The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

  • 5 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

    March 20

    While filing taxes can be a painful, time-consuming task, one thing that people don’t get mad about during tax season is receiving a refund. Every year when refunds start pouring in everybody starts thinking the same thing – “what I should do with this?” Some people have had a plan in place for months and know exactly what they want to do. Others start batting around the idea of a family vacation, splurging on the latest gadget, or treating themselves to a new wardrobe. While all of those options sound great, they may not necessarily be the best choice for your refund. So how can you make the most of your refund? We have a few ideas.

  • How to Protect Your Small Business from Payroll Fraud

    March 18

    As a small business owner, you know that running payroll is a complicated task. With the fear of entering incorrect information and mistakes that lead to hefty fines, it’s a smart move to get some help and outsource your payroll. We have previously discussed what you need to look for when choosing an online payroll provider, but now we are going to let you know how to watch out for fraudulent payroll companies. As we’ve said before, not all payroll providers are created equal, so it’s important to know who is legitimate and will have your business's best interests in mind.

  • Background Checks and Employee Screening for Your Nanny

    March 13

    When choosing to hire a nanny or another household employee, there are many steps involved. The first beginning with who you are going to bring into your home, which is a decision you don’t want to take lightly. While you should be conducting interviews and asking for referrals, you will want to take things a step further by purchasing a background check for your potential household employee. People can say anything about their skills, experience, and behaviors, but you can’t always trust that.

  • What are Wage Garnishments?

    March 11

    As a small business owner, one of the topics you may come across while calculating payroll is wage garnishments. A wage garnishment is “any legal or equitable procedure where an employer withholds some portion of a person's earnings for the payment of debt.” Understanding wage garnishments are vital because there are specific rules you need to follow when it comes to processing payroll.

  • How to Update Your 401(k) Plan in 2019

    March 8

    As a small business owner, offering a 401(k) plan for your employees is one of the best benefits you can offer. While saving for retirement is something your employees know they should be doing, they may not actually be participating in your 401(k) plan. If low 401(k) participation is a problem for your small business, download the recording for our webinar, 6 Ways to Improve and Update Your Retirement Plan in 2019, to learn how to get your employees invested.  

  • Should You File a Tax Extension?

    March 7

    Tax season tends to be a time of the year that individuals, and small business owners, don’t look forward to. Taxes can be confusing, mistakes are costly, and making sure you have all the proper paperwork can be time-consuming. While applying for an extension may be an option, you will want to be fully aware of the process, and advantages and disadvantages, before doing so.

  • SurePayroll Wins 11th Straight Stevie Award for Customer Service

    March 6

    We’re ridiculously proud of our Customer Service team today for winning their 11th straight Stevie Award, garnering a Gold for 2019 Contact Center of the Year for Financial Services in the 16th Annual American Business Awards®. 

  • What's the Cost of Losing an Employee?

    March 4

    There is no better feeling than bringing a new employee into your company. You’re positive that he or she will have a huge impact on productivity, efficiency, and of course, your bottom line.

  • How Do I Choose a Legal Structure for My Small Business?

    February 20

    When starting a small business, there are many things that you are going to have to consider and important decisions you’ll have to make in order to get your business up and running. One of these decisions that you won’t want to take lightly is choosing a legal structure. As a small business owner, there are several options to choose from, with pros and cons for each depending on your business goals.

  • 5 Payroll Mistakes to Avoid in 2019

    February 18

    With 2019 in full swing, there’s no better time than now to review your payroll system to ensure that everything is in good working order.

  • 4 Things to Add to Your 2019 To-Do List

    February 14

    There’s nothing better than the feeling of a new year. While you’re resolutions and best intentions may have dipped a little in the last month, it’s not too late to re-focus and take control of your business.

  • 4 Tips to Make Your Onboarding Smooth Sailing

    February 13

    Does your small business have a plan for employee onboarding? According to a survey from Career Builder, 50% of small businesses have a structured onboarding process. Even though your business may not have many employees, it’s important to have a plan in place when you are bringing on new employees. According to the survey, having a planned onboarding process can lead to positive results such as increased employee engagement, confidence, and productivity. Wondering where to begin for your business?

  • FUTA Taxes for Household Employees

    February 12

    Good news: If you’ve figured out that you owe nanny taxes and you have your Social Security and Medicare nanny taxes squared away, you’re almost done collecting the nanny taxes you need to send off to Uncle Sam. As we have mentioned before, the nanny tax is comprised of multiple taxes. We’ve previously talked about Social Security and Medicare taxes, and now we are going to break down the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA).

  • Client Corner: MOORE Toys & Gadgets

    February 11

    Located in Wheaton, IL, Diane Moore owns and operates the toy store MOORE Toys & Gadgets. Originally a forensic accountant, Diane was looking for a way to spend more time with her family, and possibly get them involved in a business, and thought a fun toy store is something her town needed. Her toy store is special because she sells unique toys that you would be hard pressed to find in big box chains. Merchandise is chosen with care, and she appreciates the valuable feedback from customers on items she should begin carrying in the store. Diane sat down with us and told us the value behind a strong community, shared how Small Business Saturday has been important for her business, and offered some valuable advice for those looking to operate a small business.  

  • Small Business News

    February 8

    As a small business owner, it can be hard to stay on top of current news between everything you’re juggling. With tax season in full swing, a potential government shutdown approaching, you probably have a lot of questions about what you should be doing. This week, we rounded up some articles that cover these important topics and will get you prepared for tax season and what to do in case another shutdown happens.

  • Do I Need Workers' Compensation Insurance?

    February 7

    If you've recently started your own business or just hired your first employee, you're probably wondering if you need workers' compensation insurance. After all, as a business owner, you want to make sure that your company and your employees are protected in case an accident occurs on the job. You also want to make sure that you find a plan that meets applicable state requirements and falls into a price point that you can afford.

  • Social Security & Medicare Taxes for Household Employees

    February 6

    The nanny tax actually consists of multiple taxes. Out of the taxes covered, Social Security and Medicare taxes are two of the most important ones you’ll want to understand when processing nanny payroll. These taxes are commonly referred to as payroll tax, but when dealing with nanny payroll, the taxes take on the name of the “nanny tax”.

  • The Early Bird Gets the Refund - 4 Reasons to File Your Taxes Early

    February 4

    With W2’s out the door and tax season officially in full swing, you’re either ready to file your tax return and potentially get a refund or you’re looking at the calendar determining just how long you can put off this tax task. Did you know, besides getting your potential refund faster, there are actually several benefits to filing your taxes early?

  • Differences between bi-weekly and semi-monthly payrolls

    February 1

    When setting up payroll for your small business, one of the things you'll have to set up is a payroll schedule. Depending on where you live, your state may make this decision for you and provide guidelines for the type of payroll schedule you need to follow. Other states leave the choice up to business owners to decide. The four payroll schedules are: weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, and monthly. Most confusion comes with understanding bi-weekly and semi-monthly payroll schedules becasue they seem very similar. However, there are a few differences you should know. 

  • Understanding Emotional Intelligence

    February 1

    Emotional intelligence is a subject that’s been increasing in popularity among leaders and small business owners. So what is the hype and why is it important for your small business? In short, emotional intelligence is having the ability to understand, articulate, and act on your own emotions, and understand the emotions of others. As a business owner, this is helpful in both managing your employees and understanding your customers. The articles below help further explain what emotional intelligence is, dive into more of the benefits of focusing on this area, and provide tips if you’re looking to increase your own emotional intelligence.