Using a Checklist to Streamline the Payroll Process

Preparing for payroll is often overwhelming and stressful. The payroll process’ success effects the entire organization—from hourly workers to upper management. Because of this, there is pressure to have a process that produces accurate results.

Keeping payroll preparation and execution organized with a standardized checklist is a simple way to create a streamlined and accurate process that will decrease liabilities and penalties. Forbes reports that most payroll mistakes can be chalked up to human error, which is why we put together a three-part payroll checklist to help you manage your payroll process:

Payroll Preparation

  • Employee maintenance
    • Check for newly hired or rehired employees – enter into the payroll system.
      • Demographic information
      • W-4 information: Social Security number and tax filing status
      • State filing status (if applicable)
      • Direct deposit
      • Hire date
      • Departments
      • Full-time or part-time status
      • Salary information
      • Deductions
    • Verify all changes to existing employees have been entered
      • Salary and deduction updates
      • Garnishment orders processed
    • Verify and balance employee timekeeping records
      • Missed punches
      • Vacation and sick leave
      • Adjustments to time
    • Process timekeeping report and export time entries
    • Gather payroll adjustments
      • Commissions
      • Bonuses
      • Corrections
      • Expense reimbursements
      • Advances
      • Terminated employees final pay amounts

Payroll Entry

  • Import or key in time from timekeeping system and balance to time reports
  • Enter payroll adjustments
  • Run reports prior to processing, balance and review

Post-Payroll Processing

  • Distribute checks and/or vouchers
  • Distribute payroll reports
  • Prepare and submit checks for child support, garnishments, insurance, 401k and other third parties
  • Transfer funds if separate payroll bank account
  • Create ACH files if applicable and transmit
  • Terminate any former employees in timekeeping/payroll system
    • End deductions
    • End direct deposits
    • End automatic earnings
  • Record payroll entries in accounting system and balance back to payroll reports
  • Submit payments to federal, state and local taxing authorities


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Enhance Employee Goodwill

According to SHRM’s recent report, Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement: Revitalizing a Changing Workforce, pay has consistently been one of the top five contributors to job satisfaction since 2002. With economic conditions trending upward, employees in the workforce are looking to recoup missed compensation opportunities from the last recession. A digital payroll processing program will automatically notify payroll managers of employee-specific adjustments, commissions and bonuses that need to be addressed, in turn increasing employee satisfaction.

A payroll checklist this specific can still seem daunting, causing employee satisfaction to fall toward the bottom of your list. That’s where digital payroll management can alleviate pressure. With TRUNO TimeForge Payroll, audits will automatically warn of any possible mistakes and help build employee goodwill through consistently accurate and timely compensation.

Avoid Scrutiny from Government Agencies

Besides the fact that inaccurate payroll can upset company culture, more seriously, it can draw scrutiny from government agencies, such as the IRS, that can result in fines, liabilities, penalties and possibly jail time. A recent survey from The Workforce Institute reports that payroll departments spend approximately 36 hours per week on compliance-related activities. With the assistance of a digital payroll processing program, the hours dedicated to manual monitoring and reporting can be a thing of the past.

All Business points out that if your company has a mix of full-time, part-time and independent contractors it becomes more complicated to ensure all employees are compensated properly, all necessary government forms are filed, and all taxes are paid promptly. Mistakes like misclassifying workers, neglecting to send 1099s and miscalculating overtime pay become a more likely reality without a standardized checklist to keep the payroll process in check. By streamlining the payroll process through TRUNO TimeForge Payroll, HR professionals can have peace of mind that all tax payments required by federal and state laws will be processed automatically.

The Solution

TimeForge Payroll provides your business with a detailed automated payroll checklist that ensures compliance and accurate compensation for your valued employees. TimeForge streamlines the payroll process by:

  • Automating tasks, such as cutting checks or sending direct deposits, ensuring timely payments
  • Notifying you when employees require adjustments, commissions and bonuses
  • Tracking and processing Federal and State taxes for seamless compliance

Has all this talk about the multitude of steps in
payroll processing given you a headache?
Check out our infographic about the
“7 Headaches Outsourcing Your Payroll Processing Can Relieve.”

Learn More


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