AMS — 1099-Etc & A-T-F Payroll

From the Sept. 2008 Review of Professional Payroll Systems

The After-the-Fact (A-T-F) Payroll system from Advanced Micro Solutions is an add-on module to the company’s 1099-Etc program, which is geared toward small and mid-sized businesses with a need for 1099 and W-2 compliance and forms generation. With the A-T-F Payroll add-on, the system provides good support for basic live or A-T-F payroll processing functions, whether used in-house or by a professional serving many clients. A-T-F Payroll supports all federal and state reporting requirements and offers direct deposit, along with electronic filing of IRS and SSA forms. The add-on module costs $105, but users must have the base program, which costs $75, and will likely want the E-File Direct Option ($105), the Laser Generation Option ($75) and the Forms Etc package ($45). Licensing allows networked or stand-alone installation and any number of users.

A-T-F Payroll is accessed from the initial Main Menu of the 1099-Etc system, which also offers icon-based access to other program utilities like the e-filing tool, as well as system configuration options. Within the payroll module, after selecting a payer company with which to work, the program displays technical data across the small window display, which also offers pull-down menus for the primary work areas of the program, including Module, Payer, Deposits, View, Input, Browse, Reports, Forms, Options, Help and Quit. During initial setup of companies, users can copy settings from an existing one, speeding this process.

Company and employee setup and editing is fairly straightforward, with tabbed entry forms that allow quick movement between data groups, such as banking information, check preferences, tax rates and the ability to set custom fields. Employee data entry allows setting of up to nine combined pay and miscellaneous rates, with the ability to track accruals for vacation and sick leave, as well as basic human resources and EEOC data. Basic data screens include forward and back navigation for thumbing through employee records, as well as selection lists for some fields. The employee selection screen looks a little rustic but provides an excellent summary of virtually all employee data, including rates, YTD totals and other information.

Entry of time data is intuitive, and processing payroll, tracking deposits and running reports are all effortlessly accomplished through easily understandable screens. A-T-F Payroll offers 40 customizable payroll deductions for each company and up to 40 standard deductions per employee, as well as the ability to customize them or add special treatments, if necessary. It also supports multi-state workers, as well as tipped and commissioned employees and can handle bonuses and other supplemental payments. All calculations for FICA, Medicare, SDI, net pay and deductions can be automatically calculated or processed using a Calc button. Through the main 1099 program, the system offers excellent options for tracking contract payees and filing as appropriate. The direct deposit feature supports up to four accounts per pay recipient. E-filing of tax deposits is also offered.

A-T-F Payroll offers 17 pre-formatted reports, including tax summaries, wage worksheets, period summaries and details, withholding, check registers and discrepancy reports, all of which can be viewed on-screen prior to printing. The program also offers printable versions of all 1099 versions, along with forms 940, 941, 941-B, 943, 1042S, 1096, 1098, W-2 and W-2C. Checks, forms and reports can be printed either to special stock or plain paper.

While the A-T-F Payroll system integrates completely with the base 1099-Etc program, it does not offer direct integration with outside accounting packages. However, it can export files into a format importable by most small business systems, including the GL in QuickBooks. A-T-F Payroll can import company and employee data from QuickBooks, Quicken and Peachtree.

As a tool for managing after-the-fact payroll and 1099 compliance tasks for small businesses, the 1099 A-T-F Payroll system is quite adept, providing a basic utility that gets straight to the nuts and bolts of tasks. It also offers some value as a live payroll system, but is generally for small entities since many processes are individually run. With direct deposit and e-filing options, A-T-F Payroll can give these smaller businesses a taste of more advanced features, but at a low price point. Support is included with pricing, and tax updates are included with annual renewals.

2008 Overall Rating: 4 Stars