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Payroll Training 101: 4 Common Blunders to Avoid Once You Start Your Career

April 6, 2016

Accounting Training

Processing a company’s payroll requires taking many different factors into consideration. Accounting and payroll professionals have to keep benefits, hours worked, sick days, and taxes in mind—among many other responsibilities. As a result, it’s only normal that a payroll error will happen from time to time. But whether a payroll blunder works out in favor of the employee or the business, they can be costly mistakes that sometimes take extra time to fix. That’s why knowing which mistakes happen often—as well as how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place—can be a huge time saver during your future career.

If you’re planning to pursue accounting and payroll training, read on to learn some of the most common payroll mistakes professionals make in the industry, and how you can avoid making them.

1. Pros with Payroll Training Should Always Record Employee Bonuses

One common error that professionals with payroll training sometimes make is that they forget to record employee bonuses. They might hand out bonus pays, commissions, and gift cards but then forget to record them in the payroll system.

Employee bonuses need to be recorded in the payroll system

Employee bonuses need to be recorded in the payroll system

These mistakes could throw the system off-balance if you don’t make note of them. That’s why if you hand out bonuses during your career, make sure that they’re recorded in the processing system to ensure that your books stay in balance, and that your tax deposits stay in order.

2. Pros with Payroll Training Should Deposit Taxes on Time

Most companies are required to deposit taxes on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. When taxes reach certain amounts, however, they might need to be deposited on the next business day. Sometimes payroll professionals forget to stay on top of these important dates, which is why this is another common mistake you’ll learn to avoid during your payroll training.

You’ll learn during accounting training that when you miss a tax deposit deadline, you may be subject to late deposit fees and interest. That’s why it’s important to remember tax deposit dates so that you avoid having to pay any penalty rates.

3. Pros with Payroll Training Should Remember Expense Reimbursements

While some companies provide employees with expense accounts to cover costs while they travel, others choose to reimburse employees for any business-related costs instead. Common expenses include hotel costs, meals, and car rental expenses—which can be pricey for employees.

That’s why one mistake that can cause frustration is when these expenses aren’t calculated by and reimbursed on time. Nobody wants to have to continuously ask their employer for money owed, so you can avoid this uncomfortable situation by making sure that you process expense reimbursements in a timely fashion during your career.

4. Pros with Payroll Training Should Always Calculate Overtime Correctly

Every company should have specific guidelines for overtime pay. As you start your career, make sure to become familiar with these guidelines quickly so that employees who have extra hours accrued are always paid what they’re owed. When overtime pay is miscalculated, it can lead to frustration for employees or extra costs for the company. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with both provincial regulations and your employer’s overtime policies when you start your career.

Looking to earn your accounting and payroll diploma in Ontario?

Visit NAHB for program information, or to speak with an advisor.

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