Guide to Running Your First Payroll with Atto

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Welcome to Atto Payroll! We're excited to guide you through the process of running your first payroll. This document will provide you with step-by-step instructions to ensure a smooth and successful payroll run. If you have any questions or encounter any issues along the way, our support team is here to assist you, please schedule a call here. 

Table of Contents

  1. Pre-Payroll Approval Checklist
  2. Payroll Dashboard Overview
  3. Reviewing Payroll Details
  4. Approving Payroll
  5. Processing Payroll

1. Pre-Payroll Approval Checklist

Before running your first payroll with Atto, it's essential to ensure the following:

2. Payroll Dashboard Overview

Upon logging into your Atto Payroll account, you'll be greeted with the Payroll Dashboard. This centralized hub displays details of the next payroll run, including the pay period dates, pay day date, and the approval deadline date for that specific payroll.. Here's what you need to know:

  • Pay Period Dates: These dates indicate the time frame for which employee hours will be calculated for the upcoming payroll. It's essential to ensure that the pay period dates are accurate to avoid any discrepancies in payroll processing. If you find that the pay period dates displayed on the dashboard are incorrect, don't worry. Here's how you can change them: Changing Pay Schedule.
  • Pay Day Date: This is the date on which employees will receive their payments for the corresponding pay period.
  • Approval Deadline Date: The approval deadline date signifies the last day by which you need to review and approve the payroll to ensure timely processing.
  • Off-Cycle Payroll: For more information on it, please refer to this help center article: Running Off-Cycle Payroll. 

If the pay period dates are correct, proceed to the next step by clicking on "Run Regular Payroll" to initiate payroll processing.

3. Reviewing Payroll Details

After clicking "Run Regular Payroll" a pop-up will open, guiding you to the next step: Reviewing Payroll Details. Here, you'll find a comprehensive overview of all your employees and contractors who are ready to be paid for the current pay period, the total amount each is set to receive, the details of hours worked and the option of adding new earning items, if needed.

Viewing Employee and Contractor Details

  • Employee/Contractor List: The main screen displays a list of all employees and contractors eligible for payment in the current pay period. You'll see their names and total earnings.
  • Expand Employee/Contractor Details: Clicking the expand button next to an employee or contractor's name will provide you with additional information, including their payment methods (either manual or direct deposit) and earnings items.

Adding New Earnings Items

  • Earnings Items: Within the expanded view of an employee or contractor's details, you'll find their existing earnings items, such as regular wages and hours worked. Here, you also have the option to add new earnings items, such as bonuses, commissions, or reimbursements.
  • Adding New Earnings: To add a new earnings item, simply click on the "+ New Earnings" button and enter the relevant details, including the type of earnings, amount, and any additional notes.

Next Step

Before proceeding to the next step, take the time to review all payroll details carefully. Ensure that each employee and contractor's information is accurate, all hours worked are properly accounted for, and any additional earnings items, such as reimbursements, are correctly recorded.

Once you're satisfied with the payroll details, you can proceed to the next step by clicking on the “Preview payroll” button on the top right corner

4. Approving Payroll

Before finalizing and approving the payroll, it's crucial to review the details carefully in the Preview Payroll section. Here, you'll find comprehensive information on the pay breakdown, taxes, cash requirements, post-tax deductions, hourly breakdown, and benefits for each employee.

Pay Breakdown

  • Net Pay: View the total earnings for each employee and contractor, including additional earnings, total reimbursements, PTO/Sick leave, gross and net pay. 

Tax Breakdown

  • Company Taxes: Detailed breakdown of taxes that will be paid by the company, including employer contributions to payroll taxes such as Social Security, Medicare, and federal/state unemployment taxes.
  • Employee Taxes: Detailed breakdown of taxes that will be withheld from employees' paychecks, including federal income tax, state income tax, Social Security, Medicare, and any other applicable taxes.

Cash Requirements

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  • Cash Requirement: On the bottom left corner you have the total amount of cash needed to process the payroll, including both gross wages and employer taxes.
  • Detailed Breakdown: View a detailed breakdown of the cash requirement, including gross wages, employer taxes, and any other cash outflows related to payroll processing.

Post-Tax Deductions

  • Post-Tax Deductions: Identify any post-tax deductions that will be withheld from employees' paychecks, such as contributions to retirement plans, health savings accounts, or other voluntary deductions.

Hourly Breakdown

  • Hourly Breakdown: Gain insight into the hourly breakdown of wages for each employee, including regular hours, overtime hours, and any other hourly earnings.


  • Benefits: Review any benefits provided to employees, such as health insurance, retirement contributions, or other employee perks.

Final Review

Take the time to carefully review all aspects of the payroll preview to ensure accuracy and compliance. Verify that the pay breakdown, tax deductions, cash requirements, post-tax deductions, hourly breakdown, and benefits align with your expectations and company policies.

Once you're satisfied with the preview, click on “Submit Payroll” on your top right corner. 

5. Processing Payroll

Once you have reviewed and confirmed all details in the Preview Payroll section, it's time to submit the payroll. With Atto, this is where the magic happens.


  • Email Confirmation: Upon successfully submitting the payroll, you will receive an email confirmation. This confirmation serves as acknowledgment that the payroll has been processed and wages are on their way to your employees.

Atto's Payroll Processing

  • Tax Filing: Atto will handle all tax filings, including filing company taxes and withholding employee taxes on your behalf. This ensures compliance with tax regulations and relieves you of the burden of tax administration.
  • Wage Transfer: We'll initiate the transfer of wages directly to your employees' accounts, ensuring timely and accurate payment delivery.

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