Closing Payroll Early to Cover Holidays

Did you know that businesses are supposed to follow regular payroll schedules? Businesses who don’t can get into big trouble so listen up if you’re new to this.

Employers can’t just pay their employees whenever they get paid from their clients and they can’t postpone payroll because they ran into a big expense. Nope. Employees must be paid in a timely manner, all the time. This means that a business should have some reserve for payroll because when the unexpected happens, employees still need to be paid.

If you think about it, you can see why it is so vital that employees are paid regularly and on time. Employees, just like anybody else, have bills and specific due dates for those bills. If they don’t get paid on time, they can’t pay their bills on time and that hurts their credit… bad. It is totally unfair to botch up an employee’s credit because your business is suffering and so that’s why there are laws against it.

On the flip side, if you don’t pay your employees on time, you can end up with a lawsuit that you probably won’t win. The DOL favors employees when businesses don’t follow wage and hour laws.

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Paying Employees More Or Less Than the Standard Mileage Rate

The IRS Standard Mileage Rate is the rate provided by the IRS for mileage reimbursement for business use of  a personal vehicle. In 2014, the rate is 56 cents per mile. The rate is a guideline based on average gas prices and average wear and tear on a vehicle (gas reimbursement is a part of this rate).

Some people want to know if they can reimburse less than the standard rate. The answer is yes. Others want to know if they can reimburse more. The answer is also yes.

The IRS sets the rate for two reasons:

  1. To give employers a fair rate for paying back employees when they drive their own personal vehicles for work.
  2. To give employees a rate which they can use to deduct mileage on their taxes if the employer doesn’t reimburse or doesn’t reimburse the full amount.

It’s OK to customize the mileage rate based on what makes sense for your specific set of circumstances.

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Dodging Double Time – Is It Right?

OverworkedOur blog attracts both employers and employees who are searching for answers to their employment related questions. Last week, one of our posts, When is an Employee Paid Double Time, attracted the attention of a Californian employee who felt he was being abused by his employer, or at least, so I gathered from the tone in his comment.

This commenter ultimately raised a moral question: If you are a clever employer, you can effectively overwork your employees without paying them any double time at all. While the Californian government hasn’t created any laws against this sort of “loophole”, is it right?

This is definitely not going to be a common situation because the employee would still be owed a lot of regular overtime, and that overtime would be expensive, but someone left the comment so it must be happening to at least one person!

Here’s how it can happen:
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Supervisor Approvals for Timesheet Hours

Approved recordsMulti-level organizations often require that supervisors review data before sending it up the ladder to be reviewed by higher management. This generally takes place in larger companies. Most small companies don’t require this.

Our time tracking software has the approval/review process built right into the software. This eliminates the need for a paper trail and ensures that higher management is properly informed that the review has taken place. Supervisors can review both hourly time for payroll and project time for billing and mark all or some records approved.
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The Problem With Voice Over IP (VOIP)

Our company has been using Voice Over IP phone systems for many years. We were lured in by promises of convenience and mobility.

Indeed, we love that we can get work calls while out on business – or even pleasure for that matter – that our remote employees can all use the same phone system, that we can check our call history online, and that we can forward calls based on various options. Sounds great doesn’t it?

Hardly!

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WebEx WebOffice Discontinues Service

Welcome to Timesheets.com!On November 30th, 2014 Cisco’s WebEx WebOffice will be discontinued. The company announced End of Sale last December and is set for End of Life next month.

“These products are being discontinued due to market demand, shifts in technology, and a change in focus and investment. There will not be a direct replacement for WebOffice and Workspace services within Cisco’s product portfolio. It is recommended that you consider alternative vendor solutions as early as possible.”

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Negative Accrual Balance – Should You Allow It?

Negative leave balanceOccasionally, employees need to take more time off than they have accrued. In other words, they want to spend more than they have in the bank.

These requests might come up for any number of reasons: Maybe it’s the holidays and the employee is just shy of what she needs to take off for a holiday trip. Maybe a baby is born prematurely and the parent doesn’t have enough paid time off to swing maternity or paternity leave. Maybe the employee wants to take a vacation during the summer when the kids are out of school but hasn’t accrued enough time since January 1st. Probably the most common situation is simply that new-hires want to take time off before they have accrued enough time. Whatever the reason, it happens that employees want to take more time off than they have earned. So the question is, what are you, the employer, going to do about it?

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