First steps to set up your Guideline 401(k) plan
Updated over a week ago

Thank you for choosing Guideline as your company’s 401(k) plan provider. There are a few tasks to complete to get your plan ready to go. We’ll give you a rundown of what to expect in 4 steps.

Feel free to click on a link to jump ahead:

Connect your payroll account

We work with top payroll providers to make 401(k) plan administration seamless. Find your payroll below for next steps.

Full integration payroll providers

With full integration, it’s simple to connect to your payroll account. You can click Start on this task and it will route you to your payroll where you can sign in. This connects your payroll to Guideline, easy as that.

For some background, your payroll will sync with our system daily to update employee information, such as for new hires or terminated employees, and to pull payroll reports needed to administer the plan. Additionally, contribution rate changes made that day from the Guideline platform will be updated in your payroll provider platform, provided they are made before your payroll is processed.

  • Gusto

  • Intuit QuickBooks Online

  • TriNet HR Platform

  • TriNet PEO

  • Rippling

  • OnPay

  • Square

  • Run Powered by ADP

  • ADP Workforce Now

  • Paylocity

  • QuickBooks Desktop (Enhanced and Assisted Payroll)

*Disclaimer: These payroll providers require downloading an app in the marketplace and a few extra steps. The task will outline the process for you.


How do I know my payroll is connected?
A couple of ways. 1) the task will be marked completed. 2) you will now see in your Roster tab a list of your employees.

How does Guideline process contributions when my company processes payroll?
Check out this article to find out more.

How do I notify Guideline that I’m switching payroll providers?
Check out this article to find out more.

Supported payroll providers

If you use one of these supported payrolls, we can manage your 401(k) and take care of most administrative tasks. In order to do that, we’ll need third-party administrative access to your payroll account.

With administrator access, we can update your roster, manage contributions and pull reporting. Just follow the steps listed in your task to connect your payroll. If you have any questions, you have a dedicated Onboarding Specialist that will be your direct point of contact to help you through the onboarding process. You can email your questions and your Onboarding Specialist will be in touch shortly.

  • Bamboo HR

  • iSolved

  • Justworks

  • Namely

  • Paycom

  • Paycor

  • Paylocity

  • Paychex

  • PrimePay

Self-serve payroll

If your payroll provider isn’t shown above, you'll need to utilize a self-serve plan. This means you’ll need to upload a participant roster during the setup process and for every pay cycle after that, you will need to upload the payroll summary report.

The participant roster is a report with information on participants in your company. The template for this report can be found in the “Submit [previous year] and [current year] payroll roster” task on your Guideline dashboard. Please fill out the template and upload it through the task on your Guideline dashboard.

The payroll summary report must include all the information that we require for each payroll cycle. The payroll summary report template can be found by going to your Guideline dashboard, then click on the Payroll tab at the top of the screen and you will find the report template there. Once filled out, please upload this to your Guideline account through the same Payroll tab at the top of your Guideline dashboard. You can find step-by-step directions here.

Connect your bank account

You have two options when connecting your bank account: instant verification (task completion ~5 minutes) or manually entering your bank account information (task completion ~2-4 business days).

Instant verification: With instant verification, you will be prompted to log in to your bank account via Plaid. This recommended method is quick, easy, and secure. Find out if your bank is integrated with Plaid here.

Manual entry: If your bank is not integrated with Plaid or you would prefer to manually enter your bank account information, you will fill out the required fields and micro deposits will be on their way. Find out the next steps in the “Verify your bank account” section.


What type of account do I need to connect?
We request your company’s bank account. A checking account is needed for contributions and matching. You have the option to add a credit card in your settings for invoice billing purposes only.

Why isn’t Plaid loading?
Please clear your cache and cookies and log in again. If you are on a mobile device, attempt to use Google Chrome on your PC or Mac instead. This should solve the issue.

What do I do if my institution is not integrated with Plaid?
If this is the case, you will need to connect your bank account using the manual entry/micro deposit method.

Why am I getting an “Institution name can’t be blank” error when I attempt to add my bank account manually?
Please ensure you are using Google Chrome to connect your bank account. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.

Verify your bank account

If you have manually entered your bank account information, two small deposits will be sent to your bank account within 2-4 business days, amounting between $0.01-0.99 - be on the lookout for these. Once they show in your account, please input them into the verification task in this format “$0.##.” Please do not enter amounts before you receive them into your account as there is a maximum number of attempts. If you reach this number of attempts, you will have to start the process over again.


Why did my micro deposits not show up?
There could be a few of reasons; try troubleshooting using the below:

  1. Confirm that you don’t have a few more days until the micro deposits show in your account. This takes 2-4 business days, if you click into the task titled “Verify your bank account,” you will see the last possible date they should be deposited.

  2. Contact your bank to confirm the transactions were not blocked. Some institutions do this for security reasons and a quick call to your bank will solve this.

  3. Reach out to us if you are still experiencing issues.

Why did I get an error that I maxed out my attempts?
There are only 3 inaccurate attempts before you have to input your bank account information again. You can go to your Manage Payment Methods section in your Settings to delete your current account information and re-add it. This will trigger a new set of micro deposits.

Why are my micro deposits showing up as only one amount instead of two?
Some banking institutions will combine the micro deposits. Please call your financial institution to ask for the separate amounts.

Report your company owners, officers, and related entities for compliance testing

Reporting owners, officers, and related entities is a required task needed for compliance purposes. We are not able to provide specific guidance on who or what needs to be reported. We suggest reaching out to your own tax or legal advisor if you have any questions on your entity structure. In the event clarification is needed once submitted, you’ll receive an email notification with instructions. However, we have answered some frequently asked questions for you below.


An individual is on the roster and is not letting me add them on the task, why?
This could happen for a few reasons. It could be that their date of hire is during this year, and we are requesting ownership from last year. Instead, you can mark them as a current owner by navigating to the Roster tab of the Guideline administrator dashboard, search for their name, and click to open their details. In this pop-up, you can check the box that says “Is an owner.” If they just joined the company this year as an owner, they do not need to be reported for this prior year information task.

Another reason they might not be appearing is because this task is particular in that you must select their name from the dropdown. Please try adding the owner by typing the owner’s first name and selecting their name in the dropdown.

Who needs to be reported as an owner?
Check out this article to find out more.

How do I add owners not on the roster?
There is an “Add owner” button in the Roster tab of your dashboard where you can add an owner. Depending on the type of entity, you may not have to report them. Reach out to us for details on this.

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