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David Geller

On Running Your Shop : Don’t Do Payroll Yourself




On Running Your Shop : Don’t Do Payroll Yourself


Published in the April 2012 issue.

Eliminate the hassle, drudgery and, most of all, mistakes.

After helping many a jeweler with their QuickBooks over the years I am still surprised to see so many people having so much to do with payroll. Of all the things to do in a store, this is one of the most boring and least productive.

I see many small-store owners using the old-fashioned IRS booklet and figuring up the taxes by hand. That is time-consuming enough but then they need to figure up time sheets, send them to an accountant, and then print out and distribute the checks.

The alternatives include:


1 >> Using the QuickBooks payroll module that can be downloaded directly into QuickBooks.

2 >> Using a payroll company like ADP (, Paychex (paychex. com), or Insperity (

3 >> Your bank

Doing payroll yourself can lead to inaccurate figures and filling out 941s. You never want to be behind on submitting payroll taxes; they’ll hang you at noon. Even though your accountant should get it right, there’s usually a monthly fee.

QuickBooks’ payroll program is easy to use, but from my experience the user can make mistakes and you might still need an accountant to check over your work at year-end.

For this reason I say don’t do payroll anymore, farm it out. Just make sure, whether it’s a bank or payroll service, that you can download the accounts directly into QuickBooks (assuming you are using QuickBooks). If not, you’re back to doing payroll and hand entering data into QuickBooks.


If you use your bank or a payroll service (like the three above) then usually you just go online, enter the employees’ hours, commissions and bonuses, and the service does the rest. They will submit your 941s and give you your W-2s. Paychecks can be printed and distributed but easier yet is to use direct deposit. These services will also help with employee manuals, compliance issues and sometimes  even background checks.

So please, stop doing payroll. 





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