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Starting 2016 Off Right
Published on by CS3 Technology in Blog Posts


by: Brandi Clymer

With the Holidays, shopping, open enrollment, special bonus runs, W2 balancing, and preparing for the first ACA filing, this year end was especially stressful for everyone in HR and Payroll. Things move really fast this time of year and it is hard to slow down and focus on the details that will ensure a successful payroll year. January will be filled with a focus on W2s and 1095 forms, but what else should we be thinking about and working on.

  • Taxable Wages - Many companies might have setup new deductions for benefit plans or flexible spending plans and the first payroll of the year is an important one to be sure you set them up properly for taxation. I would recommend hand calculating taxable wages to verify you got everything setup properly. It is much easier to fix this type of issue BEFORE you post that first payroll of the year.

  • Goals – For any earnings or deductions that have annual maximums it would be good to double check that the goal is correct. Most of the 401k limits stayed the same for 2016, so this one is less important this year, but always a good one to double check. Don’t forget to check the annual compensation limit while you are at it.

  • New unemployment experience factors – Are there new unemployment experience factors that we need to enter before the first payroll of 2016?

  • New benefit rate changes - Any new benefit rates that need to be changed?

  • New deduction amounts – Any new deduction amounts that need to be changed?

  • Last minute W2 items – Don’t forget to check with people not in payroll, AP or outside providers, for any items that might belong on the W2s. Examples: AP paid items that belong on W2 or 3rd party sick pay.

  • Voids – You will want to be sure to get any 2015 voids done as early in January as possible to get to W2 processing.

  • Payroll processing calendar – Make a 2016 calendar of check dates, due dates for forms from employees, and processing dates.

  • Backups – Check with IT about their backup routines and make sure you are covered by their routine.
Every company is unique, we recommend you start a check list in 2016 that you can use in future years to double check all the important items for your company.

Remember for Year End tips see our Whitepaper ‘Year End Payroll Processing Tips.’ 

Let’s all have a happy 2016!


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