From the Sept. 2010 Review of Professional Payroll Systems.
SurePayroll is a full-featured web-based payroll solution focused on providing payroll services to multi-employers and single employers. Either a practitioner or a single employer may purchase this web-based service. For the purposes of this review, SurePayroll fits our “Referral/Outsourced” payroll model if used directly by a client, or the “Partially Assisted” model if used by a professional managing multiple clients. Users primarily only enter employee time data, with the vendor managing all of the other processes, including generating runs, paying employees by check or electronically, generating reports, and performing all compliance filings and payments, including W-2s and 1099s. Users can access filing and managerial reports at any time, and the system includes accruals and benefits management options.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
This full-service payroll is quite intuitive. The encrypted connection allows payroll administrators or business owners to process payroll while away from the office. SurePayroll is the first payroll solution provider to allow employers to process payroll via an iPhone app.
Adding clients is quite simple, with an intuitive workflow that requires little training. Client information/data can be imported into the system via Excel or CSV files. Adding and editing payroll deductions is easy, and the product supports several complex or unusual calculations, including support for all 50 states, clergy housing allowance calculations and many more.
Since the product is available in multi-employer configurations, processing multiple payrolls simultaneously is fairly intuitive and just as simple as doing a single employee. Staff can be assigned system access for each client according to three basic templates: Clerical/Data Entry, Supervisor/Approver and Read Only. Time can be imported to generate the amounts owed to employees. Once all time is entered and payroll is ready to be run, the system easily processes payroll with direct deposit or printed checks. All federal and state tax returns are updated quarterly, and payroll taxes are remitted electronically to the proper taxing authority. In addition to electronically submitting taxes, the system also allows users to set up an electronic transfer of funds to benefit providers and retirement/savings accounts. W-2s are automatically generated at the end of the year.
SurePayroll offers a number of partner programs for accounting professionals who would like to work with their clients using the product, including a referral program and a private-labeled reseller program. Both programs allow instant online access to client reports from anywhere using a single web portal.
REPORTING & MONITORING:
SurePayroll has more than 100 customizable reports that can be output to screen or printer, or alternatively can be exported to Microsoft Excel or PDF. All due dates can be managed, and email alerts are sent to the administrator and employees based on the applicability of the due date. The administrator of the system can also monitor upcoming and recent transactions. Payroll tax returns are automatically filed electronically, and SurePayroll guarantees on-time payments and payment accuracy. Practitioners can also access payroll reports via the read-only SureChoice portal. This is a great feature for practitioners to extract payroll and employee data at the end of the year.
INTEGRATION/IMPORT & EXPORT:
The program can import data from Excel, which then allows import from most time clock systems. SurePayroll can export data to a GL report for import into most accounting programs and explicitly supports data export to QuickBooks, Sage Peachtree and AccountEdge (formerly MYOB). The system offers a number of add-on services for employers, including Sure401(k), SurePayroll Health Insurance, Employee Screening, and Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation.
The system provides traditional built-in Help functions and an index, along with form instructions/templates, marketing and sales guides for accountants, webinars on current compliance issues for CPE credit, as well as many other tools to help employers and partners successfully implement the product. Web-based and unlimited U.S.-based telephone support is included in pricing. Since SurePayroll is offered only as an online SaaS application, there are no program or tax table updates to install, nor is there a client application to be installed on end-user personal computers.
A suite of integrated HR compliance tools is bundled with the basic payroll service at no additional charge. These tools include labor law poster compliance, a library of employer and general business form templates, summaries of state laws and regulations, online calculators for tax and financial planning, and a series of how-to guides for common HR issues.
CLIENT SELF-SERVICE FEATURES:
Each employer can create customized employee forms that can be filled out by employees. The data from these forms is recorded in the SurePayroll database. Additionally, paycheck stubs and W-2s are available to either the employer or to individual employees via self-service access to a customized online portal.
SUMMARY & PRICING
SurePayroll is a best fit for practices managing payroll for small to mid-sized entities. The system can be referred to clients, private labeled and branded to fit each practice, or managed by the client with read-only access for the accountant. This is a good fit for firms who want to provide access to a comprehensive suite of online payroll tools without the up-front investment in hardware and software systems needed for an on-premise product.
2010 OVERALL RATING: