Is there a pre-determined list of accounts to use for payroll accounting or is based upon what the company chooses to use for their account numbers?
Not sure I understand the question. Typically, most accounting software has a predetermined chart of accounts which of course you can add accounts to the list. So for instance, most software will list Wages as the expense account. You can further breakdown wages into subcategories such as Wages-Officers or Wages-Workers Comp Insurance.
Also, the liability side of the payroll wages can be broken down further as well such as Payroll Liabilities-Medicare, Payroll Liabilities-Social Security, Payroll Liabilities-Federal Withholding, etc…
There are general ledger accounts that most companies use to record their payroll transactions, like salary/wage expense, FICA taxes payable (to record all FICA taxes withheld that will be paid in the future), 401k contribution expense (to record the company’s matching contributions), and so forth. The accounting software you choose should have a chart of accounts that includes the most common accounts, and you can add the ones that are applicable to your business and tweak them as needed. Check out the list of payroll accounts in our “How to Do Payroll Accounting” article.