The Accountant's Guide to Payroll

Posted August 24, 2020 by Justworks in Keeping Compliant
For accountants looking to expand their financial services, managing payroll for clients is the best place to start. We’ll break down the steps to get you there.

If you’re an accountant, you’ve probably witnessed a shift in your roles and responsibilities as the practice of accounting has moved toward financial advising and consultation.

More and more, businesses are expecting their accountants to offer a wider toolkit of financial services beyond crunching numbers, balancing financial statements, and managing tax preparation. One of the most crucial responsibilities to emerge in this modern world of accounting is payroll.

How do business owners get paid?

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For many companies, the struggle to run payroll takes up too many resources that could be spent on other parts of the business. Payroll can be extremely time-consuming to manage without the right support, and the risk of inaccurately processing payroll can lead to fines and more headaches. This is where accountants have an opportunity to add value and become integral partners to their clientele, by taking on the burden of running payroll. It’s easier than it looks, thanks to cloud-based payroll.

If you’re looking to expand your financial services and haven’t started offering payroll, we’ll break down the steps to get you started.

What Is Cloud-Based Payroll?

Traditional payroll, much like traditional accounting, happens in spreadsheets. Trying to manage payments to employees, contractors, and vendors this way not only strains your client’s time and resources, it also introduces plenty of room for error. This is where cloud-based payroll comes in.

Online payroll software also helps overcome the problems posed by traditional methods of running payroll, such as disorganization, the failure to manage paid time off, and the lack of compliance support.

Cloud-based payroll, as the name suggests, runs online with data stored on remote servers, not in software stored locally. This small feature alone reduces the need for system maintenance and regular updates to payroll software, both of which can be costly in terms of time and money. Moreover, payroll software that integrates well with your clients can also eliminate manual work and create more bandwidth and flexibility.

Imagine transforming your client’s business all through a simple switch in how they run payroll. If you’re an accountant looking to become a superhero advisor to your clients, this is one of the best areas of their business on which to focus your attention.

How Does Online Payroll Help Accountants?

Online payroll helps your clients stay up to date on how their businesses are performing. It does so by providing businesses with financial data like employees’ hours, withholdings, and benefits deductions. This level of insight elevates your clients’ strategic decision-making, which should be top of mind for you as a partner to your clientele.

By streamlining payroll, accountants free up time for your clients, removing many of the day-to-day barriers that hold them back from focusing on their top priority: running a business.

Reduces Accounting Errors by Going Paperless

There will always be some risk of error when it comes to manual data entry. To mitigate these risks, accountants can help clients automate payments to their teams through online payroll using features like direct deposit. Moreover, paperless payments to the likes of vendors and contractors can save your clients precious time and resources.

Helps Clients Keep Compliant

Connecting your client with a payroll provider that offers compliance support can also greatly reduce the stress of keeping up with tax and employment related laws. While some payroll solutions provide tax support, a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is better equipped to handle more — payroll taxes, W-2s, and 1099s, plus helping keep businesses compliant with employment regulations as they grow over time.

Provides Essential Financial Insights

In today’s world, accounting means always being ready to advise your clients across a number of financial and business decisions. The easiest way to do so is making real-time financial data available to your clients.

Through the right online payroll provider, you can provide your clients with a clear breakdown of hours, withholdings, benefits deductions, and more, which can empower clients to make informed business decisions quicker. More and more, accountants themselves are also using this data to play a bigger role in strategic business decisions for their clients.

Become an Accounting Superhero With Our Help

More and more, clients are looking for a tech-forward accountant or bookkeeper. And as your role evolves into a financial guru, you’ll be expected to provide financial shortcuts, strategies, and insights to your clients to help them run their business smoothly.

Teaming up with a cloud-based payroll provider can help you become an accounting Swiss Army knife, tackling some of your clients’ most salient issues surrounding payments, tax- and employment-related compliance, and administrative tasks.

Get in touch to learn more about cloud-based payroll, find out what features you should look for in your payroll software, or learn more about Justworks payroll solution and compliance support. By teaming up with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) for payroll and payroll tax compliance, small businesses get the support they need to run their business confidently every step of the way.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.