Free Payroll Templates: Tips & What to Include

Cody Cromwell
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Downloadable Free Payroll Templates Employers Need

How Payroll Templates Work

Payroll is an essential part of running your company. It’s the system that manages how employees’ money is distributed to them, which includes paying their wages and also their taxes. Employees expect and demand a regular paycheck, and without it, you would be losing money out of your pocket.

In this article, we’re going to teach you how payroll templates work and provide you with templates and other tools you can use to manage your payroll. Depending on your state’s requirements, you might need payroll specialist’s expertise and guidance to get things right.

Payroll should be established and managed with all the information necessary, including the employee’s personal and tax information. Here’s how it works:

Employee’s Wages are Calculated by a Template

Your employee’s wages are calculated based on the job description, education, experience, and task to be performed. The wages are indexed according to a scale, and all the information is compiled in the payroll templates.

Employees Receive Their Wages through Bank Deposit

When the payroll is complete, the payroll specialist will issue the paychecks to all employees. The paychecks will be given to them directly through their bank accounts.

Payroll Planning Template

To optimize payroll processing, work efficiently and increase your chances of getting paid your full paycheck, make sure that you are prepared. Write out your payroll procedures and follow them to the letter!

In this guide to payroll planning, you’ll find essential tips for making sure it’s business as usual, not business as usual in a court of law. This guide also provides three free payroll planning templates that will help you make your payroll easier.

New Hire Preparation Templates

When you are preparing for new hire paperwork, be sure to include a few key documents. You will need to include things like the check stub and W-2 information. At the same time, there are some other items you will find beneficial to include, especially if you have multiple offices. It is always good to see the same information in the same location when it comes to employee data.

By having a solid foundation to the employee file, you can better keep track of your employees. Also, you can more easily look up any information regarding your payroll.

Here are the documents and forms you will need to include when designing the employee file.

●Two or Three Copies of the Lease

This is a good document to have on file, especially if you have multiple locations. The Lease can help keep track of any equipment that is listed included in the lease.

●W-9 Form

Employers are required by law to complete a W-9 form. This form has to come from the employee. The form mainly asks the employee to provide their name, address, and number of exemptions they are allowed to take off their payroll.

Payday Templates

Payroll Accounting Templates

Tips and What to Include

The subject of payroll accounting is often considered to be as involved and complicated as tax prep. But with the help of payroll templates, payroll accounting can be a piece of cake!

A lot of businesses utilize payroll templates to make sure their payroll accounting is done right. And this is why a lot of payroll templates designed for businesses are designed to ensure that time is not wasted in paperwork. Payroll accounting is made simple and easy to understand with the help of payroll templates.

Employers are able to track the time of all workers and those working overtime efficiently with the payroll templates.

It is also helpful to use payroll templates for deducting the amount that should be taken by an employer for the social security, health insurance, and pension plans of the workers.

Tips for Using Payroll Templates

With the ease of using payroll templates, it would be easy for you to make you mistakes that will lead to more complication in your payroll accounting. Make sure you follow the guidelines and instructions of a particular payroll template.

Make sure that you don’t make any mistakes in your payroll templates that will lead to an increase of the cost of doing business. Make sure you input truthfully all the data present in your payroll template. This will help you prevent being held liable for mistakes. If you make mistakes, it will also lead to an increase in the cost of doing business.

What All Free Payroll Templates Should Include

Do you know what all free payroll templates should have?

There are things that are necessary to include in all free payroll templates and things that are optional or not required.

The mandatory points are:

  • Expenses (both mandatory and voluntary)
  • Form W-2 (if you paid employees with Form W-2)
  • Forms 1099 (if you paid employees with Form 1099)
  • Tax Information

The optional points are:

  • Tax Identification Number
  • Note the year (optional)
  • Pay type
  • Date your report is filed
  • If you’re using the report as a general sample, choose Generic
  • Maybe you have a special tax situation (optional)

You’ll note also that if you have an employee (or employees) who are paid through an employee benefit program other than payroll (for instance, a deferred compensation, retirement benefit, or individual retainer plan), or if you want to determine if you have any errors, you should save the template to a disk, memory stick, or other storage device and open the file in Word or Excel.

However, if you’re using the report as a general sample, choose the Generic format by clicking the Format button. This will automatically prevent the template from error checking any of the previously mentioned data.

Pros & Cons of Using Free Payroll Templates

There are many free payroll forms and templates available on the internet. But which should you choose? Should you use a free payroll form whenever you update your payroll records or is this a bad idea? In this post, we are going to look at the pros and cons of using free payroll templates and also examine the payroll forms included in QuickBooks payroll as an example.

Pros of Using Free Payroll Templates

The major benefit of using Free payroll templates is that they are often easy to customize to fit your unique business needs. On the other hand, however, you should consider whether these templates can work for you. Unlike the design templates from Shutterfly, they won’t save you much time on your expense reports and reports, but free payroll templates will allow you to incorporate your employees’ schedules into the payroll report, which is another important benefit.

Another benefit of using a free payroll template is that they give you options for various other subsidiary reports that are required by the IRS. These include W-2s, 1099s and 1096s. If you use these templates when creating an employee, your local SSA will not be overburdened with unnecessary paperwork.

The Free payroll templates also give you room to work on your own without a template resource. If you do not need the employees’ schedules, you have the extra room to add in other records, such as travel receipts or health insurance details. If you’re a small business owner, you can keep your expenses to a minimum by trapping guest books, office supplies, equipment, marketing materials, stationery and similar expenses when using the Free Payroll Template.

Cons of Using Free Payroll Templates

Free payroll templates can definitely come in handy for small businesses. The problem is, they are not always the most accurate or complete. If you base your budgeting or payroll on a free template, it’s definitely worth checking the first few times before you make any changes to your paystub.

Even with the best templates, you’ll still need to include a lot of personal information. But you don’t have to include everything, especially if you are using a form template from an online company.

By focusing on the key information you desire, you will minimize the chance of omitting crucial information or acting on an employer’s mistake.

If you are using free payroll templates, here are some of the most important things you’ll want to consider.

Language Considerations (Especially on Paystub Forms)

The language you use on your paystub forms will depend on whether you are providing services to individuals or businesses. If you are providing a service, you must include the terms ”business,” ”vendor,” or ”client.” However, if you provide a product or service you should also have a place to list specifics, such as what you are selling.

Alternatives to Using Payroll Templates

If you’re planning to file your payroll tax return, you might want to include some of the free Irs payroll tax form templates if you want a better chance of exemption.

Did you know that it’s actually possible to file your payroll tax return as late as mid-December? That’s because the IRS allows up to six months of extensions for filing returns. So if you’re having a hard time coming up with the funds for the next tax quarter or you simply don’t know how much to withhold from salaries or pension pay, you might want to think about including some of the free Irs payroll tax form templates.

While the IRS generally accepts what’s in the works, the Free Filing for a Change of Address form is an exception. The IRS measures and interprets each effort made for the opening of the If Irs payroll online forms.

Tip: This usually is not a problem for workers that have missed the filing deadline but have agreed to pay the employer a reduced amount of the payroll taxes through an installment plan. However, in order for the installment plan to be effective, payroll tax returns still are required.



Zenefits is a well known HR software company. It was founded by Parker Conrad and Laks Srini in 2013 with the purpose of making HR and payroll managements easy to avail with one-button functionality. Since then it has been in a constant pursuit to fulfill its vision of providing an alternative to outdated and mundane payroll platforms.

The company has been lauded for its simplified payroll tools, a point that is best understood by the fact that 95% of the payroll and HR industry had 4-stars or less in a 2018 Press Ganey study on user reviews and reputation. Home office and small business have been a big focus for Zenefits, and the success of these initiatives are reflected in the 4.1 stars rating in the 2018 Press Ganey survey.

Zenefits Payroll PRO and Zenpayroll PRO are payroll software by Zenefits, a leader in the HR field. The main difference between the other payroll software and Zenefits is that, while the former is frequently used by large companies with complex payroll processes, Zenefits Payroll PRO is designed to serve small companies with fewer processes. The company primarily helps its customers in the United States, but Zenefits is spoken highly of in Canada with its design for perfect sizing for Canadian businesses with differing employee numbers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Payroll Templates

What are the differences between a payroll template and a payroll excel template?

Payroll templates and payroll excel templates are different ways of calculating regular or extended payroll for employees of a company.

While a payroll template lets you calculate a report for your company’s payroll, payroll excel template allows you to enter your payroll data directly in an excel spreadsheet. It also has the option to print your payroll report and other accounting reports.

What is a payroll template for?

A payroll template calculates your payroll data on different payroll forms and can be printed out as monthly reports or sent to your accountant so they can do the calculations. These forms are a great help for large companies that need to pay many employees.

What do we need to register for a payroll template?

You will need to register for an account at Xero to use the payroll templates here. After completing the sign up process, you are able to download our payroll templates.

How do you use a payroll template to calculate payroll?

You simply need to insert employee numbers, write out and program pay rates and hours worked, calculate payroll or overtime, print reports etc. Along with this, you will get a spreadsheet to help you track your finances at the end of the month.

What types of payroll templates are available?

The payroll templates we have are straight forward and simple to understand.

What is a payroll template?

A payroll template is a printed check sheet issued by your payroll company. It contains employee’s personal information and the methods used to calculate each line in every check. It also has spaces for documentation your company needed to prove that it performed each service correctly and has the correct amount of tax deducted.

What information should be included? Most payroll templates contain the following information:

  • Workers’ Information
  • Social Security Number and Date of Birth (sometimes with foreign nationals)
  • Job Title
  • Employee ID or other employee ID for payroll taxes
  • Address (with the State, ZIP, and City listed)
  • Home Phone (for company use only)
  • Cell Phone (for company use only)
  • E-mail and Additional Email addresses (for company use only)
  • Description of the job (job description)
  • Dates Employed – with month and year
  • Days Post with full calendar year
  • Annual Leave
  • Vacation Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • holidays (including full calendar year)
  • Other Paid Time Off (PTO), such as military, sick, bereavement, etc.
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick
  • Paid Bereavement
  • Paid Military Leave

How can I create a payroll template?

Most payroll software vendors supply templates for you to use. If you’re using an accounting package and it has payroll capabilities, you can create a template based on their instructions. The templates are usually built on the company’s W2 and 1099 information and can be customized as needed.

If you’re using a dedicated payroll service, the provider should be able to assist you with this. You’ll need to provide the information that will be used to create the templates, then provide information about any deductions that the employees may have, and you will work with them to customize the template when it is ready to go.

If you’re using an accounting software package that doesn’t have payroll functionality, you’ll have to look for a company that provides a payroll interface or use a third-party payroll system. If you use a third-party system, you’ll need to set up an account with the payroll company and work with them to create your templates.

Which payroll templates are most important for small businesses?

Regardless of the payroll package that you have purchased, it’s essential to customize it to your business structure and accounting needs. Different types of businesses require different types of payroll policy and employee benefit options. Here are some of the types of business that should have their own payroll templates:

Small Businesses that Provide Payroll Services

If you are in the payroll service/brokerage business and also a small business owner, you’ll want to incorporate your information into each of your clients’ payroll packages. Since you operate your own payroll service company you’ll need to write a custom payroll package for all your employees. You’ll also need to deal with a variety of different employees, from different industries, with different tax situations.

Businesses that Make End-of-Year Reports to Taxing Authorities

Small businesses that have multiple owners need to make end-of-year reports to the IRS, the state taxing body, and the government. Therefore, they may need to make multiple, customized templates of their own. Be sure to include your specific business name, address, and state in each document.

Bottom Line

A professional looking payroll template can help you save a lot of time. And paychecks looking professional is what you always want. That’s why you’ll definitely want to find a low-cost payroll software program, which can easily do the background research for you, and at the same time prepare your company payroll.

However, even if you’ve already done your searches and liked what you’ve found, you still haven’t found that perfect payroll integration software, because there is one more thing to consider. Your company policy.

There is nothing wrong with providing your employees with a copy of the company’s payroll template; however, your policy should determine what is the aim behind providing it and when it will be provided. If you are working for a company policy that stipulates to only give copies of all employee forms to the employees after they have been submitted to the payroll department, it is a good idea to provide it to the employees earlier, before they apply and submit it to the payroll department.

However, if you are working for a company policy that allows the employees to apply before submitting, it is good to give the employees a copy of the payroll template, as this will give them a clear idea of what they have to do when completing the application form.