As a self-employed professional or a business owner, you may be wondering about creating your own paystubs. Is that even a possibility? Yes, it is! With a good range of tools and access to automated calculations, you can take the guesswork (and potential errors) out of paystub creation.
Using such a service, however, doesn’t guarantee quality. In order to create high-quality check stubs, you’ll have to pick the right tool. Also, some understanding of the local regulatory framework will come in handy.
In this guide, you’ll find the answers to all important questions revolving around how to make pay stubs at home.
Can I Make My Own Paystub?
Let’s address some of the basics first. If you’re wondering how to make pay stubs at home, you should look at a few important things before trying that out.
For a start, being employed by somebody else doesn’t give you the right to generate your own pay stub.
In fact, making a paycheck stub that doesn’t originate from your employer will be considered financial document forging (especially if some information in the paystub is intentionally or accidentally wrong).
The consequences of something like that are pretty clear.
If you are a self-employed freelancer or a company owner, you can issue paystubs on your own.
In that case, the paystub will be used as a demonstration of the fact you’re getting paid regularly (for the services or the products that you offer to your clients).
Here are a few additional details you can count on when attempting to generate paystubs as a self-employed professional or a business owner.
How to Create a Pay Stub for Free
Now that the most important question is out of the way, let’s discuss the options that you have to generate paystubs at home.
The first option is manual document creation.
Using some form of spreadsheet software, you can enter all of the details and carry out the calculations on your own.
The approach is faulty for a number of reasons. There’s always a risk of omitting important details or miscalculating gross wages, tax deductions or contributions.
The other two options are much more attractive.
You can choose a free paystub generator – many such platforms are readily available online.
Alternatively, you can choose a platform that demands a monthly fee payment or a single installment for lifetime access.
Usually, paid software products offer better support, updates and customer service. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find a high-quality free paystub generator. You’ll need to do some research and testing first. If you get access to an intuitive platform, effortless calculations and customization features, you can definitely count on the product in the long run.
What App Should I Use for Paystub Generation at Home
The answer to that question depends on a few things – your knowledge of payroll financials, your budget and even your computer literacy.
When looking for an app that you’ll use to create paycheck stubs, pay attention to the following:
- · Availability of numerous templates
- · Customization features
- · Ease of data entry
- · Integration with other kinds of software (like payroll and financial platforms)
- · Learning curve and user-friendliness
- · Automated calculations
- · Legitimacy and compatibility with local paycheck stub legal requirements
- · Quality of customer service
Free apps are easy to test for obvious reasons.
If you’re considering a paid platform, look for a demo version or a free trial. These will provide a much-needed opportunity to test out the software at home and decide if it’s worth buying. Don’t invest money in something you haven’t examined thoroughly, especially if a long-term commitment is required (many software products are much cheaper to buy if you pay for a longer period of time like six months or one year).
Finally, don’t forget to check customer reviews and testimonials.
The experiences others have had with a particular product can be quite enlightening. Look for patterns in terms of both positive and negative details. Having numerous people making the same statement about a product will give you peace of mind and confidence in the accuracy of the information.
How to Make Pay Stubs at Home: Most Important Steps
Now that you’ve chosen your generator, it’s time to go through the paystub creation process. Regardless of the platform’s specifics, there are a few important steps you’ll need to go through.
Testing the Functionalities
Get comfortable and familiar with everything that the software has to offer.
If there’s a tutorial or a guide, go through it. You’ll probably learn about shortcuts and functionalities that will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Next, play around with the product. Consider various scenarios and use the generator to create a paystub for each. Being comfortable with the product you’re using, will speed up monthly administrative work and reduce the risk of errors.
How to Make Pay Stubs at Home: Data Entry
Next, you’ll need to enter important details in the software – your company information (name, address, contact details), your personal information and payment specifics (hourly, monthly, tax deductions).
You’ll also need to select your locations, especially if the software enables some paycheck stub customization in the basis of local regulatory requirements.
Usually, this information will need to be entered only once. It will then be added to every paystub that you generate. You’ll be left solely with the provision of the financial details for the respective pay period.
Income, Tax and Other Calculations
This is the most important step when generating your own pay stub.
Unless you’re a trained accounting professional, you’ll need to be careful about entering the salary for the respective period, the tax deductions, and other financial details.
As already mentioned, some platforms automate lots of these calculations.
Even if you choose a product that doesn’t do the math for you, a salary and tax calculator can be employed for the purpose.
Always double-check the numbers. Mistakes can happen, so it’s up to you to reduce the risk of the provision of faulty information.
Print or Store in Database
Depending on your location, you may have to store either a printed or a digital copy of the paycheck stub for the respective period.
It’s very important to maintain a meticulous financial document database for a certain retention period. There’s always a chance of being audited. If this happens, you want to make sure everything’s in perfect order and readily accessible.
Making Your Pay Stub at Home if You’re Not Self-Employed
A paystub that doesn’t originate from your employer will be considered fake, even if it contains accurate information.
Fake paystubs are sometimes employed to access bank loans or rent properties.
Some evidence suggests that one in five loan applications feature falsified paystubs and inflated income. Many landlords have also experienced the provision of falsified documents that applicants themselves have created.
If you get caught using a fake paystub, you could be setting yourself up for penalties and fines.
The consequences depend on local regulations.
In some states, there’s even the risk of jail time for the provision of falsified financial information.
Even if you need a real paystub that doesn’t contain falsified information, it’s still better to approach your employer about it than create one on your own.
An honest mistake that leads to incorrect paystub information when you make the document on your own can still get you in trouble. You can easily come up with your own paystub at home, given the range of software products available.
Still, this isn’t a super good idea. Having your employer creating the paystub will free you from responsibility in the event of the document featuring wrong information.
Are Paystubs Created Using a Generator Realistic and Legit
No matter what your situation is, you’re probably wondering about the appearance and the validity of a paycheck stub that you make on your own.
Are self-made paystubs legit? The answer is yes, you have the freedom to make your own paycheck stubs if you’re self-employed or the owner of a small/home-based company.
The realism and the appearance of such paystubs depend on the quality of the generator you choose.
A high-quality, functional pay stub generator will give you various professional-looking templates and a chance to customize those.
Additionally, all fields will be aligned properly and the formatting of the paystub will look good.
That’s why you need the right kind of platform.
Always test out features and have a sample paycheck stub printed after you create one. Making sure that the document looks good, there are no blurry fields or misalignments will be essential.
How to Create Pay Stub Documents on Your Own: Always Double-Check the Information
By now, it’s probably clear that you can make your own paystubs (no matter what your employment status is).
When filling out and issuing such documents on your own, you hold all responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided.
No matter what you’re using a paycheck stub for, you can be asked to provide additional proof of income. Thus, inflated numbers in the pay stub will be fairly easy to identify.
If you want convenience and simplicity, a paycheck stub generator will give you those. Just make sure you’re well familiar with the product and you know how to complete income calculations. Double-checking all digits and making sure that the correct information is entered can save you from lots of potential trouble in the future.