W-2 Checklist

Note: Working with the W-2 Grid on Windows

When you check to verify your data in the W-2 grid on Windows machines, you will notice the heading of some columns reads 'Unassigned'. These columns represent AccountEdge pay categories that may not be assigned to boxes on the W-2. You will need to assign the Unassigned columns to W-2 boxes only for the pay categories you created in AccountEdge. The standard pay categories such as

  • Base Salary
  • Base Hourly
  • Fed Income Tax
  • Fed Medicare Tax
  • Fed Social Security Tax, and
  • State Taxes
are already accounted for in W-2 boxes, and usually require no further attention.

You will need to assign any Unassigned columns to W-2 boxes for AccountEdge pay categories you created. So, if you created and used a pay category named weekend wage, you would need to map that Unassigned column to the appropriate W-2 box, in the W-2 grid.

Step 1: Verify Employee SSNs are correct. Things to look for: Social Security Numbers do NOT start with an 8 or a 9. If you have employees whose Social Security numbers start with an 8 or a 9, please get updated numbers for them. If you are unable to obtain a new SSN number prior to the submission deadline, fill in the SSN field with zeroes. Make sure all SSN numbers are 9 digits in length. They cannot contain symbols or alphabetical characters. Check for transposition errors in your numbers.

Step 2: Verify employee names and addresses are complete. Things to look for: Check to make sure that all employees have a first and last name entered. If you had any employees that were married or divorced during the year, make sure their names match the name on their Social Security card. For employees with suffixes attached to their surnames, such as Jr., Sr., II, etc., make sure these items are NOT entered in the Last Name field and are properly placed in the suffix field. Check the employees' CITY, STATE, and ZIP code to make sure they are up-to-date. Each employee should have a complete street address. If applicable, enter the apartment number or P.O. box. W-2s without a complete address, including a valid ZIP code, cannot be mailed! You can drag the dividing lines between the panels by dragging it with your mouse.

Step 3: Verify federal wages (box 1) = total of quarterly 941 wages (line 2). To do so: Take the wages for Line 2 on your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Quarter 941 and add them together. Compare the total to the total of Box 1 in the grid. If these totals do not match, determine which is correct. If the 941 totals are correct, make the appropriate adjustments in the grid or back in your payroll software. If the W-2 grid is correct, you will need to fill out a corrected 941 for the quarter(s) in question. (Contact your accountant if you need assistance with this).

Step 4: Verify state wages (box 16) are correct. You can compare Box 1 (federal wages) with the values in Box 16, but remember that some states have difference tax exemption requirements than federal withholding. If you have multiple states, you will need to add all Box 16 columns together before you compare them to Box 1.

Step 5: Verify Medicare (box 5), SS wages (box 3) and SS tips (box 7). Things to remember: Social Security has an upper limit so if you have any employees that made more than the upper limit, these two columns will not match. Verify the employees that have met their upper limits to make sure their wages stopped at the correct upper limit for the year. If your employees made tips for the year, you need to add box 3 & 7 together before comparing the value to box 5

Step 6: Verify SS wages (box 3) multiplied by 6.2% = SS withheld (box 4). You can save time by copying the two columns to Excel and performing the calculation there. Right click on the SS Wages (box 3) column header (where it says SS Wages) and select COPY. Open Excel, select the first column, right click with your mouse, and select PASTE. In the 2nd column on the Excel spreadsheet, highlight the first field and then enter the following formula: =+A1*6.2% Copy this formula down the column. Go back to the W-2 grid. Right click the SS Withheld (Box 4) column header and select COPY. Return to the Excel spreadsheet, select the 3rd column, right click and select PASTE. In the 4th column in Excel, highlight the first field and enter the following formula: =+B1-C1 Copy this formula down the column. All of the values should be zero. If not, make the necessary corrections to the W-2 grid or to your payroll software to correct these issues.

Step 7: Verify Medicare wages (box 5) multiplied by 1.45% = Medicare withheld (box 6). You can save time by copying the two columns to Excel and do the calculation there. Follow the instructions below: Right click the Medicare Wages (box 5) column header (where it says Medicare Wages) and select COPY. Open a new spreadsheet in Excel, select the first column, right click with your mouse, and select PASTE. In the 2nd column in excel highlight the first field and enter the following formula =+A1*1.45% Copy this formula down the column. Go back to the W-2 grid. Right click on the Medicare Withheld (Box 6) column header and select COPY. Return to the Excel spreadsheet, select the 3rd column, right click and select PASTE. In the 4th column in Excel, highlight the first field and enter the following formula: =+B1-C1 Copy this formula down the column. All of the values should be zero. If they are not, make the necessary corrections to the W-2 grid or to your payroll software to correct these issues.

Step 8: Verify all applicable columns are linked to the correct box (8-14) on the W-2s. To do so: Verify the numbers in the columns link to Boxes 8 - 14 and make sure they are linked to the proper box. Look in the unlinked (yellow columns) for any other columns that should be linked to one of the boxes on the W-2. If you find any columns, easily link these columns by selecting the dropdown arrow above the title. You can use the scroll bars to move back and forth in the grid to check for linked and unlinked columns. Review all the columns. Verify that all the boxes are properly filled in and linked. If there is anything missing, you may need to add a new column and manually enter the values per employee. To add a column, right click on any column header and select INSERT.

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