We’ll balance that by adding items to the https://www.bookstime.com/ column (i.e., your liabilities). One of the biggest expense categories for most small businesses is employee wages. In fact, salary expenses can take up to 50% of your total budget.

Consider using payroll software to simplify the process of calculating taxes and deductions. Payroll software handles the tax calculations for you, giving you more time to get back to your business. Manual payments come up occasionally in payroll accounting. Use these entries when you have to adjust an employee’s pay or for employee terminations. Initial recordings, also known as the originating entry, are the primary entries for payroll accounting. Increase the liability account because, as employees earn wages, you owe more. Use payroll software that offers automated wage and tax calculations.

What Are Payroll Costs for Employees?

You eventually pay amounts you owe to employees and government agencies. Next, record entries for amounts you owe but have not yet paid. You need to record all payroll transactions in your accounting books. But before you can do that, understand the basics of using debits and credits in accounting.


As a Payroll Expense owner, you use payroll journal entries to record payroll expenses in your books. If you’re an employer, you can’t just be on your merry way after paying your employees. You also need to account for payroll expenses in your books. To ensure your accounting books are accurate, learn how to record payroll transactions.

Accrued Wages

Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. From Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.

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And when a business has people, payroll is and always will be the largest expense category. Initial recordings are the most common types of entries you or your accountant will create when doing your payroll accounting. These are the entries you saw in the examples that create the expense and then track each payment. If you want to streamline your payroll processing, Hourly payroll software makes your life easier by automatically calculating and withholding taxes from your paychecks. They even send them to the government for you, so that’s one less thing you have to worry about. Since you haven’t run payroll yet, the $1,923 of gross wages represents the money you owe.