Review of Paylocity WebPay - 2010


Paylocity - Paylocity WebPay

From the Sept. 2010 Review of Professional Payroll Systems.

Paylocity WebPay is an online payroll service designed for direct use by small to medium sized businesses, providing automated payroll processing, check delivery, direct deposit, compliance and reporting. The system also includes considerable HR tools for managing employee data, training, EEO, COBRA and OSHA issues and applicant tracking, as well as time and labor management resources and integration with various employee benefit systems. Although it is primarily geared toward small to medium sized business owners, WebPay does offer some multi-employer management functions as well as the ability to share a login with a public accountant. As a result, for this review, it fits into our “Outsourced/Referral” category, although it can also be used by professionals managing multiple employer payrolls. This is generally a best-fit for practices that prefer to direct their clients to a single national payroll provider that handles most of the payroll processing and compliance functions, with direct client-vendor interaction, leaving primarily only data integration and reconciliation functions for the tax and accounting firm.

As a web-based program, Paylocity’s WebPay opens through the user’s browser (Internet Explorer only), with a company selection screen and overview providing access to employer payroll files. This offers basic multi-client capabilities, although the program’s feature set is still mostly geared toward direct use by businesses. Within the employer management interface, WebPay provides a vertical menu on the left that includes access to key system functions, such as employee management, payroll tasks, company information, reporting, compliance tools and HR tracking options. The main window of the work area defaults to a customizable company information screen that can be set up as an intranet, providing employee access to a variety of company and HR data, including benefits, handbooks, orientations and other options. User-based security can limit access to only specific areas of the system, enabling administrators to give all employees access to basic information, but not to management and processing features.

WebPay can manage payrolls for organizations with any number of employees and offers employee selection screens that include numerous filtering and search options. It supports departments and subsidiary units, including the ability to track projects and perform job costing. Each pay group or other unit can be set up as separate payrolls with any frequency, and the program supports all types of paid employees and contractors, including salary, hourly, part-time with benefits, commissioned, bonus, tipped and piecework. Pricing is based on the number of employees managed and the frequency of payroll runs. Each employee can have unlimited pre- and post-tax deductions, including garnishments, union pay and insurance.

Employee data screens offer excellent detail and custom data tracking options, including EEO-oriented demographic data and contact information. The program includes tax rate tables for all states, but does not offer direct support for managing employees with multiple state income reporting requirements. Other tools include paycheck calculators, net-to-gross, a pre-process register, and a QuickPay data-entry feature that provides a batch process with default data pre-populated and all employees in a payroll run presented on a single screen for simplified entry, editing and approval. Many of the data-entry screens offer customization options and templates for adapting the system to a business’ workflow needs. Direct deposit is offered as an add-on service, with the ability to distribute funds into up to 99 accounts. Paylocity offers excellent built-in HR functions, including applicant tracking, employment histories, leave accruals, COBRA and OSHA administration, performance reviews, skill tracking, and checkout of company assets. Additional benefit options are also available, including 401(k), flexible spending, insurance, HSAs, Sec. 529 plans, workers’ comp and unemployment.

Businesses using WebPay have the option of performing compliance reporting and remitting payments in-house, or can use Paylocity’s Tax Services solution, through which the vendor prepares and files all federal, state, and local reports and makes payments. For those businesses directly managing these processes, WebPay includes notifications and alerts to due dates and payroll management functions (including approvals processes) and provides forms generation for all entities. More than 100 managerial reports are available, with the ability to edit them using a built-in report writer or export them to Excel for greater customization. Most reports can also be output to PDF, HTML, XML and image formats. Employee management screens provide excellent data overviews and options for custom data tracking.

WebPay shares data throughout its payroll and HR components and integrates with the add-on benefits services. It also includes a GL interface that can integrate the payroll system with many accounting programs, such as QuickBooks, Peachtree, Sage MAS 90/200 ERP and Microsoft’s Dynamics GP. The system has employee time entry and attendance management features, and time data can be imported from most time clock systems.

The system’s Help utility offers page- and function-specific guidance, with descriptions and how-to tips, along with links to related subjects and navigation assistance. Paylocity’s website also provides a resource center with a library of forms, tax information, glossary, downloads and access to web-based live support, although no user community is available. The tax tables are automatically updated by Paylocity staff. Live, phone-based support is included in system pricing.

WebPay has exceptional self-service features, with the program able to act as a business’ intranet, providing online access to company news, benefits, employee handbooks, orientations, training histories, company directories and other information. User access rights can be set to determine specific areas of the system that staff can or cannot view and work in, which allows regular business employees to access the system for timesheet entries and their own pay histories, paystubs and W-2s. It also allows them to request changes to their W-2s, submit time-off requests or access benefits programs. The web-based system’s interface offers some branding customization, but Paylocity’s branding remains at least at the bottom of work screens.

WebPay is a comprehensive payroll management system designed primarily for in-house use by businesses, but with some client management tools that enable it to be used by professionals managing multiple employers. The program includes excellent HR features, and the vendor has options for outsourcing compliance reporting and other tax services. Pricing for WebPay starts around $45 per month based on the number of employees managed through the system and the frequency of payroll, plus any additional add-on benefits programs or the managed compliance service.