From the Sept. 2008 Review of Professional Payroll Systems
With options for either payroll service providers managing multiple clients or for in-house use by businesses, SurePayroll provides a comprehensive payroll and HR system that is geared toward entities with up to 100 employees. The web-based system automates much of the tasks involved in payroll processing and reporting, with the vendor handling tax deposits, year-end reporting and other compliance functions
SurePayroll includes direct deposit and can support any number of client employer companies and allows up to 60 customizable deductions and 34 pay types. Through the SureChoice accountant’s program, payroll providers can either resell or directly manage all client accounts and access all reports. They can either handle all data entry or allow clients to perform these tasks on a firm-branded web interface. Retail pricing for SurePayroll is based upon number of employees and pay frequency, starting at about $26 per payroll run for a small weekly-pay entity (base fee of $18.95 plus $1.50 per employee). Pricing includes employee self-service features for checking prior pay stubs and W-2s, plus all tax filings, payments, benefits management and direct deposit. Through SureChoice, accountants receive a 15 percent discount.
DATA ENTRY & KEY FEATURES – 5 Stars
For accountants managing multiple business payrolls, the system begins with a client selection list that provides various sort and filter options. The primary interface within SurePayroll is centered on a business’ Account Center console, which primarily houses text-based links to key feature areas, including Payroll, Reporting, Employee and Company management functions, in addition to Tools & Resources. The main work area of the window offers information on payroll status, memos, a reminders section and a link to a primer on payroll called Payroll 101. Additionally, users can access printable HR and employment law compliance posters, how-to guides and common business forms.
The system’s Employee list displays a basic selection spreadsheet that cloaks all but the last four of each SSN, but offers limited filter and search options. Company setup and management functions are easily performed through web-based forms and a vertical menu that gives links to earnings, pay schedules, deduction types, benefits options, departmental codes, workers’ comp and other settings.
Within an employee’s files, the vertical menu provides quick access to general data, bank preferences, pay rate and salary structure, taxes, deductions, department codes and HR notes. As part of the all-inclusive nature of SurePayroll, when new hires are entered into the payroll system the vendor automatically takes care of required reporting for state and federal agencies. After setup, simple payroll runs can be completed following a simple three-step process that guides the user through data-entry, approval and check printing/direct deposit.
During employee time entry, employees in the payroll group are displayed in two sections — one for hourly staff and another for salaried workers. The multi-employee spreadsheet-type interface provides quick entry of regular and overtime hours, extra pay types, one-time deductions and other options. Users can also add additional checks or void previously posted checks.
Information for salaried employees is automatically populated. The payroll preview function provides an overview of all employees with gross pay, deductions, taxes, direct deposit, check, employer taxes and other information, with drilldown access to detailed individual employee data.
SurePayroll can manage various benefits offerings, and the vendor also provides optional 401(k), workers’ comp and healthcare solutions that integrate with the payroll system.
REPORTING CAPABILITIES – 5 Stars
All compliance reporting, including W-2 printing and sending to employees and federal/state/local agencies, is managed by SurePayroll, leaving the user with primarily management and review tasks. Users can, however, print on-demand W-2s, W-3s, 940s and other reports as desired. SurePayroll also handles remittance of payroll tax withholdings and third-party payments. Reporting functions are accessible via the main menu in the Account Center, opening to a window that groups output options by category, including process reports that include summaries, cash requirements, new hires, YTD, deductions, registers and benefits, as well as annual, quarterly and optional reports, all of which can be saved to Word, Excel or PDF formats. Through the SureChoice accountant’s version, professionals have anytime access to all client reports.
INTEGRATION/IMPORT & EXPORT – 4.5 Stars
In addition to the flexible reporting output options that enable editing and customization in Microsoft Office, SurePayroll integrates with the GL components of many small business accounting packages, including MYOB and QuickBooks.
RELATIVE VALUE – 5 Stars
SurePayroll offers an excellent hands-free option for either small businesses or accountants who manage multiple client payrolls, with all compliance reporting and payments automatically taken care of and guaranteed by the vendor. User interfaces are simple but comprehensive, and accountants can brand web portals with their own firm information to keep the process fully reflective of their practice.
2008 Overall Rating: 5 Stars