The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

Default versus Auto Payroll – Which is Right for You?

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Maggie Saemann

From the day we first opened our doors in 2000, SurePayroll has been committed to providing a flexible, fast, and stress-free payroll solution to employers across the nation. However, we understand that no two clients, businesses, or households are alike. That’s why we’ve created two innovative payroll options – Default Payroll and Auto Payroll – to fit the diverse needs of our customers. 

Selecting the right payroll option for you is essential to your success, so we invite you to learn more about the SurePayroll Default and Auto Payroll features below. 



Default Payroll 

What is Default Payroll? 

When you run your first payroll with SurePayroll, you’ll be required to manually enter a variety of information regarding each employee (such as their default earnings and any additional compensation they receive). If you choose to enroll in Default Payroll, the data you entered (as well as other settings you customized) will be saved and automatically pre-populated into the payroll entry page, so it’s ready for your review and changes, if any are needed, when it’s time to run your next payroll. 


What are the benefits of Default Payroll? 

Default Payroll offers SurePayroll customers many advantages: 

  • Time-saving: Our auto-populate feature reduces the need to manually enter your employees’ details every pay period 
  • Flexible: Additional adjustments (such as bonuses, PTO, or deductions) can be regularly added or even turned on and off 
  • Customizable: You can apply Default Payroll settings to all employees or only a select list 


Who should use Default Payroll?  

Default Payroll may be ideal for busy employers who want to save time when running payroll. You should consider enrolling in default payroll if you: 

  • Have complicated payroll needs (e.g., several employees with various different but consistent compensations) 
  • Want to automate payroll for one group but not another 


How can I set up Default Payroll? 

To set up default payroll, follow the steps below:  

  • Log in to your business account 
  • Click the “Payroll” tab  
  • Click “Begin/Continue Payroll”  
  • On “Enter Payroll”, click the edit icon next to “Default Payroll” (you’ll be asked if you’re sure you want to leave the page) 
  • In the “Add” column, check the box to select your employees 
  • Fill out the payroll values for earnings and other compensation you want processed on every payroll 
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the “Save & Apply to Payroll Entry” button


Auto Payroll 

What is Auto Payroll? 

Auto Payroll is a SurePayroll feature that puts your payroll on cruise control. If you choose to turn on Auto Payroll, your payroll will automatically be processed for you each pay period. Although you can still make changes up to 24 hours before your approval date, enabling Auto Payroll eliminates the need for you to login or approve your payroll for it to process on your approval date. 


What are the benefits of Auto Payroll? 

Auto Payroll offers SurePayroll customers many advantages: 

  • Low maintenance: If you thought Default Payroll made things easy, Auto Payroll processes your payroll without any action needed from you (you don’t have to give anyone the go-ahead or even login to your account) 
  • Flexible: You can still make changes to your payroll up to 24 hours before your approval date (and we’ll even send you email notifications to remind you) 
  • Easy to switch: Turning Auto Payroll on or off is as simple as the click of a button  


Who should use Auto Payroll? 

Like Default Payroll, Auto Payroll is a great option for busy employers looking to save time and eliminate manual work. However, you may want to consider selecting Auto Payroll over Default Payroll if you: 

  • Want to run the same payroll without changes for every employee on a regular basis 


  • Want to maximize time and cost savings  


However, it’s important to note that Auto Payroll is only available to you if you have:  

  • Set up Default Payroll first (entered all employees and all employee hours and earnings) 
  • Processed at least one payroll online 
  • Entered all tax IDs 


How can I set up Auto Payroll? 

To set up Auto Payroll, follow the steps below: 

  • Log in to your business account  
  • Click the “Payroll” tab  
  • Click “Begin/Continue Payroll”  
  • On “Enter Payroll”, click the pencil icon next to “Default Payroll: ON” (you’ll be asked if you want to leave the page) 
  • Switch the “Auto Payroll” toggle from “OFF” to “ON” at the bottom of the “Default Payroll” page 
  • Click the “Save and Continue” button 
  • Fill in your first and last name when the “Auto Payroll Agreement” pops up 
  • Check the box saying you’re authorized to execute this agreement on behalf of your company 
  • Click the “Submit Agreement” button 
  • Wait for Auto Robo to confirm that Auto Payroll is turned on 


Default vs. Auto Payroll 

Both Default and Auto Payroll can eliminate manual work, simplify your responsibilities, and help ensure your employees are paid accurately and on time, every time. However, despite the clear benefits of both features, it’s important that you analyze the needs of your business and select the best option for you.  

Interested in learning more? You can find additional information about Default and Auto Payroll on the SurePayroll website or connect with a payroll specialist here.

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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.