Year-end payroll tasks actually should start on December 1st and really can continue right through the first of April! Yikes – that’s a lot of time to be spending on additional payroll tasks, especially during the holidays!
There are so many things that need to be taken care of; you need to be organized and have a checklist that includes when certain things have to be completed and helps you to prioritize tasks so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed.
From simple things – like starting around the first of December you should remind employees that if their has been a change in their filing status due to getting married, having or adopting a baby, or perhaps they have a child that is turning 21, that they should fill out a new W-4 form for 2015.
To more complex things – like going through all of your subcontractor payments and determining which payments you need to include on a 1099 vs. those that will be reported by your credit card company using a 1099-K.
- Stay calm
- Get yourself organized
- Don’t wait until the last minute
- Plan, plan, plan
One year I had 15 payroll clients and had everything ready to go with the exception of printing out all the final forms and returns. My plan was that I would then take a day and do nothing but print, sort, and package. Then I got really sick for about a week. On the day that I finally was able to drag myself out of bed and attend to this task of printing I discovered that I needed a new toner cartridge for my printer and had to drag myself off to Staples to get one – that was extra stress that I really didn’t need.
My point – expect the unexpected! You NEVER know when something will go wrong.