What to know about National Payroll Week, and how to observe it in your company

Many employees don't give the processes behind their paychecks a second thought. Money is simply sent, through check or direct deposit, on a regular basis, rewarding staff members for their hard work and effort during the pay period.

However, in order to make this happen, the company's internal human resources and finance departments must ensure that each employee's pay is accurate according to the time they've worked, and that key deductions or withholdings are appropriately applied.

Overall, payroll professionals collect and report on as much as 70% of the annual revenue of the U.S. Treasury. With such an important role internally within the business as well as in our nation's economy, the efforts and processes related to payroll deserve recognition.

This is among the key missions of National Payroll Week, which takes place during the same week as Labor Day, September 2-6, 2019.

Why is NPW important?

Beyond just recognizing the very important efforts of payroll professionals, this week also presents an ideal opportunity to improve awareness of the payroll system, particularly around the details around pay withholdings. Those in the HR, finance and accounting sectors use this time to educate others about how paychecks are calculated, when and where deductions are made, how these withholdings are calculated, and how employees can make the most of their earnings.

The American Payroll Association, the organization that originally founded NPW in 1996. As the AMA stated on the official NPW website, this week's slogan is, "America Works Because We're Working for America," and this statement is very accurate.

"The money that payroll professionals collect from employees' paychecks through the payroll withholding system is vital to the funding of important government programs that keep America working smoothly such as Medicare, the building of federal highways, social security, the U.S. military, and much more," the AMA stated. 

Raising awareness about these withholdings and how this money is actually used is especially important for younger workers recently entering the workforce. It's common for employers to get numerous employee questions about withholdings and the payroll process, and National Payroll Week is a perfect time to shine a light and make these calculations clearer for staff members outside of accounting and HR.

How can my company mark NPW?

There are a few simple, yet effective ways to make the most of National Payroll Week, both for internal payroll professionals and employees in other departments. Consider adding some of these events and and activities to your schedule during the week of Labor Day:

  • Check out NPW educational resources: This week is all about education and awareness, and the National Payroll Week website has numerous resources available to help with this pursuit. This includes materials on social security and child support withholdings, employee work eligibility, direct deposit and how to best manage one's paycheck. There are also interactive calculators so employees can clearly see how paycheck and IRS withholding works.
  • Participate in the NPW survey: The AMA also sponsors an annual survey to gauge trends and emerging strategies in payroll and attendance processes. The "Getting Paid in America" survey is a valuable opportunity for businesses and their employees to share their opinions and help shape the future of payroll.
  • Recognize the efforts of internal payroll professionals: This week is also a great time to help ensure that internal payroll employees are recognized and appreciated. Even a simple gesture, like hanging up themed artwork, or providing a company-sponsored lunch, can go a long way. Check out this year's NPW artwork on the official website.

The work of payroll professionals is an imperative part of human resources, and this is a week worth recognizing. Take a look at the APA's Official NPW Planning Guide to help you mark this occasion. 

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