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Small Business Payroll 101: Understand and Address Your Fear

man with paperwork working on computer at kitchen table As the owner of a small business, payroll is probably one of your most fear-inducing managerial duties.

Most business owners understand what they need to do in order to manage their payroll, but it is still one of your biggest expenses. If you’re unable to dedicate enough of your time and attention to properly managing your tasks, mistakes could have significant repercussions.

Why Does Payroll Induce Such Fear?

As with several areas of small businesses, many owners lack sufficient organization. With payroll management specifically, you are forced to disrupt your “normal” routine in order to manage your payroll and get everything in order.

Payroll is the source of another deadline that you have to meet. Just like with your tax deadlines, if you’re not organized and routinely accounting for your needs, you’ll be forced to scramble in the end. This hurried scrambling is the cause of most of your anxiety.

The other large component is the payroll tax implications that stem from improper payroll management. If you’re not properly managing your cash flow, payroll tax penalties magnify the pain you’re already feeling. In fact, a third of all employers are forced to pay a payroll tax penalty every couple of years.

Government agencies are not going to give you sympathy if you don’t make timely and accurate payroll tax payments, especially because this money was actually your employees’, not yours.

For many small business owners, getting control of payroll management is quite difficult. You didn’t start a business with the idea of managing payroll compliance. You started your business because you had a dream. Chasing that dream consumes your life. There is little time left for the seemingly inconsequential aspects of running a business – the parts that you probably didn’t expect to be so problematic.

Get Control Of Your Small Business’s Payroll

Considering that a lack of organization is driving your fears, the first and most obvious step is getting organized. Most fear stems from the absence of insight or knowledge. If you organize your records and understand your filing requirements (including deadlines), you take the majority of stress out of managing payroll.

Dedicate time to educating yourself on the rules and regulations pertaining to payroll in order to ensure that you’re covering all of your bases. Payroll has three stages with unique requirements:

  • Hiring
  • Payment
  • Filing

You, or whoever supports your small business payroll, must understand your required tasks and needs in each stage. Moreover, you must be diligent in keeping up with changing requirements.

Without organization and diligence, you’re bound to continue feeling anxious about payroll.

Do you have the support you need to manage your small business bookkeeping? Schedule a 30-minute appointment to speak with a local small business adviser.

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