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Posts: 182
2 months ago
What controls are available to address the threat of payroll errors?
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Accounting Information Systems
Edition: 14th
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2 months ago
Three types of controls can be used to circumvent payroll errors in an HRM/payroll system. Batch totals are used to verify totals entered into the system both at the time of data entry and at each stage in the processing. Hash totals are particularly useful in this regard, since hash totals calculated at the time of original data entry and again at each stage in the process can be compared. When the comparisons match throughout the process, three conclusions can be made: 1) all payroll records have been processed; 2) the data input was accurate; and 3) no bogus time cards were entered at any point after initial input. Upon completion of a payroll, the payroll register should be cross-footed to verify that the totals of the net pay column and other deduction columns equal the total of the gross pay column. A third control is the use of a payroll clearing account. This is a general ledger account that can be used as part of a two-step accuracy and completeness process. First, the payroll control account will be debited for the amount of the gross pay for the pay period; cash and other various withholding liability accounts are credited. Second, the cost accounting process distributes labor costs to various expense categories and credits the payroll control account for the total amount of the debits made to the other accounts. The result is that the payroll control account will have a zero balance. This becomes an internal check known as a zero balance check, indicating that the proper postings have been made to all of the accounts associated with payroll for a given pay period.
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