Step-by-Step List for Your First Payroll Run


Running your first payroll is exciting, however it can also be overwhelming and even a little challenging. How do you understand if you’re doing everything correctly? What if you do not have all the details you require?

To help you out, we have actually put together the supreme detailed list for your very first payroll run, including a list of all the necessary documents that you’ll require.

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Very first payroll run detailed checklist

Action 1: Collect all your documents

You will need multiple files to run your first payroll, including an Employer Recognition Number (EIN) and forms W-4 or W-9 for staff members. We have actually created a master checklist of all the files you’ll need in the next section, so describe that as you prepare to run your very first payroll.

Step 2: Open a payroll savings account

To run payroll, you will require a company savings account, not an individual one. Most companies use a dedicated checking account for payroll just so that money does not get mixed in with other funds. If you do not presently have a business checking account reserved for payroll, consider setting one up.

Step 3: Select a pay duration

Next, you’ll need to choose how typically you are going to pay staff members. Many businesses follow a biweekly payment schedule, while others choose two times a month or even when a month. Have a look at our guide to pay durations if you require assistance figuring out a payroll schedule for your company. Make sure to comply with all appropriate government policies when selecting a pay period.

Step 4: Set up your payroll software application

If you’re utilizing payroll software (as opposed to running payroll manually), you’ll require to set up your payroll software application before running payroll for the first time. An easy to use payroll software such as SurePayroll will walk you through the setup procedure to ensure you have everything you require to run your first payroll effectively.

Have not chosen a payroll software application platform yet? See our leading picks for the finest payroll software application of 2024.

The SurePayroll interface. The SurePayroll interface. Image: SurePayroll Action 5: Get employee’s settlement insurance coverage Out of all 50 states, 49 of them mandate that companies must have employee’s compensation insurance coverage to operate and pay workers (Texas is the only exception). Some states need it, even if you are going to pay a single staff member. Review your state’s requirements and get compliant worker’s payment insurance coverage so you’ll be prepared to run your first payroll.

Step 6: Determine gross pay

Now it’s time to really begin finding out how much to pay staff members. To begin, you require to determine gross spend for each employee (a.k.a., salaries before taxes, benefits and other reductions are taken out).

For per hour workers, you’ll require to review their timecards for accuracy and compute any essential overtime and paid time off. For salaried employees, you do not have to worry about overtime, however you will require to calculate any paid time off.

You’ll likewise require to represent any extra pay, such as commissions, benefits and retroactive pay, for all staff members. Payroll software application like SurePayroll will automatically do these calculations for you, speeding up the procedure and increasing precision.

Action 7: Calculate take-home pay

Next, you need to compute all reductions and subtract them from the gross pay to get each staff member’s net pay. First, calculate pre-tax or tax-exempt adjustments, which include advantage premiums, retirement fund contributions, HSA contributions and expenditure compensations.

Then determine taxes and keep federal income tax, Medicare tax, Social Security tax, state income tax, regional taxes and wage garnishments. Finally, account for after-tax withholdings, such as Roth individual retirement account contributions. Again, using payroll software will automate these computations in your place.

Step 8: Review the math

Whether you calculate payroll manually or utilize payroll software, you need to review the mathematics before processing payroll to ensure all estimations are proper. This will assist you to prevent pricey errors, irritated workers and even federal government penalties for inaccurate taxes.

Step 9: Distribute payments and pay stubs

Once you’ve double-checked whatever, it’s time to in fact pay your staff members. Most employees will be paid through direct deposits, however you can likewise pay them through physical paper checks or pay cards. You should likewise generate a pay stub for each worker and send it to them so you both have a record of the payroll run.

More payroll coverage

Files needed to run your very first payroll

Below, we have actually assembled a checklist of all the files you will need to run your very first payroll. For a more extensive description of these documents, see our devoted guide that describes the documents you’ll require for payroll in more detail.

Business tax details

  • Company Identification Number: This is used by the U.S. federal government to track your tax deposits. You can get an EIN totally free in a couple of minutes through the internal revenue service site. See our guide that explains what an EIN is to find out more.
  • State Firm ID Number: This is similar to an EIN and is used to track your tax deposits to the state government.
  • State joblessness insurance coverage contribution rate: All 50 states and D.C. have a joblessness tax that is imposed on business, however each one charges a various rate and structures their UI program differently.
  • Payroll tax deposit schedule: Primarily federal and state taxes are due quarterly, but it’s always an excellent concept to verify the dates.

Worker documents

  • Individual details: You’ll require each employee’s complete legal name, date of birth and existing address in order to pay them.
  • Employment start or termination date: Given that this is your first payroll run, you will most likely be utilizing the employee’s start date.
  • Tax filing number: This will be either the employee’s Social Security number or their Taxpayer Recognition Number (TIN), which resembles an EIN for people.
  • Pay rate and payment details: This includes not simply the hourly rate or salaried earnings however all needed compensation info, such as commission rates and rewards.
  • Keeping details: This specifies how much money needs to be kept from each paycheck to cover the staff member’s contributions to benefits and taxes.
  • Kind I-9: This type verifies each staff member’s eligibility for employment in the U.S.
  • Type W-4: This type summarizes all of this information for each staff member.
  • Type W-9: This type summarizes all of this information for each independent specialist.

Company information

  • Company bank account: You will need a company checking account to pay employees and taxes.
  • Company contributions: As a company, you need to add to particular advantages, such as medical insurance.

Regularly asked questions

When setting up payroll, what should you do initially?

When establishing payroll for the very first time in the United States, you need to get an Employer Recognition Number (EIN) and gather other required documents. In the U.S., you can not run payroll unless you have an EIN, so you need it to move forward.

Why is a payroll list essential?

A payroll list is necessary so that your calculations are as accurate as possible. If you do not have a payroll checklist, then you may forget to consist of overtime, miscalculate deductions or forget to keep taxes– all of which are pricey errors to fix.

For how long does payroll take to be processed?

From start to end up, it can use up to a week for payroll to be processed. Depending upon how big your business is, it may take a number of days to in fact run payroll and get all the essential approvals. As soon as payroll is finalized and sent, it generally takes one to four days for direct deposits to in fact be made to staff members’ savings account.


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