Over the last 27 years of working in the world of accounting, I have become convinced that to be successful in business, you must have three primary characteristics. It is the common thread that binds all successful operations in every industry I have witnessed.
Labor refers to the human pool of employees that are paid salaries and wages to provide services or manufacture products. Labor has multiple definitions in business and therefore it is important for the reader to understand how the term is used in context.
Accrued payroll is a current liability comprised of four sections. The first is the amount of payroll earned by staff and not yet processed or paid. The second is the dollar value of personal time off accumulated for each employee aggregated into one number. The third consists of payroll taxes owed to the respective governmental authorities and the final section comprises the accumulated benefits payable such as health insurance, retirement contributions, and amounts owed to third parties as deductions from the gross payroll.
I laugh at the definition of labor costs because in my opinion the so called experts only have it half right. Labor costs are more than just gross wages and benefits. It should include the costs of insurance, employer taxation, human resources management and incentives. All of the costs associated with delivering the human element of service should be included. Let’s explore these costs from the most expensive to the least.
Form 941 is the employer’s quarterly federal tax return. It reports how much federal income taxes were withheld; Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes that are due and how much was paid in deposits to the Internal Revenue Service. The report is filed every three months for each of the four calendar quarters.
What I learned was that equipment didn’t call in sick, it didn’t back talk me, it never got upset about how much it was paid and it just kept on humming. It was making us money and I didn’t have to deal with personnel issues. Boy, if only all production could be like this. Turn it on and make money.
In the world of accounting, we stand on two principles; timely and accurate information for the client. Without either, the client can’t make good decisions. As accountants our job is to record economic transactions and report this information in a financial format. For the client it is imperative that the information is provided in a reasonable period of time after the activity.