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Wage Garnishment and Payroll Software

clock February 7, 2011 3:47 PM by author StephanieE

According to Wikipedia, “A garnishment is a means of collecting a monetary judgment against a defendant by ordering a third party (the garnishee) to pay the money, otherwise owed to the defendant, directly to the plaintiff. Wage garnishment, the most common type of garnishment, is the process of deducting money from an employee’s monetary compensation (including salary), sometimes as a result of a court order.”

Calculating wage garnishment withholdings and making payments can be complex, and processing them incorrectly can result in legal repercussions. Here are some ways your business can use payroll software to help ensure deductions are made accurately and on time.

  • Set up and track garnishment calculations. Set up garnishment calculations to compute automatically when payroll is processed, and you are assured a consistently accurate dollar amount is being withheld, keeping both employee and creditor happy.
  • Specify a minimum net pay. Many garnishment court orders require that an amount be deducted from the pay, yet the employee pay should not go below a specified amount. Set this up in your payroll software, and you can be confident the proper garnishment is taken out, and that the employee gets their minimum amount.
  • Set up a garnishment priority. When an employee has more than one garnishment, you need to know which garnishment takes priority. Setting up a priority system within your software allows you to automatically deduct the garnishment in the correct order, so that the proper amount is deducted for each creditor.
  • Specify the priority of other deductions. A garnishment may be set up to allow the employee to contribute money to other areas before the garnishment is taken, such as a 401(k) contribution. In this case, setting up a rule within your system to handle this will make certain that the garnishment is taken only after the other deductions are taken.

Using these methods of tracking wage garnishment keeps your information accurate, and also makes it much easier to calculate payments. Keeping track of employee payroll wage garnishments can be overwhelming. Use your payroll software to make the job of tracking and paying wage garnishments much easier, and also to stay in compliance.



Five Payroll Features that can Drastically Simplify Your Life

clock February 4, 2011 10:48 AM by author StephanieE

If you are in charge of managing a payroll system and/or are actually doing the payroll processing, then you should be aware of the newest features available that can simplify the entire payroll process. Newer features now available within leading payroll programs can have a drastic impact on a payroll manager′s workload, and can also improve accuracy.

  1. Direct Deposit

    Direct deposit is a tool that allows you to transfer pay electronically to employee bank accounts. More and more employers are offering direct deposit as an option, or even paying employees only via direct deposit because of simplified processing and money saved. Since direct deposit advices can be printed on plain paper, the employer saves money on the cost of the check stock, printer ink, envelopes, and the manual labor of putting them all together. Transferring pay electronically via direct deposit can shave off hours every week of a payroll processor′s workload.

  2. Advanced Earning Matrix

    If you have employees working at different pay rates for different shifts, departments, locations, profit centers and more, payroll data entry can become complex and cumbersome quickly, since your list of pay codes becomes so long. With an advanced earning matrix, you set up parameters for each of the variables needed within a grid for each employee. Paying employees becomes a snap with the ability to simply choose employee parameters from that grid to enter pay rates. All earnings and deductions are then calculated accordingly when time is entered, solving the very difficult problem of finding the right pay code within a sea of other available codes.

  3. Electronic Tax Filing

    If you manage payroll, you are aware that employers are required to file quarterly and yearly taxes. It wasn′t so long ago when W-2 forms were filled out by typing in triplicate on a manual typewriter! Nowadays some programs offer the ability to print the tax forms on plain paper, saving on the cost of purchasing the tax forms, and also the time associated with printing them. To take the simplification a step further, some payroll companies also allow you the option of filing the tax forms electronically online, which eliminates several steps including the steps of printing, collating, stuffing, and mailing the forms. File tax forms electronically can sound daunting, but an average of 98% of customers who try online tax filing continue doing so year after year because it makes their job so much easier.

  4. Custom Checks, Stubs and Payroll Reports

    Your business is unique. Perhaps you want your employees′ vacation to show on the check stub, or you want their employee number to print out on their check. Maybe you want a column of information to show on your payroll register report. If you use a payroll system that allows you to modify and save your version of checks, stubs and payroll reports, you will always be able to see and show others information in the way that is most useful. It will also cut down on copy and pasting into Excel and making manual edits.

  5. Electronic Time Clock

    Reading hand-written time sheets can be a difficult chore with the challenge of various handwriting types, and the re-entry of that data into a system can also result in human error. By implementing an electronic time clock, you can save yourself the time and also eliminate re-entry errors by pulling the data that was entered electronically by the employee into the payroll system. Many payroll software programs offer standard import utilities, so that you can set up and pull in the data you choose from the electronic time clock, making the job of entering payroll a much easier and faster task.



Financial Management in Agriculture – Why It’s So Important

clock February 1, 2011 9:44 AM by author StephanieE

Many farmers spend thousands of dollars to improve production, but hesitate to spend money on tools that can help them improve their financial management. In fact, managing farm finances offers the best possibility for adding profits and ongoing profitability to an agricultural operation. Consider these reasons why financial management is crucial to the success of your agriculture operation.

GOALS: You cannot meet a goal if you don′t set one. Setting goals is a crucial aspect of maintaining a business. Whether your goal is to grow by a certain percentage over a certain period of time, retire early, or simply keep your operation running successfully, any of these goals are more easily achieved when a plan is there to back up the goal. Then, once your goal has been set, progress toward your goal must be constantly checked and evaluated. Your financial management tools can help you manage your progress, by using reports within your system.

SMART DECISIONS: Smart decisions lead to more profits. Using the information on reports within your financial management system can help you make the best decisions possible: ones that are based on real numbers and facts rather than feelings and assumptions.



Keeping Up with the Cutting Edge

clock January 28, 2011 7:01 AM by author aaron young

In an industry where technology is updated all the time, it's easy for your business to become less efficient if the software you rely on doesn't keep up with current trends.

Whether it's supporting the latest database servers or being able to run on the latest Microsoft Windows® operating systems; a piece of software that hasn't been updated for quite some time could be surprisingly detrimental to your bottom line.

Here are some things you can do to make sure your business isn't left in the dust:

  1. Stay on top of updates released by your software provider

    Don't let them pass too long, not only could you get a fix for a defect you've been working around for the last few weeks or months, but you might also pick up some new functionality which could make you more efficient in your day-to-day processes.

  2. Make sure you have a support plan

    These may seem like an unnecessary expense; what could go wrong - right? But find yourself in a jam just once and you'll wish you hadn't held-off on buying some peace of mind. Support plans also ensure you'll receive continued updates and product enhancements over the coming year(s).

  3. Really learn the software

    You rely on software to make your business profitable, yet how often have you watched someone else use the same product only to discover some functionality you never knew existed? Most line of business applications offer training options, whether through enhanced how-to documentation, online webinars or on/off-site training sessions - utilize the knowledge of the professionals, learn all those tips and tricks for getting the most out of your software.



Is Direct Mail Becoming … Extinct?

clock January 26, 2011 10:26 AM by author cindyb

In this day of supersized technology, marketers and business owners might be starting to second guess their direct mail marketing. It is easy to see why direct mail is under the microscope, with e-mail campaigns, blogs, and Web sites with links to and from all areas of the Web, direct mail just looks so … yesterday.

Or is it? The goal of marketing has always been to reach prospects and customers alike, with campaigns that resonate with them and their needs, as well as to enforce the message or brand the marketer is trying to convey. A well thought out marketing campaign, may or may not include various forms of media, i.e. radio, TV, billboard ads, mass transit advertising, direct mail, and now E-mail campaigns, blogging and Web marketing. The point is good marketers have always layered their plans with multiple forms of marketing, with the goal of reaching many different prospects and customers, over a wide cross-section of demographics. Isolating marketing plans to just E-mail or Web marketing campaigns may not reach all of the intended audiences. Remember, there are still many prospects and customers who have not yet embraced all that technology has brought forth, and direct mail is still an excellent tool to reach out to this group.

I guess when all is said and done, I will continue to create a marketing plan that incorporates all that technology affords me, but direct mail will still hold a spot in that plan!!



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