Payroll Management For Construction Firms

By Emily Burch Harris
October 24, 2022

Becoming a licensed builder takes a lot of time and hard work. Most states require three years of steady employment in the building trades before becoming eligible to apply for licensure. That means landing your first job, going through a period of either formal or informal apprenticeship, and learning a variety of skills in carpentry, masonry, electrical work, plumbing, and the like. So, shouldn’t you put as much thought into your payroll provider? Read on for our solution.

This is the fourth installment in a multi-part series about Human Resources in the construction industry. Subscribe now to be the first to know when the fifth installment arrives.

Whether you prefer to keep things small and operate as a handyman service, or if you aspire to become a full-service builder, there will come a day when you will need to take that first big step and hire employee number two. Congratulations. You’ve just become one of the more than 33 million small businesses in the U.S., adding to the more than 11 million workers employed in the construction industry. 

Growing your business and your payroll

When your firm doubles in size from one person in a truck and becomes a two-person crew, that changes everything. Now you are an employer. And as an employer, before hiring that first person you need to become familiar with all the codes, laws, and regulations that apply not only to running a construction business, but also to employee and payroll management. It’s not easy. There are all kinds of tax, healthcare, diversity and fairness, safety, training, benefits, and other considerations. It’s a lot to have to do when you also need to focus on actually doing the work of a builder, and a lot of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) choose to do it manually. In fact, according to Bloomberg Business:

  • 63% of SMBs handle payroll themselves.
  • 65% of SMBs would rather not handle payroll themselves.
  • 63% of SMBs spend an average of three weeks handling payroll themselves. 

More than half of all small business owners say that payroll is frustrating, complicated, and confusing. It’s no wonder SMBs would rather not tackle payroll manually. In addition to being complicated and taking a lot of time, handling payroll yourself can be risky because, if you make a mistake, it can get you in trouble. On one end of the error scale, you might overpay or underpay your employees if you don’t track hours and overtime accurately. That can cause problems that affect crew morale or even become a legal headache. But if you make mistakes related to benefits or any number of state and federal laws, you could be subject to investigation, fines, or other penalties. 

Payroll is tricky

fingercheck user interface

Some aspects of payroll management are particularly prone to error, especially for those trying to do it themselves. Items to keep an eye on include:

  • Data collection and processing – do you have all the information needed for every employee? Is it accurate, up-to-date, and where it should be?
  • Employee classification – do you have a mix of full-time, part-time, and independent contractors on the payroll? They are all handled differently.
  • Timecard and overtime management – are you accurately tracking your employees’ hours, including overtime?
  • Payment calculations – when payday arrives have you used the correct pay rate, deductions, differentials, and other information affecting your employees’ paychecks?
  • Regulatory compliance – are you sure you are up to date with the latest laws? Keeping track of the many, changing employment regulations is hard.
  • Taxes – managing tax compliance for your employees and your business is a big challenge, and errors can get you in big trouble. 

Data from the IRS shows that one-third of all smaller businesses make payroll errors. Those mistakes result in an average of $875 in penalties—and may lead to bigger problems. And so, in addition to all those headaches, you also have to worry about simple administrative issues like record keeping and storage. That’s because, if your payroll management is ever called into question, that information will be vital to figuring out where you went wrong if mistakes were made, or to proving you did what you were supposed to in case of a dreaded audit. 

Do your research

That means it is important to do your homework and make an informed decision about payroll management. You can either do it yourself and be unhappy, like two-thirds of your fellow small and mid-size business owners; or you can invest in a tool that is designed to make payroll fast, accurate, and simple. That is what Fingercheck delivers, with a powerful software product that makes it easy to manage payroll and timecards, schedule crews, comply with employment laws, and handle benefits. With Fingercheck you get an application that offers:

  • Flexible Pay Schedules
  • Set and Forget AutoPay
  • Payroll on Mobile

And Fingercheck doesn’t just make it easy for you; our convenient mobile app gives you and your crew round-the-clock access so that you can manage and process payroll from anywhere, while empowering your employees to control and monitor their own payroll information from their mobile devices. That makes it easier for everyone. No need to contact the payroll manager (you!), and no need for finance disputes. And because Fingercheck is designed to be secure, everyone has the assurance that their private financial information remains confidential. Download our handy tip list to help you.

Fingercheck is a reliable tool for your toolkit

fingercheck toolkit

Payroll by Fingercheck automates the payroll process to eliminate errors, ensure compliance with federal, state, and municipal tax codes, and automatically back-up your data so there is no risk of data loss. Your payroll information is safe and available with point-and-click ease when needed. And in a pinch, Fingercheck offers payroll financing for those times when receipts are late, but payday is coming. 

Running your own construction business is rewarding. There’s nothing like leaving the job site at the end of the day and seeing how a project is taking shape. But it’s the hard work that demands your complete time and attention. That’s why Fingercheck is designed to be an indispensable tool in the small builder’s belt. You know how to build buildings, Fingercheck knows how to build powerful payroll software. Let’s work together.

Find out how Fingercheck helps construction companies do business better

This is part four of a multi-part series. If you’d like to learn how Fingercheck can help you with your construction company’s HR solutions, including payroll, workflows and benefits, subscribe now.

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