Prepare Payroll in Excel

Microsoft Excel's spreadsheet format can be a helpful tool when using the application to prepare payroll for your employees. To help business owners with managing payroll, Microsoft has designed a template known as the Excel Payroll Calculator that you can download and take advantage of as long as you already have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer. The template has formulas and functions already built into the workbook that prompt you to enter your employees' payroll data. The template then automatically calculates the pay stubs and net pay for your employees based the criteria you entered.


  1. Download the Excel Payroll Calculator template.
    • Click on the Microsoft Office link featured in the Sources section of this article to access the download link for the Excel Payroll Calculator template.
    • Scroll down on the Microsoft Office website and click on the link that reads "download the Payroll Calculator template" within the "Download the template" section.
    • Click on the green "Download" box located to the right, then click on the "Accept" button after reviewing the Microsoft Service Agreement.
    • Click on "Save" when the dialog box appears prompting you to download the file.
    • Navigate to the location or folder on your computer in which you want to save the Payroll Calculator template, then click "Save." The template will be saved to your computer in a compressed format.
  2. Extract the Excel Payroll Calculator template.
    • Navigate to the location on your computer where you recently saved the Payroll Calculator template, then open the file.
    • Follow the prompts to extract the template from its compressed format. When the file opens, it will automatically be opened in Excel.
    • Depending on the features and version of your computer's operating system, you may be prompted to click "Extract," or to use a utility feature such as Winzip to extract the template.
  3. Save a copy of the template to use as your business payroll.
    • Point to "File" in your Excel toolbar, then select "Save As" to turn a copy of the template into a payroll workbook for your business.
    • Navigate to the folder or location on your computer where you want to access your payroll file in the future, and enter a name for your workbook.
    • Click on "Save" to finish creating your payroll workbook.
  4. Prepare the payroll for your business. Your workbook should still be open within Excel.
    • Complete the "Employee Information" worksheet. By default, this worksheet will already be open on your screen. You will be prompted to enter the names of your employees, their pay rate, and their tax information such as withholding and deductible amounts.
    • Complete the "Payroll Calculator" worksheet. To access this worksheet, click on the "Payroll Calculator" tab on the bottom of your Excel workbook session. You will be prompted for specific time sheet information; such as the hours your employees have worked, the amount of overtime worked, and the amount of vacation hours and sick leave.
  5. Access the payroll, or pay stubs for your employees.
    • Click on the "Individual Pay Stubs" tab located at the bottom of your payroll workbook next to the "Payroll Calculator" tab. This worksheet contains formulas and functions that extract the data you previously entered and will display this data in the form of pay stubs, or net pay, for each of your employees.


  • If you need support at any time while using the template, click on "Using This Template" from the Template Help section located in the task pane to the right of your session. You can then browse the help topics for your specific inquiry.

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