In our business, we know common payroll errors can quickly become horror stories. Payroll might appear straightforward, but businesses that take on the task themselves forget that a small oversight can lead to large fines and penalties.

This Halloween, we've decided to share a collection of cautionary tales. Before they switched over to Future Systems, these well-known business owners had some real horror stories to tell: 

Dracula Misclassifies His Workers


While enjoying a deep sleep at his Transylvania castle, Dracula awoke one night to his accountant tapping on the coffin. The old vampire rose slowly from his slumber and fixed his gaze on the nervous employee holding stacks of papers in the air.

“Uhh... sir, I’m filing our taxes and it seems we’ve been misclassifying our independent contract workers as full-time employees for years,” the man said shakily.

“Why should that matter?” Dracula hissed.

“Well… we’ve been paying them overtime when we didn’t need to be.”

The supreme vampire’s fangs descended upon hearing the news. He was livid! He’d spent hundreds of thousands in overtime to finish his mausoleum by Halloween.

More than anything, Dracula felt like a fool. He’d spent his life draining humans of blood, only to find out they’d been draining him of cash.

Reminder: Independent contract workers are not legally required to collect overtime. 

Dr. Frankenstein Miscalculates Pay Frequency


Dr. Victor Frankenstein had always been a little disorganized, it was true. Lately though, a surge in demand for his latest monster meant his lab operations were total chaos.

He wasn't shorting anyone on their pay, but it had been hard for him to find the time to cut payroll checks. Admittedly, he'd been running sporadically--sometimes missing the 2-week period promised to employees, and instead compensating at the three-week, or even fourth, week of the month.

Fortunately, the ghouls in his lab trusted him, knowing he would pay them eventually, and that cash flow could be tight at a startup. But one day, a disgruntled machine operator stormed into his lab.

"Doctor, I'm aware you've been much busier than usual, but I need to be paid twice a month to properly budget."

The doctor held up a finger and stayed focused on the hunk of flesh and metal before him.

“Doctor, I'm serious, I'll report you to the IRS. This pay frequency is illegal in our state,” he yelled, exhausted with the man's lack of sympathy.

Dr. Frankenstein finally put down his tools and turned around. He felt ashamed. He’d been so determined to keep up production that he’d forgotten to take care of his staff.

“I’m sorry sir, it appears I’ve become the monster in my own laboratory.”

Reminder: Each state has its own payroll frequency laws. You can check yours through the Department of Labor.

Wicked Witch Underreports Compensation


From her window, the witch was surprised to see two humans moving through the woods toward her house. People tend to avoid her creepy, dilapidated cottage.

When she opened the front door they shuttered but didn’t turn away. Now, she was curious.

“Hello Ma’am, are you Ms. Wicked?” asked a woman in a button-down shirt.

“Yes,” she replied.

“We’ve been trying to reach you for a while now regarding an investigation into your company’s taxes. We had to have given dozens of letters to your flying monkey with no response.”

The witch thought about how she’d used the backs of those envelopes to write down spell ideas. 

“I haven’t gotten anything,” Ms. Wicked said, deciding to play dumb.

“Over the years you’ve claimed company broomsticks, Halloween bonuses, and Potion “R” Us gift cards as compensation. However, none of your employees we interviewed seemed to remember any of that.”

Before the human could finish talking, the old witch slammed her door and hobbled to her spell book. Frantically, she flipped through the pages. Curses! There was nothing in there about getting rid of the IRS.

Reminder: You must claim company cars, gift cards, bonuses, and other types of awards as compensation.

Want to avoid making a terrifying payroll mistake of your own? Trust the experts at Future Systems to handle paystubs, timekeeping, tax requirements, and other critical tasks that keep your company running smoothly. Request a quote!

Subscribe to this blog

Stay up to date and learn new and exciting concepts with our Payroll Blog!

Subscribe Here

Ready to Get Started?

Please give us a call or fill out our contact form and a member of our friendly team will be in touch.
We’re ready to help you today!

800-453-5809 or Request a Quote