From the September 2009 Review of Professional Payroll Programs
CMS Professional Payroll is an in-house live payroll application for small and mid-sized businesses that can be used in conjunction with Cougar Mountain Software’s Denali and CMS Professional full accounting suites, or run as a stand-alone program. Although primarily geared for use by businesses, the system can support employers or companies with any number of employees in each, which also makes it a viable system for payroll professionals serving multiple businesses. The payroll system offers direct deposit to multiple accounts, provides accruals and benefits management, and allows all standard deductions as well as user-defined pre- and post-tax options. The system also supports electronic filing and remission of withholding to taxing authorities. CMS Professional Payroll costs $674.
DATA ENTRY & KEY FEATURES:
CMS Professional Payroll opens into a window that provides menus for payroll-specific tasking across the top, along with links to other programs in the CMS Professional Accounting suite, such as the GL, AR, AP, Inventory, Job Cost and Reporting. Payroll function menus group tasks into categories for accessing employee information, entering payroll data, period-end processes, reporting and options. Users can quickly select a business/employer from a searchable selection list, while the employee selection screen provide more extensive summaries of employee information. Data entry is performed on traditional forms that offer tabbed access between data categories, and while processing payroll runs, data can be quickly entered, edited and reviewed. The program offers wizards and guides for setting up companies and employees.
The payroll system supports all pay methods and frequencies, including hourly (with the ability to assign multiple rates per employee, salary, per diem, contract, piece-work, commission and bonus. The program also offers the ability to split payroll expenses across multiple departments. Payroll tax tables can be updated manually or through Cougar Mountain Software tax updates. CMS Professional Payroll can track employee benefits and time-based accruals, and its deduction capabilities allow any number of standard or custom deductions per employee. A garnishment feature can be used to automatically calculate employee pay subject to garnishment, and can be used to manage those that end on a particular date or when a specified dollar amount has been reached. Other deduction management features support HSAs, planned giving, income shelters, 401Ks, cafeteria plans, union dues, insurance, and child support payments.
Direct deposit functions support up to four accounts per employee. Check stubs produced with the program can display multiple pay rates. In addition to customizable fields, a new function in the system allows recording of employee mobile phone numbers. Check stubs produced with the program can display multiple pay rates. Online employee access and self-help is available, and the system offers user-specific and function-specific security options.
CMS Payroll produces all year-end compliance forms and reports, including separate W-2s and reports for each state. Dozens of standard managerial reports can be customized as needed, and include options for employee earnings, departmental labor costs, project-based labor, benefits, deductions, taxable wages and payroll histories. Electronic compliance (e-filing) is available through a third-party add-on solution.
INTEGRATION/IMPORT & EXPORT:
When used as part of the broader accounting suite, CMS Professional Payroll thoroughly integrates with the other programs, sharing data and information as needed. The system can import from virtually all time clock programs, as well as data in plain text or spreadsheet format, but does not offer direct integration with third-party GL systems. Reports can be saved into PDF format.