CompuPay –– XpressPayroll for Accountants

From the September 2009 Review of Professional Payroll Programs

CompuPay offers several online and PC-based payroll systems for businesses of all sizes, including options that allow for accountant management and access to client reporting. The vendor’s web-based XpressPayroll for Accountants, however, is specifically designed for use by professionals managing their client’s payrolls, with strong user security settings, direct deposit, employee self-service, automated tax filing and payment, and support for all states for any number of business clients with 10 or fewer employees. CompuPay also offers Xpress-Payroll co-branded with the accountant logo and colors along with a Partner Portal where they can manage their accounts from a single secure login. Pricing for XpressPayroll is billed on a per business flat fee per month basis. A client with 10 employees paid biweekly would cost approximately $50 per month, inclusive of all direct deposits and compliance filings for federal and one state.

As an online system, XpressPayroll for Accountants opens within a browser to a master client selection list. After selection of a client, the program opens into an attractive page with tab-like links across the top to the key function areas of payroll, employees, reports, check printing and the system’s GL export utility. Each of these areas provides additional text links to specific tasks, such as adding new employees or setting up or editing their deductions, tax information and direct deposit. Within the employee function area, an employee list appears as a menu, with employees sorted into active, terminated, on-hold and incomplete, the latter being for employees whose data is not sufficient to process payroll for them. Data entry on these screens is performed on simple web-based forms that include selection lists and the ability to quickly drilldown into deduction settings, direct deposit accounts, pay rates and other information.

When preparing to run a payroll, the system automatically populates hours worked with default information set up in each employee’s records. Payroll data entry and review is performed on summary screens that present all employees in that payroll run on a single screen. These screens allow quick entry or editing of employee time, overtime, commissions and bonuses. Employees can be salaried or hourly, but all for a single client must be on the same payroll frequency. After entry, the system offers an on-screen pre-transmission report that provides detailed pay, deduction, tax, net and gross information and allows direct editing from this screen. Without running payroll, users can also perform gross-ups, net pay, alter W-4 deductions and perform other tasks using the program’s various calculators.

XpressPayroll includes the ability to grant client employees online access to their own paystubs and historical W-2s. The system also includes an online library of common employment forms, while a web-based payroll resource guide is available to help less experienced users access and understand payroll laws and regulations. Tax compliance functions are managed by CompuPay as a part of subscription pricing.

The reporting functions in XpressPayroll concentrate on traditional managerial output, including payroll summaries, earnings, deductions, check registers, direct deposit, and labor and taxable wages reports. All re-ports can be saved to Word, PDF and HTML formats. Compliance reporting is handled by Compu-Pay as a part of the service, with the vendor handling filing and payment, as well as W-2 production and mailings.

In addition to output options in Word and PDF, XpressPayroll includes an easy-to-use GL export function that outputs to common file types, including QuickBooks-compatible format.

XpressPayroll for Accountants is a very easy program to master, with payroll processing functions taking only a few steps and setup of employees easy to understand. The system is geared toward professionals servicing small business clients (five to 20 employees) with non-complex payroll requirements, but offers integrated direct deposit and hands-free reporting and tax payments, since these tasks are handled by the vendor.

2009 Overall Rating: