How to do Payroll for a Small Business – The Ultimate Guide


how to do payroll

Getting Started

Payroll is an essential component of every business, large and small. Once you have made the decision to hire your first employee or employees, it is inevitable that you know how to do payroll properly. However, the truth of the matter is, payroll processing is not as straightforward as you may wish it is. It comes with multiple components such as tax calculations and deductions. Proper processing of the payroll requires a sound understanding of all applicable Federal and State tax laws. All these can make your head spin while shifting your focus from what really matters – growing your business.

To get the burden off your shoulders, we have put together the following guide to help you understand how to do payroll and identify an intuitive payroll system for your small business. The guide comes with payroll’s best practices that will help any small or medium business make important decisions in critical areas like choosing the right payroll processing method, timekeeping system, payment method, understanding and filing payroll tax forms among other features. Continue reading

Why Doing Your Payroll by Hand Is Way Too Risky?

payroll by hand

Doing payroll by hand is, to say the least, outdated and simply no match to the more modern approaches. Going down the manual route will most likely do more damage than good to your business. Here’s how:

Calculation errors—doing calculations by hand is often prone to an error here or there, which could result in paying employees the wrong amount, or unknowingly withholding taxes.

Time-consuming—manual payroll calculation can waste a lot of your time, which you could otherwise spend growing your business.

Loss of information—it’s easy to lose your information, as the papers you use could either get damaged or misplaced. Payroll information saved on your computer isn’t totally safe either, with threats such as viruses and hackers, or even hardware failure of the computer.

Outdated taxes—tax rates are constantly getting updated; when you do payroll by hand, there’s quite the likelihood that you’ll use out-of-date tax rates. Missing a single update will cause you to accidentally withhold and pay out the wrong amounts, incurring penalties as a result.

Wrong figures—having your payroll numbers (tax rates, time cards, etc.) all over the place make manual payroll calculation quite a headache. Each time you update a number on one document, you must not forget to also update all other documents, or your calculations will be off.

Time constraints—if you decide to do payroll by hand, it’s important that you plan well ahead of time or risk running out of time and consequently handing out your paychecks late.

Here’s another payroll option to consider: hiring a payroll services company.

If you’d rather focus on improving or growing your business, hiring CheckMark payroll services may be the perfect option for you. This is much more convenient than doing payroll by hand for two main reasons: first, it saves you plenty of valuable time, and secondly, with professionals handling the work, you can always rest assured that your payroll for small business will be done accurately and on time, every time.

6 Important Things You Need To Know About Your Paycheck


This blog is a part of our educational campaign on the occasion of National Payroll Week. In this blog, we will try to help you understand the basics of paycheck i.e. benefits, deductions, check, and direct deposit.


  1. What is a Paycheck?
  2. Difference between Gross Pay and Net Pay
  3. Deductions and Benefits
  4. Paycheck
  5. Direct Deposit
  6. Check

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Form W2: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know

form w2

Image Credit: Flickr

Form W2 is a multi-part standard tax form that an employer must send to the employees as well as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at year-end. The form contains employee’s annual wages, Social Security earnings, Medicare earnings, and federal and state taxes withheld from the employee’s paycheck.

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When to Switch Your Payroll Service Provider?

payroll service provider

At which point you would need a switch over to new payroll service provider?

More often companies reach a crisis point before making a decision to change. This puts people, systems and relationships under pressure, which shadows the business growth and at times most valuable employees may underperform and this may result in business losses.

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Small Business 1099-MISC Guidelines and Requirement

Small Business Tax Filing

Form 1099-MISC primarily gives information about independent contractors to the IRS.

As per the guidelines from the IRS businesses are required to submit information returns. Form 1099 is used to report remuneration earned by an independent contractor. There are 17 types of 1099 forms, and IRS defines small businesses as the ones having gross revenues of $5 million or less. Form 1099-MISC is used by these small businesses.

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New Deadlines for Forms W-2 and 1099-MISC – Earlier Filing in 2017

2017 Deadlines

This is an outdated post. Kindly view the recently updated page for 1099 and W-2 Deadlines.

Tax filing dates for 2016 Forms W-2 and 1099 has changed. The latest notification from IRS states that the filing deadline for 2016 W-2 and 1099 forms (incl. Form 1099-MISC) is January 31st, 2017. Evidently, this is a month earlier than the filing date of last year.  But, this doesn’t change the deadline for furnishing W-2 forms to employees and 1099-MISC to other workers for 2016. Also, the dates for E-Filing and paper filing remain the same.

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Celebrate Colorado Day with CheckMark, Inc.

Colorado Day

On August 1, 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado as a state. Colorado Day was celebrated as a state holiday on August 1 for many years, and then was moved to the first Monday in August, most likely after the time the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill in 1968. The day no longer became a public holiday, but rather an observance, when the state started observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a public holiday in 1985.

CheckMark is proud to celebrate Colorado Day, the commemoration of Colorado’s acceptance into statehood.

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