guide to payroll

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The Definitive Guide to Payroll

Decoding HR's most taxing responsibility


At a small or mid-sized company, it’s often HR’s most essential responsibility: ensuring employees get paid accurately and on time. Unfortunately, “essential” rarely translates to simple. Payroll consistently ranks as HR’s biggest administrative headache, sapping time from what should be the profession’s primary concern. That is, working toward the success and growth of employees.

Whether you’re just getting started or consider yourself a grizzled veteran, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about payroll. How do you settle on a pay cycle? How do you keep track of federal and state taxes? We’ll cover all of these questions including the following:

  • Definitions and benefits of each type of pay cycle
  • State and federal employement taxes and withholdings
  • Important payroll forms for tax filings to annual wage summaries
  • How to calculate overtime based on FLSA rules
  • Different payment methods for paying out employees
  • Supplemental wages and other edge cases to consider

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Andy Przystanski

Andy Przystanski is a Senior Content Specialist at Namely, the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform built for today's employees. Connect with Andy and the Namely team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.