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Cause for Thanksgiving: You control Payroll destiny

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

As you’re feasting on your Thanksgiving dinner, don’t let year-end responsibilities eat you up. You can ease year-end concerns by ticking off some key tasks now.

√  Confirm year-end deadlines and final 2012 federal/state deposit dates. Reminder: The day after Thanksgiving is a regular federal deposit date; schedule the deposit ahead of time, if you need to.

√   Schedule special year-end reports to and from other departments.

√   Schedule bonus payrolls.

√   Update your W-2 software and run samples on plain paper. (Shred the samples before tossing them.)

√   Check your Social Security Administration (SSA) website password. Passwords expire every 90 days, so you may need to create a new one.

√   Check with exempts regarding their reporting of accrued time off through November, and whether they’re planning to take time off next month.

√   Send memos to employees showing 2013 paydays, the new Social Security taxable wage base, 401(k) pretax limit and state unemployment/disability wage bases, if applicable.

√   Review posting descriptions on nonrecurring journal entries.

√   Post employees’ benefits/payroll adjustment data. Include: relocation allowances, educational assistance, group-term life insurance, third-party paid sick pay and manual and void checks.

√   Document gross-to-net calculations for manual checks; ensure that manual checks and voids are entered properly; review the general ledger accounts. This helps Accounting reconcile the payroll bank accounts.

√   Reconcile your tax register. Also reconcile bank accounts through November and ask your bank to prepare an early cutoff statement for December.

√   Head off last year’s problems this year. Consider: Was the mailroom notified of the volume of outgoing mail when W-2s were mailed? Was there enough postage in the postage machine?

√   Check the IRS’ website to ensure that you have the most recent Forms 941, 940, 944 and 945.

√   Submit 2012 laser-printed substitute W-2 (Copy A) and W-3 forms to the SSA for approval. Email them to

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