Payroll Accounting

Course Number: BA 177
Transcript Title: Payroll Accounting
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: December 19, 2014
Total Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 30
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


BA 111 or BA 211 or instructor permission


MTH 30 and Microcomputer experience

Course Description

Learn fundamental skills and basic knowledge in the area of business payroll. The focus of the course is primarily in the following areas: payroll and personnel record keeping, calculation of gross pay using various methods, calculation of Social Security and Medicare taxes, calculation of federal and state income taxes, calculation of federal and state unemployment taxes, journalizing and posting payroll entries, and completing various federal and state forms. Prerequisites: BA 111 or BA 211 or instructor permission. Recommended: MTH 30 and Microcomputer experience. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of Payroll accounting, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic payroll accounting function and tasks.
  2. Prepare payroll reports containing gross taxable compensations, common withholdings, net pay amounts, and do the related accounting for an unsophisticated employer.
  3. Prepare many routine reports and forms.
  4. For an unsophisticated payroll system, be able to determine the employer’s taxes to be paid and understand how payments are made.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will detail the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning the course grade. Grades will be determined by the student's demonstration of understanding by applying course material in the manual and computer payroll projects, the assigned homework, and tests and/or quizzes. Policies with regard to late homework and make-up tests should be established in the first class meeting.


The learning outcome will be demonstrated by achievement of proficiency in these three performance tasks:

  1. Payroll and personnel record keeping
  2. Calculation of pay
  3. Payroll journalizing

Performance tasks will demonstrate proficiency in these skills and abilities:

  • Calculation of gross pay and net pay for an individual.
  • Journalizing of all payroll transactions.
  • Calculation of the employer's unemployment taxes.
  • Recording of a payroll in a payroll register and journalizing from it.
  • Recording in an individual employee's earnings record.
  • Application of federal and state regulations to a payroll.

Course Activities and Design

The materials in this course will be presented in lecture format. Other strategies such as discussion, guest lectures, research papers and group work may also be used.

The lecture time will be used to explain federal and state laws and procedures that are used in payroll accounting. Time will also be devoted to explaining the procedures to be used in completing the manual and computer payroll projects.

The student is expected to do the homework assigned for each chapter, a manual payroll project, and a computer payroll project.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Department Notes

Students will prepare a business payroll in both a manual and computer format. Fundamentals of payroll accounting will be learned. Major topics include: record keeping, wage calculation, federal and state regulations and how they impact business, and payroll journalizing. A manual and a computer based payroll project are assigned. This course is a requirement for the Associate of Applied Science in Accounting.