Getting started with

Payroll by Wave

Easy and accurate payroll.

Payroll by Wave is a simple, beautiful payroll tool built for small business owners. Integrating seamlessly with Wave’s accounting tools, Payroll by Wave offers an easy all-in-one solution! Payroll by Wave is currently available in Canada and in the U.S.

If you’re new to Payroll by Wave, get started by setting up your account at /payroll/

Simple employee management.

Adding employees and editing their information is easy in Payroll by Wave. First, navigate to the Employees tab at the top of the screen. This is where you can go to enter in your employee information (like salary and vacation), and make changes at any time.

Employees list

To make changes, select an employee from the dropdown:

Employee details

There are a number of options along the left side, which allow you to add employee information, as well as store any necessary employee files.

One of the selections is Benefits and Deductions. This screen allows you to add to (bonuses, expense reimbursement, etc.) or deduct from (RRSP in Canada, union dues, etc.) an employee’s pay.

Employees benefits and deductions

Direct deposit at no extra cost.

Direct deposit is included for no additional cost in Payroll by Wave. This short video will walk you through setting up Direct Deposit.

Setting up Direct Deposit in the U.S.:

Setting up Direct Deposit in Canada:

Payroll taxes in the United States.

If you have a small business in the U.S., you’ll need to enter in tax information so Wave can accurately calculate income tax withholdings and your employer taxes. To do this, click the Taxes tab, and select Payroll Tax Rates to enter in your payroll tax details. You will need to enter in your State Unemployment Tax rate (SUTA) and any surcharges or additional tax rates that are assigned to you by your state's tax departments.

Payroll tax rates

Payroll history (year-to-date).

Telling us about your payroll history this year is a great way to ensure that your payroll calculations will be correct. By payroll history, we mean the total of wages and deductions for each employee up until the date you begin using Payroll by Wave, hence the nickname “year-to-date”. This information will allow our system to accurately calculate income tax withholdings and employer taxes.

To enter your payroll history for this year, first click on the gear icon on the top right side of your screen to access your Payroll Settings. From there select Import year-to-date, so that you land on the following screen:

Payroll history (year-to-date)

You can then select the appropriate year, and enter in gross wages for your employees, as well as any deductions, in total.

Filling in timesheets.

Note: If you have salaried employees, you don't have to worry about the Timesheets tab!

From the dashboard you can navigate to the Timesheets tab. If you have hourly employees, this is where you enter their hours. You can also add overtime, and log vacation time used through this screen. Use the arrows to navigate between weeks, and make sure you have all of the dates in your pay period covered. You can always make edits before you run your payroll!


Running your payroll.

Last, but certainly not least, are the Home page and the Payroll page. The Home page is where you can review the details of your payroll, as well as important dates, and your payroll Things to Do list. Use the calendar icons to edit your payroll dates, and remember that changing your End Date will automatically adjust your Start Date. We will also show you your Total Payroll Cost, which includes the total wages for your payroll as well as any employer tax contributions.

Payroll preview

When you are happy, click on the green Review this payroll button. From here you will be taken to the Payroll page where you can see the employer summary and a preview of the pay stubs your employees will receive. We will also alert you to any issues that should be addressed before you run your payroll.

Payroll summary

From there, just review the information and click Run Payroll.

Congratulations on completing the Payroll by Wave University program!