We have a great group of people on here - just curious how long some of you have been working in the industry! :)
over 30 years (eek!)
Since 1986 - too long. LOL I did take a 2 year break though.
I do not remember the exact dates the laws were passed for things like direct deposit, 401(k), and Section 125, but I remember my employer implementing all of them in the 1980s and we were a fairly early implementer. Before my time, but if we were talking 1960 or so, we are talking largely cash only, no checks. I actually did temp work at a cash only place in the 1970s. Payroll issued a slip and the employee would take it to a different floor to cash it, Anyone who did ADP way back when might remember a "cash page" spelling out exactly how much currency you needed.
I remember visiting my mom at work and watching a payroll run using punch cards... "computer" had its own floor in the building, and my first experience with air conditioning.
I have done accounting on punch cards. And used adding machines with cranks. And can remember when copies were wet and had to be hung up on cloth lines to dry out. And if you hit one with a lit cigarette, the whole line would go up.
When I started working at a service provider in 1988 we only had a handful of clients that had pretax insurance deductions, direct deposit was sent to the banks on big tape reels, I don;t remember any with a 401k. Within a few years everyone had section 125 plans, 401ks, direct deposit was done electronically. It's amazing how quickly things changed and how complicated payroll got. I still have older relatives (and some young ones) that think all we do is take the hours x the rate and print checks. I wish it was that easy. :-)
Look at it this way. My last two jobs, I was hired because the preceding person thought it was exactly that easy. Until IRS or someone audited and the real world intervened
Thank of IRC and DOL regulations as sort of a full employment act for payroll professionals..