Study Guide - Payroll Best Practices

The study guide is provided to guide you through the course material in a step by step format.

Course material is Payroll Best Practices.  The cost of the text and free shipping is included in the price.

Prerequisite: None

Course level: Basic

Advanced preparation: None

Teaching method: Text and exam

 

Chapter 1. Success or Failure with Best Practices

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • The most fertile ground for best practices
  • Implementing best practices
  • Best practice duplication
  • Why best practices fail

Chapter 2. Employee Time Tracking

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Switching to salaried positions
  • Reducing the number of pay codes
  • Eliminating personal leave days
  • Using honor system to track vacation and sick time
  • Avoiding job costing through the payroll system
  • Using exception time reporting
  • Using bar-coded time clocks
  • Using biometric time clocks
  • Installing a Web-based timekeeping system
  • Installing automated time sheet reminders
  • Tracing time with mobile phones

Chapter 3. Employee Benefits and Deductions

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Prohibiting deductions for employee purchases
  • Disallowing prepayments
  • Minimizing payroll deductions
  • Capping group term life insurance coverage at the IRS exclusion limit
  • Charging employees a fee for garnishment processing
  • Isolating in-pats and ex-pats in separate pay groups
  • Including accrued vacation in the payroll remittance
  • Posting vacation information in the timekeeping system
  • Automating 401(k) plan enrollment
  • Granting employees immediate 401(k) eligibility
  • Automating garnishment transaction
  • Automating option tracking
  • Creating employee self-service for payroll changes
  • Creating employee self-service for benefit changes
  • Linking employees to withholding calculator of the IRS

Chapter 4. Payroll Forms and Reports

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Eliminating reports
  • Posting forms on an intranet sit
  • Automating the annual W-4 review notice to employees
  • Issuing electronic W-2 forms to employees
  • Basing pay raises on an automated step increase report
  • Storing I-9 forms in an electronic format
  • Automating fax-back of payroll forms

Chapter 5. Payments to Employees 

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Using direct deposit
  • Stopping delivery of checks to employees at the office
  • Paying employees through payroll cards
  • Offer clear cards to employees
  • Offering prepaid flexible sending account cards
  • Offering prepaid incentive cards
  • Offering relocating cards to pay moving expenses
  • Sending payroll remittances by email
  • Posting payroll remittances on the company intranet
  • Allowing online payroll remittance viewing only if employees use direct deposit
  • Installing ATMs at company locations
  • Charging intercompany fees for manual paychecks
  • Using automated folders and sealers for paychecks
  • Using the IRS letter-forwarding service to deliver unclaimed paychecks

Chapter 6 . Commission Calculations and Payments

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Simplifying the commission structure
  • Constructing a standard commission terms table
  • Periodically issuing a summary of commission rates
  • Calculating commissions automatically in the computer systems
  • Installing incentive compensation management software
  • Paying commissions only from cash received
  • Calculating final commissions from actual data
  • Including commissions payments in payroll payments
  • Lengthening the interval between commission payments
  • Periodically auditing commissions paid
  • Posting commissions payments on the company intranet
  • Avoiding adjusting preliminary commission accrual calculations

Chapter 7. Payroll Outsourcing 

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Outsourcing the payroll function
  • Using web-based payroll outsourcing
  • Outsourcing benefits administration to a payroll supplier
  • Outsourcing tax filings
  • Outsourcing W-2 form creation and delivery
  • Linking hosted payroll processing to an ERP system
  • Outsourcing unemployment claims management

Chapter 8. Payroll Management

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Creating a policies and procedures manual
  • Issuing activity calendars to all payroll employees
  • Creating a payroll training program
  • Implementing cross-training
  • Requiring payroll certifications
  • Continually reviewing transaction errors
  • Eliminating all transaction backlogs
  • Processing nonpay-affecting changes during off-peak periods
  • Implementing process centering
  • Minimizing payroll cycles
  • Minimizing off-cycle payrolls
  • Storing upcoming transaction in dated folders
  • Creating a year-end payroll processing checklist
  • Simplifying the pay structure
  • Linking the payroll and human resources databases
  • Merging the payroll and human resources departments
  • Linking payroll changes to employee events
  • Linking the 401(k) plan to the payroll system
  • Making electronic child support garnishment payment
  • Installing manager self-service
  • Automating employment and income verification requests
  • Publishing answers to frequently asked questions on an intranet site
  • Operating a payroll help desk
  • Implementing a service level agreement with other departments.
  • Designating intermediaries to maintain contact with fellow service providers
  • Using the common paymaster rule to reduce payroll taxes
  • Reviewing the impact of voluntary unemployment contributions
  • Acquiring the unemployment experience rating of a predecessor organization

Chapter 9. Payroll Systems

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Consolidating payroll systems
  • Installing an integrated human resources and payroll system
  • Installing an enterprise workforce management system
  • Installing a work-flow management system
  • Implementing document imaging
  • Installing a data warehouse
  • Using a forms/rates data warehouse for automated tax filings
  • Avoiding legacy payroll systems

10. Payroll Controls

  • The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:Creating a backup system for payroll records
  • Isolating access to the payroll check printing capability
  • Scanning fingerprints at user workstations
  • Incorporate copy protection features into check
  • Implementing positive pay
  • Initiating direct deposit prenotifications
  • Creating standard error-checking reports
  • Reviewing payroll trends after each pay run
  • Creating standard payroll audit reports
  • Reconciling the payroll bank account every day with online Internet access
  • Verifying that the payroll database has been updated with all manual checks
  • Verifying amounts owed by employees at termination
  • Verifying that year-end paid leave balances are accrued and carried forward properly
  • Reviewing insurance for presence of ineligible family members

Chapter 11. Payroll Measurements

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Payroll transaction fees per employee
  • Payroll transaction error rate
  • Ratio of W-2c toW-2 forms issued
  • Proportion of payroll entries to headcount
  • Annualized wages per employee
  • Net benefits cost per employee
  • Revenue per employee

Chapter 12. Payroll Policies and Procedures

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Policies for payroll best practices
  • Timekeeping procedures in a best practices environment
  • Payroll processing procedures in a best practices environment
  • Payment distribution procedures in a best practices environment

13. Best Practices Implementation Plan

The learning objectives for this lesson are to gain an understanding of:

  • Improving payroll management
  • Reducing transaction volume
  • Automating timekeeping\
  • Implementing self-service
  • Making electronic payments
  • Installing metrics
  • Ensuring ongoing improvements

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