Posts

Integrated Solution Makes Sense for Gyms That Take Their Payroll Processing Seriously

Jon Aardema of Gymnastics Academy of Atlanta talks about using ExpressPayroll in conjunction with Jackrabbit’s Time Clock.

Using ExpressPayroll in conjunction with Jackrabbit helps your business by:

  • Taking the worries and hassles of payroll out of your hair.
  • Eliminating concerns about payment of withholding taxes and tallying end-of-year tax totals.
  • Making time entry more accommodating to employees preferences and schedules.
  • Giving employees a payment process that they can depend on for accuracy and timeliness.

A Smooth Start

Set up with the Time Clock features in Jackrabbit and payroll details through ExpressPayroll is self-explanatory.

It’s easy for owners or managers to get started. The number of hourly rates and types of employees you have determine how you set up the details.

The interface for entering time is intuitive for employees. It’s web-based and mobile-friendly and gives them tremendously flexibility in entering work hours from wherever they are.

“Obviously all of our gyms don’t operate in the same way so being able to fit the system around the tracking and payment needs that your organization and your employees demand is critical. It’s so straightforward and simple that both groups ‘get it’ in a heartbeat.”

Rewards to Reap

Jon’s staff previously filled out time sheets that he tracked in Excel. As the gym – and the staff – grew, there was no way that Jon could continue to use such a time-consuming process to produce payroll.  His interruption-wrought afternoons are not the setting that would allow him to take on a process that is frustrating for him and surely more time-consuming than it needs to be.

“The integrated process puts Jackrabbit’s Time Clock in charge of time management and turns the time entry process into an employee implemented one. The Time Clock allows me to simply check and approve time entries. Hourly ‘budgets’ are set so that I immediately know when enough or too few hours have been worked. I can even email the employee about the discrepancies directly from the interface. The entire process is quite magical!”

Beyond the rewards Jon reaps from getting rid of time sheets and using an “integrated payroll system,” he enjoys end-of-year services that make tax filings painless.

“My expertise is the gym. Payroll is not where I’d prefer to spend my time because each process is a challenge for me. By using the integrated Jackrabbit-ExpressPayroll solution, I can hand off the entire process and concentrate on my business. One of the biggest worries that ExpressPayroll eliminates for me is payment and tracking of withholding taxes. I can rest easy in knowing that this critical component is taken care of by those whose understand the laws, the requirements and the forms.”

Jon isn’t the only one who benefits from this process. Employees have access to do more than enter time. They can self-serve their pay stubs and end of year earnings without the need to ask staff for help in getting to their information.

“Employees can see their pay stubs anytime they need to by logging into ExpressPayroll’s portal. When W-2s are available, employees can log in and print their own forms. This makes it easy for employees and liberating for the gym’s staff since they are no longer the sole resource for that information for employees.”

One Click and Done

The only thing left to do after confirming employee time entries is clicking the Export to Payroll function!

After that click, consider your payroll done because ExpressPayroll is awaiting your export to tally your payroll – according to rate specific hours – and to ensure that each employee is paid for everything they earn and only what they earn. Every detail is analyzed and executed so that your organization is always on-time, up-to-date, accurate and compliant.

No hassles. No worries.

“The integrated solution is a beautiful thing. Jackrabbit’s Time Clock works flawlessly with ExpressPayroll’s systems and the ExpressPayroll folks know Jackrabbit so well that every aspect of the process is seamless.”

HR Basics: Changing the Payroll Workweek

Can We Change The Payroll Workweek of Our Employees?

Yes, but be careful.

The payroll workweek is the fixed seven day, 168-hour period that is used for purposes of determining overtime due for non-exempt employees, and the basis for wage payment and deductions. It does not have to correspond to the calendar week.

It can be changed. The only caveat is that the US Department of Labor says you cannot change it for purposes of bypassing the Fair Labor Standards Act. In other words, you can’t change it because you got a large order that will result in overtime for employees, and you want to split the week to avoid overtime (or lessen the cost of overtime).

When changing a payroll workweek, you should notify the employees as far in advance as possible (minimum of a month and more if possible) so that they can make changes to automatic bank draft dates if necessary.

At the time that you change the payroll workweek, if there is an overlap of the old and new workweeks, you will need to figure overtime under both workweeks. The employee would get the benefit of the workweek that results in higher pay during the changeover week.

Source: Capital Associated Industries, Inc.

4.5 Billion Reasons for an Online Payroll Service & When to Switch Providers

According to the IRS, businesses incurred $4.5 billion in payroll tax penalties last year.  It’s likely that small businesses, particularly those doing payroll themselves, are bearing a large part of the brunt.

When it comes to payroll taxes or employment taxes (Social Security and Medicare; Federal Unemployment Tax, Federal Income Tax), there are simply too many complications, too many changing guidelines for many small business owners to keep up with.

Maybe it’s time to consider outsourcing your payroll processing.  And if you’re currently outsourcing, perhaps look at making a switch to a more user friendly boutique alternative.

As a small business owner, you probably spend a lot of time evaluating and re-evaluating your vendors.  Your payroll service is one of those areas that should be looked at, especially if you utilize one of the large national providers.  Years ago, payroll was left to the two big firms because they had the manpower to keep up with the changing laws and they were able to complete all the federal and state tax filings that were needed throughout the filing year.  Now with new technology and governments downloading compliance laws to centralized sites, the boutique vendors are squashing the giants!   Here are several tell-tale signs that it may be time to get a new payroll service:

  • You are still calling or faxing in payroll information. We all have fond memories of fax machines but if you’re required to use fax or phone then it’s likely time to consider an alternative.  With current technology, being able to upload info anytime, anywhere from multiple devices is the way to go.  Not to say that the occasional phone-in isn’t warranted, but alternatives should exist.
  • You are having someone else prepare your payroll tax forms in addition to paying your payroll service. Wouldn’t it be easier if your payroll service took care of the taxes?  It’s easy to do with todays’ new tools and specialized professionals.  Look to have this with one provider.
  • You are using valuable company time to prepare payroll. There always will be somebody in-house that has payroll duties, and it might be you. Using an outsourced service, however, dramatically reduces the time that the CEO or an employee needs to spend on payroll. Remember that your time is valuable so don’t forget to put a price on what you’re sacrificing by doing payroll in-house.
  • You want to save money. Larger National Firms have a lot of hidden fees.  Be careful, because their invoices are extremely complex and not user friendly so folks don’t pick up on all the additional costs.  Make sure to fully understand what you’re paying per processing and then for any additional services such as tax filings, W-2 preparation, new hire reporting, phone support, etc.
  • Customer service is still handled by non-payroll professionals.  Larger firms break up customer service from sales from tax support, etc.  More boutique firms provide one client contact who handles all aspects of your account and that limits client frustration when issues need to be handled timely.

Express Payroll is run and operated by CPA’s and trained accountants that specialize in the GYMNASTICS, DANCE, SWIMMING, KARATE, MUSIC/ARTS type industries, so we can provide the one-on-one attention and support that a small business owner needs and deserves.  We have the best software product on the market and many of our features were custom built for these type of child focused centers.  We are seamlessly integrated with Jackrabbit’s Time Clock and we have several features that enable owners to delegate the responsibility of processing payroll without allowing them to see what people are paid.   Simply your Life!

Learn more about Express Payroll at www.express-payroll.com. Contact Express Payroll for more information at info@express-payroll.com or 877-774-3327.

 

 

Jackrabbit Technologies Unveils Staff Time Clock Feature

New Payroll Tracking Capabilities Quickly Win Praise from Users 

CHARLOTTE, NC– June 12, 2012 – Jackrabbit Technologies, leading provider of web-based solutions for youth sports & activities centers, recently released its Staff Time Clock feature for users of its business management system. The new feature will enable owners and managers of gyms, studios, schools and activities facilities to aggregate accurate and standardized data and automate its delivery to their payroll systems. Jackrabbit’s customers own and manage organizations that provide learning in the gymnastics, dance, cheer, music, martial arts and camp markets.

Staff Time Clock enables employees to log and track their time in the employee portal. This does not replace payroll capabilities, but provides payroll systems with accurate pre-payroll information. Employee activities can be broken down to accommodate tracking by varying pay rates or duties and will note instructor availability and class instruction times. This is a significant enhancement that Jackrabbit offers at no additional charge to clients.

Jackrabbit provided a limited release of the Staff Time Clock to gain valuable feedback and tweak subtleties of the feature before its general release. Response to the new capabilities has been very positive:

“We were excited to try out the new Staff Time Clock with JackRabbit.  We see huge potential to save time and money and be more efficient as we grow,” comments Meg Roundy of Kings Swim Academy. “We love that Jackrabbit takes our individual needs into consideration when designing great tools for schools like ours so that it accommodates the way we do business.”
“We saw the enhancement alert yesterday and immediately noticed that we had the functionality in our system. Now I can get rid of the additional expense of the online Time Clock we’ve been using. Kudos, Jackrabbit!” comments Jamie Crippin, Hearts In Motion Baton, Dance & Cheer Center.

“The new Jackrabbit Staff Time Clock is a great tool for managing our staffing hours Thanks to Jackrabbit for creating a system we could set up in just a few hours and begin monitoring the very next day. Adding Staff Time Clock has made our Jackrabbit dashboard a hub for managing our staff and students!” Karen King, U.S. Swim Academy

“It is a great feeling to complete a significant enhancement that will provide such tremendous benefits to our clients,” says Mark Mahoney, Jackrabbit’s President and CoFounder. “We listen and act on what we hear to continue to help our clients simplify and improve their operations so they can concentrate on their students and curriculum.”

Critical Payroll-related Activities to Address before Year’s End

With the end of 2011 approaching we thought we would share some the critical tax dates, deadlines and activities that we obtained from our accounting and payroll friends.

Submit 2011 W-2 Information Changes – Provide corrected or missing employee W-2 information to ADP prior to the last payroll with a 2011 check date.

Know Your Filing Responsibilities – In some cases you are responsible for filing taxes. Verify your filing responsibilities using the Quarterly Tax Verification Notice or the third quarter Statement of Deposit.

Submit Payroll Adjustments – You must report final payroll adjustments (e.g., manually issued or voided checks) to your payroll processor before or with the last regularly scheduled 2011 payroll. This action must be completed no later than December 29, 2011.

Report Filing of Form W-2c – If you file Form W-2c with the IRS to correct errors on an employee’s W-2, you or your clients will need to contact your payroll processor so they can update records. A correction fee may also be incurred.

Year-End Checklist

  •  Due Date: Before the last payroll with a 2011 check date
    • Update “Allowed and Taken” Hours, if applicable – Vacation and sick balances are automatically
      cleared after the last December payroll, so be sure to report any changes
      before the last 2011 payroll.
    • Report Third Party Sick Pay to payroll processor
    • Report COBRA Assistance Payments to payroll processor
    • Report Form W-3 Kind of Employer to payroll processor
    • Verify and Submit Changes to Employee Information
    • Report Final 2011 Payroll Adjustments
    • Report Filing of Form W-2c
  • Due Date: Your first payroll of 2012
    • Update Employee Deductions
    • Deactivate Retirement Plan Catch-Up Contributions, if desired

Full end-of-year payroll processing guides are available from any payroll processing company.