Any entrepreneur that tells me he wants to prepare his own payroll confounds me.
As one of my clients told me last year, after trying to do her own payroll for one month, “Payroll is just….HARD.”
She is an architect. She is a smart capable lady who draws things I could never understand or do myself. So, for her to tell me that, says something about payroll. She had no time to figure out payroll and try to run her new business.
I think payroll isn't necessarily difficult from a process standpoint. There are software applications that can make it pretty easy. It’s every single thing that comes after you process your paycheck….making payroll tax deposits, filing quarterly payroll tax reports, preparing annual payroll tax forms like W-2’s and 1099’s, new hire reporting, verifying that your new hire isn't an illegal alien…and the list goes on and on. Not to mention any time your employee moves or gets a new bank account or owes back child support their payroll issues become your issues. I don’t even do my own payroll anymore, and I only have a grand total of 4 team members.
Every single client who once allowed us to assist with payroll, then left to do it themselves, always returns with two things in hand….the info for us to begin assisting with payroll again and a stack of IRS and state payroll tax notices. And did I mention Unemployment? Don't even get me started. When I say that it takes nearly four months to rectify a payroll tax error, I’m being conservative. I had one client who made a mistake in filing an incorrect form, and it took me SIX YEARS of writing letters to fix it. No lie.
Start-Up School was designed to alert entrepreneurs to all of the things necessary to run a business well, and payroll is something that every business will likely encounter at some point. I think that having someone to assist with the proper setup and with answering questions BEFORE the first check is processed is key.
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