Working together: personal assistance training and you

Record Keeping

As an employer you will need to keep some records in order to pay your personal assistants (PAs) and to pay employment and income taxes. You will need a filing system for the records of your personal assistants, payroll and tax reporting. Keeping good records will make the rest of your administrative tasks easier. This page covers:


Setting up an Accounting System

Here are some ways to set up a record system for your payroll and taxes.

  1. You can get assistance from another source such as an accountant or your local Independent Living Center, etc.
  2. There are account or record books that you can buy at office supply or stationery stores.
  3. There are computer software programs that you can use to keep your records.

You may wish to have an accountant or other experienced person help you with the quarterly and annual calculations and payment of employment and other taxes to federal and state governments. Independent Living Centers or Senior Centers may be able to help you.

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Tracking Hours

Whether you pay your personal assistant (PA) yourself or if the pay for the PA comes from another source, you will need to keep track of the hours worked. It is just good money management. If another agency is paying the PA, it will require some sort of time sheet or other accounting of hours worked.

If you hire a PA through an agency, the agency will handle the payroll and tax reporting. If you hire a PA through an Intermediate Service organization who provides you a list of applicants to choose from, it also may pay the PA and handle the payroll taxes. In any case, they usually require that you verify the hours your PA worked. If a third party pays for your services there may be a limit on the number of hours of service that you are authorized to have. The third party will only pay for the authorized hours. All of these pay sources may require you or the employee to fill out a time sheet.

Some of these pay sources may send the PA’s paycheck to you to give to him or her. In this case, it is important to your good relationship with your PAs to give them their paychecks as soon as you can.

If you hire a PA yourself, you are responsible for paying the PA and reporting all of the payroll and employer taxes.

Establish a time sheet for each PA. This becomes your record for paying them. Below is a sample time sheet.

Time Sheet

Name: Susan Jones

Date Time in Time out Total time
7/1 6:30 a.m. 8:00 a.m. 1.5
  5:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 4.5
7/3 6:30 a.m. 8:00 a.m. 1.5
  5:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 4.5
7/5 6:30 a.m. 8:00 a.m. 1.5
  Cleaners, grocery shopping 2
  5:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 4.5
7/7 Total hours 20 hours

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Employee Records

You should keep two files on each employee. Update the information in the files periodically. One is the employee personnel file and the other is the employee payroll and tax file.

You must verify that the person you hire is eligible to be hired. The Form I-9 must be filled out by each of your employees. The form lists the types of documents that are acceptable for verifying eligibility. You must see original documents, not copies. It is a good idea to keep a photocopy of the documents the employee presents as proof of employment eligibility. If an employee does not produce the documents within three working days, you may fire them. The I-9 form can be found at web site at http://uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/files/i-9.pdf.

If an employee does not have a Social Security Number, he can obtain a form to apply for one from a local Social Security office or by calling 800 772-1213.

In the Employee personnel file, keep:

  • employee resume
  • references and notes from reference checks
  • police check, if any
  • form I-9 — employment eligibility
  • on-going feedback notes — positive and corrective
  • employee evaluations

In the Employee payroll and tax file:

The file should contain the basic information you will need to pay employees and to file appropriate taxes:

  • name
  • address (if a student, parent’s or other permanent address)
  • phone number
  • social security number
  • date of birth

Keep records of previous PAs for several years.

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Payroll and Taxes

You also will want to keep files on

  • time sheets for each employee
  • payroll sheets that show the amount earned and deductions taken
  • your copies of tax reporting forms

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Go to Tax ObligationsNext


Administration > Record Keeping