Reviewed by Jan 29, 2021| Updated on
Payroll is the total of all the compensation that a business must pay to its employees on a given date or for a set period. It is usually managed by an enterprise's accounting or human resources department.
In the case of small businesses, payrolls are directly managed by the owner or an associate. Payroll is increasingly outsourced to specialised firms handling paycheck processing, employee benefits and insurance, and accounting tasks, such as tax deductions.
Payroll can also refer to a company's list of employees and the amount of compensation to be paid to each of them. For most companies, it is a high cost that is almost always deductible, meaning that the price may be excluded from gross profits, which reduces the company's taxable gain. Because of overtime, sick leave and other factors, payroll can vary from one pay period to another.
Payroll is the method of paying employees of a corporation, which may involve monitoring the hours worked, measuring the employee's pay, and issuing compensation directly to their account or by cheque.
But companies also have to perform accounting functions to record payroll, withheld taxes, bonuses, overtime pay, sick time, and holiday pay. Companies must put aside and record any amount of money for Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment taxes to be paid to the government.
Most small and large-sized businesses give out a contract to streamline the process outside of payroll services. Employers keep track of each employee's number of hours worked and send this information to the payroll service.
On payday, the payroll company determines the total amount owed to the employee based on the number of hours or weeks employed over the pay period and the rate of pay. The company deducts payroll taxes and other withholdings, and only pays the workers.