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Why You Should Eliminate Manual Timesheet Records

manual timesheet records

Dec 14th, 2017 by TRAXPayroll

Believe it or not, some HR departments are still processing their timesheet records by hand. While this is common among smaller businesses, there are a number of downsides to doing so, and these disadvantages will become more serious as the company grows in size. Below are some reasons why you should phase out manual timesheet records.

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Taking International Payroll To The Next Level

international payroll

Dec 12th, 2017 by TRAXPayroll

International expansion is a fundamental requirement for any business to become a multinational corporation. While this presents significant opportunities, it also increases responsibilities, one of which is managinginternational payroll. Below are some best practices for this process.

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The Challenges of Complying With Multiple State Taxation

multiple state taxation

Dec 7th, 2017 by TRAXPayroll

Transitioning from a business which operates in a single state to one that operates in multiple states is an important step towards becoming a large business, one of which business owners should be proud. However, while it presents many opportunities, there are also challenges, one of the most poignant of which is multiple state taxation. Below are some ways in which employers can deal with this situation.

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How HR Can Prepare For The Arrival Of Artificial Intelligence And Robots

HR

Dec 5th, 2017 by TRAXPayroll

Advancements in both robotics and artificial intelligence are set to change the way many industries operate, disrupting and overturning existing methods and processes in favor of new ones. While both small businesses and large businesses will benefit handsomely from these upcoming changes, others who fail to adapt will be left behind. Below are some ways HR can ensure robotics and AI works for them instead of against them.

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How Documentation Can Be Used To Improve Payroll

improve payroll

Nov 30th, 2017 by TRAXPayroll

One strategy used by payroll departments is to lower costs and boost productivity is documenting various department processes, finding components which are nonproductive and then altering or eradicating them entirely. Below are some reasons this method is effective, and ways in which it should be done.

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What The Demise Of DACA Means For Employers

DACA

Nov 28th, 2017 by TRAXPayroll

The Trump administration has addressed DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which means that both small and large businesses must be cautious in regards to managing employees whom the program covers to ensure they are in compliance with federal law. Below are some key things to be aware of.

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How To Attract And Retain Millennials With Flexible Office Design

attract and retain millennials

Nov 23rd, 2017 by TRAXPayroll

A growing trend among millennial workers is the preference for office space which is flexible in design. Such spaces encourage social interaction while also supporting a variety of different work styles. Ultimately, employers aim to use it to attract and retain millennials. There are a number of factors which have led to this preference, and we will explore some of them in this post.

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Which States Are Most Likely To Increase Their Minimum Wage In 2018?

minimum wage in 2018

Nov 21st, 2017 by TRAXPayroll

The labor departments of a number of states have recently made announcements regarding the status of their minimum wage, specifically whether or not it will increase. These announcements are important for employers and their payroll departments, as it lets them know what to expect for 2018.

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What Employers Should Know About Meal Expense Deductions

meal expense deductions

Nov 16th, 2017 by TRAXPayroll

In the past, employers that chose to cover the meals of their employees who were traveling on business could only deduct a maximum of fifty percent of these expenses through income. However, a new ruling has changed this, giving employers the ability to deduct the complete amount for meal costs. Below are additional details regarding this rule and what it means for employers.

How The Ruling Came About

The American Tax Court ruled that the NHL Boston Bruins owner would be able to deduct the complete amount that was paid for meals for staff members and players during their away games. The court also concluded that the meals for the Boston Bruins fell under the exception of the 50 percent deduction for meal expenses which is listed under the 274 tax code section.

In order for an employer to qualify, they must show that the food was given in a place that is near the business premises of the employer and were distributed before, during or after the workday. The court also pointed out that the NHL requires their teams to play 50 percent of their games outside their hometown and that it is mandatory for players to attend the pregame breakfast. In fact, players can actually be fined and prevented from participating in a game if they’re absent or even late.

Past Court Decisions

In the past court decisions gave employers within the entertainment business the ability to claim deductions for meals. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1999 made a ruling that an owner of a casino in Las Vegas could completely deduct the meal expenses for their employees. The reason for this is due to the costs, which were considered to be in association with an important business purpose which maintained employees on the premises.

However, this has opened a door to whether small businesses in other industries can also claim these deductions. Many of these businesses find it challenging to determine the meal deductions since the meals may not be directly involved with the work schedules of the employees, as compared to traveling athletes or performers, who will do business in a company form.

Records Are Necessary

When costs for food are deducted, you need records to support your claims. Officially, no deduction is possible unless these records are present, but there are some exceptions to the rule. The IRS carefully reviews deductions for food costs since it has a high likelihood of abuse, and if a return is scrutinized, you will be asked to show records. These records must show where, why and when the meal was consumed. You must also provide receipts for the expenses, with the only exception being not having to keep receipts for meals that cost under $75. There are a number of apps that can make it easier to maintain good records, which allow you to input the location, time and date.

The Importance of Communication When Switching Pay Cycles

switching pay cycles

Nov 14th, 2017 by TRAXPayroll

Employees don’t like to be left out of the loop, particularly when it comes to pay cycles. An employer that plans on making a switch should communicate early and frequently, so that employees are aware of what is happening. Most businesses will switch their pay cycles for greater efficiency.

How Employers Should Communicate With Employees

When preparing to change pay cycles, employers should utilize the 5 Ws, which are why, where, what, who and when. Employees should know who is affected by the change, why the change is being implemented, when it will go into effect, and where. People are naturally wary and resistant to change, so it is critical for employers to alleviate anxieties and demonstrate that the switch is important for everyone.

Proposed changes should also be posted to bulletin boards, websites, brochures and other places where employees are likely to read them. Announcements could also be made at company meetings. Changes regarding the delivery dates of paychecks and the days within a pay period will usually result once the new pay cycle is initiated. Employers should understand the calculations that can occur whenever a pay cycle is switched.

How The Pay Cycle Should Be Implemented

A team will need to be formed which will be responsible for planning and executing the next pay cycle. This team will typically consist of members from departments such as finance, information technology and human resources. It is also helpful to include an ombudsman in the group who will not be affected by the change and can therefore make suggestions which are unbiased.

The team will next need to assemble a calendar which demonstrates dates for payment, as well as cutoff times for processing and direct deposit. Everyone on the team should unanimously agree on milestone as well as checkpoint dates. Details are important for this process, as the group will need to assess the effects of moving pay dates backwards or forwards, and should review the deductions and earning codes so that communication can be facilitated regularly and early.

Other Things To Consider

Many states have laws on the books regarding the switching of pay periods, so it is important for employers to be aware of this. It is one of the reasons why many businesses switch to bi-weekly payments from semi-monthly payments, due to requirements from FLSA and other state laws. Some states only allow bi-weekly payments at the maximum, so employers should find out what rules apply to their area of operations.

Another factor to consider is benefits deductions, and the way in which they should be managed. Employees will have concerns regarding deductions from dental or health insurance benefits, so employers must decide how they will approach these. Some choose to switch to twenty six periods, while others choose to skip the deductions for the first payroll or remain at twenty four periods and skip the third payroll two times a year.

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