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What Is Payroll Accounting? How to Do Payroll Journal Entries

For example, if an employee is hired on the first day of December but paid on the first week of January, the expense related to the labor of the employee must be recognized in December. Some payroll providers offer supplemental services that go hand-in-hand with paying employees. QuickBooks, for instance, offers HR services, workers’ compensation insurance, and more by connecting business owners to partners. The result is one place where you can manage multiple services. An employer may have both liabilities and expenses for the same employee, due to paid time off.

  • This goes back to journals 2 and 3 where you’re recording all taxes you’ve paid.
  • Plus, employees will also be able to track the amount of their compensation allotted for tax obligations.
  • This list will include such things as hours worked, tasks performed, records of previous wages, bonuses, student loan deductions or similar.
  • All the wages you’d be looking at are payroll expenses (i.e., wages that you have already paid).
  • You can also integrate your accounting tools with an expense management software like Fyle.

These include our flashcards, cheat sheet, quick tests, quick test with coaching, and more. Multiply the number of hours worked by the pay rate for each employee, also factoring in any overtime or shift differentials. This step may be addressed automatically by your payroll software. Payroll is a liability, as are all expenses related to it like wages payable, salaries payable, or accrued wages payable. You want to decrease the payroll payable account with a debit and the cash account with a credit. It may seem like there’s a lot of work involved, but it’s not as complex as it sounds.

The Basics of Payroll Accounting: How to Record Payroll Entries in Your Books

Payroll software handles the tax calculations for you, giving you more time to get back to your business. Use these entries when you have to adjust an employee’s pay or for employee terminations. Initial recordings, also known as the originating entry, are the primary entries for payroll accounting. In this section of payroll accounting we focus on the gross amounts earned by the employees of a company.

  • When recording payroll, you’ll generally debit Gross Wage Expense, credit all of the liability accounts, and credit the cash account.
  • Accounting or accountancy is the measurement of, the processing of, and the communication of both financial and non-financial information.
  • Payroll accounting is typically necessary for you to have an overall understanding of how much your employee’s cost.
  • When you are equipped with an employee calendar you can easily monitor leaves, and overtime with a click of a button and get a picture of employees present and the hours they have worked.

One of the best things you can do when setting up payroll accounting is to know exactly what you need. This means you will need to calculate the total amount of expenses you have and then debit your journal for the exact amount. Payroll accounting is the process of tracking and filing employee compensation. This can include the money that gets withheld from employee paychecks.

Check regularly

This can be very helpful to ensure you are including everything you need to. Payroll can often be not only confusing, but a time-consuming process to undertake on a regular basis. Using accounting software is going to significantly free up your time so you can focus on other areas of your business. Plus, accounting software is more accurate, ensuring everything you’re doing is being done properly. The final step of payroll accounting calculations is to report all of your payroll records. The accounting software you use will make it easy to regularly pay your employees on time.

Payroll Terms and Definitions: A Comprehensive Glossary

Payroll accounting keeps track of five essential payroll-related costs and obligations. In addition to financial savings, internal payroll systems help companies keep confidential financial information private. However, software programs can be time-consuming, which can pose a problem for small companies with few staff. The FLSA also sets out how to treat jobs that are primarily compensated by tipping. In the case of tipped service workers, the employer must pay the minimum wage to the employee unless they regularly receive more than $30 per month from gratuities. The first step is to make decisions regarding employee compensation.

What Is Payroll Accounting?

This part will mostly depend on the type of business and the agreements in place with your employees. After deciding the salary level (according to position, experience, industry, etc.) and type (hourly or annual wage), select the period in which the employees are going to be paid. Payments are usually selected between weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Use this type of entry if you have to adjust an employee’s pay. For example, you’d use a manual entry if you recently promoted an employee or let someone go.

Journal Entry to Record Paying Expense Being Held as Liability

As the name suggests, this narrow focus of accounting aims at everything that has to do with payroll – not just salaries and wages, but benefit costs and payroll taxes too. A huge benefit of payroll accounting is a better understanding of the cost of each employee, which is the key to smart growth. Whatever industry your business is in, the best accounting software can improve your understanding of your payroll accounting and its impact on your bottom line. Many medium- and large-size companies outsource payroll services to streamline the process.

What Is the Importance of Payroll Accounting?

Most companies do it at least monthly and definitely at year-end. Check the numbers against the data you gathered from your payroll system. Does the total gross wage expense entry tie to your total payroll expense for the period? Be sure to confirm that your debits equal your credits (basic accounting systems should confirm this). If you don’t have a payroll system, check out our guide to doing payroll in excel. We have an easy to use template that makes processing payroll manually much simpler.


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