Introduction to Payroll Runs

Before we discuss how to build a payroll product, we want to cover how Zeal's payroll system works. Unlike other payroll providers, where employers must define pay schedules, create payroll runs, and manually run payroll, Zeal’s system aims to keep things simple. This means that employers (or your system) are only responsible for creating Employee Checks and Contractor Payments. Once these checks and payments are in our system, Zeal processes payroll automatically.

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Employee Check Example

The best way to understand how Zeal's system works is with a step-by-step example. The example below is separated into two sections to show the steps an employer (or your system) is responsible for, versus the steps that are automated by Zeal.

Employer’s Work

  1. An employer creates an Employee Check (Note: This can also be automated in several ways. Fo example: integrating a time and attendance system with our APIs).
  2. In the check, the employer defines the work that the employee is being paid for through Shifts.
  3. The employer sets the check_date (or pay day) for the check and submits it to Zeal.
  4. Let’s say the employer repeats steps 1 - 3 for two other employees - resulting in three Employee Checks with the same check_date.

Zeal’s Work

  1. Two business days before the check_date for our three Employee Checks, Zeal batches all the checks together and sums up the total gross pay + employer taxes.
  2. Zeal then debits the gross total from the employer’s bank account - initiating the payroll processing.
  3. Zeal’s in-house tax engine performs all the gross-to-net-calculations to determine net pay, how much to withhold for taxes, etc.
  4. Over the next two business days, Zeal manages the movement of the money to the employee's bank accounts.
  5. By the end of the check_date all employees see the net pay in their account.
  6. Zeal uses the withholdings to pay out all relevant tax agencies.
  7. Zeal shares all information about the payroll run with you via our APIs and via the Employer Dashboard and Super Admin Dashboard.

Fund Flow Breakdown

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Contractor Payments Example

Contractor Payments are processed similarly to the Employee Check example above, except there are no gross-to-net calculations or taxes to consider.

Employer’s Work

  1. An employer creates a Contractor Payment.
  2. The employer defines the amount the contractor should be paid and the pay_date the contractor should receive payment by.
  3. Let’s say the employer repeats steps 1 - 2 for two other contractors - resulting in three Contractor Payments with the same pay_date.

Zeal’s Work

  1. Two days before the pay_date for our three Contractor Payments, Zeal batches all the Contractor Payments together and sums up the total gross pay.
  2. Zeal then debits the gross total from the employer’s bank account - initiating the payroll processing.
  3. Over the next two business days, Zeal manages the movement of the money to the contractors bank accounts.
  4. By the end of the pay_date all contractors see the pay in their accounts.
  5. Zeal shares information about the payments made with you via our APIs and via the Employer Dashboard and Super Admin Dashboard.

What’s Next

With this knowledge of how Zeal processes payroll, we can discuss how to build a payroll product.