates internally, there may be no reason for you to go through the extra steps of hiring from outside your organization. As such, hiring from within can be a quicker process—the average time to hire candidates internally is two to three weeks. However, there are also disadvantages, such as having a smaller pool of candidates and then having to fill in the position of the one shifting roles. Hiring Costs Internal recruitment costs are considerably less than those for external hiring, as you’ll be able to do away with many of the typical costs associated with the hiring process. You’ll also save a lot more time because you can focus on determining skills and qualifications rather than having to filter one’s culture fit. On top of all that, the overhead cost of any salary increase that you’ll provide an internal candidate is typically less than that of what you’d have to shell out for a new-hire. Internal Recruitment Methods Internal recruiting focuses more on the job skills and requirements, whereas external recruiting will need to have more emphasis on your company. There are three key ways internal hires make a move within your company: Promotion New Position Transfers External Recruiting External recruiting is when you hire a new employee who does not currently work for you. This involves posting your job on a job board or finding your next hire at a career fair and will typically take around one to three months to do. However, depending on the skills you need for a particular role, it may take you much longer to fill the position. This form of recruitment is a labor-intensive process. Although—or because—you get access to a limitless pool of candidates, it can take an immense amount of time to sort through them all. And you’re never completely sure you have made the right hiring decision until later down the line. Hiring Costs The costs to hire externally vastly outweigh the costs to hire from within—ranging anywhere from $1,000 to over $5,000 per hire, in addition to the new hire’s salary amount. External recruitment costs can also rise depending on the complexity of the position. External recruitment costs include Job board fees Sorting through applicants Holding multiple rounds of interviews Conducting prior employment and background screening Training and onboarding Compensation and benefits (including sign-on bonuses, if applicable) External Recruitment Methods There are many different ways to recruit for an external candidate, ranging from posting an ad on job boards to searching for candidates in career fairs. Legal Considerations As with anything having to do with employees, job postings, interviewing, and hiring decisions, whether you hire internally or externally, you are subject to employment laws. Specifically, you cannot create a job posting or make an interview or hiring decision based on an applicant’s: Age Citizenship Race Disability National origin Religion Sex Military service Federal law prohibits discrimination based on the above classes as this can lead to hiring bias. Some state laws go even further and prohibit discrimination based on a candidate’s appearance (e.g., tattoos and piercings) and marital status. Make sure you are adhering to federal law and any local employment laws applicable to your organization. Bottom Line In your hiring efforts, you may find that for some positions, internal candidates offer what you need, creating a faster, smoother, and more cost-effective hiring process. For other positions, you may need to look outside your current employee group, which can bring new skills, experience, and ideas into your company. By understanding the differences between internal vs external recruiting, as well as each method’s advantages and disadvantages, you can take the most efficient approach for finding employees you’ll love.
August 19, 2022
How to Do Payroll in Alaska: What Every Employer Needs to Know
Unlike most states, Alaska has no state income tax, but it does charge state unemployment taxes (SUTA), as is typical. Its payroll and HR laws are straightforward, although the child labor laws should be reviewed. There’s also a law concerning paying for transportation into and out of the state for employment—something unique to Alaska’s remote location and seasonal work. Learn more about Alaska payroll and HR rules in this article. Even without state income tax withholdings to bother with, having payroll software like makes things easier and ensures you stay compliant with SUTA and other wage regulations. It pays employees by check or direct deposit and tracks payroll and tax laws for all 50 states. Sign up today and get 50% off for 3 months. Step-by-Step Guide to Running Payroll in Alaska Step 1: Set up your business as an employer. At the federal level, you need your Employer Identification Number (EIN) and an account in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Step 2: Register with the State of Alaska. File your new business with the Alaska Department of Labor online, by mail, or at one of the field tax locations. Next, sign up for a myAlaska online account. This is where you connect to multiple departments for filing new hire reports, paying unemployment insurance (called Employment Security Taxes), and more. Step 3: Set up your payroll process. Create a set schedule of paydays that are monthly or semimonthly as agreed upon with your employees. You can process payroll by hand (not the most efficient way), set up an Excel payroll template, or sign up for a payroll service. Step 4: Collect employee payroll forms. These payroll forms are best filled out during employee onboarding. Forms include W-4, I-9, and direct deposit information. Alaska has no additional forms for employees to fill out. Step 5: Collect, review, and approve time sheets. You must collect and approve time sheets before submitting payroll. You can use paper time sheets, but we recommend time tracking software that can save you time and ensure the accuracy of reported hours. Step 6: Calculate payroll and pay employees. You can use software, a calculator, or even Excel to calculate payroll. There are multiple ways to pay employees legally, including check, direct deposit, pay card, and even cash. Step 7: File payroll taxes with the federal and Alaska state government. Follow the IRS instructions for federal taxes, including unemployment. Alaska Income Taxes: There are none, so there’s nothing for you to do. SUTA: The state mails you your contribution report by the end of quarter. Even if you don’t get a contribution report or don’t owe anything, you must file and pay (if applicable) by the due dates below. You need to file online if you have 50+ employees in a quarter, generate more than $1 million in taxable wages in the current or preceding calendar year, or have a payroll agent file for you. Otherwise, you can pay online or via mail with Form TQ01. Step 8. Document and store your payroll records. Alaska requires you to keep records on employees for at least three years. SUTA information needs to be kept for five years. Information should include name and Social Security number, beginning and ending dates for periods worked, total wages in each period, and payroll information like wages earned, hours worked, and special payments. Learn more in our article on retaining payroll records or see Page 10 of the Alaska Unemployment Insurance Tax Handbook. Step 9. Do year-end payroll tax reports. Send the federal Forms W-2 (for employees) and 1099 (for contractors) before Jan. 31 of the year following your reporting year. With no state income tax, there are no additional forms for you to file. Download our free checklist to help you stay on track while you’re working through these steps: Alaska Payroll Laws, Taxes & Regulations No matter what state you are in, you must follow federal law for income taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and federal unemployment insurance (FUTA). Learn more in our articles on FICA taxes and FUTA. Alaska Taxes Alaska does not charge income taxes, but it does have unemployment insurance taxes of 1.5% to 5.9% and requires workers’ compensation insurance for all employers. State Income Taxes There are no state income taxes here. However, make sure to file your federal income tax withholdings, which include 12.4% for Social Security (6.2% to be withheld from your employee’s paycheck and the other half from your bank account) and 2.9% for Medicare (1.45% to be withheld from your employee’s paycheck and the other half from your bank account). Unemployment Insurance Alaska charges state unemployment insurance taxes (SUTA), which it calls Employment Security Tax (ES). While most states base this on your direct benefits costs, Alaska measures changes in your payrolls to approximate benefits costs. It says this method keeps the unemployment fund solvent and is simpler and cheaper to administrate. You file online or via mail with the TQ01. SUTA is charged on the taxable wage base of that year, which is defined as 75% of the statewide average annual earnings of workers covered by the program. In 2022, that amount is $45,200. The tax rates vary by your experience factor, which depends on the class of employer you are and your payroll decline over the past 12 quarters. There are 21 levels, ranging from 1.5% to 5.9%. You can see the rates on Alaska’s Dept. of Labor website and a full explanation of how the unemployment is calculated. Alaska’s SUTA excludes some large, stable businesses like state and municipal governments and some nonprofits. Sole proprietors, partners, and LLC members are exempt from ES, but you may choose to have your excluded employees included so that they may be eligible for UI benefits. However, there are some rules to follow—see the Alaska Unemployment Insurance Tax Handbook for details. Workers’ Compensation Insurance Alaska requires you to have workers’ compensation if you have one or more employees in the state. You can find insurance companies on the Alaska DOL website. Some exceptions to this rule are Sole proprietors, partners, members of an LLC or executive officers with a minimum of 10% ownership, and executive officers of nonprofits Babysitters Housekeepers Harvest or transient help Entertainers under contract Cab drivers in some cases Professional hockey players and coaches Real estate agents in some cases High school students in work-study Volunteers You can also elect to self-insure. If you do this, you must have been in business in Alaska for at least five years, have a safety/loss control program, employ at least 100 people in Alaska and elsewhere, and have a net worth of over $10 million (these requirements may be achieved through a parent company). If you qualify and are interested, you’ll need to apply using Form 07-6129. Alaska also has special funds set up for workers who do not have an insured employer, commercial fishermen, and employees who are physically impaired permanently. Minimum Wage Laws in Alaska Alaska’s minimum wage for 2022 is $10.34 an hour. It’s been slowly increasing this rate but does not list future rates. The Alaska Wage and Hour Act lists 19 exceptions to the minimum wage laws. Some of the most common are: Executives Volunteers or employees of nonprofits Full-time students employed by the university they are attending Computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers, or other similarly-skilled workers Registered guides, for the first 60 days of employment during a calendar year Part-time employees caring for children in the employer’s home Minors under 18 employed part-time (<30 hours a week) Certain employees at car dealerships Alaska Overtime Regulations Overtime laws apply to employers who have more than four employees in their regular course of business. Overtime starts for hours in excess of 40 in a workweek and is 1.5 times the employee’s regular wage—but Alaska law says you shall only employ someone over 40 hours when absolutely necessary. You cannot “pay” for overtime with comp time. There are exemptions for employees involved in canning, small mining operations, agriculture, switchboard operations, seamen, some forestry, line-haul trucking, community health, mechanics in some circumstances, and flight crew. Different Ways to Pay Employees Alaska Statute 2020, Sec. 23.10.040 says employees shall be paid in lawful US money or with “negotiable checks, drafts, or orders payable upon presentation without discount by a bank or depository inside the state.” Direct deposit and paper checks are allowed, with employee consent, but the bank or depository institution cannot charge the employee fees to access their money. You can also pay employees using cash, but follow best practices to ensure it’s legal. Pay cards aren’t specifically addressed. Pay Stub Laws Each payday, you must provide an employee with a pay stub that includes the rate of pay, hours worked, gross and net wages, beginning and ending pay dates, deductions, advances, and overtime hours. Minimum Pay Frequency Alaska law says that you must pay employees monthly or semimonthly, and the employee can decide which they prefer. It does not list specific paydays, but the usual practice is the first and/or 15th of the month. Paycheck Deduction Rules In addition to deductions for retirement contributions, health benefits, and judicially mandated garnishments, you may also deduct pay for: Days not worked Unpaid disciplinary actions or for penalties imposed by safety or major rules infractions Reimbursement for goods or services stolen and cash register shortages Damages To pay off a creditor (at the written consent of the employee) Security deposit on uniforms and equipment as long as it does not exceed the price of the item and does not reduce the wage below the minimum wage Room and board, calculated at a reasonable cost Jury duty and other deductions: You may offset any amounts paid to your employee by the court for jury duty, witness fees, or military pay against the salary for that particular week. The employee has to agree to sign it over to you, though. Final Paycheck Laws If you terminate someone’s employment, you need to pay them their final paycheck within three days. If an employee quits, the last paycheck is due at the next regular payday that is at least three days after the day the employer received notice. Alaska does not have rules concerning severance pay. These should be spelled out in the employment contract. Layoffs, Strikes & Lockout Paychecks If an employee goes on strike, is laid off, or is subject to an employer lockout during a pay period, you still need to pay them their earned wages by their regular payday. Payroll Rules for Public Construction Contracts If you have a Department of Labor contract for public construction in the state of Alaska, you need to file your employee lists and payroll data in Excel format either weekly or biweekly, depending on how often you run payroll. You’ll do this through myAlaska. Check out online payroll instructions for complete details. Alaska HR Laws That Affect Payroll Alaska’s HR laws are very basic and, in most cases, depend on employer/employee agreement. You must still follow federal laws for anything not specified by the State of Alaska. Alaska New Hire Reporting New hires must be reported online via myAlaska within 20 days of hire or rehire. You’ll need to submit the employee’s name, address, and Social Security number, as well as your employer name, address, and EIN. If you are a multistate employer, you can report your hires in Alaska or in another state with the rest of your hires and rehires. If you do hire in multiple states, you need to notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Multistate Employer Notification, P.O. Box 509 Randallstown, MD 21133‐0509; fax: (410) 277‐9325. Lunch & Other Break Time Requirements Alaska does not require breaks for employees 18 and over. However, if you provide breaks under 20 minutes, you need to pay for the time. If you provide a mealtime of over 20 minutes and the employee is not working, then you do not need to pay for that time. Minors get a 30-minute lunch break if they work six consecutive hours. They must take this at or before the five-hour point. Paid Time Off (PTO) Payment of sick leave, accrued vacation, or any other type of PTO is not a requirement of Alaska wage and hour laws. It’s a good business practice, however, to provide employees with PTO. Whatever you decide should be agreed upon in writing with your employee. Alaska Family Leave Act Most businesses must follow the rules of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. It provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for bonding with a new child, dealing with serious health conditions, or, in some cases, dealing with emergencies from a family member in military duty. The federal FMLA applies to employers with at least 50 employees in 20 weeks of the current or previous year. Learn more about FMLA in our article about federal labor laws. The Alaska Family Leave Act does provide slightly different benefits, but that only applies to employees of the state, the University of Alaska, the Alaska Railroad, and political subdivisions of the state. Hiring Minors Alaska law requires a work permit for children 16 and under. Those older than 16 must have a permit if the establishment serves alcohol. Minors under 14 may only work as babysitters, in newspaper delivery or sales, or in the entertainment industry with a permit. Minors under 19 cannot sell tobacco, and no one under 21 is allowed to work in the cannabis/marijuana industry. Minors under 18 cannot work in jobs involving: Handling explosives Mining Logging, sawmills, or with power-driven woodworking devices Power-driven tools for hoisting, metal forming, bakery Roofing and excavation Electrical work with voltages exceeding 220 Exposure to bloodborne pathogens Outdoor solicitation or sales Minors 14 and 15 are limited to mostly office work. Find a complete list of prohibited occupations by age on the Alaska DOL website. General work hours for minors: Alaska and federal law differ when it comes to minors, so you’ll need to adhere to the strictest rules to ensure you’re in compliance. Per Alaska law, no minor under 18 can work more than six days a week. There are no restrictions on hours for minors 16-18. Federal law restricts 14- and 15-year-olds to only working hours as follows: WHEN SCHOOL IS IN SESSION: Hours will be limited to nine hours of school attendance plus employment in any one day; work will be performed only between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. and total hours worked will be limited to 23 in any week. DURING SCHOOL VACATIONS: Work hours will be limited to 40 hours per week between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. They also aren’t allowed to work more than three hours on school days. For more information on federal child labor laws, check out our guide to hiring minors. Transportation Costs Alaska is unique in that employers often pay to have their employees brought to and from the state such as for seasonal work. If you provide this transportation, pay an employee’s way, or loan the cost of transportation to the employee’s place of employment—into or out of Alaska—then you must provide transportation back when that employment ends. You don’t need to pay if the employee is fired for fighting, intoxication, lying on the job application, or having unexcused absences for three or more days. You also do not need to pay if the employee quits, unless it’s for health or safety reasons or because you misrepresented wages, lodging, or working conditions. Payroll Forms Most of Alaska’s payroll tax forms need to be filed online through myAlaska. However, there are several forms for filing SUTA. You can find these on the Alaska DOL website. They include TQ01A, B, and C for filing quarterly contributions and changes, TSUP for supplemental contributions, and the TOPT 1-4 for changes or other payments. Form 07-6129 is used to request the option to self-insure for workers' compensation. Federal Payroll Forms W-4 Form: To help employers calculate taxes to withhold from employee paychecks W-2 Form: Reporting total annual wages earned (one per employee) W-3 Form: Reports total wages and taxes for all employees Form 940: Reports and calculate unemployment taxes due to the IRS Form 941: Filing quarterly income & FICA taxes withheld from paychecks Form 944: Reporting annual income & FICA taxes withheld from paychecks 1099 Forms: Providing non-employee pay information that helps the IRS collect taxes on contract work Alaska Payroll Tax Resources/Sources Alaska Unemployment Insurance Tax Handbook: This covers everything, from the history of unemployment insurance in Alaska to how to file your quarterly withholdings. Department of Labor Employer Website: Get information about apprenticeship programs, state ES tax filings, workers’ compensation, and more. Alaska Wage & Hour Administration Packet: This covers workers’ compensation, the Alaska Family Leave Act, payment of wages, overtime, and more. TQ01 First Time Filers: This covers how to fill out the Alaska Quarterly Contribution Report for unemployment insurance. Bottom Line Alaska is one of the easiest states for payroll taxes. It does not have a state income tax, and the employment security taxes are easier to calculate than in other states. It has workers’ comp insurance through private companies. The labor laws are generally left to federal rules or employee contracts. Be sure to spell out time off and breaks in your hiring contract. The other major consideration is if you pay to bring an employee into Alaska for employment, you need to be ready to pay their way back after employment ends.
August 19, 2022
How to Do Payroll in QuickBooks Online in 7 Steps
If you are already using QuickBooks Online and need to pay employees, consider adding to your plan. You can access it from the same system you use to manage your business’ books, allowing for the seamless transfer of your payroll expenses to the appropriate general ledger accounts. Learn how to set up payroll in QuickBooks Online in a few simple steps and process your first pay run. You can even do payroll as often as you need at no extra charge—provided you subscribe to a QuickBooks Payroll plan. Further, adding QuickBooks Payroll to your existing QuickBooks Online subscription means that your business is granted access to other HR and pay processing features—such as next- and same-day direct deposits, employee benefits, and automated tax calculations and filings. New users get 50% off payroll for the first three months. Sign up for QuickBooks Payroll today. Most online payroll services offer an intuitive interface that makes payroll setup easy. The same goes for QuickBooks—its setup wizard guides you through the whole process. If you want to see it in action, check out our QuickBooks Payroll setup video. Step 1: Navigate to Payroll After having logged in to your QuickBooks account, you’ll want to navigate to the “Payroll” tab to get started. If you just purchased your QuickBooks Online subscription, you’ll see a “Get Started” button. Click on it to proceed to the next screen. If you are just signing up for QuickBooks Payroll, the system will ask you a few questions, such as if you require HR support and need to track employee work hours. While these questions will help match you with the right plan, you also have the option to manually select one of its three payroll options yourself. QuickBooks will recommend the best payroll plan for you, and you can even sign up for a 30-day free trial. Step 2: Enter General Information About Paying Your Employees In the next step, the system will ask whether or not you already paid employees in the current calendar year. If you’re switching to QuickBooks Payroll from either a manual system or another payroll software, then you need to click “Yes.” Note that the system will require you to input year-to-date (YTD) payroll details and tax payments made for each employee later in the setup. Providing information about prior paychecks issued to employees before the beginning of your QuickBooks Payroll subscription is an essential step to ensure that your W-2 forms are accurate come year-end. You can get YTD information from the last payroll you processed for each employee and also request detailed pay reports from your previous payroll provider. Aside from payments to employees in the current calendar year, the system will ask you to indicate the date that you plan to run your first payroll in QuickBooks. It will also require you to enter the physical address where the majority of your employees work. Step 3: Add Employees After you have entered your work location, a new window will appear that lets you add your employees’ basic information and payroll details into the system. Click the “Add an employee” button and start inputting the required data of each staff member on your payroll, including those who are no longer employed with your company but were paid within the current calendar year. Step 4: Complete Employee Information As you add basic staff information into QuickBooks, you have the option to input your employees’ email addresses. This allows the system to send them a link to view their pay stubs and W-2s via QuickBooks Workforce, the provider’s self-service online portal. There’s even an option for the system to invite employees to track and record their work hours via QuickBooks Time. Here’s a list of the employee information fields you need to fill in to complete the QuickBooks Online Payroll setup. Pay schedule: Specify a pay schedule for your employees by clicking the “create pay schedule button” in the “How often do you pay (employee)” section. In the dropdown, select the applicable schedule, such as weekly, twice a month, and monthly, among others. You will also be provided the option to use the schedule you just created as the default schedule for succeeding employees who will be added to the system. Employee pay: Enter the employee’s wage in the “How much to do you pay (employee)” section. You also have to input the staff’s default number of work hours in a day and workdays in a week. Employee deductions/contributions: In the “Does (employee) have any deductions” section, select the applicable contribution and deduction items. Employee withholding information: The “What are (employee’s) withholdings” section is where you will use the information from Form W-4s. When you click “Enter W-4 form,” select whether you need the current year’s tax form or an earlier version. As of this writing, the form changed in December 2020, and QuickBooks stores both new and old versions. This enables you to print one directly from the system to give to employees and capture the correct information. YTD payroll information: If you paid the employee this year, use the information from the last payroll check issued and input the YTD payroll details into the system. Note that QuickBooks will ask for totals paid in prior quarters of the current year and any amounts paid within the current quarter but before you began using QuickBooks Payroll. Payment method: The “How do you want to pay (employee)” section contains a dropdown where you can select either direct deposit or (manual) check to pay the employee. If you select direct deposit, use the information from the direct deposit authorization form and the voided check that you requested from the employee. It is extremely important that you ensure the YTD totals are accurate. This information will be crucial to ensure that your reporting is both accurate and reliable. It will also impact federal and state taxes that have an annual maximum, including limits on contributions to 401(k) and retirement accounts. To learn more about deduction and contribution limits, check our guide on how to do payroll. Once you have completed all of the necessary information for each employee, you will see a list of employees on your payroll for the year. Review it carefully and make sure all of the pay details are correct. If you have new employees or accidentally left someone out, click the “add an employee” button. . After you have completed setting up payroll in QuickBooks, you can now process your first pay run. Follow these steps on how to do payroll in QuickBooks Online. Step 5: Click “Run Payroll” Go to your “Payroll” dashboard and click the “Run payroll” button located in the right-hand corner of the screen. Step 6: Enter Current Hours Note that for salaried employees, the system will automatically populate the total hours based on the default number of work hours you entered for an employee during the initial setup. For hourly employees, you have to manually input the actual work hours in the “Regular Pay Hrs” column or upload the time data from your time tracking solution into the system. For those who subscribe to QuickBooks Payroll’s Premium or Elite plans and use QuickBooks Time (which is included in both tiers) to capture and track employee attendance, your staff’s work hours will automatically appear in QuickBooks Payroll—ready for you to review and approve. If there are changes to the staff’s working hours, feel free to update it in the system. Step 7: Review & Submit Payroll This step is your last chance to review and edit the payroll information before finalizing it. Aside from the total hours worked and other pay details, check the payment method to ensure that employees who should be paid by direct deposits and paychecks show correctly. Also, review both the employer and employee tax amounts. After you have finished reviewing your employee’s time data and pay information, click the “Preview payroll” button located at the bottom right of the screen. If you’re satisfied that everything is correct, click the “Submit Payroll” button that is at the bottom right of the screen. You can then print payroll checks and/or direct deposit remittance advice to distribute to employees. If you’re using for your accounting software, a bill will automatically be created for each payroll processed, making reconciling your payroll account a breeze. For more information, check out our guide to reconciling in QuickBooks. Bottom Line By following these seven simple steps, you can get your account set up and your payroll processed in just a few minutes. QuickBooks Online users don’t need to search for another provider to find the right payroll solution for their business. You can easily set up payroll within the platform, plus you are granted access to full-service pay processing solutions, including health insurance and benefits options for your workforce. New users get 50% off payroll for the first three months. Sign up for QuickBooks Payroll today.