SurePayroll — SurePayroll for Accountants

From the September 2009 Review of Professional Payroll Programs

SurePayroll offers several outsourced payroll service options, from plans directly marketed to small businesses, to reseller and referral programs designed for professional accountants. Through the vendor’s reseller system, firms can directly manage the payrolls of multiple clients with most of the processes automatically performed by the program and payment and compliance functions handled by SurePayroll. With the accountant management console, users can manage any number of clients with unlimited employees, with support for all states. Direct deposit and all filing, payment and mailing tasks are included with the program. The system also offers client and employee portals.

Pricing through the reseller program is discounted 10 percent to 25 percent from the retail rate, depending on your tier level. Tier levels are determine by volume of sale by units. For a firm who is at the highest tier level — the 25 percent discount level, serving 10 clients with combined staff of 100 paid bi-weekly, the cost would be about $742 per month, inclusive of all processing, direct deposit and quarterly and annual compliance services. Accountants can also participate in the vendor’s referral program, through which the small business directly manages the processes, but the accountant is able to access all client reports and data at any time.

Since SurePayroll is essentially an online payroll system with much of the compliance functions handled as an outsourced service, the key tasks for a payroll service provider mostly involve client employee management and entering payroll hours and benefits information. The firm also has an option to use their “1-Click” option, which allows the client or accountant to set default payrolls and simply click one button to run payroll. The program opens to the SureChoice Hub, which serves as the account-ing firm’s primary interface and provides a client selection screen and links to accessing client reports and other data. For referral system firms, the only options are essentially for viewing reports and exporting data, since these firms do not enter time information or perform any processing tasks. For firms managing the payroll processes for their clients using the reseller system, the following options are available: When a client is selected, the program opens into the RunPayroll screen, a multi-tabbed page with key tasking areas divided into the Account Center, Payroll, Reports, Employees, Company, and Tools & Resources.

The Account Center acts as the primary client service screen, offering access to key functions, providing an overview of payroll status, and displaying memos and reminders. A left-hand navigation menu provides quick access to payroll processing functions, reporting, employee management and various other functions. Employee selection lists are presented in a sortable and filterable spreadsheet format with summary data, and offer easy-to-use forms for editing or adding new employees. Within their files, employees can be assigned to departments, and users can set up multiple pay rates and add an unlimited number of standard and custom deductions. The deductions are created at the company level, along with earnings, payroll schedules, benefits, departments, workers’ compensation and other options. When running payrolls, information from salaried staff is automatically populated, but overrideable, and entry of data for hourly staff is fast. The program automatically applies and calculates all data as it is entered.

SurePayroll includes benefits management and paid time off accrual tracking, and the program offers HR functions for tracking EEO and other data. The system includes a client-side portal that enables firms to allow their clients to enter their own payroll data and even print checks locally, if desired. Employee portals that let client staff check their own pay stubs and W-2s can also be offered.

Through the Reports menu, users can access a good library of payroll reports, including summaries, period details, workers’ compensation, departmental summaries, HR notes, deductions, new hires and check registers. The program also has compliance reports available, including W-2, 1099, W-3, 1096, 940 and 941, all of which are prepared by SurePayroll as a part of the service, as well as compliance filing, payment liabilities and third parties.

All reports can be viewed or edited in Excel and Word format, or saved as a PDF file. Although pretty much everything else in the program is included at no extra charge, SurePayroll’s GL integration tool costs $2.99 per payroll run, allowing summary and detail level payroll data to be downloaded into QuickBooks, MYOB and Peachtree.

For accountants who want to manage their clients’ payroll functions but don’t really want to perform the compliance tasks, SurePayroll offers a professional-level outsourced option that is all-inclusive, with direct deposit, all compliance payments and filings, client and employee portals, and good reporting tools. The system can also be used by firms who don’t want to manage their clients’ payrolls, but want them to use an outsourced solution that also lets the firm have anytime access to reports and payroll data.

2009 Overall Rating: