Preparing For Year-End: The Tasks That Are Often Overlooked

With the year coming to a close, payroll and HR professionals are starting to prepare documents, such as W-2s, and audit a year’s worth of information in order to compile accurate employee data. Depending on your process and your employee size, this task can be daunting and can even take a few months time to complete. Whether you have a few questions about year-end, or you’re looking for a full on checklist, we can help you make a smooth transition into the New Year. 

Before diving too deep into year-end tasks, it is best to organize a strategy and figure out who you will need assistance from to complete those tasks. We recommend creating a spreadsheet to share (such as Google Sheets) with all the departments who have a hand in year-end processes. Once you figure out which party is responsible for what, you can begin working on your side of things. 

One big step that is often overlooked is the adding of holidays for the upcoming year. It is important to go into your payroll and HR software and add in paid holidays so you don’t have to backtrack down the road. For example, if your employees have New Year’s Day off as a paid holiday, you will want to include this into the software before that date so they will be automatically paid for that day. Inputting all holidays into your payroll software for the upcoming calendar year will allow you to run payroll without interruption as the holidays come and go. If you’re a Dominion client, you can learn how to add in holidays here. If you’re not currently using Dominion, call your payroll software provider and ask if they can assist you in this process. 

Your payroll provider will need to know of any new earnings or deductions you will have so they can enter that information into the software. This would include items such as a benefit plan deduction. Even if you call your provider to inform them of these changes (if any), you should make sure to review your first payroll of the new year to ensure those changes reflect within that pay cycle. 

Lastly, if you’re not performing W-2 audits, you really should be. This isn’t just for current employees, but past employees as well. Things to look for when performing a W-2 audit are wages and taxes, name, address, and social security number. Since it is your responsibility as an employer to get these forms out by January 31st, you want to make sure they are right the first time around. Also, current employees can opt to receive their W-2s electronically. Not sure how to do this? You can find out here.

For other year-end tips and tricks, check out our year-end resources page below.