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Terms and Definitions

What is a payroll register?

Updated: May 20, 2024

Payroll register definition and meaning

A payroll register is a multi-column form that summarizes employee wage data at the end of each payroll period. It lists all employees who earned remuneration, the amount of remuneration, deductions, and the net amount paid.


More about payroll registers

Payroll registers are included in most online payroll software, but what you get can range from a basic chart to a customizable report that includes itemized breakdowns for every line in your ledger. It’s different from a payroll journal since it includes specific pay information about individual employees.


The type of information a payroll register keeps track of includes the beginning and end of pay period dates, pay dates, hours that an employee works, any regular or overtime pay and total gross wages. It also keeps records of employee and employer taxes, benefit deductions, net wages, employer benefit contributions, and net payment details such as direct deposit.

Using payroll register in a sentence

“I’ll have to check the payroll register to make sure everyone’s 401(k) contributions went through.”

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