Verifying the accuracy of the certified payroll reports that you can generate from QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise versions – IF you also subscribe to Enhanced Payroll, is a must for anyone in the construction industry.
I’ve been watching the posts on the Intuit Community Forums about the alternate, substitute U.S. Department of Labor WH-347 certified payroll reports that can be generated if you have QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise AND an Enhanced Payroll Subscription. It seems like many people want to know how to generate the reports, if the reports are approved through the DOL (Department of Labor), why they have suddenly stopped working, how to issue “No Work Performed Reports”, and how to tell if the reports they are generating are accurate.
This article will focus on the requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor form WH-347 and how you can check to verify whether or not the reports from QuickBooks are accurate BEFORE you submit them – so that you will be paid in a timely fashion; we’ll be focusing on:
- Section 4 – Day & Date – Hours Worked Each Day
- Column 5 – Total Hours
- Column 6 – Rate of Pay
- Column 7 – Gross Amount Earned
- Section 8 – Deductions, and
- Column 9 – Net Wages Paid for Week
Columns 1-3 are pretty straight forward and each row of information relates to a single employee and a single Work/Trade Classification.
Section 4 – Day & Date – Hours Worked Each Day
In this section you are to report by day and date the number of hours (straight time and overtime) a specific employee worked, under a specific Work/Trade Classification on the job that you are generating the report for.
Column 5 – Total Hours
The total number of Straight and Overtime hours that the employee worked (for a specific Work/Trade Classification) for the week in question.
*Column 6 – Rate of Pay INCLUDING Cash Fringe Benefits
In the “straight time” box for each worker, list the actual hourly rate paid for straight time worked, PLUS cash paid in lieu of fringe benefits paid. When recording the straight time hourly rate, any cash paid in lieu of fringe benefits may be shown separately from the basic rate. For example, “$12.00/.40” would reflect a $12.00 base hourly rate plus $0.40 for fringe benefits. When overtime is worked, show the overtime hourly rate paid plus any cash in lieu of fringe benefits paid in the “overtime” box for each worked or “$18.00/.40”. This is one of the biggest faults of the certified payroll report generated by QuickBooks – if you pay the fringe benefit rate in cash to the employee as part of his/her hourly rate of pay you MUST manually update this information each week.
Column 7 – Gross Amount Earned this Job and ALL Jobs
Enter gross amount earned on this project. If part of a worker’s weekly wage was earned on projects other than the project described on this payroll, enter in column 7 first the amount earned on the Federal or Federally assisted project and then the gross amount earned during the week on all projects, thus “$163.00/$420.00” would reflect the earnings of a worker who earned $163.00 on a Federally assisted construction project during a week in which $420.00 was earned on all work. These amounts can easily be verified by looking at the Employee’s Paycheck Detail in QuickBooks.
Section 8 – Deductions
Five columns are provided for showing deductions made from the employee’s paycheck. If more than five deduction are involved, use the first four columns and show the balance deductions under “Other” column; show actual total under “Total Deductions” column; and in the attachment to the payroll describe the deduction(s) contained in the “Other” column. All deductions must be in accordance with the provisions of the Copeland Act Regulations, 29 C.F.R., Part 3. If an individual worked on other jobs in addition to this project, show actual deductions from his/her weekly gross wage, and indicate that deductions are based on his gross wages. These amounts can easily be verified by looking at the employee’s Paycheck Detail in QuickBooks. Remember, ONLY deductions from the employee’s paycheck are to be reported here – Federal Withholding, State Withholding, the Employee portion of FICA and Medicare, Child Support, Wage Garnishments, etc.
Column 9 – Net Wages Paid
This amount should equal the employee’s NET paycheck for the week and should match exactly the amount of his/her paycheck.
Many people generate the QuickBooks Certified Payroll report and either manually make changes in it while it is still in Excel, prior to printing the report OR they will print the report and then use it as a guideline for manually completing the actual “fillable report” from the U.S. Department of Labor Website – which is a highly error prone and time-consuming process.
Additionally, QuickBooks does not have the ability to generate a “No Work” performed payroll, so if you need one, and it’s likely that you will, you’ll need to manually complete one of these also using the fillable form from the DOL website.
Manual entry of the same information multiple times in multiple places is a huge waste of time and let’s face it, every time that you have to enter the same information in yet another place the higher the risk of transposition errors which result in rejected reports and delayed payment.
*Fringe Benefits that are paid to a Union or a bona-fide plan are NOT displayed on the report and the Straight time rate would be displayed as $12.00 and the Overtime rate as $18.00 in the Rate of Pay Column. The certified payroll report generated by QuickBooks inaccurately displays any fringes paid to a Union or bona-fide plan and you MUST manually correct this each week.
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