How to use Core Payroll?

Payroll administration can be the greatest overhead and most complicated process of your business. Core Payroll simplifies this process by calculating the wages and tax withholdings of your employees and also helping you pay the relevant state and federal taxes. You can access different Core Payroll features based on your role and security permissions, say:

  • Payroll Administrator
  • Payroll Standard User

Before you can run payroll, you need to make sure to review the Payroll settings and also pay items that are supposed to be paid to your employees. Here are the important steps for setting up and using Payroll in your Core company:

  1. Setting Up Company Profile: You can start by making sure your company address, including Zip and State (say CA for California and NY for New York) are filled in the Company Profile screen (main company menu > Settings). This prefills all the defaults in Core based on the address provided.
  2. Creating Payroll Lists: As a Payroll Admin, you can start by creating the following lists for your company under Lists > Payroll:
      • Taxes: You must review the taxes that have been added for your company. Federal taxes are the same and preloaded for companies in all 50 states. State taxes are preloaded based on the state and zip code saved in Company Profile. If you have added your company address in Company Profile, then you do not have to enter any tax information. If the state taxes are not already listed or taxes for multiple states are needed, they can be added manually. If your company has a special rate for State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) or Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA), that must be saved; otherwise, these taxes can be left as is and Core then uses the default rate determined by the IRS. 
      • Withholding Categories: This is used to manage a list of categories used to group different withholdings. This list is pre-filled with most of the withholding categories, but you can add or delete any categories.
      • Pay Item Categories: You can use this to manage a list of categories to group different pay items. This list is pre-filled with most of the necessary pay item categories, but you can add or delete any categories.
      • Workers' Compensation: This lets you manage a list of varying workers' compensation policies offered to employees. You can add workers’ compensation, if required in your state.
      • Payroll Frequencies: Here you can manage the varying frequencies by which employees are paid. When a payroll frequency is marked as default, all new employees automatically fall into this payroll frequency group. Payroll can be set up to pay employees weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. A reference point for when the last pay period occurred is to be specified along with how many days after a pay period is the pay day. You can add multiple payroll frequencies.
      • Withholdings: You can manage a list of different withholdings that can be deducted from an employee's paycheck. This list can include employee and company withholdings. They can be set to occur with a specific frequency and amount, and stop at specified maximum amount. You can add all the relevant withholdings like 401k and 125 Cafeteria here. Each withholding can be saved with the agency to whom it is paid.
      • Pay Items: This is used to manage a list of items an employee can be paid for. Core associates default pay items to relevant activity items. If a pay item is marked as Frequently Used or Default, it is automatically added for new employee profiles. Each pay item can be associated with specific withholdings and taxes, and made part of the main check or paid by a separate check. You can add or delete the required pay items, ensuring that proper withholdings are assigned to each pay item. 
  3. Setting Up Employees: Next, you have to update the Employees profile to ensure the address is filled in, including Zip and State. This prefills all defaults in Core Payroll based on the address provided. You also need to enter the required information on its Payroll tab:
      • Details: You must ensure to set the Position Type of employees (whether Hourly or Salaried). Also, enter the Tax Details if you haven't added the employee address. Core Payroll prefills the defaults based on the employee address. 
      • Pay Items: These need to be linked to specific activity items. Pay Items that were marked as Frequently Used/Default automatically pre-fill this list and get mapped to relevant activity items. However, you can delete them or add more. 
      • Withholdings: You can add the relevant withholdings and wage garnishments for the employees.
      • Taxes: The taxes are pre-filled based on the address, but you can update them or add more. 
      • Bank Accounts: You can add or delete bank accounts of the employees hereto be used for direct deposits.
  4. Reviewing Payroll: Using the Payroll Reviewer, you must review and approve the time, expenses and pay items of the employees before processing the payroll. This is the beginning of the recurring payroll cycle that Payroll Admins must carry out each pay period. In case of salaried employees, you have to approve the relevant pay items and reimbursable expenses. In case of hourly employees, you must approve the relevant time entries, reimbursable expenses and pay items. Only items that are approved for payroll become a part of the payroll process. Make sure to set the correct Frequency and Data Range for your pay period.
  5. Processing Payroll: Using the Payrolls screen, you can run an automatic payroll or write a manual paycheck based on the selected payroll frequency and pay period. Based on the current payroll workflow, only approved time entries, reimbursable expenses and pay items show up for payroll. It is recommended to preview the Payroll Register report for detailed wages, taxes and withholdings. In the Payrolls detail view also, you can choose to exclude certain employees or pay items from the payroll. Payroll can be processed as Draft or Final. When running payroll as final, a bank account from which the payments are pulled must be specified.
  6. Printing Paychecks: The Payroll Admin can view all the paychecks on the Checks screen (main Accounting menu). You must verify that the checks for the payroll are created. One check per employee should be listed unless there was an employee pay item that required a separate check to be written. Paychecks can be printed from the Print Checks screen.
  7. Paying Agencies: After the payroll is generated and employees are paid, the Payroll Admin can pay all the relevant agencies using the Agency Payable screen (under the Payroll menu). The mandatory withholdings that you take from the employee paychecks remains a liability until you submit that payment to your payroll agency. When creating agency payments, you must pay all the amounts due to each agency and verify that in the Checks screen. One check per agency should be listed there. 
  8. Running Payroll Reports: You can run various payroll reports to check the accuracy of the payroll and get a deeper insight into the business. These reports can be run from the Reports screen as well as the individual Payroll screens. You can also create a dedicated Payroll Dashboard by adding various relevant widgets to it for HR managers and payroll administrators. This can help track the entire payroll process. 

This completes your payroll cycle!

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