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Where should a small business go for payroll-related questions?

edited April 27 in Payroll Advice

If I'm a small business owner trying to run payroll by myself, where could I go when I have payroll questions? Are there any freelance websites or resources where I could get a quick answer to a question or hire someone on an hourly basis to help me?


  • You can post questions here. It is useful to have either a low end payroll program such as QuickBooks or a service such as ADP. You could also go to the APA website, and contact their local chapter.

  • Even finding this site bodes well for a business owner. But, one cannot easily become proficient in payroll by getting and using software, and with the help of a forum.

    I learned myself, over time, but I was willing and able to handle my errors, both in the rework, and penalties and interest. If someone is not able to do the same, then they should hire out their payroll.

    One has to consider the value of their time. For a successful business, the owner's time should be worth too much to spend preparing payroll. On the other hand, some owners prefer to pretend keeping payroll to themselves is a good thing (privacy or some other reason), no matter the "cost".

    And for full disclosure, I make a living selling payroll software, yet I do not recommend anyone use our software unless they understand payroll, and have considered the "cost".

  • Agreed. But I will say that buying a modern payroll program or using a service is MUCH better then trying to do payroll from scratch. To use an example. buying Turbo Tax does not make one a 1040 expert, but it is (IMO) vastly better then trying to do everything by hand. At least the right questions get asked.

  • Except when the inevitable access issue happens and the employer does not have the basic understanding of what to do. Basic understanding, to me, is a requirement. Got a call today from someone who had some sort of computer issue and wanted to know what to do. No backups, no paper records kept showing even the last payroll figures, did not know cash payments are allowed (to get the employees covered until the computer situation was fixed). Fixing the problem will cost more than they saved in the last year (maybe more depending on whether or not more mistakes are or were made). And of course, it was my fault for somehow not sending their data to myself for a backup...

    The untrained who think software is a replacement for training.experience are usually the same who think the software will prevent errors, or the software vendor will fix their mistakes. Software rule 1 has long since been forgotten, GIGO.

  • edited May 8

    I agree this is a good place for getting information, but you also have to know which questions to ask and which details to provide. The rest of the site has some great (free) resources. The company sells software, but does not require that you be a customer to use many of the resources.

    If you have a tax adviser/accountant for your business (or your personal tax return) that might be a good place to ask questions, but make sure this person has an understanding of payroll. And you can always come here for a first or second opinion.

    BTW, this site has a lot of good, knowledgeable people on it and has been pretty good at self correcting if someone gives incorrect information. Many of us have participated for some time and are not put off by having what we say questioned or corrected - that is how we learn.

  • I am filing 941x for a client to recover taxes paid filing a 941 in 2015 i am having trouble feeling out the colums on page 2 of form 941x. I need the minus out the numbers so claim can be refunded. Can I get so help in understanding feeling out the form
  • the best I can do for you is : I've never done one honestly.

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