Why This Form Is Vital to Contractors (still)
First let me tell you why using this form is still the easiest and least expensive way to manage your payroll
There are no special, expensive software programs required.
There are several places popping up online that claim to be able to manage this new payroll system for you; although I haven't checked their prices I would imagine it's not under $25 for unlimited usage like the form here is.
They're also not officially endorsed by the DIR.
This A-1-131 Certified Payroll Form comes in both PDF and XLS format (they work with the free Adobe Reader and Microsoft Excel) and can be used on both Windows and Macintosh computers.
They work just like any other document you use on your computer - probably because that's ultimately exactly what they are (documents on your computer). ;o)
The forms here are set up so that you click into any field you wish, type in your information, hit the TAB key to move to the field, fill it in, hit the TAB key, etc.
You don't have to spend money and time paying for and learning some costly new system when you've got this form available to you.
- Saves you money: there's no special, expensive software program needed to use them.
- Saves you time: you'll be able to easily save and edit your information, eliminating the need to recreate the entire form for every change and/or every usage.
- Keeps you organized: when using the A-1-131 form in-house you'll have all the information you need right there in one spot - on the form - you won't have to look for it week in and week out.
Using the payroll form to help with your online submission
When working a certified payroll project a lot of the information required on the payroll form will remain the same from week to week.
Because the DIR system doesn't save copies of your payroll and therefore doesn't have an editable one that you can change you have to reenter every last bit of information every single time.
When using the A-1-131 form in-house you can create a "project master payroll form" that has all of that redundant redundant ;o) info already there when you open the form.Things such as:
- The project information
- Your company information
- Your customer's information
- Your employee's names, withholding info, etc.
- And so on…
instead use the printout that you have from the DIR after entering the prior week's payroll but can you imagine trying to write legibly on those documents when writing over the printed text?
Now let me tell you why this form is still a valuable tool to contractors
Even though the DIR made changes recently requiring contractors to submit their payroll information at the DIR website, DC's/GC's (Direct Contractors / General Contractors) are still requiring Subs (Sub-Contractors) to submit this form (to the GC) as part of their paperwork requirements.
Oftentimes if a contractor invoices on a public works project without providing this payroll form the customer will withhold payment on the contractor's invoice - until he submits the documentation.
That's obviously *not* a good thing.
Payment opposition could come from not using this form
These forms are so easy to fill in, and even easier to use on week-to-week and project-to-project bases (plural of basis?), that there's really no reason to not provide the form to GC's/DC's that are requiring it - which will avoid that 'payment opposition' from your customer.
DC's/GC's find these forms to be the easiest way to keep track of each of their Subcontractor's payrolls. So of course they still want you to submit this form to them, anything to make their
In addition, the government guys there on the jobsite find the forms much more helpful as well and no doubt still want to keep following the same routine as well.
So, your payment gets withheld.
You could argue the fact if it's not in your contract
Your GC is insisting that you provide this document before he'll issue payment to you.
But you entered your payroll information at the DIR website and you aren't required to provide it to the GC any longer.
Any time your contractor is requiring something of you that you don't want to provide check your contract. He may have forgotten to include it in the contract which means technically and legally he cannot require it of you.
Not cool that he's requiring it I know…
But who wants to deal with things being tied up legally? Especially when it means that all the money is going to remain tied up until resolved anyway, and it's such an easy fix to just do the form and avoid all that nastiness and payment opposition.
Use the filled-in, revised payroll form to quickly complete the online payroll system
Contractors are still finding these forms helpful to their business.
Say you've got a project that you're on for several weeks. You're looking at whole new payroll submissions to the DIR website every week.
The DIR upload system doesn't save editable copies of the A-1-131 so you have to type in every bit of information all over again, every single week.
Because the forms here are editable you can make changes very easily before giving your customer a revised copy or a submission for a new week.
And then you can use that same revised A-1-131 form to help you get the info entered at the DIR.
By having the revised one sitting in front of you (or the one from last week but with the current week's info entered) while you're re-entering all of that information at the DIR website everything you need is right there on that one document that was neatly printed on the printer.
Now there's no worries about illegible writing *and*
you don't have to run around trying to put all of the information together for submission. The majority of the information you need is already right there on this form.
Having this form in front of you when completing your payroll online means you'll have it done faster than you ever thought possible.
Got some of your own mad Excel skills? Then you can probably do even more with this form!
Anyone with Excel for Windows (Mac got left out ergh) that has skill with Excel and Schema and all that over-my-head stuff, if you know how to make XML documents you could probably make the Excel version here work in such a manner that it *does* export in an XML format that *can* be directly uploaded to the DIR website. I'm on a Mac so unfortunately I can't help with how. :(
Notification of advancements in the DIR system
Subscribe to my newsletter
and I'll work at keeping you posted as improvements come about in the DIR system.
I'll also keep an eye out for software programs that'll help.
Until the DIR comes up with a friendly system for managing your certified payroll this is going to be your least expensive and yet easiest way to manage certified payroll.
Extra items included in the package
The basic package consists of an 8 1/2 x 14 form in PDF and Excel formats.
But I've included several additional in this package. Some you may find helpful and some you may not. Please feel free to use any and/or all of them.Inside the package you'll find:
- The aforementioned 8 1/2 x 14 form in both PDF and Excel formats (they all work on Mac and Windows computers)
- An 8 1/2 x 11 size - much more popular than the 8 1/2 x 14 which is a size that isn't as common as it was and nowadays a lot less folks have that size paper on hand
- The Certification document for all versions of the form
- A copy of the A-1-131 form with the certification on the front - a couple California entities have required that it all be one side of the paper so I created this form and added it to the package in case you might be required to provide it some time
- A document titled A-1-131 INSTRUCTIONS.pdf - this document contains an explanation of all the forms in the package
Please do consider the use of this form in your business; as shown above the time and money (and frustration!) that it can save you is substantial.
- A Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) ;o) document
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