The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

Is DIY Payroll Worth It?

Posted On
Caitlin Carragee

On the surface, running payroll sounds like a simple task: you put in your employees’ hours or salaried rate, calculate the amount for that payroll, and pay them, right?


Payroll involves more than doing the math on a pay period hourly amount. You need to be sure you’re properly calculating and withholding:

  • FICA
  • State taxes
  • Local taxes

And you need to do this for each employee based on a variety of factors including:

  • Pay rate
  • Work and live locations
  • Withholdings based on their W-4

Not to mention that in order to do all of that effectively, you need to stay compliant with ever-changing tax codes and tax rates—missing an update could mean that you file the incorrect amount of taxes, resulting in you and/or your employees owing additional tax liabilities at the end of a quarter or year…or even worse, an audit and possible tax penalties.

You absolutely can DIY your payroll, but you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re getting into before you miss a filing deadline or use an old rate to calculate a deduction. We put together a Small Business Beginner’s Guide to Payroll to bring you up to speed.

If your head is already swimming with the thought of the time and risk involved in going it alone on payroll, you might consider using a payroll service that works with small business like yours. To help you select a payroll service that meets your needs, we pulled together 5 key questions to ask. Download our one page worksheet What to Look for in a Payroll Provider to make sure your search ends with the best payroll service for your business.

At SurePayroll, we’ve designed our payroll services for small businesses like yours—if you’d like to learn more about our taxes paid and filed guarantee, flexible payroll features, and award-winning, U.S.-based customer service, request a quote today.