Avoiding Common Certified Payroll Mistakes

Filling out your weekly certified construction payroll reports can become a difficult task, particularly if you fill them out by hand. Various mistakes, including transposition errors, are inevitable, regardless of any precautions you take. In addition, these repeated slipups will damage your company’s reputation with the project administrator or general contractor. Compiling a Prevailing Wage Report, which varies by state, can also be complicated. With this in mind, learn how to avoid these mistakes and submit reports that are done correctly to benefit both you and your business:

  • Your reports could be rejected as being incomplete or inadequate. You will be told to make the necessary corrections and resubmit the forms by a certain date, or payment will be delayed, which will negatively affect your cash flow. Generally speaking, the final contract for every project will provide you with a copy of the correct payroll reporting form and indicate whether you should file your reports electronically.
  • If you fail to pay your workers the prevailing wage and don’t submit your payroll reports, you will have to make wage restitution and submit every certified report within 30 days, once the general contractor is notified. As a rule, this requirement is discussed in the final project contract.
  • If you fail to pay your workers the rate of pay indicated in the “wage decision,” which is also found in the final contract, you will have to make wage restitution and submit amended reports within 30 days as well. When clarification is needed, the contract administrator usually provides a Wage Bulletin or a Project Wage Rate sheet in order to prevent such errors.
  • If your employees’ Work Classifications fail to match those found in the Wage Decision portion of the contract, that problem must be corrected. You may also have to make wage restitution in this case and submit an amended payroll report within 30 days as well.
  • If your reports contain inaccurate figures, fail to show how your employees’ fringe benefits are paid, or have “Other Withholdings" you will also have to submit amended reports within 30 days.

Remember to check the calculations on your final reports prior to submitting them. This should never be brushed aside, even if you are using a construction software or accounting software program to produce your reports for submission.

If you manually create these reports, or need to manipulate large quantities of data to complete them, consider automating the process to save valuable time that could be used for other purposes and eliminate any transposition errors as well.

Note that today, a number of QuickBooks users have the capability of generating a built-in certified payroll report. Every week, however, they either manually correct errors, or enter the data into the certified payroll report after printing it out. If you are doing manual work to correct your "automated" solution, give us a call and we can show you how to eliminate this extra work.