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Best 10 Apps for Payroll Processing
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Payroll

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The term payroll refers both to an account of company employees and how much they are paid as well as the accounting records for employees' wages, benefits, and tax information.

The earliest forms of salary, while not very well documented, did occur in various ancient bartering and trading systems, in which goods or services were exchanged based on an agreed upon value and fair trade. Instances of organized workers date back as far as 10,000 BCE when workers would have to work in groups or teams in order to help build cities, keep governments running, or operate religious organizations.

The word for salary originates from the word "salarium," which is Latin for "salt money." Salt was often used as a term in relation to money, as it represented sustenance, and it was also used in trade, particularly when trading with soldiers.

Much later, the industrial revolution brought empty roles for many new jobs for people, which changed the system of organizing pay in exchange for work. Wages were often paid at an hourly rate or at a rate of production called "piece work." As technology developed, especially with the expansion of railroads, electricity, and telephones, more managerial roles and other office jobs were added in addition to the manual labor. Since these jobs were harder to measure at a piece work rate, the idea of salary as it is known now was developed to pay workers a set amount in return for their work. 

This system has continued to develop throughout the 20th and 21st century as more types of job markets become necessary. Payroll and the act of organizing employee payment has also been developed and refined for ease of company accounting, staying within budget, and calculating appropriate tax payments or refunds.

Payroll processing depends largely on the type of employee being paid, how their pay is calculated, and how frequently they are paid. Employees that are paid an hourly wage often must use some sort of timekeeping or timecards program to record the time they are clocked in at work for the day. Salaried employees are paid a set amount at regular intervals, usually either monthly or bi-monthly with the amount of salary often depending on experience, also known as salary DOE. Salary and wages alike can also be increased based on performance, which also must be kept up to date in the payroll records. Independent contractors or those that are paid for a specific product or service often invoice the company they are contracting with in the amount of money, usually pre-arranged and agreed upon, for their labor.

The person who processes payroll usually depends on the company and the size of the business. In many mid size or larger companies, the HR team will process payroll, but in smaller companies sometimes the office manager or the head of the businesses themselves will run payroll. Most payroll processing happens on various accounting programs like Quickbooks in which tools like financial calculators or payroll calculators to help determine an employee's payroll amount as well as tax withholding. 

Instead of processing payroll in house, many companies, especially smaller or more moderately sized companies, will opt to outsource their payroll and pay a payroll company or bureau to process their payroll for all the companies employees. While it is an extra expense to move this service out of house, it often saves money and time in the long run of keeping on trained payroll employees. It also ensures that payrolls will be done accurately by trained professionals and financial advisors. This also often helps immensely with keeping accurate tax accounts with regular withholdings and a record of business expenses and deductions.

Since employers are responsible for withholding the proper amount of income tax or other programs such as Social Security and Medicare from their employees' wages, it is very important for a company to have the proper personnel and tools at hand to prevent any audits or other messy tax situations down the line.

Many companies that do not decide to outsource their payroll services choose to use various payroll software or other accounting or tax software, like Intuit, ADP, Square Payroll and SurePayroll to manage all of their tax records for the business, especially in relation to employee payment. These software programs work like a tax calculator to easily determine withholdings from employee pay checks depending on how much the employee makes and whatever current taxation policies are in place.

Having correct documentation or the aid of payroll management software is also helpful for the end of year round up of documents that can be used for tax preparation for both the company and for the employee.

Technology has simplified the usually harrowing and time consuming act of processing payroll. Software and apps, including online platforms and cloud-based HR platforms like Gusto and Inova, have given companies an easy way to store all of their payroll information in one place that is easily accessible from any device. Some programs, such as Dominion, even help not only for payroll but also operate as an entire workforce management for many other aspects of business management. This gives companies the peace of mind that all of their important information is kept safe and can be found and referred to for many years to come.

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