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Category: Accounting & Payroll

What Happens When You Make a Payroll Mistake?

types of payroll mistake

Making a payroll mistake could mean getting reported to the Department of Labor. It could mean that you’ll get sued, fined, ordered to pay back wages, and forever fear the DOL. It’ll be an ugly mess over an honest mistake, right?

Well, not necessarily. If employers honestly try to follow the rules and don’t deliberately try to reduce overtime, the DOL may be lenient with a payroll mistake. At least that’s how it has appeared in a recent case.

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Comp Time for Private Employers – A Choice for Employees

Offering employees the choice between comp time in place of overtime is a benefit that the public sector has but the private sector does not. The benefit allows employees to choose between getting paid overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week or getting one and a half times the overtime hours added to the employee’s comp time balance.

The benefit is appealing to some employers and employees; some employers don’t want to pay overtime and some employees prefer time off to more money. There are groups that recognize this and are advocating to make this benefit widely available.

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How Rounding Works in Payroll and Overtime

Round to the nearest 15 minutesFor the longest time, why anyone would use rounding in payroll calculations was beyond me. Since rounding is meant to even out in the end, what could possibly be the point? I don’t like unanswered questions hanging around so I decided to do some digging. I still don’t think rounding is a brilliant idea but at least I understand why it’s used. Essentially, rounding in the morning is meant to benefit the occasional late employee while rounding in the evening can benefit the employer. I’ll explain how this works.

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How to Choose a Payroll Schedule – Infographic

Payroll schedule infographic snip

Most companies can choose which payroll schedule they want to use, depending on the state in which they operate (check here for more info: payday frequency requirements by state). Four options are allowed in the US, including: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and bi-monthly. Each option has specific benefits. This payroll schedule infographic should help business owners get a handle on the right choice for their company.

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What Is a Workweek Anyway?

168 hours in a week

A workweek has different meanings depending on who you talk to so it’s no surprise that business owners can get a little lost on the topic.

The common definition differs from the payroll definition, which makes it particularly difficult to sort out. But sort out you must, because when it comes to business the payroll definition is the one that counts since that’s the one used in wage and hour disputes.

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Why is Your Payroll Bigger Than Expected?

Checking over budget and payrollHave you ever run payroll and found that your cost is much higher than expected? In some industries, like dental offices, for example, payroll costs should be pretty constant. Your same five employees come to work every day and work their set shift. They take off when they’re sick or on vacation and your time-off policy compensates them for it. They don’t need to stay late or come in early most of the time – the office is open on a pretty set schedule.

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Top 5 Payroll Errors You Can and Should Avoid

payroll errors

Business owners are experts at running their business. But they probably are not trained in payroll and they probably haven’t studied federal and state wage and hour laws. This leaves room for quite a bit of error.

Messing up payroll is serious business. Payroll is a business’ largest expense and getting it wrong could mean facing an even larger expense. I’ll bring five of the most common payroll errors to the attention of these busy people so they don’t wind up in trouble for it later.

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