Payroll

DEFINITION of 'Payroll'

The sum total of all compensation that a business must pay to its employees for a set period of time or on a given date. Payroll is usually managed by the accounting department of a business. Small-business payrolls may be handled directly by the owner or an associate.

BREAKING DOWN 'Payroll'

Payroll can also refer to the list of employees of a business and the amount of compensation that is due to each of them. Payroll is a major expense for most businesses and is almost always deductible as such.


Payroll can differ from one pay period to another due to overtime, sick pay and other variables.

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