California is in credit reduction with respect to FUTA. What this means is that the effective FUTA rate for CA employers is 2.4%. The payroll companies only take it out at .6%, then you get a "big" bill on the annual filing. In dollar terms this is $105 per employee (assuming they made at least $7,000).
I like to suggest for clients who have more than a few employees (remember this is total employees, not just current head count), we should accrue the delta. The easiest way to do this is to:
As a reminder, we also advise clients that adding staff later in the year can be relatively expensive as you will pay SUI/FUTA and likely have a lot of holiday pay, etc. The combined SUI/FUTA in CA can be as high as $602 per employee per calendar year.