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The Top Complaints About Certified Payroll

The Top Complaints About Certified Payroll - Complete Payroll

When it comes to Certified Payroll, we have helped a lot of companies with a lot of different problems. 

Because we work with both large and small construction businesses, we understand the ins and outs of Certified Payroll, including who has to file it, what must be filed, and the biggest problems that employers face when it comes to keeping their payroll compliant with federal policies.

Believe it, we have heard it all! There are companies out there filing their WH-347 forms incorrectly every week, employers creating headaches with back pay due to inaccurate filings and mistakes, and even small employers who never realized that they were obligated to abide by Certified Payroll in the first place, thus creating for themselves a major problem down the line! 

These are the top complaints we hear about Certified Payroll: 

Complaint #1: Certified Payroll seems like bureaucratic red tape and extra regulations. 

When you’re in the thick of Certified Payroll forms and requirements, it can be easy to lose track of the point of all this. However, the history of Certified Payroll is rooted in protecting people who were at risk of being exploited. 

When the Davis-Bacon Act was passed in 1931, the purpose was to keep unscrupulous employers from taking advantage of people who were desperate for any work. People were desperate enough that a business with a large federal contract could hire them for much less than what their labor was worth. 

Davis-Bacon has been the rule of law for nearly 90 years, and it is still relevant. Whether you’re hiring workers during a time of economic stress or not, this law still protects workers from unethical employers who would otherwise take advantage of their employees.

Interested in learning more? Check out our blog post about Davis-Bacon and Related Acts


Complaint #2: Certified Payroll is time consuming. 

In our experience, the amount of time it takes to do Certified Payroll is determined by several different factors. There is an official estimate from the Department of Justice: 55 minutes per WH-347 form. 

That is per week, of course, since the form is due weekly. This doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but it adds up. Companies that have large teams of workers, multiple federal contracts, or workers in multiple states tend to take longer.

Another factor that can slow you down: inexperience. If the person filing your Certified Payroll forms and statements of compliance has minimal experience or training, it can take them a lot longer to complete the required tasks. 

Our advice for addressing this complaint is usually two-fold: 

  1. There is training available for managers who are responsible for filing Certified Payroll, and one option is to invest in those training courses.
  2. Outsource this part of the job. One of the main reasons we help our clients with Certified Payroll is that they realize that it saves them time and associated costs. 

Complaint #3: Certified Payroll rules aren’t clear.

The mistakes we hear about (and work to correct) tend to be based on this complaint. It seems straightforward enough: fill out a weekly form that documents your workers and their responsibilities. Yet there are a lot of complicating factors for Certified Payroll, including:

  • Related laws that differ from state to state
  • Software that doesn’t account for the specific needs of construction companies with federal contracts (more on this in the next section!)
  • Easy-to-make errors on the WH-347 form

The solutions to this complaint are going to sound familiar: pursue training or outsource this task to someone who really understands how Certified Payroll works.

Complaint #4: The best payroll software options aren't equipped to manage Certified Payroll concerns. 

Payroll software can do a lot, but it is generally designed to meet the needs of as many employers as possible. Because of that, programs often don’t have the specific needs for construction companies with federal contracts. The area is just too niche. 

Responding to this complaint is about finding a real person who can take care of these needs for you, whether that is someone in your own company or someone that you hire. 

Certified Payroll doesn’t have to be a headache. 

You may have gotten the idea from our advice: the best way to fix the problems with Certified Payroll is to ensure that you have the right person taking care of it for you. 

You may choose to train someone in-house to take care of Certified Payroll, or you might go the route of outsourcing, but so many of the concerns that employers have can be solved by having the right people on the job! 

If you want to learn more about what Complete Payroll can do for you to make your Certified Payroll experience easier, less time consuming, and effective, let us know! We look forward to sharing with you how we can protect your time and your profits from Certified Payroll mistakes and penalties. 

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