From the Sept. 2008 Review of Professional Payroll Systems
As a fully web-based professional payroll preparation and reporting system, PayCycle provides a comprehensive and easy-to-use option for accounting professionals with primarily small and mid-sized clients. The online program, which supports up to 50 employees per client, automates virtually all of the steps involved in payroll, from processing, application of taxes and withholding of voluntary and involuntary deductions, through payroll disbursal and period reporting requirements
PayCycle also provides flexibility in operations, allowing the accounting professional to determine which clients can perform different aspects of their own payroll, be it data entry or even printing. Pricing for the accounting professional wholesale version of PayCycle ranges from $9.99 to $14.99 per client business per month for the first five employees, plus $0.25 per employee thereafter. This includes unlimited payroll runs, and direct deposit of all employee and contractor pay is included in pricing, as are state and federal tax payments and filings. With the wholesale program, PayCycle bills the accountant’s firm and the accountant bills the client directly.
DATA ENTRY & KEY FEATURES – 4.5 Stars
As a secure web-based system, accounting professionals can log into PayCycle from anywhere with an Internet connection, allowing instant access to client payroll data and the ability to process and run batches or individual payments as needed at any time. For the accounting professional, the program’s primary interface opens immediately to a centralized client list that is organized alphabetically by client name and provides contact phone and e-mail, but no sorting or filtering options. The home page interface also offers text-based links for accessing To Do lists, Account information, Resources, Help options and Client Marketing Tools. During initial client setup, PayCycle guides users through business information required to determine taxation issues for both state and federal purposes, and allows the first employee entered to be used as a template to set up additional employees at the same client business.
Within a client’s account, the user is first presented with the To Do list for that client, reminding of tax payments due, report filings or payroll runs that need to be initiated, while links for specific tasks across the top of the screen give options for accessing Pay Day functions, Taxes & Forms, Setup and Reports. Pay period data entry is performed on a single screen for all employees assigned to a pay period (weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, monthly, annually), with base pay automatically filled in for salaried employees, and the option to add sick, vacation, holiday or other types of additional pay types. Direct deposit is included with up to two accounts per employee and the ability to issue a check for remaining balances.
The program supports hourly, salary, commission, overtime, double overtime, sick pay, vacation pay and tracking, holiday pay, bonuses, commissions, allowances, cash and paycheck tips, reimbursements, per diem, and other options. Deductions can be set up for insurance, retirement plans, HSAs, flexible spending accounts, garnishments and other items, with all data automatically calculated. A summary view provides full drilldown to individual employee data and YTD totals for all categories of pay, taxes and deductions. Pay data can also be easily exported into an Excel spreadsheet. PayCycle automatically generates all compliance forms and prepares reports as needed depending upon state and federal filing requirements, then prompts managerial users to review and complete the filings and payments.
A notable feature, PayCycle gives accounting professionals the ability to let their clients handle some of their own payroll if, for whatever reason, that business model works best for specific clients. Clients can be given access to all or part of their account through a secure online portal that reflects only the accounting firm’s branding, with invoicing always going through the firm. Whatever the level of client interaction with the system, the professional firm can maintain management and full access to the client account. PayCycle also offers an employee portal that enables workers to check their own archived payroll statements.
REPORTING CAPABILITIES – 4 Stars
PayCycle is geared toward electronic payment of employees, contractors, vendors and third-party recipients of deductions, as well as electronic filing and payment of forms and payroll taxes. All of these electronic filing and payment capabilities are free with the program. The system also offers managerial reporting and printable forms. PayCycle recently added customizable client engagement letter templates, along with marketing tools and demos for clients.
INTEGRATION/IMPORT & EXPORT – 4.5 Stars
PayCycle exports client pay data into Excel format and offers all forms in PDF format. Plus, it integrates with CCH’s ProSystem fx Write-Up, as well as with QuickBooks, Quicken, Peachtree and Microsoft Money, ensuring posting into the GL system.
RELATIVE VALUE – 4 Stars
PayCycle is about as hands-off as a professional payroll service system can be, providing fully automated compliance for multiple states and all federal requirements, along with good benefits tracking and employee/pay contractor capabilities. The program provides flexible features for the firm, with simple tools that make managing multiple clients easy. PayCycle is best suited to small clients with fewer than 20 employees and maxes out at 50. Tech support is included in pricing and, since the system is web-based, all tax table and program updates are automatically taken care of by the vendor.
2008 Overall Rating – 4.5 Stars