6 Important Payroll Reports to Run
Payroll reports are useful for reviewing compensation details, evaluating payroll accuracy, tracking payroll expenses, reconciling payroll activities and meeting payroll obligations. Below are six important reports you should review regularly for compliance and accuracy.
1. Time sheets
Nonexempt employees are paid according to the hours reflected on their time sheets. Before payroll processing begins, run a report to confirm that employees’ hours are correct and fix any errors before submitting the hours for processing. Time sheet reports can also be used to verify employees’ hours from a prior pay period.
2. Payroll register
This report summarizes each employee’s payroll information for the selected pay period. Information may include employee name, Social Security number, hours worked, gross salary or wages, deductions, net pay, and year-to-date earnings.
You can use the payroll register to double-check or reconcile payroll data for the pay period. Also, you can generate quarterly registers to verify your quarterly payroll tax filings and annual registers to reconcile annual Form W-2s.
A preliminary version of the register can be run before the current payroll closes; this way, errors can be caught and easily fixed before employees are paid.
3. Time off/leave of absence
If you provide paid or unpaid time off, you must monitor employees’ accrued time off, days or hours taken, and available balances. This is essential, regardless of whether the time off is required by law or given at your discretion. By frequently running time off/leave reports, you can stay on top of time off requests and better track employee absences.
4. Paycheck deductions
Paycheck deductions are a core aspect of payroll. They come in many forms, such as voluntary deductions for cafeteria and 401(k) plans and involuntary deductions for employment taxes and wage garnishments. Proper administration of these deductions is vital to avoiding issues with employees’ paychecks and regulatory compliance. (The complexity of paycheck deductions is one of the many reasons employers outsource payroll.)
You can obtain information on paycheck deductions by running a payroll register or examining employees’ individual pay details. However, a report that zeroes in on just deductions will provide — in one document — the targeted information that you need.
5. Outstanding paychecks
If an employee takes too long to deposit or cash his or her paycheck, you need to be aware of it — and the sooner the better, as employers are bound by state escheatment laws, which regulate unclaimed paychecks. By running a report that shows uncleared checks, you can take proactive measures, such as contacting the employee or reporting the unclaimed paycheck to your state.
6. Labor cost
Like any other business expense, your payroll costs must be measured and managed. A report that breaks down your payroll expenses — including salaries, wages, benefits, taxes and insurances — can help you measure and manage your labor cost percentage.
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