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December 11, 2017

Payroll Year-End Prep Checklist

If you’re not already preparing for year-end, it’s time to start looking at some items that need to be considered for payroll purposes. Before we know it, the new year will be here! So as you finish up payroll this year, keep in mind the following items:

  1. Employee Data – Confirm identifying employee (both inactive and active) information, such as address, ssn, name, etc for W-2 purposes.
  2. Year-end Bonuses – If you offer bonuses in December, note whether you’d like the amounts to be considered gross or “grossed up” for the required FICA/Medicare taxes. For example, a gross $1,000 bonus (paid at an employee’s current withholding) will handle taxes differently from a net $1,000 ($1,082.84 gross) bonus. Please let us know these amounts before your last payroll of the year or before December 29th.
  3. Year-end Adjustments – These year-end adjustments include, but are not limited to, S-Corp Shareholders Health Premiums, personal use of company automobile, 3rd party sick Pay. Anything you need to include outside of your normal payroll, let us know for your last payroll of the year or before December 29th to make the adjustments.
  4. Tax Rates – Provide us with your SUTA Tax Rate Notice (State Unemployment Rate) for 2018.
  5. Deposit Requirements – In October of every year, the IRS determines if a change for the next calendar needs to be changed, depending on the total tax liability in the company. The company either pays these taxes monthly or semi-weekly, depending on what the IRS has determined. If you have received a notice that indicates your “deposit requirements for Form 941” have changed for 2018, please forward the notice to us.
  6. Time Off Accrual/Balances – Confirm employee PTO/vacation/sick balances. Take note of sick days, vacation time, and other allowed time off, carry over rules, depending on your company’s policies.
  7. Employee updates – Have employees review their withholding allowances before the new year. Please let us know of any new pay-rates or deductions that are effective for the new year.

As you are making plans, prepping for the holidays and other year-end items, we hope this payroll year-end checklist will alleviate some of the stress during this already busy time of the year. In fact, we wish for you, that this is truly the most wonderful time of year!

November 22, 2017

Top Ten Reasons to Outsource Payroll

To outsource, means “to contract out certain business task, previously performed internally, to an independent outside professional organization.” Below are some of the top ten reasons to outsource your payroll with Paragon Payroll & HR!

  1. Save Time and Money – Payroll is an essential part of business, and outsourcing your payroll will save you time and money as it cuts cost to train employees and develop a payroll department within your company.
  2. Improved Company Focus – As a business owner or manager with more time and money at your fingertips, your focus can be on what really matters – the success of your business!
  3. More Internal Resources – With a outsourced payroll company in place, you can free up your employees in-house to do more important tasks directly related to your business.
  4. Access to Professional Payroll Expertise – Paragon Payroll & HR is local and we are here for you to assist with payroll matters as quickly and easily as possible.
  5. Increase Accuracy – Our payroll specialists are trained to make sure your information is done and processed accurately and timely for you.
  6. Access to Several Payroll-related Functions – The right choice in a payroll partner also gives employers access to other payroll-related functions, such as  timekeeping solutions, human resources support, mobile pay stub delivery, etc.
  7. Peace of Mind –  Outsourcing can mean less headache and less worry for you. Leave it to your payroll company to deal with any payroll-related issues. You have better things to do!
  8. Less Liability –  The last thing you want to deal with is a penalty from the IRS or state. Partnering with a payroll company means you have less risk of your taxes being paid late, and thus avoiding penalties. If you receive a notice, forward to it us, and we will take care of it.
  9. Compliance – With the constant changes in governmental rules and regulations, outsourcing your payroll will give you that advantage of staying ahead and keeping your company compliant.
  10. A Partner – By choosing to outsource your payroll with Paragon Payroll & HR, you’re also getting a partner. We hope you consider choosing us today. Call us today for a quote! We are excited to get started!
November 15, 2017

Bi-Weekly vs. Semi-Monthly Basics 201

Bi-weekly and semi-monthly payrolls are the most common pay frequency among employers. The terms “bi-weekly” and “semi-monthly” can be a little confusing when it comes to payroll. Both prefixes, “bi” and “semi” mean “two or twice” but have different meanings, especially when it comes to scheduled payroll dates. Bi- means “every other” or “every two” while semi- means “half” or “twice” in the sense that it happens two times.

In payroll, bi-weekly means employees are paid every other week, while semi-monthly means employees are paid twice a month. Typically, each month for bi-weekly payrolls, employees also paid twice a month, but two months out of the year, employees are paid three times, instead of two. Confused yet? If you are, hopefully we can clarify a thing or two about the difference of bi-weekly and semi-monthly pay frequencies. Even though they tend to stay together throughout the year, there are several differences and implications in payroll.

Bi-weekly

  • Every other week or every 2 weeks
  • 26 payrolls in a year (52 weeks in a year / 2 weeks)
  • Salaried employees typically work 80 hours each pay period (2,080 hours / 26 payrolls)
  • Hourly employees’ overtime is easily calculated
  • Employees will know it will be (every other) weekday;
  • More consistent and preferred for employees. They know when the payday is coming – (i.e. every other Friday)
  • The number of days in the pay period is consistently 10 workdays or 14 total days (two 7-day workweeks)
  • Less consistent for budgeting for employers and employees, as some months have 3 payrolls in a month & are different dates in the month

Semi-Monthly

  • Twice a month or every half month
  • 24 payrolls in a year (12 months  x 2 times)
  • Salaried employees typically work 86.67 hours each pay period (2,080 hours / 24 payrolls)
  • Hourly employees’ overtime often crosses over pay periods. Sometime that means extra work for those calculating payroll hours (contact us to learn more about how our timekeeping solutions can solve this issue for your company)
  • Employees are typically paid on the 15th/End , 10th/25th of the month, etc and they fall on different days of the month (depending on month, weekends, holiday, etc)
  • The number of days in the pay period changes depending on day of month; it might be 16 days or 15 days, depending on how many days are in the month (31 days, 30 days or 28/29 days in February)
  • More consistent for budgeting for employers and employees; it works great for paying bills (as paydates are always on the 15th for instance)

Just remember, a bicycle is a cycle with 2 wheels, and in payroll, biweekly means you’re paid every 2 weeks. And while we’re on the topic of transportation in Portland, how about those semi-trucks we love driving next to on the freeway? I bet you didn’t know that a semi-truck is a trailer without the front wheels, so about half of it is missing. In payroll, that means you’re paid halfway through the month as well as the final half, depending on your payroll schedule.

Of course, we must not forget about monthly and weekly payrolls. Monthly is once a month, paid 12 times a year, and weekly is once a week, paid 52 times a year. Weekly is the most preferred by employees, but payroll processing cost is the highest, as this requires more times in a year to process payroll, therefore is not very common.

 

November 1, 2017

Don’t “Fall Back” On the Clock – Daylight Savings End

The leaves are falling, morning commutes are a little darker, and November is finally here. That means for the majority of us in America, Daylight Savings Time End is just around the corner. On November 5, 2017, at 2:00AM, we will be gaining an extra hour of sleep! But what does that mean for my employees who are scheduled for the night shift and “on the clock” at 2am on Sunday morning?

Employers are required to pay employees for all hours worked. Non-exempt employees who are on the clock at 2:00am on November 5th are essentially working the 1:00 – 2:00AM hour two times, therefore they must be paid one additional hour, unless there is already anticipation of the change in time in scheduling. Keep in mind the overtime pay implications during this time change, as well. Employees may be entitled to overtimes due to Daylight Savings ending. Be sure to include the additional hours worked into both regular and overtime hours calculations.

Our timekeeping solutions are so intuitive and automatically account for these changes depending on your time zone. Contact us today for more information!