What Are Pay Stubs? A Quick Explanation

ByGoran
April 15,2022

While every business owner likes to think that their employees come to work solely to be in the company of a great boss, the truth is that getting paid is their main incentive. Therefore, their payment stub (also called payslip or paycheck stub) is one of their priorities - and must become one of yours too!

Whether using payroll software or the manual method, it’s imperative that you can answer key questions like “what are pay stubs?”, “why are paystubs important”, and “what should be included on an employee pay stub?” as a part of your successful HR scheme. This quick guide will provide all you need to know.

Pay Stubs Explained

Merriam-Webster defines a pay stub as: “a piece of paper that is given to an employee with each paycheck and that shows the amount of money that the employee earned and the amount that was removed for taxes, insurance costs, etc.”, although it can now be an electronic file instead of an actual paper stub.

In essence, it’s an attachment that is connected to the paycheck. It details key information relating to the specific pay period (weekly, biweekly, or monthly) in one column while also specifying the year-to-date (YTD) figures for the tax year. 

Payment stubs are not technically a legal requirement for employers under federal law. However, most states have them factored into their regional legislations. Meanwhile, the Fair Labor Standards Act states that all business owners must record the number of hours worked by each employee.

Why Are Pay Stubs Important?

From a company’s perspective, pay stubs are a key tool for recording employee gross wages and managing tax requirements. Moreover, they can help you quickly rectify any mistakes noticed by an employee or disprove false allegations and disputes.

When used as part of the onboarding process, it encourages optimal organization from the start while also making the individual feel like they belong. Other benefits for all workers, new or otherwise, include:

  • Having a better understanding of their earnings
  • Gaining clear insight into their deductions
  • Knowing that they are fairly treated
  • Seeing how their taxes and 401(k) contributions are handled
  • Proving thier income when applying for mortgages and similar

Pay stubs are a simple yet powerful tool for recording all relevant info for the employee pay period. Statistics show the correlation between happy workers and increased productivity; a defined pay slip strategy will ensure your employees get paid correctly, which is one of the keys to worker satisfaction. All companies across all sectors should take this into consideration.

What’s Included in an Employee Pay Stub?

When using the best payroll and HR software providers, it’s likely that the majority of payslip data will be clear. You simply need to fill in the appropriate fields. In many cases, you need to enter the hourly rate of pay and the number of hours worked. All subsequent calculations relating to taxes and deductions for calculating your paycheck can be automated. Likewise, YTD records can be instantly calculated from the individual's files and previous pay slips.

Many businesses and workers also ask “what kind of paper are paystubs printed on?". While the attachment is often connected to the check with perforation, the type of paper used can be standard - as well as business checks or software-friendly stubs - as there are no specific requirements. Ultimately, all pay stubs should be clear, as the content is far more important than the format.

Employers and employees should know what to look for on a payment stub. Firstly, there will be two separate columns: current pay duration and YTD. As for the items included under each, below is an overview of the key features.

Basic Info 

Every paycheck should contain general information relating to both parties (company and worker) as well as the time frame of the employee pay period. The company name and address will be added, along with the name, address, and Social Security number of the employee. It can be a part of the onboarding process to gather all relevant details right away. Many software packages allow employees to update their info as and when required.

Wages

A gross wages section should be the first main section under the general info. It sets out the gross income earned by the employee during the given period. The employee gross wages will set out the person’s hourly wage as well as the hours worked during this time. Those figures are then multiplied to produce the correct figure. 

Where applicable, overtime pay will also feature under this section. Many employees have a different hourly pay for overtime hours, so it needs to be shown as a separate row. It also ensures that employees have accurate pay slips when applying for credit. Additional earnings and accrued time off will also be listed in this section.

Deductions

Deductions are the next group of items to feature. Voluntary deductions pay stub items and involuntary deductions pay stub elements are covered under this section. All deductions should be listed in an itemized fashion, with clear information for the individual pay period and YTD.

Income tax deductions will include federal tax, state tax withholdings, and local taxes, as well as Social Security, Medicare, and other relevant features. The majority are involuntary deductions. While employees are forced to pay them, it is the employer’s responsibility to withhold them and subsequently pay them on behalf of the employee.

Other deductions can cover employee benefits like health insurance or retirement savings, while charitable contributions fall under the umbrella of voluntary deductions. Wage garnishments for outside issues like child support payments are involuntary.

Employer Contributions

Employer contributions are items that the company has paid in relation to the worker’s employment and taxes. An employer’s portion of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) is the most common item to appear in this section. However, other items like matched pension contributions may feature.

Insurance premiums can also be added here. While they are not a form of paycheck stubs taxes or deductions that reduce a person’s overall pay, these items must always be listed. It provides transparency for the employee and ensures that the company’s files and accounts all sync up. It’s another reminder of the support you provide your workers, which could otherwise go unappreciated.

Net Pay Pay Stubs

Finally, the bottom of the employee’s pay check will show the net pay, also known as take-home pay. This figure is the money that they actually receive during the employee pay period after their income tax deductions and other commitments have been taken into account. 

When calculating your paycheck, it’s important to know the gross and net pay, along with all the details of deductions. It’s essential for allowing workers to know exactly what they are paid, how much they will take home, and understand how much they’ve been taxed. In most cases, this is the figure that employees will look at as soon as they receive their paycheck.

Conclusion

The significance of handling payment slips should by no means be overlooked by any employer or HR department due to their role in maintaining a happy workforce. After all, a content and productive team of employees is the greatest asset a company can have.

Now that you can answer key questions like “what are pay stubs?” and “what should be included on a payslip stub?”, there’s no excuse for getting it wrong. Whether using payroll software or not, the results for your business will be excellent.

Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get my pay stubs?

When paid by check, your paycheck will naturally include your pay stubs. If paid through direct deposit, though, employees can request to have their pay stubs printed or emailed. Employers can generate these with ease using their direct deposit details. 

What does a pay stub do?

A pay stub records all relevant data relating to an employee’s pay. This includes their hourly wage, the hours worked, and the deductions (taxes, etc.) made during an employee pay period. It also shows their YTD data.

What if my employer doesn't give me a pay stub?

If an employer doesn't give you a payslip and pays via direct deposit, you can still request the pay stubs for your term of employment. Employers have to keep a record of the hours that you have worked and should find your info within their HR and payroll systems.

How do I get my pay stubs if I have direct deposit?

When you are paid through direct deposit, employers can generate an employee pay stub from the direct deposit info. They can subsequently print them or email a digital copy to you. Alongside giving insight, this info can be used for credit applications like any other stub.

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Finally, focusing on transparency (e.g., disclosing your business practices, the manufacturing process, etc.) and building a strong social media presence can also help any business in the eCommerce industry build trust with potential customers. Big Data is a Game Changer Big data is a term used to describe the large volume of data that businesses now have access to. This data can come from a variety of sources, such as social media, website analytics, CRM systems, and more. Big data can be used to improve the customer experience in a number of ways, such as by personalizing the experience, identifying customer pain points, and improving customer service. We've all experienced seeing suggestions on shopping platforms or search engines, and most of us have found them to be pretty accurate. The more data a company has, the better it can cater to its customer's needs, and this will become increasingly important in future eCommerce trends. However, big data carries big challenges as customers are more and more concerned about data privacy. So, businesses need to make sure they are handling customer data responsibly and transparently if they want to keep using it to boost profits. Mobile Commerce Will Continue To Grow Mobile commerce is expected to continue growing in the coming years. According to statistics, mobile devices are used for over 40% of online transactions, their rising popularity indicates that this is one of the trends in online shopping that’s here to stay. Mobile commerce offers a number of advantages for businesses, such as increased reach, shorter buying cycles, and improved conversion rates. It also offers many advantages for customers, including the ability to shop anywhere at any time. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, it’s important to make sure your eCommerce platform is mobile-friendly. This means having a responsive design that looks good on all devices, as well as providing a smooth and easy-to-use mobile shopping experience. Omnichannel Selling Will Become the Norm Omnichannel selling is a term used to describe the practice of selling products through multiple channels, such as brick-and-mortar stores, online stores, mobile apps, and more. This eCommerce trend and approach allows businesses to reach more potential customers and provides a more seamless shopping experience. In the past, businesses have often treated each selling channel as a separate entity. However, this is changing as more and more businesses are adopting an omnichannel approach. This shift is driven by the increasing popularity of online shopping and the need for businesses to provide a more cohesive customer experience. As omnichannel selling becomes more common, it’s important for businesses to make sure they’re building eCommerce websites that can support it. This means having a platform that is integrated with all of your other selling channels and that provides a consistent experience for customers regardless of how they shop.  Environmental Sustainability Will Play a Big Role As we become more and more aware of the impact our consumption has on the environment, sustainability is becoming an important factor in purchasing decisions. Customers that follow new online shopping trends want to know if the products they’re buying have been ethically sourced and if the company they are buying from is taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint. In order to stay ahead of the competition, businesses need to make sure they’re considering environmental sustainability in all aspects of their operations. This includes everything from the sourcing of materials to the packaging and shipping of products. Customers are now more willing to pay extra for sustainable products, so there is a big opportunity for businesses that are able to meet this demand. How To Make the Best Use of ECommerce Trends ECommerce is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to keep up. However, by staying informed and making sure your eCommerce platform is up to date, you can ensure that your business is able to stay ahead of the competition. To make the most of the latest eCommerce developments, consider the following: 1. Keep Up With the Latest Trends To stay on top of your game, you must be proactive and regularly seek out new information. There is a number of ways to do this, such as reading industry news, following relevant blogs and industry influencers, and attending eCommerce conferences. You can get to know what’s going on in the industry and find inspiration for your own business.  Read up on the research data and statistics that are available on eCommerce growth trends. This can help you understand the current landscape and make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts.  2. Take Advantage of Digital Tools There are a number of digital tools that can help you improve your eCommerce business. From marketing automation software to customer relationship management systems, there’s a variety of features that can make it easier to run your business and provide a better experience for your customers. Check the data and sales figures, and invest in analytical tools so you can understand where your customers are coming from and what they are looking for. 3. Learn From Your Competitors It’s important to keep an eye on your competitors to see what they are doing and how they are reacting to the latest eCommerce retail trends. You can learn a lot from observing their strategies and understanding their strengths and weaknesses. Should they fail, you can learn from their mistakes. If they succeed, you can try to replicate their success. Final Words As the global eCommerce ecosystem continues to grow and evolve, it's important to stay on top of the latest trends. Instead of leaning on traditional shopping methods, more and more consumers are turning to the internet to purchase items. Mobile phones play a big role here, as they provide a convenient way to shop on the go. What's more, consumers are getting more comfortable with new technologies such as AI, AR, chatbots, and voice search. These eCommerce trends in technology are changing the way we interact with eCommerce platforms and retailers. With all that said, we're confident that you now have a solid understanding of the current eCommerce landscape. Just remember to keep your eyes peeled for new trends so you can stay ahead of the curve.
By Danica Djokic · September 15,2022

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