Working payroll isn’t precisely enjoyable. However each enterprise proprietor must do it in the event that they need to hold staff pleased (and paid!)

The payroll course of covers all the pieces that goes into paying staff whereas staying compliant with labor and tax legal guidelines — like registering for tax IDs, precisely monitoring hours, calculating and withholding taxes, and sharing pay stubs.  

It’s so much, we get it. That’s why we’re going that will help you be taught what payroll truly is, the best way to do it proper, and what steps go into deciding on the precise software program to arrange your payroll course of.

What’s payroll?

Principally, payroll is the method of paying your staff. It consists of duties like determining taxes — together with social safety and Medicare tax — and monitoring hours labored.

Changing timesheets into hours, processing tax filings and issuing 1099s, W-2s, and W-4 kinds, providing perks, and really distributing your worker’s paychecks — all of this falls beneath the umbrella of payroll.

As a small enterprise proprietor, you’re in all probability dealing with payroll by yourself. In bigger organizations, this could be delegated to an HR skilled or accountant. Fortunately, good instruments like Homebase provide all the pieces it’s worthwhile to get the job performed proper with out hiring further individuals.

How payroll works with small companies

Payroll works in another way for smaller companies, primarily as a result of their wants are completely different they usually don’t want all of the bells and whistles {that a} bigger firm may. These extras  have a tendency to come back with steep studying curves (and value tags!) 

The opposite key distinction is that many small companies select to pay their staff on an hourly foundation. And since hourly payroll is completely different from wage payroll, it requires completely different processes and instruments.

Hourly payroll relies on a fee per hour and staff are paid in line with what number of hours they work. Salaried staff, then again, receives a commission a set quantity every month. Hourly payroll requires cautious calculation of every worker’s timesheets and extra time, so time clocks and employee scheduling software program are sometimes a necessity.

The completely different components of payroll

There are loads of processes and duties that go into operating payroll, and it’s not a simple activity to tackle: it’s worthwhile to gather worker data, arrange a payroll schedule, calculate and deduct tax withholdings, and an entire bunch of different stuff that may rapidly really feel fairly overwhelming. 

Keep in mind that you’re not by yourself, and also you don’t need to DIY payroll to your complete enterprise. Now, let’s break a few of these payroll components down just a little.

Payroll schedules

For small companies with hourly staff, a payroll schedule is a mixture of a pay interval, a time interval the place staff labored, and a pay date (the day your staff obtain their checks). 

The commonest payroll schedules within the US are weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, and month-to-month. Weekly schedules are greatest for small companies as a result of they simplify calculating extra time funds, that are often irregular. This manner, staff additionally receives a commission as quickly as attainable, which provides them extra management and adaptability over their funds. 

Choosing the proper schedule for your online business is essential as a result of it impacts all the pieces from payroll processing prices to worker morale to compliance with state and federal legal guidelines.

Payroll taxes 

Calculating and withholding taxes are important components of operating payroll. Taxes and charges may differ by state, which may make this entire course of extra sophisticated.

Excellent news: there are solely 5 federal and state payroll taxes it’s worthwhile to know to get began:

After you have that down, examine if your online business is topic to any further state or native taxes.

Medical insurance contributions

Providing medical health insurance to staff is a good profit that may set your online business aside and entice prime expertise in a aggressive labor market. However in case you’re primarily operating the present by your self, determining how health insurance contributions and payroll taxes work together could be daunting. 

Principally, employer-sponsored medical health insurance premiums are pre-tax for each staff and employers. Meaning the cash you spend on worker medical health insurance premiums could be exempt from federal taxable earnings and payroll taxes (in fact, it is best to at all times examine together with your Licensed Public Accountant!)

So earlier than you calculate and withhold tax, be certain that to take any profit contributions and deductions under consideration.

Payroll prices

There could be fairly a number of prices related to operating payroll easily. However relying on the kind of payroll system you utilize and whether or not you outsource these actions or not, your payroll costs can differ a terrific deal. For those who’re utilizing a payroll service resolution, you’ll have bills like:

  1. A base month-to-month price and costs for every worker you will have on payroll
  2. 401k distribution
  3. Monitoring worker time
  4. Staff’ compensation
  5. Direct deposit, state, and federal tax filings
  6. Paid depart and extra time pay
  7. Bonuses

Payroll abstract reviews

A payroll summary report reveals you an summary of all of your payroll actions. This consists of worker particulars like web and gross pay and employer taxes. Sustaining and correctly storing these paperwork is essential as you’re required by the federal government to submit a number of payroll report kinds, together with Type 940, Type 941, W-2s, and W-3s. 

You may additionally be liable for an area payroll report, so be certain that to examine your native employment legal guidelines to cowl your bases.

How one can choose the right payroll software program for your online business

You may positively course of your personal payroll manually, but it surely’s an advanced course of that may depart room for errors. That’s the place payroll software program is available in. These instruments aid you cut back labor prices, keep compliant with federal and state legal guidelines, and make fewer payroll errors. 

There are a lot of several types of payroll software program, together with options like Gusto, BambooHR, and OnPay. However most of those platforms aren’t made particularly with hourly staff and small companies in thoughts. Meaning they don’t provide an all-in-one resolution with instruments for scheduling, time monitoring, automated deduction calculations, and all the opposite capabilities which might be a should for hourly payroll.

Plus, they’re usually designed for bigger firms and aren’t geared in direction of companies with beneath 20 staff.

So when choosing a payroll provider, be certain that it’s not solely safe and scalable however truly made for a enterprise like yours!

How one can arrange and course of your payroll 

On the subject of truly setting up your payroll system, there are a number of necessary issues to remember. Earlier than you get into the nitty-gritty of it, determine what your payroll insurance policies will likely be and the way you’ll deal with the method.

Will you be dealing with all the pieces in-house? Or would you like to outsource it to an accountant or on-line payroll service? And what’s your payroll schedule going to appear like? Don’t overlook to doc your insurance policies so all the pieces is publicly obtainable and could be communicated to your staff transparently. 

Then, register as a enterprise with the IRS and get your employer identification quantity (EIN). Make certain each member of your staff completes the proper tax kinds, after which calculate what number of federal and state taxes it’s worthwhile to withhold from every of your worker’s earnings. 

As an employer, you should additionally submit your federal tax return every quarter. Then, on the finish of yearly, you’ll have to organize your annual filings, together with your W-2s for each workers member.

Lastly, calculate your salaries and pay your staff. All which will sound like so much, however the course of could be summarized into these ten steps: 


  1. Get your worker’s EIN
  2. Register with the Digital Federal Tax Fee System (EFTPS)
  3. Be taught your space’s payroll legal guidelines
  4. Decide your payroll schedule
  5. Report new staff to the state
  6. Put together the right paperwork like W-4s
  7. Work out new rent pay charges
  8. Calculate tax deductions and state taxes
  9. Disperse paychecks and keep information
  10. Use accounting software program to assist alongside the way in which

That’s proper — it may be tough to run small business payroll your self. But when that’s the trail you need to take, it’s positively attainable with some persistence and energy!

How Homebase streamlines payroll for hourly staff

There are a lot of steps concerned in finishing up the payroll course of by yourself, and they are often tough and exhausting to perform, particularly in case you don’t use any HR providers to help you.

Payroll software program particularly designed for small companies may also help a terrific deal. It saves you the headache of getting to recollect each single payroll step your self and operating the danger of falling out of compliance, even unintentionally. That’s why we’ve highlighted how Homebase can simplify your payroll and aid you keep compliant with ease.

Time clocks

This characteristic helps you to flip nearly any system with an web connection into an employee time clock system. All it’s worthwhile to do is obtain the web time clock for workers and check in. Then, staff members can clock out and in with the time clock through the use of their personalised pins.

After that, you’ll be capable to monitor hours, breaks, extra time, and paid day off. Homebase will immediately convert your timesheets into hours and wages in payroll. Timesheets and payroll, multi functional place!


Homebase’s scheduling resolution helps you optimize worker schedules and makes certain you and your staff are at all times on the identical web page.

Immediately share your schedule together with your staff, use templates or auto-scheduling to optimize shifts, routinely remind staff of upcoming shifts through textual content, and get alerts to keep away from extra time hours.

An optimized schedule additionally makes it simpler to trace an worker’s complete hours and learn how a lot extra time it’s a must to account for, which interprets into simpler payroll calculations on the finish of your pay schedule. 


Homebase provides numerous integrations, so that you don’t have to fret about coming into and transferring knowledge manually in case you’re already utilizing payroll options like Quickbooks or Sq.. 

From Shopify and Paychex to Vend and Toast, we be certain that your entire tech stack is routinely in sync, saving you time and chopping out pointless further knowledge entry.


Final however positively not least, our payroll resolution automates the entire payroll course of so you possibly can give attention to the necessary stuff. Right here’s what we do:

  • Calculate wages and taxes and ship out appropriate funds to staff, the state, and the IRS.
  • Mechanically course of your tax filings and subject 1099s and W-2s.
  • Retailer your time card information that will help you keep compliant with FLSA record-keeping guidelines.

As an added perk to your staff, they’ll have the choice to access a portion of their wages before payday. This provides staff extra management when sudden bills hit, and comes at zero value or problem for you.

Seamless payroll is only a click on away

Working payroll as a small enterprise proprietor is sophisticated as a result of it entails a lot extra than simply determining wages and transferring funds. 

You have to calculate and withhold taxes, keep compliant with federal, state, and native legal guidelines, put together payroll reviews, and determine on a constant payroll schedule. And it’s a must to do all that whereas truly operating your online business.

If that sounds too time-consuming and complicated, we’ve obtained you coated! Homebase automates your payroll course of and takes care of all the pieces from changing your timesheets into hours and wages to routinely processing your tax filings. You simply give attention to rising your online business and doing what you like!