After studying this appendix, you should be able to:
LEARNING OBJECTIVE 1
Compute and record the payroll for a pay period.
Payroll and related fringe benefits often make up a large percentage of current liabilities. Employee compensation is often the most significant expense that a company incurs. For example, Costco recently reported total employees of 103,000 and labor and fringe benefits costs that approximated 70% of the company's total cost of operations.
Payroll accounting involves more than paying employees’ wages. Companies are required by law to maintain payroll records for each employee, to file and pay payroll taxes, and to comply with numerous state and federal tax laws related to employee compensation. Accounting for payroll has become much more complex due to these regulations.
The term “payroll” pertains to both salaries and wages. Managerial, administrative, and sales personnel are generally paid salaries. Salaries are often expressed in terms of a specified amount per month or per year rather than an hourly rate. Store clerks, factory employees, and manual laborers are normally paid wages. Wages are based on a rate per hour or on a piecework basis (such as per unit of product). Frequently, people use the terms “salaries” and “wages” interchangeably. ...