June 9, 2020 Continuous Improvement, Coronavirus, Payroll, Payroll & Tax Support, Payroll Support, Year-End Payroll Planning

How COVID is Changing Payroll and Year-End

How bad will 2020 year-end be for people who are not preparing now? “It’s going to be bad,” predicts Cory Makle, FPC, Client Payroll Specialist with Wise. “Because of everything that’s going on, starting now is a good idea. If you’re not looking up until later, you are going to have problems. You definitely have to plan and have a solid check-list so you don’t forget things.” Michelle Douglas, also a Client Payroll Specialist with Wise, agrees. She says if you haven’t already started, delaying further will be a mistake. “Don’t wait, start now because the pandemic is not going away. It’ll be easier to track and catch up with the past three months than to have to do it for 9 months if you wait.”

Pandemic-Response Acts

Douglas points out that 90% of all the tracking for the CARES Act, as well as for the FFCRA Act, and PPP program falls to payroll. “And there is talk about another Act coming out soon. With the CARES Act alone, you have to track whether you are paying people for not doing any work, or [for the FFCRA] because they went out sick or on family leave. You have to track it all differently for wages, and you have to track their benefits – it will all have to go on the new 941. If you took advantage of Social Security deferral, you need to track how much you need to pay back in and when.”

The New 941 Form

Douglas is concerned about how new IRS forms and COVID-considerations will impact payroll professionals. “I think businesses understand it to an extent, but I’m not sure that they understand the true scope. The new 941 is going to be huge. And if you did any form 7200 submissions to get money back from the government you need to track that [which is outside the payroll system]. It’s so much work to stay on top of everything, and if you don’t there are consequences. The new 941 just got finalized, so now people are expected to get everything together within a month.”

Consequences & Continuity

Makle adds that the consequences of not getting it right could be painful. “You can find yourself dealing with penalties, interest, incorrect filing, adjustments and amendments, and an employer’s worst possible case scenario is having impacts to the employee. If you are not reconciling, there are a lot of things that can get past you. It’s a gamble.” Makle also worries about smaller payroll teams that could be impacted by illness. “With the pandemic, many of our clients got a wake-up call and realized their continuity plan was not up to date or even put in place.”

Leveraging an Expert Payroll Team

Douglas knows that payroll teams already have their hands full. “They don’t have the time to watch this whole thing with all the changes and demands. At Wise, we are staying on top of all the Acts so that our clients can focus on controlling the chaos within their own business operations. They might miss out on money because they haven’t been keeping track, which could be devastating to smaller firms. They might not know there is a retention credit, but if things are being tracked, they could find out that they do qualify.” She says she wishes more people knew the Wise payroll team could help. “Our fees could be covered very quickly with money that they would have missed out on otherwise. Wise is the way to go. Everyone is flexible and you’re not just hiring one person, you are hiring a specialized team whose job is to stay on top of all this.”

Wise consultants are available to speak with you about providing pandemic payroll support. Give us a call at 800-654-4550 or email HCMHelp@WiseConsulting.com.

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