Nowadays, with a ton of default computer office applications becoming easier and easier to use, it is no doubt that preparing your company’s employee payroll hour calculator becomes a much easier task. The Windows operating system is one of the most widely used computer operating systems. Windows’ Microsoft Excel office application has greatly improved over the years alongside the other Microsoft office applications.

Doing a payroll manually can be quite a task! This is why we’re here to help you DIY your way into making a flawless payroll calculator in Excel. You just need to make a free payroll template that you can use time and time again every time there is a need for you to calculate the payroll for your employees. Check out the easy-to-follow steps that we have for you below.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Payroll Template

  • Open Microsoft Excel. The very first step you need to do is to open Microsoft Excel. Open a Blank Workbook. This will be the basis of your payroll form template.
  • Name each column. The first row of your worksheet is where the labels or column names will be found. The labels on each column can be in bold, in a different font size, with background color fill, etc. It all depends on what you see is a best fit for the look of you company payroll. A basic payroll template would have the following elements:
    • Name of the employee
    • Employee number
    • Pay rate
    • Total hours worked
    • Overtime pay rate
    • Total overtime
    • Gross pay
    • Income tax
    • Deductions
    • Take home pay
  • Add formulas. Excel is great for its ability to automatically calculate numbers given that there are corresponding formulas on certain cells. Computations will be easier and less hectic. Plus, any changes you will make in any assigned cell will automatically change the data on your payroll template. No need to manually calculate anything! Some of the columns that may be needing formulas are the following:
    • Gross pay. The gross pay of an employee is equal to [(Pay rate × Total Hours Worked) + (OT Pay rate × Total OT)]. Make sure that when you input the formulas, you write down the correct cell name in order to avoid any errors in terms of calculation.
    • Income tax. Income tax percentage will usually vary depending on the base income of the employee. Income tax is equal to Tax percentage × Gross pay.
    • Deductions. Deductions will vary per state and per company policy. Deductions are subtracted from the Gross Pay as well.
    • Take home pay. This will be the final result of all the computation and this will also be the amount of pay that the employee will receive. Computing for the take home pay is easy. It is equal to Gross Pay ? Income Tax ? Deductions. 
  • Customize and save! Now you can start customizing the template you have to your liking. Excel is quite easy to maneuver and to customize. Experiment with the different colors and fonts available until you end up with something that is professional and clean looking. Make sure you save it with the correct file name.


Preparing a Payroll Template Using Excel Templates

There is also another way where you can make a payroll template by making use of ready-made downloadable templates for Excel. Here’s how.

  • Go to the Microsoft Office website and in the search bar, type in payroll templates. A wide variety of free payroll templates can be downloaded. Choose one. You can also find a ton of free templates on our website.
  • Click on the Download button and save the compressed file (.zip) after accepting the service agreement.
  • Extract the .zip file. Follow the instructions accordingly.
  • Once you have extracted the file, open the file. You are now ready to fill out the employee information sheet. Once you are done filling out all the necessary information, save the file.
  • If the template has another sheet for individual payroll stubs, you may print out this sheet and distribute the individual pay stubs to each of your employees.


See how easy both options are? It is extra simple, right? Even if there are certain benefits of outsourcing payroll such as making admin work a whole lot easier for you, you can actually save a lot of money by just making use of the Microsoft Excel readily found on your computer.

Microsoft Excel Alternatives

Not everyone makes use of the Windows operating system, which means that Excel will not be readily available for use. What are the alternatives? There are a lot of free alternatives out there. Here are some that can be downloaded for absolutely no charge, plus, it has almost the same functionality as that of Microsoft Excel.

  • Google Sheets. Google sheets are pretty easy to use. Why? All you need is a Google account and you already have access to it! Plus, every single change you make is automatically saved by Google. No need to worry about unsaved changes.
  • LibreOffice Calc. LibreOffice is an open source office application that is very much similar to Microsoft Excel. Typically, this office application is found in a lot of Ubuntu or Linux operating systems.
  • ThinkFree. ThinkFree is very similar to Google Sheets—it is an online office platform where you can make multiple online sheets that can easily be traced through an account.
  • Microsoft Web Excel Application. This option is another online office application platform, which means you can easily send and share your sheets to another user.
  • Numbers. For Mac users, Numbers will do wonders for your spreadsheet needs. Aside from your Mac laptop, you can also access your files through your iPhones or iPads.


There you have it! We have now provided you a simple step-by-step instruction about how to prepare your company payroll, its about time you start making it now! What we have shared are ideal for those who are just starting out as businesses and for those who want to update their company payroll. Even without Excel, you still have wide variety of open source and online office applications to choose from. Just choose one that you think will work effectively for your business needs.

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