My current payroll service is costing me about $7,000 per year for my two stores. What do you all do? I’ve been looking at the Intuit online service the past few days.
The downside is that I have to print my own checks, meaning I need to be nearby come payday. But at $39/month per store that sounds like a fair tradeoff. They also don’t charge for W-2 processing, you just print them on plain paper and hand them out. W-2’s alone cost me $600 this year.
The other downside is that I can’t use pay-by-pay worker’s compensation. Again, that might be a fair tradeoff to save over $6,000.
Do any of you do it all yourself? It seems like it would be a PITA to calculate withholding every pay period for 60 employees, but I’d like to hear what you all are doing.
Edit: Just found out that you can use pay-by-pay for worker’s comp. That’s another con down.
I do it all myself using Peachtree Complete Accounting. I cut payroll once a week for 50-70 employees (depending on the season). With all the employee information saved in the program, I just input the number of hours, tips, deduct garnishments (of which I have 7 right now… :x ) and hit “print.” If I want to really bust it out quick, I can get it all done in under 2 hours from the time I sit down at the computer.
It costs me my time, ink and checks. W-2’s run about $50 at the end of the year for the forms. I plan to turn all the accounting over to a firm later this year or earlier next year at which time I will have them do payroll and everything… maybe (I’m such a miser I hate the thought of spending all that money).
I’m looking at about $6,000/yr - 4 different companies, 5 stores - about 100 checks biweekly - w2’s, quarterly reports, etc., etc., everything - labor law posters, and checks fedex overnight to each location. All tax deposits, etc., done automagically via EFT. Garnishments, etc., done also. With ADP.
When I first saw your post I thought it was as typo. $7000 really? How is that possible?
I’ve been using Quickbooks online for the past 3 years. Its running about $600/yr for the full service, but payroll is a walk in the park. It does everything. Our payroll is every 2 weeks and I require employees to sign up for direct deposit. All forms are completed by Quickbooks and submitted electronically - pretty easy once you’ve done it. I rarely print checks anymore. I print paystubs and hand them out on payday. We have anywhere from 7 to 40+ employees depending on the time of year.
Glad I posted this thread; seems I’m paying way too much.
Here’s the breakdown from my last invoice (January) from my small store:
Payroll/Taxpay 28 transactions $186.36
Flexible Payroll Package C $39.20
Worker’s Comp Service $13.00
That’s for a month with 2 pay periods, so $127.78 per pay period average. 26 pay periods annually and I’m at $3322.28 for the year. And that doesn’t include another $318.75 that the W-2’s cost me for this store. So $3641.03 for the year.
And that’s for the small store. I don’t have the invoices here from the bigger one… but it looks like I’m even over $7,000 for the two stores.
I’m on pay-by-pay with them. So they calculate what the Worker’s Comp insurance is for the pay period and submit it. That way I don’t have a premium deposit or an end-of-year audit… I always pay exactly what I owe. That fee doesn’t concern me too much - I believe it’s exactly what I paid ADP for the same service. Ripoff? Yes. I know Intuit doesn’t charge a fee for it.
YIKES. I’m at $1000 with ADP. I use their Easynet system and input everything online. They take care of everything from paying the taxes to sending the checks. I used to be with Paychex, but they were a ripoff. Get a quote from ADP or someone else and get back to paychex with their quote. You’ll see how quick the price gets lowered.
I currently use Paychex as well, but am in the process of switching over to ADP. With Paychex you really have to watch out for their “junk” fees, like adding and removing employees, if you have anyone with garnishments they charge as well. ADP cut the monthly fee and does not have any of the extra fees…that I have noticed so far…and they saved me $1000 on my workers comp insurance for each of my stores.
How did they save you a $1000 on workers comp insurance? My payroll and tax service has nothing to do with my workers comp. Do they offer a discount if you get your insurance through a specific company?
I would caution anyone who does their own payroll to think long and hard about it. Over a period of time, there is a very good chance you will make a very expensive error. You might miscalculate something, send in your withholdings late, file a form late, send out w2’s late, or make any one of numerous other mistakes. the penaltys for doing this can be very large. Even using a payroll service over a period of time a mistake is likely to happen. Of course if that happens they will usually pay the penaltys if it was their mistake. Of course their is no one size fits all solution. Some pizza guys are meticulous bookkeepers who are detail oriented who enjoy doing payroll and it is a natural fit for them to do their own. Just be careful, you can lose years worth of savings by making one mistake.
We use an employee leasing company. At the end of the year if an employee needs another w2 because they moved midway through the year we just give them the number to call. When someone tries to collect unemployment it is the PEO who does the legwork to fight them. Nearly no possibility of running into IRS or work comp hassles.
We pay bi weekly but is always a week behind. I use quickbooks and have for 15 years. I pay a yearly fee and every few years I have to upgrade my version of quickbooks. Simple takes minimal time. I do garnishments and it figures all my taxes. We do have an accountant. I email him a copy every month and he sends me my returns and such. It really is no big deal now after all these years I know what is due and when but it is nice to have the support if something comes up. He also processes and prints all my w-2’s. As for work comp I do this. We only report quarterly and it only takes a few minutes to figure up on quickbooks.
I strongly urge anyone to use an accountant. When we got audited by the IRS it was nice to have him take care of it…because it was pretty scary. Worth every penny I have paid him…which isn’t much. 137 bucks a month and then about 400 bucks when he does our year end taxes including w-2’s.
Would it be worth 7000 bucks for someone to do this…maybe but as of now I would rather continue to do it and save the money.
Just to be contrary to the previous posters: I do all my own payroll, and year end taxes, too. (TurboTax) And I encourage everyone who CAN do their own, to do so! (I will admit that I have less than ten employees & love math) You do not need to be a “math whiz” to do your own books, and taxes. And the likelyhood of getting ANY sort of penalty for late/missing filings is remote - on the rare occasions that I forget something, I get a simple note from whatever agency I skipped, saying, “Hello! Remember us?” You do usually have to pay interest on what you forgot, but that is quite minor. Bi-monthly payroll takes me twenty minutes, from timecard to pay check. Total, not per employee. The reason I encourage everyone to do their own, is simple: it’s the only way you will EVER understand your own business! Yeah, the first time I did my own business taxes was scary, just because I didn’t know all the definitions and whether I was doing it right. But every year after that it got simpler, now it is to the point where year-end taxes take me a whopping 45 minutes. If you pay someone to do books/taxes you are trusting them to not mess up, and to not rip you off. Oft-times that trust is misplaced.
Payroll is one thing but I would DISAGREE with almost all of us operators doing our own year-end taxes. Hire a professional, preferably with restaurant experience, not only to prepare your taxes…but to provide tax planning that will minimize your tax liabilty. I do all my own books using quickbooks onlne and the monthly sales taxes. My accountant does payroll after I email him hours weekly for about 26 employees and all payroll-related filings as well as the year-end tax returns. Costs me $300/month
I do agree that most operators are better off doing their own books…not their tax returns though!
Yeah, I have to agree. I do my own books and they look like a Fortune 500 company’s, I’m formally trained in finance, I have enough accounting hours to sit for the CPA - and there’s still no way I’d do my own year-end taxes (for the business, I do my own personal). A professional tax preparer is up to date on the latest tax laws and changes, and that alone can save much more money than you paid to have them done.
As for my original post, I contacted ADP today and also Intuit. I really like Intuit’s online program. It’s very affordable but requires me to file and pay my own taxes. Even so, it’s all electronic so it would only be a couple of extra button pushes per month. I am very hesitant of a service where I need to print my own checks however. On occasion I can be out of town for payroll and it’s no problem with Paychex or ADP because they are printed locally and messengered right to my location. I’m not sure how I would handle being out of town during payroll if I have to print the checks myself.