Paramount Software Solutions - Crest Payroll
From the Sept. 2010 Review of Professional Payroll Systems
With its Crest Payroll solution, Paramount Software offers a comprehensive system for professional accounting firms managing the payrolls for multiple client businesses, providing support for any number of entities and employees, with a web-based system that includes unlimited payroll runs, direct deposit, and online client and employee portals branded with the professional firm’s logo and other information. The system also includes automated compliance, with the vendor managing all reporting and payment functions. For this review, Crest Payroll fits the “Professional Prepared, with Assistance” model, providing accounting firm’s with hands-on management of data and reporting functions, while having the compliance functions and recipient form functions automatically managed by Paramount, and with no interaction between the vendor and firm clients.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS
As a fully web-based system designed specifically for accounting firms managing payrolls for multiple employers, Crest Payroll is accessed through the user’s web browser, with the system storing data in a secure hosting facility. Additional security functions make it possible to report and manage staff and client access to specific program areas. The system’s main interface offers an intuitive horizontal menu for core program areas, such as employee management, payroll processing, tax compliance, reporting, client management, and associated programs like a sales tax compliance utility and paperless document management.
Wizards help guide company setup and, once initial client and employee data is entered, the program automatically helps process payroll functions by populating data into payroll runs as determined by default settings for frequencies and rates. Users are primarily left with editing tasks (especially for hourly employees) and reporting functions. A management overview dashboard provides key payroll and client information summaries, including due dates, liability account balances and other issues. A master client list is also available for working within client and employee records, with the ability to assign default values for virtually any information field, deduction, pay rate or other data across all or select employees or groups/departments.
In addition to any number of employers and employees, Crest allows multiple professional staff to work within the program at the same time, with the system preventing conflicts or overwrites, while enabling users to have access to the areas for which they are authorized. Pricing models are based on a flat fee per month, per client and are dependent on the total number of clients that the firm has. Users have the ability to process up to four payroll runs for each company each month, and at any frequency, with no charge per checks or reprints. Direct deposit is also included, with the ability to route employee pay to up to four accounts per employee.
With tax calculations performed on the server end of the program and automatically maintained by Paramount Software, the system includes rate tables and compliance functions for all states, D.C., Puerto Rico and all localities in the United States, including jurisdictions that require printed coupons or other special features. Multi-state employees are also easily managed, with the system guiding the user through income distribution, date entry and primary resident state selection, and the compliance functions automatically maintained as a service by the vendor.