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Mega Menu_newspaper_438174_24px Payroll Country Blog

Your constant source for helpful, useful, and entertaining content about payroll, human resources or anything else that will help you manage your workforce.

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Conversations with experts in a wide range of HR/HCM topics, for the benefit of anyone whose job it is to manage a workforce or take care of people.

Ashley Explains

Our Implementation Manager Ashley Hamilton gives you the facts about tax, labor laws, and a whole lot more.

Unfiltered HR

Our very own Jen Strait and Emily Martin from Ally HR Partners tackle common HR issues and provide practical advice to help you manage your workforce more effectively!

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Welcome to our comprehensive - yet growing - library of instructional how-to videos that focus on a variety of functions across our software platforms. Scroll down and filter by category or use the search bar to find exactly what you're looking for.

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A robust library of guides, kits and tools designed to educate and support anyone responsible for payroll, HR or managing a workforce of people.

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An extensive and ever-growing library of super handy employer guides on everything from human resource topics, important Labor Law updates, how to approach payroll for your company's industry, and much more.

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Software Downloads

Quickly reference and download software platforms, installation guides, middleware and other critical files you may need as a client to properly process critical payroll and HR functions with Complete Payroll. 

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In Payroll Country, people come first, manners aren't optional and a job isn't done until it is. Sure, we're headquartered in a small, rural town. But Payroll Country isn't just where we're from. It's our philosophy of how business should be conducted. Welcome!

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Careers in Payroll Country

It's not about where we work, it's about how we work. And, more importantly, how we work together.

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Earn payroll credit for bringing your colleagues and friends to Payroll Country!

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Check out what some of our most loyal clients have to say about their Payroll Country experience, or leave some kind words about your own. 

ACA Compliance Services

The Affordable Care Act isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Learn more about Complete Payroll's ACA compliance service, which includes filing your 1094 and 1095 forms to keep you compliant.

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About our ACA Service

When you partner with Complete Payroll you will be assigned a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to assist with the Affordable Care Act, we’ll explain all the options, help you get started, track the entire process and submit the year-end report for you.

Regarding the Affordable Care Act... Did you know?

Employers of 50 or more full time (FT) or full-time equivalent employees (FTE) are mandated Applicable Large Employers under the Affordable Care Act.

Applicable Large Employers of 50 or more FT/FTE employees are mandated to:

  • Offer affordable, minimum essential health care coverage to full-time employees
  • Use 1094-C and 1095-C to report to the IRS information about the health care coverage, offered or not offered to full-time employees
  • Furnish 1095-C to full-time employees providing the same information reported to the IRS

Our HR and ACA services can take care of mandated reporting and so much more.

  • provide all legally required IRS and Employee reporting 
  • record employer-provided health care offers
  • record employee health care elections including waiving of offers made
  • tie health care elections to employee payroll deductions for easy maintenance
  • use scheduled status updates to monitor health care eligibility for new variable hour employees
  • use actual payroll data to measure employee eligibility for health care offers to ongoing employees
  • use employee wage information to determine the affordability of health care offers per full-time employee
  • additional HR reporting including OSHA, EEO and Veteran reporting, provided education/required education tracking, performance evaluation tracking, property tracking, document storage and more

We’ll provide the 1094-C and 1095-Cs for all full-time employees.

aca payroll person writing

ALE Requirements

Applicable Large Employers of 50 or more FT/FTE employees are mandated to:

  • offer affordable, minimum essential health care coverage to full-time employees

  • use 1094-C and 1095-C to report to the IRS information about the health care coverage, offered or not offered to full-time employees

  • furnish 1095-C to full-time employees providing the same information reported to the IRS

We can help with mandated reporting and so much more.

payroll aca calculator

ACA Reporting Mandates Solved

We'll provide the 1094-C and 1095-C without any per-form processing fee. We record employer-provided health care offers and employee health care elections - including waiver offers made. 

  • tie health care elections to payroll deductions
  • use actual payroll data and employee wage information to measure employee eligibility and determine affordability

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions when we're speaking with employers about the Affordable Care Act.

What are the basic requirements of the ACA?


If you have at least 50 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs), by law you are considered an Applicable Large Employer (ALE).

All Applicable Large Employers are required to offer affordable health insurance for its employees.

As an ALE with at least 50 FTEs, you are mandated by law to:

  • Use 1094-C and 1095-C to report to the IRS information about the health care coverage, if any, offered to full-time employees.
  • Furnish 1095-C to employees providing the same information reported to the IRS.
  • Prepare to offer affordable health care coverage to full-time employees.
  • Provide affordable health care coverage to full-time employees for the entire calendar year

The process needs to be tracked and then you need to submit a report to the federal government at the end of each year.

What is an Applicable Large Employer?

Whether an employer is an ALE is determined each calendar year, and generally depends on the average size of an employer’s workforce during the prior year. 

If an employer has fewer than 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, on average during the prior year, the employer is not an ALE for the current calendar year. Therefore, the employer is not subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions or the employer information reporting provisions for the current year. Employers who are not ALEs may be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and can find more information about how the Affordable Care Act affects them on the ACA Tax Provisions for Small Employers page.

If an employer has at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, on average during the prior year, the employer is an ALE for the current calendar year, and is therefore subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions and the employer information reporting provisions.

To determine its workforce size for a year an employer adds its total number of full-time employees for each month of the prior calendar year to the total number of full-time equivalent employees for each calendar month of the prior calendar year and divides that total number by 12.

The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 provides that an employee will not be counted toward the 50-employee threshold for a month in which the employee has medical care through the military, including Tricare or Veterans’ coverage. This is solely for the purpose of determining whether an employer is an “applicable large employer” subject to the employer shared responsibility rules of § 4980H. For more information, see IRC § 4980H(c)(2) subparagraph (F) “Exemption for Health Coverage Under Tricare or the Veterans Administration.”

Who are considered full-time employees?

Under the employer shared responsibility provision, a full-time employee is, for a calendar month, an employee employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week or 130 hours of service for that month.

This definition of full-time employee is central to the employer shared responsibility provision. You must identify your full-time employees to:

  • Determine your applicable large employer status and
  • Determine which employees to whom you need to offer coverage in order avoid a potential employer shared responsibility payment.

There are two designated measurement methods for determining your employees' full-time status: the monthly measurement method and the look-back measurement method. The look-back measurement method for identifying full-time employees is available only for purposes of determining and computing liability under section 4980H and not for purposes of determining status as an applicable large employer.

The term 'hours of service' and both measurement methods are explained in the ESRB regulations, on IRS.gov, and within the provision section of the estimator. You may choose to use either method and you may use different methods for different specified classes of employees - so long as the methods are used consistently.

What is the Employer Shared Responsibility Provision?

Under the Affordable Care Act, governments, insurers, employers and individuals are given shared responsibility to reform and improve the availability, quality and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States. The estimator is specifically designed to help you determine if the employer shared responsibility provision (IRC Section 4980H) applies to you and, if it does, will help you determine the maximum amount of the employer shared responsibility payment that could apply to you under either section 4980H(a) or 4980H(b) based on the number of full-time employees that you report.

The provision applies to employers called applicable large employers that employ on average at least 50 full-time employees (including FTEs) during the preceding calendar year. If you are an applicable large employer, you may owe the payment if at least one of your full-time employees receives the premium tax credit because:

  • You don't offer health coverage to at least 95% your full-time employees (and their dependents) or
  • You do offer health coverage to at least 95% of your full-time employees (and their dependents), but the offer of coverage doesn't provide minimum value or is unaffordable to a particular employee, or a full-time employee that was not offered coverage receives the premium tax credit.

How does the ESRP apply?

The size of your workforce in the previous calendar year determines whether you are an applicable large employer. In most cases, you determine your “workforce size” by looking at your employees in the previous calendar year and computing if you employed on average 50 or more full-time employees, including your full-time equivalent employees, across all 12 months of the year. You must look at all of your employees, including seasonal workers, when determining if the provision applies to you; however, you may exclude employees who are covered by TRICARE or certain health programs for veterans.

Employers with a common owner or that are otherwise related (that is, employers that are part of an aggregated group) must count all full-time employees and full-time equivalent employees of all members of the aggregated group to determine if the employer is an applicable large employer. If the combined members of the aggregated group together employed an average of 50 or more full-time employees (including FTEs) in the preceding calendar year, the provision applies separately to each employer that is a member of the aggregated group (each ALE member). If an ALE member owes an assessable payment under the provision, the amount of the assessable payment would be determined based only on the full-time employees of that ALE member, and not full-time employees of any other member of the aggregated group.

If you are an applicable large employer, you could be required to pay an assessable payment if you do not offer minimum essential coverage to at least 70% (for 2015) or 95% (for 2016 and future years) of your full-time employees, or if you offer coverage that does not provide minimum value or that is not affordable to one or more full-time employees, and at least one full-time employee receives the premium tax credit. Generally, the provision is effective beginning in 2015.

What does the ESRP require?

If you are an applicable large employer, you may be required to make an ESRP payment to the IRS if you:

  • Do not offer minimum essential coverage to your full-time employees (and their dependents), or
  • Do offer coverage to your full-time employees (and their dependents) that is not affordable or does not provide minimum value.

If you are an applicable large employer, you are also required to file information returns with the IRS and furnish statements to your full-time employees containing details about the coverage that you offered in each month. See Information Reporting by Applicable Large Employers on IRS.gov for more information.

What is the penalty?

There are two types of penalties (the law calls them payments):

  • The payment under section 4980H(a): You may be liable for this if you do not offer minimum essential coverage to at least 95 percent of your full-time employees (and their dependents) and at least one employee receives the premium tax credit. The amount of this payment is based on your total number of full-time employees (with certain adjustments), not only on the number of full-time employees who receive the premium tax credit.
  • The payment under section 4980H(b):You may be liable for this if you do offer minimum essential coverage to at least 95 percent of your full-time employees (and their dependents), but at least one of your full-time employees receives the premium tax credit because that coverage is not affordable to the employee, doesn't provide minimum value, or that employee did not receive an offer of coverage. The amount of this payment is based solely on the number of full-time employees who receive the premium tax credit.

To be liable for an ESRP payment under section 4980H, one of your full-time employees must receive a premium tax credit.

The calculation for the section 4980H(a) payment is significantly different from the calculation for the section 4980H(b) payment. If you are liable for the employer shared responsibility payment, you will only be liable for one of the two payments.

More information on both payments can be found in the ESRP Regulation and from the IRS:

Where can I get more information?

More information about the ESRP and other large employer provisions under the Affordable Care Act is available from the IRS:

Of course, you can also get in touch with ACA experts here at Complete Payroll by filling out the form on this very page!

Client Testimonials

Hear what other businesses have to say about their experience in Payroll Country.

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We have been very pleased with CPP. They are very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful.

Karen BrayOffice Manager, Odosagih Bible Conference

Complete Payroll has been the best choice that I ever made for our payroll and HR services. I love their great customer service! Anytime I have called customer service there is always a happy and knowledgeable person on the line to help us out! Anything that I have asked of them, they have done in a quick, and efficient manner! I recommend them to everybody!

Lisa CarpenterOlean Wholesale Grocery Coop., Inc.

I have worked with many payroll companies throughout my career and Complete Payroll surpasses them all in personalized service. My CSR is Andrea and I have always received assistance in a timely manner. Keep up the great job!

Linda MooreTiffany Transportation Services LTD.

We have been with Complete Payroll for quite a while now and plan on staying! Thanks!

Howard ClarkeOwner, H. Clarke Services

We were previously with a larger payroll company, and their customer service paled in comparison to Complete Payroll's. The first suggestion I made after I joined Shear Ego was that if they were not yet using CPP, they should be. We continue to be impressed and happy with the quality & friendliness of service, and the excellent newsletters and up-to-date information on all things payroll and HR. 

Colleen KollBookkeeper, Shear Ego Salon & Spa

Complete Payroll is always there if we have a problem or need something special! Response time is AWESOME!

Tina CanaliFinance Manager, Chemung County SPCA

We have been customers for almost 10 years and are still receiving the same or better service. The ability to reach our dedicated customer service rep in a timely manner is huge when there are deadlines in play. In addition, unique reports, as well as integration feeds with some of our other vendors, has been handled without hesitation. We truly feel a partnership with Complete Payroll Processing.

Eileen ReevesHuman Resources Supervisor - Payroll, Benefits and Recruitment, Catholic Charities

I have had Complete Payroll in charge of my payroll services for many years now. I can not fully express my satisfaction with their services, personalize service directed to my specific needs and business. They are always there to make suggestions on how to make my experience better (I don't see how). I highly recommend Complete Payroll to anyone that has a business, large or small. You will not be disappointed!

Paul MartinOwner, Elite Armed Response Service, LLC

We have been using Complete Payroll for over five years and have found them to be responsive, professional, friendly and cost effective. Customer service is best judged when something goes wrong. When it does (infrequently, if ever,) Complete Payroll is always there, immediately, to help fix the issue. Complete Payroll is a payroll partner, not a payroll service.

Kelly StephensonSenior Director, Finance, The Service Collaborative of WNY, Inc.

The team at CPP is always responsive, always helpful, and always professional. They have gone above and beyond over recent years to assist Keuka College in creating efficiencies, maintaining compliance, and improving processes. CPP is a trusted partner, a valued resource, and a respected adviser.

Carol GroverKeuka College

The attention to detail in the customer experience and the consistent friendliness of the Complete Payroll team really make the difference. Liz, Mona, LeeAnne, Brandi, and Lacy have been great to work with.

Shivaugn AhernExecutive Director, Central American Healthcare Initiative Inc.

Crossroads House has been using Complete Payroll for several years now. Their service is fast, friendly and accurate. Whenever we have payroll documentation needs arise for our employees, the staff at Complete Payroll always gets the job done quickly and efficiently.

Jeff AllenExecutive Director, Crossroads House

I've been very pleased with the service and responsiveness of my CSR and CP's continued dedication to providing us with all the tools we need to have a successful payroll and HR experience. You're always available when I have a question and always make sure that any problems that arise are worked through to my satisfaction.

Paul CronkExecutive Contact, Fillmore Wesleyan Church

We couldn't be happier with Complete Payroll's services. Prompt and professional, every concern or question is answered and/or addressed immediately. Lacy is our girl and is an absolute pleasure to deal with. It is a load off our minds to know this part of our business is "worry free". We have every intention to continue our working relationship with them for years to come. 

Susan MunschOwner, Evergreen Trails Campground

We chose Complete Payroll because we get personalized attention for a great price. I always get my questions answered by a competent, patient person who makes me feel like a person, not just an account! Lacy my girl is great!

Teresa BullockPayroll Contact, Sorge's Restaurant

I have been working with Lacy Smart and her team for the last few years. I have been impressed by her responsiveness, accuracy, and high level of providing client satisfaction. She and her team are a wonderful testament to the organization!

Bahar UttamChief Of Staff, Soderberg Insurance Services Inc

Complete Payroll's employees are so responsive, superbly professional, and helpful with any issues. Andrea Dimmick always responds quickly to emails and any questions I have are resolved as soon as possible, Tracy Schmidt did everything to get us started running payroll and to help us to understand everything, and Sydney Underwood's training was just super helpful!

Elmira DewesBookkeeper, Elite Roasters

My experience with Complete Payroll has been exceptional. I was a novice to payroll so my learning curve was big. Andrea is wonderful helping me navigate payroll and not just fixing my errors, but explaining what I did or did not do!

Cathie Rene'Human Resource Coordinator, Rochester Hearing and Speech

We have been customers for many years. Evolution Software is easy to use but more importantly, Cindy is an email away and her knowledgeable, efficient, and quick to replies to our questions are appreciated. We're very happy with Complete Payroll!

Teresa JacksonPresident, Dudley Poultry

I decided to switch to Complete Payroll for three main reasons: their prices fit my budget, I never get bounced around between Customer Service reps, and it's very easy to enter my payroll. I simply take a photo of my payroll sheet and email it to my rep. There’s never a problem! With them, it’s business done, and business done right.

Dick EakinsOwner, Norco Farms

What I love most about Complete Payroll is the quick resolution and response. There are not many issues, but like anything in life, issues happen and the way they are dealt with is the true testament of a person or company. And Complete Payroll is the best at acknowledging the issue and resolving the problem quickly. My rep is fantastic to work with and I refer Complete Payroll whenever I can!

Nancy WoolverFinancial Adviser, Financial Service Company

Great customer service combined with a reduction in payroll processing fees makes the decision to stay with Complete Payroll an easy one. Kendall always gets back to us quickly, and she is always very helpful and friendly. Also, the training that we received from LeeAnn was thorough and beneficial.

Joanna BatesInnkeeper, Inn at Houghton Creek

Very much appreciate the quick service. If I need a special report it arrives via email within one business day, if not that day.

Cathy SchuthPayroll Contact 2, Hilton Health Care PC

Our small business has been using CPP 2005 and they have never disappointed us. I believe I have had exactly 2 payroll specialists since 2005. I feel like they know me & our company. I am not shy to ask questions & if they don't know the answer I am always pointed in the right direction. I am not a payroll specialist but I know CPP is and I have every confidence in my payroll specialist (Lindsay Ezard) and CPP. 

Geri VitulloBusiness Manager, English Road Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, LLC

Complete Payroll Processing provided an easy transition from internal payroll processing traditionally performed by the Bookkeeper. With payroll service as a core business competency, CPP has the expertise to help mitigate errors and ease the burden of annual updates. Comprehensive reporting gives all the details needed and an organization can operate with an added piece of mind knowing that the payroll service is taken care of.

Don CunninghamSupervisor, Town of Bergen NY

We have used several payroll companies. Complete Payroll has by far been the easiest and friendliest. They are quick to respond to any questions I am having. They also have a great pricing structure.

Shane GustafsonOwner, A Gust of Sun Winery

We have been well served by Complete Payroll. When we have needed support, it was given both in payroll and other employee matters, like handbooks.

John WorthTown Supervisor, Town Of Pembroke

Ashley from CPP has always been helpful. It seems that whenever we have a challenge, Ashley is there to help us through and does it well. Her customer service skills are excellent!

Bobby LuuBookkeeper, Kenrick Maintenance Corporation

I have had the great pleasure of working with Payroll Country for almost two years now. My CSR is very helpful, courteous, and is always there whenever I need help. I look forward to working with Complete Payroll for many years to come!

Gwen JonesOffice Manager, Mack's Body Shop, Inc.

We were referred to Complete Payroll years ago by a board member and haven’t looked back since. When I first started working with them, I knew nothing about payroll. Lacey was so wonderful and patient with me in the beginning, and my new rep, JoAnn continues to be great to work with. Working with Complete Payroll has just been a wonderful all-around experience for me.

Cathy PaceFinger Lakes Wrestling Club, Inc

We have tried other companies from time to time, but always return to CPP. The main reason is that we have an assigned payroll specialist who knows our needs inside and out, is knowledgeable, easy to reach and very responsive. My questions and concerns are addressed in a VERY timely manner and I never feel that I have to handle sticky issues alone.

Arden NeubauerBusiness Manager, Hunt Hollow Ski Club

We have worked with Complete Payroll for more than 10 years and have received excellent and attentive service every step of the way. We rely on their consistency and very low turnover. We get to know our rep and they get to know us and our business. If we have payroll or general HR questions, Complete Payroll always has the answers for us.

Jill BonnellDirector of Operations & Sales Process, Swagelok Western New York

Complete Payroll is, by far, the most proficient and customer service oriented provider I have been privileged to work with. Lindsay Ezard goes above and beyond to assist me with any question I may have. Thank You Lindsay!

Bonnie DeNeefNuttall Golf Cars, Inc

We moved to Complete Payroll about 3 years ago. It was seamless and working with Lacy Smart on Mondays is a breeze!

Debbie KlymkowBusiness Manager, Boulevard Van City

Complete Payroll is a great payroll company & we love Lacey! She always has the answers to my questions without hesitation. And there is very little (if any) any wait time to get a call back.

Christina WagarOffice Manager, Dr. Christopher Mozrall

Instead of feeling like we are one of ten thousand people who want good service, Complete Payroll makes us feel like we are the only one of ten thousand who really matter! We count on Lindsay getting it right, and she always does, even when we go outside the box! Complete Payroll makes us feel like family.

Diane RomanoPrimary Contact, ROMOLD Inc.

Complete Payroll's service, loyalty, and family atmosphere is second to none! We have NEVER had any mistakes made and our payroll is always on time. When I forget to call in payroll, Lindsey always has my back. I recommend them to anyone who asks and cannot find one fault with the service we have received. They get an A++ rating in our book!

Sue HornSecretary and Treasurer, Brian Horn's Auto Repair, Inc.


Easy ACA Compliance

The Affordable Care Act doesn't look to be going anywhere anytime soon. The law is here to stay. That means employers with at least 50 full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) are required to comply with the regulations.

Those regulations include offering "affordable" health insurance to your employees AND showing proof to the IRS that the health insurance was offered.

That's where Complete Payroll comes in. We can take the burden of ACA form filing and related compliance issues off your plate with our ACA Compliance service package. Complete the form to request a quote or learn more.


Learn what a life in Payroll Country could mean for your business.

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