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Payroll Records


To satisfy federal and state laws as well as your employees, payroll records must be meticulously kept. Payroll records are maintained through a documentation system which details employee payments and taxes. This information may include hours worked, wages, taxes and deductions which must be withheld, and check payments which must be delivered to employees.

The first document in payroll records is the employment application. This form provides basic information that the employee submitted when applying for a position, such as name, address, financial information, and taxing information. Payroll records also include W-2’s from employees detailing their payment information from the previous year. Next, payroll records could include an IRS W-4 form, which specifies the amount of income tax to be taken out of employee wages. This form details any exemptions claimed by an employee and their filing status. The next document should be Form I-9, which verifies that an employee is eligible to work in the United States. Next, Form W-5 should be included for employees eligible for earned income credits because of income below certain levels. This form provides tax credits taken from the amount of tax owed.

Also vital for payroll records is a time sheet or card detailing the hours that an employee worked, any overtime or holiday hours worked, and any time taken off for personal leave or illness. If employees receive tips, this information should be included in a weekly report. If employee wages depend on unit production or commissions, this information should be included. Information based on bonuses should be detailed here as well.

A company’s payroll journal or general ledger includes debits related to salaries, taxes, and labor expenses. It also includes credits such as liabilities related to taxes which have not yet been paid or net pay provided to employees. For actual payroll distribution, software today is able to automatically distribute wages.

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