Payroll Accounting: Laws, Calculations, and Journal Entries

6 Min Read

Master the complex world of payroll with practical examples, legislation insights, and comprehensive problems.

What you’ll learn

  • Identify the key federal payroll laws and regulations that govern payroll processing.
  • Calculate regular pay and overtime pay accurately based on predetermined formulas and guidelines.
  • Apply the appropriate formulas to determine both employer and employee social security and Medicare contributions.
  • Calculate employee federal income tax withholdings based on relevant tax brackets and allowances.
  • Determine employer federal unemployment tax (FUTA) liability and calculate the corresponding amounts accurately.
  • Analyze various payroll deductions and their implications on employee net pay.
  • Prepare comprehensive payroll journal entries, considering the impact on financial accounts and the accounting equation.
  • Post payroll journal entries accurately to the general ledger for proper recording and reporting.
  • Complete payroll tax forms, such as Form 941, Form 940, Form W-2, Form W-3, and Form W-4, following applicable guidelines and requirements.
  • Solve comprehensive payroll problems, integrating knowledge of payroll legislation, calculations, and journal entries.
  • Apply payroll concepts within the context of the accounting cycle to gain a comprehensive understanding of payroll’s role in financial reporting.
  • Define and explain key payroll-related terms and concepts for effective communication and comprehension in the field.


  • There are no specific prerequisites for this course. However, a basic understanding of accounting principles and concepts would be beneficial. Familiarity with financial statements, general ledger, and basic mathematical calculations will also be helpful in grasping the payroll concepts covered in the course.

Who this course is for:

  • Accounting professionals who want to expand their knowledge and skills in payroll accounting.
  • Small business owners who handle payroll responsibilities.
  • HR professionals who need to understand payroll processes and regulations.
  • Payroll administrators and managers seeking to enhance their expertise.
  • Students pursuing a career in accounting or HR.
  • Individuals interested in gaining a comprehensive understanding of payroll accounting for personal or professional purposes.
  • Bookkeepers and financial professionals involved in payroll-related tasks.
  • Professionals looking to advance their career prospects by acquiring payroll accounting proficiency.
  • Anyone responsible for payroll processing or seeking to improve their payroll management abilities.


This comprehensive payroll accounting course covers many aspects of payroll, providing in-depth knowledge of payroll legislation, calculations, and journal entries. Led by an experienced CPA, this course offers practical examples and valuable insights into the intricacies of payroll processing.

In this course, we will thoroughly explore payroll legislation, including a wide range of laws that impact payroll operations. We will focus on the laws related to payroll calculations and withholdings, ensuring compliance with legal requirements.

Understanding the importance of accurate calculations, we will dive into the generation of payroll registers and earnings reports, which serve as vital tools in calculating payroll accurately. Through practical exercises, you will develop proficiency in calculating payroll tax withholdings, such as federal income tax (FIT), social security, and Medicare. We will guide you through the process of determining net pay from gross pay, equipping you with the necessary skills to handle payroll calculations effectively.

One key aspect often overlooked in payroll courses is the recording of payroll transactions. In this course, we will thoroughly cover payroll journal entries, providing a comprehensive understanding of their complexity. By examining the impact of these entries on financial accounts and the accounting equation, you will gain practical knowledge of payroll accounting and its correlation with debits and credits.

Moreover, we will address the crucial process of completing payroll tax forms, including Form 941, Form 940, Form W-2, Form W-3, and Form W-4. Through step-by-step guidance, you will learn how to accurately fill out these forms, ensuring compliance with reporting requirements.

To enhance your learning experience, this course offers valuable resources, including downloadable PDF files for offline reference, preformatted Excel practice files to reinforce your Excel skills, multiple-choice and short calculation practice questions to sharpen your problem-solving abilities, and stimulating discussion questions to facilitate interactive learning and knowledge sharing.

You will have the privilege of learning from a highly qualified instructor who holds CPA, CGMA, and Master of Science in Taxation credentials. With their extensive experience in accounting concepts, QuickBooks software, and curriculum development, you can trust in their expertise to provide comprehensive instruction and guidance.

Content Includes:

  • In-depth coverage of payroll laws and their impact on payroll processing
  • Detailed explanations and calculations of regular pay and overtime pay
  • Comprehensive understanding of employer and employee social security and Medicare calculations
  • Thorough examination of employee federal income tax calculations
  • Detailed insights into employer federal unemployment tax (FUTA) calculations
  • Exploration of other payroll deductions and their significance in payroll accounting
  • Extensive guidance on payroll journal entries and their proper posting to the general ledger
  • Step-by-step instructions for accurately completing payroll tax forms (Form 941, Form 940, Form W-2, Form W-3, Form W-4)
  • Practical application through comprehensive payroll and accounting cycle problems
  • Comprehensive coverage of key payroll definitions and terminology for a thorough understanding

Enroll now in this comprehensive payroll accounting course and gain the skills and knowledge to excel in managing payroll operations effectively and with confidence.

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