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Intro to Business • HR:  Payroll Fundamentals
Understand the Basics of Processing Employee Payroll

What you will learn

Master the basic information required for payroll process

Understand what is required for an employee to be legally hired and paid for their work

Learn the process for calculating gross pay when using hourly wages, salary, commissions, and more

Grasp the difference between Mandatory and Voluntary deductions from an employee’s paycheck

Work through the entire process of calculating earnings, deductions, and net pay for employees


From how to calculate earnings to determining which taxes apply and how to file them, processing payroll can be kind of confusing.

In this course, we use everyday, easy-to-understand language to explain the fundamentals every person responsible for getting payroll processed should understand – whether you’re the person actually doing, a small business owner overseeing someone else, or a student learning the activity.

While this course uses United States information as examples, the information and principles included apply to almost every country in the world.

Successful students will not only grasp how each of the different aspects of payroll process work, they will understand how (and when) those pieces come together resulting in employees receiving actual paychecks.

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Throughout the entire course, quizzes and actual working “homework assignments” are used to reinforce the lessons as well as help the student understand what they are grasping or needing to restudy.

Some of the many areas covered in the course include:

  • Starting off, students learn the basic legal requirements that must be met before employees start receiving payroll, along with expectations employers should keep in mind when they work with their employees.
  • Next, the course delves into how gross pay is determined, whether it’s hourly wages, annual salary, tips, commissions, bonuses, incentives or more.  Also, the definition and expectations of Independent Contractors is covered, along with tax forms for these services.
  • How often are employees paid and how that affects many different steps of the entire operation.
  • Which payroll deductions are Mandatory according to government, versus which ones are Voluntary.  How are all those different deductions calculated, collected, matched, and paid.
  • Several different tax form types are required to successfully process payroll each pay period and every year.

MANY other lessons are included such as:

  • What is Unemployment Insurance and is it paid by the employee or employer?
  • Court-ordered Garnishments legally require an employer to withhold an employee’s pay and turn it over to someone else.  Understand how and why.
  • How does an employer process and prepare an employee’s final paycheck.
  • Which records need to be kept and for how long.


Course Intro

Introduce The Course
Meet The Instructor And Resources
Tips For The Experience

New Employees

The “Basic” Basics
Three Big Laws
Hiring Requirements
Quiz – Section 2

Employee Pay

Wages, Salary, And Commissions
Pay Periods And Calculating Gross Pay
Bonuses, Incentives, Tips, Piecework
Non-Employee Comp
Quiz – Section 3

Mandatory Payroll Deductions

Introduction To Some Terms
FICA – Social Security & Medicare
Income Tax
State Disability – if applicable
Quiz – Section 4

Voluntary Payroll Deductions

Gross Pay vs TAXABLE Pay
Cafeteria Plans
Union Dues
Advances, Purchases, Etc.
Quiz – Section 5

Tax Reporting

W2 / W3
How And When To Submit / 941
Independent Contractors – 1099 / 1096 / W9
Quiz – Section 6

“Other Stuff”

Unemployment – State And Federal
Payroll Services
Final Paychecks
Record Keeping
Certifications In Payroll
Quiz – Section 7

Now What

Bonus Lecture