FAQ | Payroll and Payroll Services | Pacific Payroll Group
Full payroll solutions FAQ

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

New Account Setup

How fast can you set up payroll?

The time it takes to set up a new account varies based on several factors. How many employees do you have? How much YTD data we need to enter (if applicable)? Do we need to get any tax IDs set up?

The process can be as fast as 24 to 48 hours, to a week.

When is the best time to start payroll services?

There are a couple of answers to this question based on the timing of your business.

New Business – of course, start your payroll to coincide with the start of your new business entity.

Existing Business – due to the timing of tax payments, it is always wise to do your payroll company switch at the beginning of any quarter or beginning of the new year. That way the entity that is currently doing your payroll will report any taxes for that specific quarter. 

When switching to Pacific Payroll Group for our payroll services, please be sure to have your documentation ready so that we have all of your Tax ID numbers in order to process and make your tax payments for your company.

Note: If you have an accountant, please let us know so that we can send a copy of your quarterly and year-end documents to their attention. 

How do I choose a reputable, affordable payroll provider?

You can research online, visit our testimonial page, check out our many online reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook, and reach out anytime with questions. 

When choosing a payroll provider, you want to make sure they’re bonded and insured, as we are.

You want to make sure they can handle any sized business, have handled other businesses in your industry, handle your data securely, and can keep you in compliance on taxes, minimum wage, and all other related changes for your state.

How much does a payroll service cost?

You’d be surprised. Very affordable – many of our clients come to us from the larger payroll companies, wanting to save money while also receiving better customer service.

Our customers usually save 20-50% on their current payroll invoice. Our prices start out at $29/month.

How many employees do I need to have for you to run my payroll?

Pacific Payroll Group was built on being able to service small clients as well as larger business entities. We are able to provide amazing service for our clients that are paying only themselves.

We are proud to offer a wide variety of payroll services for the self-employed, family businesses, sole proprietorships, domestic workers, entrepreneurs, corporations, and small and medium sized businesses.

It is a comfort to them to know that someone is sending in all of their quarterly and year-end payroll tax data by all due dates and that their payroll is compliant with current tax laws.

Payroll Issues

How do I get my payroll from you when I’m at a different location than your office?

Pacific Payroll Group has a few ways to service our clients:

  • We can automatically deposit your checks and mail the check stubs to you or your employees.
  • We can use courier services to either same-day or overnight your checks and reports. We do ship checks/payrolls to other states.
  • We can ship you check stock and you can print out your own checks.

Can I get my files from payroll so that I can upload into my Accounting System or send to my CPA?

Yes. Our payroll software can send you a file that you can automatically upload into various accounting software systems such as Peachtree and Quickbooks.

Your private CPA can also be added to receive an electronic version of your monthly payroll which they can use to compile your private accounting.

Why should I use a payroll service for a family business?

By using a payroll service you’re going to avoid costly errors, fines, tracking compliance and changing regulations.

In California, family members are generally treated the same as any other employee (with limited exceptions).

What if you make a mistake or don’t pay the correct taxes?

This is one of the many reasons you want to hire a payroll service that is not only insured, but bonded. We guarantee our accuracy. And if a mistake is made on our part, you are covered. We pay any fines and related interest.

I’m an owner-operated LLC with one employee. I plan to add more employees at a later date. I just need payroll and W-2s. Is it worth hiring a payroll service?

It’s really worth outsourcing payroll to a reputable agency like ours. Whether it has to do with time-tracking, taxes, workers’ comp, insurance, HR questions, or compliance, it becomes overwhelming to track everything on your own, while also running your business.

You don’t want to miss any required payroll tax payments such as unemployment insurance, state disability, or personal income tax withholdings. The interest rate charged on delinquent taxes is compounded daily.

As for just handling payroll, W-2s and payroll tax reporting, that’s our expertise and the low monthly fee more than pays for itself through the time you will save.

As an employer, what do I need to know about reopening my business during COVID?

Please visit our Coronavirus Resource page for reopening and operating guidelines. You can also download sample Cal/OSHA forms and return-to-work checklists.

The CDC has Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 here. And if you don’t see your answer, shoot us a quick email and we’ll get you an answer.

What if my employee gets COVID-19 / Coronavirus?

There is a new law called SB1159 that relates to employees who contract Coronavirus and Workers’ Comp. You can read the FAQs on SB1159 for more details or visit our Workers’ Comp page for additional resources.

Are employees required to wear a face covering?

The safest answer is YES. And employers should provide them. But it depends on the business type and state and local regulations.

IRS and State Issues

How does my payroll tax information get reported to both the IRS and the State?

Both at the end of each quarter and the end of the year, we upload your payroll tax data for you. Pacific Payroll Group will also send a copy of these uploads to you and your CPA, if requested.

Do you deal with the IRS or State (Employment Development Department aka EDD) for my business if any issues or inquiries come up?

Yes. When you need our help, we’re there. Part of the setup process is adding your company access to our online portal so we can monitor the State payroll tax account and quickly spot potential issues/errors.

And part of the payroll services you sign up for is the ability to have us help deal with State and Federal payroll tax inquiries. This is one of the many reasons employers are so grateful to have Pacific Payroll Group on their team.

Do I still have to file reports with the IRS if I hire a payroll service?

We handle all the payroll taxes and filings. We fill out the forms for you and submit payments on behalf of your business.


Year-end is very hectic. How do my employees and contractors get their W-2 and 1099 forms?

Yes, January is a very busy month for payroll taxes for the prior year! We happily mail you a copy of your employee W-2 forms.

Some companies wish to send out their own W-2 forms from this information. The majority of our clients want us to produce and mail their employee W-2 forms. Pacific Payroll Group does the printing and mailing as well as upload this information to both the IRS and the State employment development departments.


What payroll taxes need to be deducted?

We used California for this answer, but please message us if you want to know for your state.

CA State Disability (CA SDI) is required to be withheld from employees’ pay. On the employer side State Unemployment Taxes are required on applicable wages. State withholding is also required but, depending on wages and their withholding status, the tax may or may not be withheld.

Federal taxes will consist of Medicare and Social Security to be withheld (and also paid on the employer side as a penny for penny match).

Like with the State, Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) on the employer side is required on applicable wages. Federal withholding is also required but, depending on wages and their withholding status, the tax may or may not be withheld.

Payroll Software

Can’t I just use my finance software to run payroll?

You could. A lot of our current clients used to think they could handle payroll themselves. They’re so glad they switched!

They quickly learn that using a payroll service saves them a TON of time. And hassle. And tracking the constantly changing regulations and tax law changes from the State and Feds.

They’re grateful we work with their CPA for any reports needed. We file the payroll taxes, including quarterly and year-end payroll reports.

We are experienced with dealing with the EDD and we know what questions to ask to get answers.

We deal with reports needed during the pandemic, such as payroll for subsequent years for the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness.

We also save employers time in dealing with new hires, employee questions, time keeping, employee self-service, minimum wage changes, vacation, labor law posters, workers’ comp, and paid time off, to name a few. And we offer a wide range of other services available as businesses grow.

Wage, hour, or overtime mistakes can cost a business thousands of dollars in fines.

Using a payroll service like ours (with actual, caring, knowledgeable humans) is like having an expert at your fingertips. When you have changes or questions, we’re a phone call or email away. You’re almost never left on hold – and your messages are returned promptly.

Do you have mobile or on-line access available for my employees?

Yes. This is an option many employees appreciate. Time and attendance available 24/7. They can retrieve their wages, paystubs, and any tax deductions through this Employee Self Service portal anytime.

Can you integrate your payroll service with the software we use for our business, such as Quickbooks or Employee Time-Keeping?

Yes. We integrate with most accounting and time and attendance software programs. Everything is a breeze once you’re all set up! You’ll love how easy it is. Plus, it reduces errors and streamlines operations.

Other Services We Offer

What about retirement and 401k plans?

We handle all existing plans an employer may offer, as well as working with partner programs to set up for your company for the first time. You can visit our dedicated retirement benefits page for more information.

What about insurance benefits including Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Human Resource (HR) questions such as overtime or sexual harassment prevention training?

You guessed it, yes! We incorporate all payroll effortlessly with any insurance benefits offered by your company. As for HR, we can answer all the basic questions in-house, and happily work with dedicated HR experts if you have expanded HR needs or want a referral.

Do you offer direct deposit or payroll cards?

Yes. Direct deposit is the easiest way to pay your employee(s), but we have all options available, including paper checks.

If your employee doesn’t have a bank account, a prepaid debit card may be the best way to go. You can visit our dedicated Payroll Card page for more details.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Can you help us with the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness?

Yes, we’ve been here more than ever for our clients during the Coronavirus Pandemic, especially because of the PPP. We’re working with employers to generate all the documentation needed to apply for loan forgiveness.

Related to the PPP, below you will find some of the common questions we receive – and quoted from the PPP FAQ available for download on our dedicated Coronavirus page.

Question: Are payroll costs that were incurred during the Covered Period 1 or the Alternative Payroll Covered Period 2 but paid after the Covered Period or the Alternative Payroll Covered Period eligible for loan forgiveness?

Answer: Yes, if the payroll costs are paid on or before the next regular payroll date after the Covered Period or Alternative Payroll Covered Period.

Question: Are payroll costs that were incurred before the Covered Period but paid during the Covered Period eligible for loan forgiveness?

Answer: Yes.

Question: For purposes of calculating cash compensation, should borrowers use the gross amount before deductions for taxes, employee benefits payments, and similar payments, or the net amount paid to employees?

Answer: The gross amount should be used when calculating cash compensation.

Question: Are only salaries or wages covered by loan forgiveness, or can a borrower pay lost tips, lost commissions, bonuses, or other forms of incentive pay and have such costs qualify for loan forgiveness?

Answer: Payroll costs include all forms of cash compensation paid to employees, including tips, commissions, bonuses, and hazard pay. Note that forgivable cash compensation per employee is limited to $100,000 on an annualized basis.


How do I hire my first employee? Do I need any extra paperwork?

It will depend on whether you have an established business with an Employer ID Number (EIN) or if you’re starting a new business from scratch. 

Some of the things to consider include finding out if you need any state or local tax IDs, obtaining a W-4 form from the new hire, establishing pay periods, holiday, vacation, and paid leave rules, and of course, payroll reporting. We will help you throughout the process.

How do I know if my worker is an employee or an Independent Contractor?

Depending on the state you’re in, that answer varies. California recently passed AB5 which makes most workers an employee unless they can pass what’s called an ABC test.

Please message us with your own unique situation so we can answer. You can also visit our Domestic Worker page for more information about teachers, nannies, gardeners and the like.

I am an Employee and I have a question on Unemployment Benefits – how do I reach an actual person when calling the Employment Development Department (EDD)?

One helpful tip we’ve heard includes calling the EDD’s general support line at 1-833-978-2511. They’re open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and you might have better luck. Of course, it still is likely to require multiple tries.

Didn’t see your question answered? Message us.

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What our customers say about us

Gordon and his team run this first class operation. Why go with the big box ADP when you can have professional, personalized services at a lower cost? It’s a no brainer.

They take care of my payroll needs for multiple locations so I can focus on growing my business. Gordon promptly responds to all my questions and concerns. He also helps me take care of additional issues like workers’ comp audits and taxes.

Julie L. via Yelp

I wish I would have known about them years ago. You call you get to talk to Gordon, you email your data into him and it gets done… like a smooth-running machine. I strongly suggest you call Gordon and start having him handle your payroll needs today.

We as business owners have enough to do without having to deal with Federal and State agencies. Put your efforts into your business that you know best, that is what makes you money.

Sharon D. via Google

We’ve been with this company for almost a year and could not be more pleased. Gordon keeps us in compliance with all of the complex employment and tax rules. He is extremely patient, committed and giving of his time and knowledge without reservation. If we need help understanding something he is always there for us.

If you’re thinking about getting someone to take over your payroll, give Gordon a call. He is more than affordable and worth every penny.

Kathleen M. via Yelp

I had stayed with a large payroll company because I thought it was difficult to change. Once my friend recommended Gordon, it was so fast and easy to switch! And my fees were cut in HALF!

And I pay nothing when they file quarterlies. And he’s a million times more responsive.

Arlene M. via Email
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