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How to Process Emergency Payroll Using ADP Workforce Now Solution

For every business organization, there usually comes a time when it is required for HR to process payroll on short notice. Emergencies happen, and unforeseen situations take us by surprise. When this happens, what are the steps put in place to help a company navigate the waters by quickly and efficiently dispatching emergency payroll?

What is Payroll Processing?

Payroll processing refers to the general process of providing compensating your employees for the work they perform over some time, based on your contractual agreement. It is a broad notion that covers employees’ wages, withholding taxes, employee benefits premiums, and delivering payments appropriately – usually through direct deposit.

To ease this process, there are many Payroll processing software programs available. These programs are all automated and can be sued by companies of any size – small, mid-size, or large – and in any industry, be it hospitality, real estate, entertainment, or banking.

How Payroll Processing for Workforce Works for Companies

An effective payroll process can impact the success of the company. When payroll is processed in a timely and accurate manner, it gives the impression to the employees that they are valued by the organization. This can boost their morale and loyalty and inspire them to do more for the organization.

Naturally, most people respond to kindness, and if your workers perceive you to be kind, their input will be commendable. That is why employers must keep in touch with their workforce; let them see that you’re transparent.If the company has issues and you can’t process payroll quickly enough, let them see that you’re doing all you can.

Gather Information

When new talent is hired, HR is expected to gather all necessary information required about that individual before they are even appointed. This information is sorted, checked, and then stored in the company’s database operated by the HR department or a payroll service provider.

Information to be gathered includes the new hire’s social security number, form W-4, state withholding form if applicable, bank account information for direct deposit, as well as benefits elections.

Time and Attendance Data

To accurately pay employers based on the hours they put into work, the payroll software should have features that calculate and tracks time to detail. This includes work shifts, weekend allowances, overtime, critical shift pay, per-piece pay, and soon.

Review and Approve Time

This involves the payroll supervisor supervising and reviewing employer timecards for approval before the payroll is processed. If there are mistakes in the timecards, they should be pointed out and corrected, so it doesn’t affect the payroll process at the end of the day.

Wages and Deductions

To accurately process workers’ payroll, it is also required that wages and deductions be calculated accurately. To confirm how many hours an employee has worked for the pay period in view times rate approved. The shift differentials, overtime, taxes, etc., are also factored into the calculation before payroll is processed.

Payroll Process

This is where it all comes down to; processing the payroll. After the calculations have been done, the final bit is to process payroll. For employees who are issued paper checks, checks are to be distributed accordingly. If payment is by direct deposit, the payroll file is sent to the bank for processing.

File and Pay Necessary Taxes Promptly

After the payroll has been processed, the next thing is for the employee to file and pay state and federal payroll taxes. Taxes should be deposited promptly, as delays could make the employer liable for charges.

Retain Records

All tax and payroll records of employees should be retained and kept safely by the company, according to State and Federal records retention laws.

How Long to Process Payroll?

It depends. The number of employees you’re servicing and the methods of payroll you’re using will be taken into account. But ideally, it should take more than three business days for wages to be deposited in an employee’s account after being processed. On average, however, it can take up to 5 days for employees to get their paycheck or bank deposits; if you factor in the extra day or two, it will take the company to process payroll in-house.

What is a Typical Payroll Cycle in a business?

Generally, the most common payroll cycles are weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, and monthly. This refers to how often you intend to pay your employees. While some companies find it convenient to pay weekly, others prefer biweekly, and so on. It’s up to you. However, here’s what you should have in mind with the various payroll cycle in view:

The weekly payroll cycle is mostly used for hourly workers, and it’ll result in 52 checks per year.
Biweekly payroll is fine for both hourly and salaried employees, and it results in 26 checks per year.
Semi-monthly payroll is best for salaried workers, and it gets you 24 checks per year.
Monthly payroll is mainly used for salaried employees, and it gets 12 checks per year.

As we said above, the decision on which payroll cycle to adopt is up to her. Just be sure that whichever cycle you decide to go with, it’s in the best interest of your business and your employees.

Requirement for Payroll Processing today

Part of what you need before you can process payroll is your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) along with a state payroll Tax Identification Number (TIN), as well as a local TIN in some cases. These accounts are what allow you to file and pay payroll taxes.

With these in place, you’re good to go. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the basics of how to process payroll, it might be better if you got in touch with a payroll processing company or used a payroll software program to get it done.

Processing Employees’ Payroll during Emergencies

The world of business has evolved significantly in recent years, transitioning from one stage to another. Most of the changes we’ve seen in the corporate world have had to do with unforeseen economic disasters of global proportion.

For instance, the coronavirus pandemic dealt a major blow to the world in 2020, leading to massive and unprecedented disruption in global economic policies. Before the covid-19 outbreak, other catastrophic events had rocked the world. It is estimated that even before Covid-19, the US lost around $14 billion in damages due to natural disasters in 2019 alone, according to and the NOAA.

In essence, there’s always one form of tragedy or the other looming. The Covid-19 pandemic struck the world without fair warning, but since then, it has caused businesses to put contingency plans in place to help them respond during an emergency.

Without these contingencies, the effect of emergencies would be devastating for the company. During unavoidable incidents like natural disasters, responding promptly and meeting the financial needs of your employees can bring them respite and sustain the growth of a company.

Businesses, therefore, have to be up to the task of being able to process emergency payroll during difficult periods. In a realistic context, therefore, they have to be always prepared for such eventualities. The payroll service provider of a company has to be ready to make things happen at the snap of a finger without needing too many complications and bottlenecks before people can access payment in an emergency.

ADP Now Solution for Processing Emergency Payroll for Resources

To help business organizations respond quickly to urgent payroll requirements, the easiest way would be to hire a verified payroll provider that offers cloud-based software to handle their payroll requirements. This will enable the HR department to keep tabs on workers and the hours they work. It would also take care of the automation of rates by setting rate rules based on departments, locations, and contracts.

To this end, software payroll programs like the one designed by ADP can help your HR remain on top of their game when the walls around come crashing down. ADP Now payroll management system is a people-centered application that enables user continuity of their payroll distribution, no matter how foul the weather may be.

Despite recent global upheavals, employers know they must strive to remain in business and meet their financial obligations to their employees, even in difficult emergencies. Emergency happens – to individuals, families, corporations, and even governments, so it would be great for employers to factor that into their payroll policies.

In addition, one great thing about using cloud-based software for your employees’ data is the fact vital information can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Employees can therefore expect to receive their paycheck, no matter the prevailing circumstance around. The case would have been different if an organization still runs on an old-fashioned, hard copy payroll system.

Why Companies Should Make Emergency Pay Readily Available

Aside from contracting a professional payroll provider or running the latest up-to-date payroll software programs on their systems, one important thing that companies can do is to make funds readable and available. Companies should ensure that money to keep their operations running at all times is within reach where the payroll provider can easily access them if they have to.

This proactive approach to handling the payroll process during an emergency will help to cushion the impact of any disaster on the business and its employees. If the normal payroll services of the business are interrupted, HR support can draw from the emergency payroll that has been set aside.

Also, petty cash can be used to make payroll payments to employees in situations where there’s some delay in processing the payments through the regular payroll channel.

Ideally, the framework the emergency payroll provider works with should integrate their risk analysis and planning to cover the following processes vis-à-vis; risk assessment and business impact analysis, business continuity planning, disaster recovery planning, health and safety planning, and digitizing pay to streamline payroll processes.

Maintaining Payroll Compliance During Emergencies

While companies must make contingency plans to pay workers even in times of disaster, it is expedient for them to also maintain payroll compliance during the process. Regulatory compliance implies that emergency payroll should provide continuity for data, process monitoring, and reporting, just like regular payroll.

In any case, maintaining regulatory payroll compliance is a necessary factor for eligibility and securing tax credits for companies.

When companies have backup plans in place for times of emergency, it’s great because then, they can use the opportunity to improve and fine-tune their processes. In effect, it makes them get better, more professional, and proactive.

It’s like having a fire drill, so you know how to respond when there’s a real fire outbreak. In the end, it makes you a better, more alert person. This is why your HR team and payroll provider can become fundamental in helping the company develop a contingency backup plan, one that’s capable of keeping the company afloat always, no matter what.

Easy Alternatives to Pay Your Employees During Emergency Situation

In the digital age, there are several ways you can process employee payroll in times of emergency. Your HR service can take you through the various ways in which you can process emergency payroll for your workers.

Consider some of the easy ways your employees can get paid on time anywhere they are, without needing to visit the bank or go to the office physically:

Direct Deposit

Nowadays, we don’t use paper checks anymore; payroll services run on software programs. Imagine if you still paid your workers’ salaries by delivering paper checks to them. Processing payroll through direct bank deposit is much better, both for the employee and the environment. It can be quite expensive for the company to issue paper checks to employees regularly. Think of all that printed paper.

With direct deposit, you can have your money in your bank account directly without needing to sign any physical document. The service runs on software programming, and it’s all automated. This helps to reduce costs for the company, cut down the risk of fraud, and enable your employees to get their salaries on time, no matter where they are.

Access to Wages before Payroll Period

In emergencies where your workers are cash strapped and need money, it’s only reasonable that your payroll service can give them access to much-needed funds. During emergencies, people spend more money to secure their families. They may require the cash even before the payroll period is due, which shouldn’t be surprising. Remember we talked about petty cash being around where HR can have access to for emergencies? Well, here’s an emergency right there.

So, here’s another important reason you need to use a great payroll provider service. You should be able to keep track of employees’ work hours so you can have that integrated into your payroll system. So when a worker comes up with a request, you can make it happen for them.

Print Some Paper Checks

Okay, remember we talked about paying employees via direct deposit? Well, there’s a clause to that; pay with a paper check if the situation arises and you have no other choice. This is mostly as a last resort, where your systems refuse to come up, and everything doesn’t seem to be working. So those old paper checks you kept away somewhere? Now would be a good time to go fetch the out.

So do not rule out printing of checks just yet. Paper checks may still prove useful later, if not now. However, rather than contracting your check printing out, you can have it done inside, within your premises. That way, you can be sure you have your checks on the go when you need them.

Employee Self Service (ESS)

It’s always better to have a team of workers who can physically sort things out for themselves around your system. They can serve themselves without always needing to run to someone in HR to come to their rescue; it saves time, energy, and cost when employees can run basic activities on the company’s system.

This is called the ESS – Employee Self Service. Your team has to be made up of competent, hands-on people. You can let them have access to their payroll information on your system, let them go through the various interface and dashboards, get a feel of it and learn how it works. You never know; they may have to take care of updating data for themselves soon.

Emergency Payroll Payments Policy to Be Aware Of
Policy and/or Objective

For instances in which undue hardship is placed on the employee because his/her respective paycheck has not been routinely issued, the Dean, Director, or Department Head may petition the Payroll Manager in writing for a special emergency payment before the next regular payroll cycle.

The preparation of an emergency payment and the promptness with which the request is addressed will depend primarily on the prevailing workload of the Payroll Services staff. A decision by the Payroll Manager not to provide special processing for an emergency payment request may be appealed to the Director of Disbursement Services, Mary Alexander-Conte.


Responsibilities of the Employing Unit: Payroll Services annually publishes a monthly payroll processing calendar which indicates the dates that must be observed for offices to administer the functions of position management, personnel database maintenance, and payroll processing in a timely, coordinated, and routine manner.

If the processing deadlines are observed as indicated on the calendar, a majority of employees will be compensated according to schedule, precluding the possibility of needing an emergency payroll payment. To pay new employees or additionally compensate existing employees, Payroll Services usually requires the timely receipt of two documents.

First, a document is required authorizing Payroll Services to compensate the employee a specific sum of money, at a specific time, from a specific budget. Departments normally submit necessary authorization information to Payroll Services utilizing a variety of formats.

Second, a document is required from the employing department certifying that the authorized services were performed. This certification is nothing more than a time report where hourly employees are concerned. When both documents are provided to Payroll Services according to schedule, emergency payments are routinely created.

Payments in Advance of Services Rendered

The Kentucky Revised Statutes specifically prohibit the prepayment or advancement of any compensation to employees for services to be performed in the future or leave yet to be earned.

Early Release of Payments

In instances where services have been performed, the university is further prohibited from the prepayment or advancement of earned salaries or wages to the employee before the respective date on which the compensation would be regularly disbursed. Payments cannot be distributed earlier than payday because financial institutions will not honor their payment. The payment is not negotiable until the effective date printed on the face of the check.

Special Payments after Services Are Rendered

For situations in which undue hardship is placed on the employee because the respective payment has not been routinely issued, the Dean, Director, or Department Head may petition Payroll Services in writing for a special emergency payment before the next regular payroll cycle.

This may be facilitated by sending a completed Special Check Request Form to Payroll Services. The preparation of an emergency payment and the promptness with which the request is addressed will depend primarily on the prevailing workload of the Payroll Services staff.

Processing Requirements for an Emergency Payroll Payment

Emergency checks will be issued for an omitted base and supplemental pay. Generally, no emergency checks will be issued for overtime, shift differentials, additional pay, or refunds of payroll deductions unless these items can be processed along with the identified base and supplemental pay.

Stand-alone overtime, differentials, additional pay, and refunds will be processed on the affected employee’s next regular payroll check. Requests for exceptions to this policy should be justified on the Special Check Request Form.

Emergency checks for the base and supplemental pay will be issued on payday if the applicable special check request is received by noon five days before payday for monthly employees and four days before payday for biweekly employees.

Payroll Services will provide email notifications to the respective Unit Business Manager and the affected employee when the emergency check is available for pick-up. Non-payday emergency check requests will normally be processed

each week. The special check request should be received by Monday at 4:30 PM for special checks to be processed and released during that week.