Fixing Payroll Mistakes Like a Pro

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Home News, News

Fixing Payroll Mistakes Like a Pro

Payroll errors can happen to anyone, even the most seasoned accounts professionals. Whether you’re a small business owner in Monaghan, Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Clones, or Ballybay or manage payroll for a larger company, payroll mistakes can be stressful. This blog will help to identify and fix common payroll errors efficiently.

What is Payroll?

Simply put, payroll is the process of paying your staff and employees. It involves calculating their gross wages (pre-tax earnings), applying necessary deductions like income tax and PRSI (Ireland’s social security contribution), and issuing their net pay (final amount received after deductions).

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Payroll also involves keeping detailed records of employee hours worked, leave taken, sick leave and other factors that affect their pay.

Payroll is the entire process of compensating your employees for their work. It goes beyond simply doing a bank transfer or handing out a pay cheque. Here’s a breakdown of the key components that constitute payroll:


Gross Pay: This is the total amount of money an employee earns before any deductions are taken out. It’s typically calculated based on an hourly rate, salary, or commission structure.

Overtime Pay: If an employee works more than their standard scheduled hours, they may be entitled to overtime pay at a higher rate, as mandated by Irish regulations.

Payroll Deductions

  • Income Tax: A portion of an employee’s gross pay is withheld and paid to the Revenue Commissioners, the tax authority in Ireland. The amount withheld depends on the employee’s income tax band.
  • PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance): Similar to Social Security in other countries, PRSI is a social insurance contribution deducted from an employee’s gross pay and their employer’s contribution. It funds social welfare programmes in Ireland.
  • Universal Social Charge (USC): This is a social welfare tax applied to most forms of income in Ireland, including employee earnings.
  • Other Deductions: Depending on company benefits or employee agreements, other deductions may include health insurance premiums, pension contributions, or union dues.

Net Pay:

This is the final amount of money an employee receives after all deductions are taken out of their gross pay. It’s the amount that appears on their payslip. Getting this right is critical, if you want to avoid disagreements.

Additional Payroll Tasks:

Recordkeeping: Maintaining accurate records of employee hours worked, wages earned, deductions made, and taxes withheld is crucial for the employee and the business.

Payslip Generation: Issuing payslips to employees that detail their earnings, deductions, and net pay is a requirement by Revenue.

Tax and PRSI Payments: Employers are responsible for calculating, withholding, and remitting payroll taxes (income tax, PRSI, USC) to the Revenue Commissioners on a regular basis.

Year-End Reporting: Annual reports summarising payroll information for tax and social security purposes may be required. Employees may ask for proof of earnings if they want to apply for a mortgage with EBS or any of the main banks.


Payroll processing needs to comply with relevant current Irish employment law, tax regulations, and minimum wage requirements.

Spotting the Signs of a Payroll Mishap:

Employee Concerns: If you receive enquiries from employees about their payslips or pay discrepancies, it could indicate a payroll mistake. Or a lack of understanding.

Tax or PRSI Issues: Notices from the Revenue Commissioners about unpaid taxes or PRSI contributions might signal an error. And they need to be attended to urgently.

Bank Account Discrepancies: Mismatches between your payroll records and bank account activity can be a red flag. You are collecting taxes on behalf of the Irish Government so it can be an onerous commitment.

Common Payroll Mistakes and How to Fix Them:

Calculation Errors: Simple miscalculations in income tax, PRSI deductions, or net pay happen. Double-check your calculations and use payroll software to minimise errors.

Incorrect Leave Pay: Calculating leave pay for sick leave, vacation, or maternity leave can be tricky. Review your company’s policies and relevant regulations to ensure accurate leave pay processing. Holiday pay is going to be about 20 days a year.

Overtime Pay Omissions: Failing to account for overtime hours worked by employees can lead to underpayment. Maintain accurate records of overtime hours and calculate overtime pay correctly.

Data Entry Errors: Typos or mistakes in employee data can lead to payroll issues. Carefully review all data entries before processing payroll.

Fixing the Payroll Mistake:

Identify the Error: Investigate the issue thoroughly to pinpoint the exact mistake. Ensure the employee is aware that you are looking in to it.

Quantify the Error: Determine the amount of overpayment or underpayment for each employee affected.

Communication is Key: Clearly communicate the error and rectification plan to affected employees.

Correct the Records: Update your payroll records and accounting software to reflect the corrected amounts.

Process the Correction: If there’s an underpayment, issue a supplemental paycheck to the employee. If there’s an overpayment, explore repayment options with the employee, following legal guidelines.

File Amended Reports: In some cases, you may need to file amended payroll tax reports with the Revenue Commissioners.

Preventing Future Mistakes:

Invest in Payroll Software: Reliable payroll software automates calculations and reduces manual errors. You can use Sage which is well established, or options such as Simple Pay, Bright Pay, TAS, A1 or Parolla. 

Regular Reviews: Conduct periodic reviews of your payroll processes to identify potential issues.

Stay Updated: Keep yourself informed about any major changes in tax regulations and minimum wage rates in Ireland. Your Accountant can keep you updated.

Seek Professional Help: For complex payroll matters, consider consulting a qualified accountant or payroll service provider.


Even the most meticulous professionals can make mistakes. By following these steps, you can honestly identify and rectify payroll errors efficiently, minimising stress and ensuring compliance for your business, whether it is based in Monaghan or any other Irish county.

Now you have a better understanding of what goes into your pay cheques. Payroll may seem complex, but hopefully, this blog post has shed some light on the process! Remember, if you have any questions or if something seems amiss on your payslip or with your payroll in general, don’t hesitate to reach out to your employer or a qualified professional for clarification.

Frequently Asked Questions about Payroll Services in Monaghan

Is a payroll service necessary for my small business in Monaghan?

While not essential for every business, payroll services can be incredibly beneficial, especially for those in Monaghan, Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Clones, and Ballybay. Managing payroll involves complex calculations, tax deductions, and regular filings with Revenue.  A qualified payroll service provider can ensure accuracy, save you time, and minimise the risk of penalties for non-compliance.

What are the benefits of using a local Monaghan payroll service?

Local payroll providers like O’Doherty Agnew & Co Ltd understand the specific tax regulations and nuances relevant to businesses in Monaghan and surrounding areas. This local knowledge can be invaluable when ensuring your payroll adheres to Revenue requirements and maximises potential tax benefits.

What if I have employees living outside of Ireland?

Payroll services can handle the complexities of paying employees who reside outside of Ireland. They can ensure the proper taxes and social security contributions are withheld and remitted to the appropriate authorities.

How much does a payroll service typically cost in Monaghan?

Payroll service fees can vary depending on the number of employees you have, the frequency of payroll processing, and the complexity of your needs.  O’Doherty Agnew & Co Ltd offers competitive rates and can provide a personalised quote based on your specific situation.

What information do I need to provide for my payroll to be processed?

To ensure a smooth payroll process, you’ll typically need to provide basic employee details like names, PPSNs (Personal Public Service Numbers), start/end dates (if applicable), and employment identifiers. Additionally, you’ll need to provide details on employee pay like gross wages, overtime, bonuses, commissions, and any applicable pension contributions.