Payroll - in house or out sourced?

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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We are getting ready to start a summer chaimber maid.   We don't currently have a payroll system.

Do you do it yourself or out source it?   Do you have a computer system or a nice old fashioned payroll book or spread sheet?

How did you get started?  We were going to simply ask our tax preparer to point us to the state web site or requirements.

(Husband has managed payroll for large companies, but we have never set one up.)

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seashanty's picture
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 well ... let me know if you want the name of the massachusetts payroll company i use or not.  i still say that's the best way to go. i call in the hours or email them and i'm done

TheBeachHouse's picture
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seashanty wrote:

 well ... let me know if you want the name of the massachusetts payroll company i use or not.  i still say that's the best way to go. i call in the hours or email them and i'm done

 

sounds like a good lead.  Yes, please.   I will private message you my email.  And should i give him your name if we go that route?   (Have to have Hubby make the final decision.  It's his business.)

TheBeachHouse's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

seashanty wrote:

 well ... let me know if you want the name of the massachusetts payroll company i use or not.  i still say that's the best way to go. i call in the hours or email them and i'm done

 

sounds like a good lead.  Yes, please.   I will private message you my email.  And should i give him your name if we go that route?   (Have to have Hubby make the final decision.  It's his business.)

 

I found how to send you a private message, but can't find a mailbox anywhere for incoming messges to me.  Where is it?  I'm sure it's easy and I'm blind, but I'm asking for help.   Smiling

muirford's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

I found how to send you a private message, but can't find a mailbox anywhere for incoming messges to me.  Where is it?  I'm sure it's easy and I'm blind, but I'm asking for help.   Smiling

The messages get sent to the email you have used as a signup for the innspiring website.  No separate mailbox.  The emails are not public but if you send a message to someone, they see the email address you used to create your innspiring identity, and will reply to that email.

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Kay Nein's picture
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Yes, you can do it in Quickbooks.  To be allowed to do standard calculations in the program = $20 per month.  If you want payroll tax forms (940, 941, state, W2/W3) included = $28 per month.  If you want them to process all those forms and make your tax payments for you = $78 per month. 

You would have to update your software at least every three versions.  They only allow their subscription services to work on three years back  In October of this year, the 2015 will be released and the 2012 version will have to be upgraded to continue the payroll service.  

I love doing payroll in Quickbooks.  It's easy and it's all right there inside your accounting program.  I was a QuickBooks Pro Advisor for several years and have taught numerous clients how to use the program.  I'd be happy to help you (free) if you decide to go that route. 

http://payroll.intuit.com/compare/compare-quickbooks-payroll

 

OnTheShore's picture
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We do payrolll in-house, with spreadsheets that I build myself. The calculations are not all that hard, but you do have to pay attention to detail. Intuit has a free online payroll/paycheck calculator that you can use to check your work: http://payroll.intuit.com/paycheck_calculators/ (or you could just use it to do the calculation every pay period if you only have one employee....)

Each week, I manually enter the data from the paystubs printed by my spreadsheets into our accounting package. I write the checks themselves from our regular checkbook.

You also have to stay on top of the deadlines for tax filings and deposits. This is critically important! (one good reason to use a service!)  With one part-time seasonal employee, you can probably get by with just doing the annual form 944 instead of the quarterly form 941, but you need to get permission from the IRS first. Your state might still require a quarterly filing with them.

In addition to the Employer's tax returns (941 or 944), you also have to file a FUTA return (940) annually.

You can submit W-2's online directly to the SSA for free (http://www.ssa.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm) then print the generated PDFs to mail to your employees. If you need to do any 1099's, I use https://fileyourtaxes.com/ which lets you submit up to five 1099 forms for free.

You most likely will have to carry worker's comp insurance. Not sure how it is handled in your state, but in ours we work through our regular commercial insurance agent. The company does an audit every year and adjusts our premium accordingly. We have to get pre-approval from the State Worker's Comp board for each independent contractor, and we filed waivers with the board for ourselves.

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seashanty's picture
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 beach house, i can recommend a sweetheart of a guy who will do your payroll, he will take care of paying the irs and the state, the whole package. - and he answers the phone himself or gets right back to you quickly with any questions.  charges $23 a month for 1 to 5 employees.  will also do direct deposit if you want. or there's a check fee. 

with quickbooks you have to pay for the payroll option i believe it is $28 a month if they do it ... $20 just to calculate it and you have to still be sure to make the payments. $79 if they do the paying, etc.

i used to do it myself at the b&b and for me it was time CONSUMING ... we had between 1 and 8 chambermaids depending and i could've used some help! i messed up on the taxes occasionally and they slam you with penalties and interest.

i just let him know how many hours for each and the sweetest part of the deal is that he sends the reports each month in a packet showing how much tax is being paid to whom and also issues the w-2s.  message me and i'll give you the name (tell him i  recommended him)  or i'll give the link here if that is okay.

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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If I were you, I would just have them go through a temp agency. That way you pay the agency to be the employer and you don't have any liability or have to set up workman's comp insurance, etc. It makes sense if it's just 1 part time employee.

 

Joey Camb's picture
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We pay about $10 a week for ours as part of our package deal with the accountant

4 sets of tax returns

3 employees tax and national insurance ie ME DH and the chamber maid

and annual accounts

The part that is just wages and taxes is £300 a year which is about $11.50 a week - frankly I think its money well spent, went on 2 tax and national insurance course and was still non the wiser!

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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Probably 1 person.  Maybe 2 at most.

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Quickbooks should do fine for you then,

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Why don't you just use quickbooks?  that will do most everything you need. How many employees will you have? Can't imagine many???

TheBeachHouse's picture
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I was quoted $60 a week which I think is crazy.

Madeleine's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

I was quoted $60 a week which I think is crazy.

I agree, that is crazy.

You can do it yourself. For that money I would, too. I'm looking at your situation thru my glasses...way the heck too busy in the summer to deal with one more thing. We hire out the lawn maintenance, too. Not weeding. I am not paying someone $35/hour to WEED. So, you do what you can.

But, if we are also doing the housekeeping the only thing being hired out is the lawn. We do the rest...trash hauling included. All the maintenance. All the bookkeeping. Laundry. Shopping. Cooking. Web stuff. Meet & greet. Phone, email, etc. You get the idea.

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

I was quoted $60 a week which I think is crazy.

I agree, that is crazy.

You can do it yourself. For that money I would, too. I'm looking at your situation thru my glasses...way the heck too busy in the summer to deal with one more thing. We hire out the lawn maintenance, too. Not weeding. I am not paying someone $35/hour to WEED. So, you do what you can.

But, if we are also doing the housekeeping the only thing being hired out is the lawn. We do the rest...trash hauling included. All the maintenance. All the bookkeeping. Laundry. Shopping. Cooking. Web stuff. Meet & greet. Phone, email, etc. You get the idea.

 

Hubby wants to hire a chamber maid for 5 days a week.   And so we can train him or her to help with breakfast and handle checkins if we want to be away from the house.

Arks's picture
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I've always done my own. I use software called "payroll_mate" that calculates all the withholding, prints the checks with a stub showing the employee's year to date info, and all that.

It also prints the 941's that are mailed in quarterly to the IRS, the 940's (federal unemployment tax), and at end of year prints the W3 and employee W2's. It handles everything I need and costs about $100/year.

Monthly it tells me how much I withheld (federal and state) and I send in those payments to IRS and state tax department.

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Madeleine's picture
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Outsource. You'll need workers comp and all that stuff. Plus, you may have to pay the fed taxes qtrly and having someone else do it gets that off your plate. Plus, no way then can the feds or the state claim you didn't pay the payroll taxes. Also eliminates that whole 'independent contractor' vs 'employee' quandary a lot of small businesses find themselves in.

We call in the hours in the afternoon, check is there in the mail in the morning. If it's direct deposit, all we get are the statements for the employee and our records.

Costs about $10/pay period and then extra when the taxes are filed.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Outsource. You'll need workers comp and all that stuff. Plus, you may have to pay the fed taxes qtrly and having someone else do it gets that off your plate. Plus, no way then can the feds or the state claim you didn't pay the payroll taxes. Also eliminates that whole 'independent contractor' vs 'employee' quandary a lot of small businesses find themselves in.

We call in the hours in the afternoon, check is there in the mail in the morning. If it's direct deposit, all we get are the statements for the employee and our records.

Costs about $10/pay period and then extra when the taxes are filed.

 

Who are the vendors that do this?  Do you use a local vendor?

Madeleine's picture
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We called a local payroll management company. I think they were recommended. Ask the other folks in your town.

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