Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Classification

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Classification

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Classification

Most business owners find it difficult to distinguish between the exempt and non-exempt employees, and it also causes a great deal of confusion between employers and employees. Whether you are entitled to the overtime payment or not (usually means the extra time you work after the standard 40 hours for every week), depending on your exemption position according to the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), remains the primary ambiguity in this regard. However, various other jobs don’t fall under these standards, like agricultural jobs, truck driving, and others, which are usually governed by other law organizations.

Majority of citizens in U.S come under the FLSA and you can either classify them as exempt or non-exempt, depending on the overtime pay regulations. As an amateur, you may not have a clear idea of what category of workers these are, but don’t ponder over it because that’s what we are here for today! We’ll give you a quick breakdown of what rules apply to which workers. So let’s dive right in.

Non-Exempt Employees

If you work as a non-exempt employee for more than the standard time per week, that’s 40 hours, then according to the FLSA policies, you are entitled to extra pay for the time and one-half of the standard hours of overtime work you spend. Concisely, if you are working on the hourly basis and get paid for the hours you work, apart from the standard hourly paid rate, then you are classified as a non-exempt employee. If you are a non-exempt employee, then you will not qualify for the numerous white collar job exemptions. Such employees usually include maintenance, technicians, construction, semi-skilled, blue collar, laborers, and clericals.

Exempt Employees

Such employees don’t get any protection and cover from the FLSA, and this means that they are not entitled to any overtime payments. According to the FLSA, airline and sales employees are exempt, and if you meet with three points, then you are in this category. These are the rules that apply:

  • If you are getting a payment of $23,600 for the year
  • If you get paid on the wage basis (doesn’t apply to people who work on “hourly basis,” like school teachers, and physicians)
  • If you perform duties on the job that are classified as exempt

To qualify for the exempt status, the nature of your job is also taken into account. Typically, the duties of exempt employees are high, and the FLSA splits them into three further categories:

Executive

Employees are exempt from the FLSA policies and rules if they perform duties such as:

  • Supervise more than one employee
  • Work as a manager
  • Having the power to hire, assign tasks, fire and so on.

In most cases, such people are usually considered in charge or the boss of the business or company.

Administrator

For people who have duties that support the business, like public relations, accounting, human resources and payroll staffs, then they fall under this category. Duties must also include:

  • Office work
  • Tasks related to the management or customers of the business
  • Independent discretion and judgment of significant business matters

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What Records to Keep in a Personnel File?

What Records to Keep in a Personnel File?

It can be difficult to know what employee records a small business should keep in a personnel file. Should it only hold onto the bare minimum and risk not having enough documentation to protect itself should it need to in the future, or should it keep everything and files become so thick that it is impossible to find anything efficiently? Ultimately, a practical compromise is necessary.

Below is a brief list of the essential documents a small business should keep in a personnel file. However, please remember that this list is a guideline, a template and that ultimately it is up to the specific needs of the small business to determine what stays and what goes.

 Employment Agreement Records

The most basic of personnel file documents that need retaining should center on the professional relationship between the employee and employer. These documents would include the employee’s application and resume, the description of the job as given to the employee, the offer of employment, and the signed receipt of the employee handbook.

 Legal Documents

The most important of the legal documents that need retaining should be the ones related to taxes. These would include W-4s and state withholding forms. Obviously, the tax forms required by your business may not be the same as other businesses, but the idea is to make sure that a copy of whatever tax forms is required always are kept in the employee’s file. Also, legal documents may include next of kin information, emergency contacts, and forms relating to employee benefits.

 Employee Performance Documents

An essential collection of documents is how the employee performs their job. Primarily, this documentation will provide the necessary empirical data to justify an employee’s review. A short list of such records would include awards, reprimands, notes on attendance, certificates of successful completion of training programs, and why and under what conditions the employee left. In essence, these documents should give a stranger an understanding of what this individual was like as an employee.

Unnecessary Documents

However, there are records that you should avoid including in an employee’s personnel file. These would include an I-9 as a government official who may need access to this record does not need to leaf through all the other personal information to find it, and medical records as a small business are legally required to keep this information confidential and available to only a select few.

Government Policies

Government Policies

Most small business owners are well informed about what government policies apply to them, specifically what FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) policies they need to be in accordance with according to their business. However, an increasing number of small businesses have been cited for policy violations. It makes one wonder if small businesses are as informed as they think they are about some of the more common FLSA policies. Below is a list of some of the more egregious violations.

Unpaid Compensable Time

A good example is unpaid compensated time; this is when an employee works through lunch but is not paid for that time. That is if the lunch is unpaid, but the employee engages in work that benefits the company they can be entitled to appropriate compensation. Granted, there is some gray area to this policy, but it is one that is in need of handling through communication with the employee and the proper authorities instead of hoping that no one notices.

Unpaid Vacation Time

Unpaid vacation time occurs in mainly one instance: when an employee leaves (whether through being fired or quitting) they are entitled to their paid vacation time. Though the FLSA does not require paid vacation, if the company offers it then it is considered part of the employee’s compensation for their work, just like their wage or salary. If the employee is no longer working for the company, they are entitled to these earnings.

Overtime Status

The FLSA guarantees overtime pay to non-exempt employees. Conversely, they do not guarantee it to exempt employees. The rub is the classification. Now, there are numerous criteria to determine which classification an employee falls into, but it is up to the small business owner to make sure that they are correctly designating the people that work for their company. This can be a major violation if the government finds the owned to be non-compliant.

Overtime Pay

Likewise, if the calculation of overtime pay is determined to be faulty, it can be a major FLSA violation. The FLSA states that any non-exempt employee working over 40 hours in a workweek is to be paid one and half times their wage. Of course, there can be a miscalculation as to when exactly an individuals work week begins or ends, which is to say that if a small business has non-exempt employees, it needs to double check that it is paying the overtime as per FLSA regulations.

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Taking Your Company Paperless

Going paperless has been the way of the future in business over the past decade. People might have scoffed at the idea a few generations ago, but millennials and those who conduct business with them demand innovative solutions not only for the environment but also to cut down on the mundane drudgery of work place repetition.

And with the way things have been moving, people no longer feel like cogs in a wheel but rather integral team players with technological know how. So if your business has not moved completely digital yet, the following are just a few of the many reasons why you should be going paperless.

Boost in Efficiency

People don’t want to be doing the same task at work all day. With paper processes, the middle man is always the employee, who faithfully sits by the phone filling out papers for a client. Or the employee is busy digging in the company store room for files.

Logging onto the computer, whether for cloud accounting or client information, is leaps and bounds easier than putting people on hold or telling them that you will phone them back. You can be on the same page as the client in minutes rather than days by having their digital information at one’s fingertips on CRM. The same goes for talking between departments. It is much more efficient to send emails back and forth delineating the various degrees of urgency than to try to play telephone tag with employees in varied departments. Time is at a premium, so when a person can log on or fire off an email, time is saved from chasing down files and individuals that may not be easy to find.

Disaster Recovery

There’s no telling when a disaster might strike; maybe a flood, theft or a fire breakout could easily cripple your company. What will happen to the documents that are paper-based? Most probably, you will lose them because you don’t have a backup, or if you do have copies, wouldn’t they be likely stored in the same premises too? Going paperless can help avoid this problem. Once you store everything on the cloud, you will not have to worry about the data that you lost in the paper forms because they will all be available on the cloud and you can access them at any time.

Creative Solutions

Digital apps and programs like QuickBooks are often designed to integrate together. This is a virtual dream, literally, when it comes to helping the departments to coordinate. Without such products, people are stuck doing the same processes with paper over and over. The rewriting and photocopying of such pages can really only go so far.

To go digital, one needs to be savvy with employing people in the know-how. These teams can help to train others on processes as well as put them in place. But once paperless systems have been implemented, very few employers will regret the transition. It shows up on the bottom line quite apparently over the years as well.

Need help getting your company to paperless?  Contact STAC Bizness because we can help with establishing your company’s accounting, payroll, and human resource operations in a paperless world.  Join our newsletter for more free tips for running your business.

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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Salon & Spa Bookkeeping

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Salon & Spa Bookkeeping

Whether you manage your own accounting books with a small salon business accounting software, or you have hired a professional salon bookkeeper to help, you will find that managing your books will help play a major role in the success of your salon business.

Even though the salon business is a little different in how it is run, the bookkeeping doesn’t need to be such a challenge.

You will mostly receive income for services, products, booth rentals, and even commissions.  Along with this might include a lease, payroll, products, equipment, insurance and other license fees.  Your salon business will require some of the bookkeeping methods to help you keep your revenue and expenses straight.

Probably the best advice I ever got in my life was from the head of the accounting department, Mr. Hutchinson, I believe at the Glidden Company in Chicago, and he told me, ‘You really aren’t cut out for accounting.

Bob Newhart

Here are some handy Beauty Salon & Spa Bookkeeping Tips:

USE APPROPRIATE SALON & SPA BOOKKEEPING METHODS

You sell to your clients your services and products, so you need meticulous records to keep up with it all.  If you deal with any receipts, you will want to use some sort of binder to track them and divide it into months.  Then use it to keep bank statements, receipts, and deposit slips.  This will provide easy referencing and will protect you in the case of an audit.  So you will want to use your business checks or your business debit card to make purchases.  Always remember to save your receipts and deposits correctly.

Good bookkeeping for salon owners involves tracking expenses.

A salon business with inventory is normally required to report under the accrual method.  However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.  Inventory as items purchased with the intent to resell, like shampoos, brushes, and other salon products you might sell in your salon & spa business.  If your salon fits under a certain annual gross income, and most small salons fit in this group, then you can elect to choose a much simpler cash basis method to account for your inventory.  Simplicity is the main reason Salon & Spa owners want to choose this cash based method.  Setting up and using the accrual method proves to be much more complex to manage for small salon owners.

But if you’re managing a larger inventory in your salon, then we recommend an accrual method of accounting for your salon.

For most small cosmetology, hair, tanning, beauty and other salon & spa owners who are not inventorying heavy, the cash basis will prove to work best in most cases.

If you are unsure, contact a Salon & Spa Bookkeeping Professional

Setup and Use Salon & Spa Bookkeeping Technology

Think about all the services your business offers, products your business sells, and even how many stylists might work in your salon.  Setup any products you will sell.  You will need to setup your business, corporation, tax information, and employees to get started.

Go over your accounts monthly, and track receipts, deposits, and bank statements to your folders.  This would be a good time to consider using proven Beauty Salon & Spa accounting software.

Salon & Spas are cash-intensive businesses.  Features you might need in your accounting software include payroll, inventory, commissions, invoicing, payments and reports.

Hire a Professional Salon & Spa Bookkeeper to Help Out

Salon & Spa owners are no different when it comes to needing help.  If you are not interested in struggling with all the setup and management of the software, look into hiring an online salon & spa bookkeeping expert to come help you.  Rather than struggling with this, make accounting easier by hiring a bookkeeper or investing in salon business management software.  These tools can help you track your expenses, and generate invoices.  This will help you implement bookkeeping practices for your salon business.

Also, don’t be like other salon owners, and wait until the end of the tax year to get their financials organized.  Waiting until the end of the year can also result in more errors so be careful about being too hurried.  If you follow these simple bookkeeping guidelines for salon & spa business, your year-end tasks will be less daunting.  You will be better prepared to meet your salon business financial obligations.

Your main goal is to get clients to come in so you can, in turn, provide them with a great experience, so make sure to use technology to help you.  So, let STAC Bizness Solutions help you with your Salon Bookkeeping.


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Working with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is the best way to learn how to use QuickBooks to help your business grow and flourish. You won’t find a better way to get the support you need anywhere else.

As a small business owner, we realize that you may not have the budget to hire a QuickBooks expert. If you’re looking for a more economical way to get set up on QuickBooks, we provide cloud bookkeeping programs to match any business requirement. Here are our Quickbooks ServicesQuickBooks Setup, QuickBooks Training, and Quickbooks Review.

You can feel confident in knowing that our STAC Bizness Solutions team are Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors. Meet Our Team.

If you would like to learn about all the benefits that STAC offers, just give us a call and we’ll provide you all the details. Call us at (844) 424-9637.

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