AccountantsWorld - Accounting Relief
Best Fit: Any accounting firm that wants to offer payroll services directly to their clients. This cloud-based payroll service is private-labeled and can be configured to meet the needs of different clients. It is also a good fit for firms that would like to work with a web-based suite of tax & accounting firm tools.
From the Sept. 2011 Review of Professional Payroll Programs
Payroll Relief is the wholly web-based payroll solution included in the AccountantsWorld suite of web-based applications for accounting professionals. Payroll Relief is designed and marketed exclusively to accounting professionals to manage multiple payroll clients. It offers accountants a wide range of analytical, management and marketing tools to help build a profitable payroll service. The program is all-inclusive and offers rich functionality. Since first released in 2004, Payroll Relief has introduced a number of enhancements to assist accounting professionals in increasing payroll processing profitability.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
Payroll Relief is a SaaS solution, accessed through most modern Internet browsers. An unlimited number of users may concurrently access the same client file, but may not concurrently access the same screens while working on a common client file. Navigation is accomplished through a series of logical categories, each with a logically grouped drop-down menu of related options.
Payroll Relief offers a dashboard view for each client, providing a quick overview of upcoming payroll runs and any tax payments due. The page also lists other performance metrics such as the number of active employees and a bar chart detailing trends in total gross pay by month for the last two years. The dashboard has an error field that details any employee social security numbers that have verification exceptions.
Payroll processing is clearly laid out for quick data entry. Users can export a time entry screen to Excel, which may then be populated by a client, and uploaded to Payroll Relief. The entries are automatically incorporated into the company file, and payroll is ready to be reviewed and verified immediately. All state and localities are supported, though not all employer forms are supported for local taxes. Unlimited earnings and deduction codes are allowed for each employee, as well as the ability to assign locations and departments. Direct deposit is included with the service and allows up to three separate accounts per employee. Those without direct deposit capabilities may receive a prepaid debit card, which carries an additional service fee to the employer.
AccountantsWorld also provides a number of employer tools for accounting professionals. Some examples include direct deposit authorization forms, state new hire reports, and materials to help market the accounting professional’s payroll service offerings. An after-the-fact module is also available as a separate component of the AccountantsWorld suite of products.
REPORTING & MONITORING:
Payroll Relief processes all payroll tax compliance on behalf of clients. Upon completion of each payroll run, all tax payments and direct deposits are electronically submitted as appropriate. All federal and most state forms can be submitted electronically at no additional cost. Payroll compliance reports may be manually or automatically approved and are filed based on the level of service offered to the client. After each payroll run, a set of reports is automatically generated and may be forwarded to clients. These reports offer a snapshot of the current payroll and detail the due dates and amounts due for net pay, withholdings and employment taxes.
Over 35 reports are built-in to Payroll Relief. Most reports can be filtered through a number of options based on the company setup. Reports may also be assigned to a report group, which allows for running multiple reports at one time. Other than the ability to setup two additional report groups, no custom report generation is currently offered. Reports may be printed, emailed, exported to Excel or uploaded to CyberCabinet, the AccountantsWorld document management and portal system.
INTEGRATION/IMPORT & EXPORT:
Payroll Relief provides a number of integration options. Native accounting general ledger integration is offered for Accounting Relief, part of the AccountantsWorld suite of products, as well as QuickBooks and Sage Peachtree products. Other accounting general ledger solutions may achieve integration through the import/export of Excel documents. Time information can be imported directly from SwipeClock and Advantek, as well as from CSV import files generated by other time keeping systems. AccountantsWorld has also formed alliances with several third-party vendors to complement its payroll service offerings with group benefit and retirement plans.
HELP & SUPPORT:
All screens within Payroll Relief include a Help option. By selecting the on-screen Help, users get detailed instructions and descriptions of each field and component on the current page. Help is also available through an online knowledgebase and FAQ section, which provide detailed enough information to answer most questions posed by end users. Short training videos and webinars are available to assist with navigation and setup options. Live chat, email and phone support are available, and are included in the base price for Payroll Relief.
CLIENT SELF-SERVICE FEATURES:
Payroll Relief includes portals that can be accessed by clients and employees. Dual branding is also provided, so when a client signs in they see the accounting professional’s name and logo, and when employees sign in they see their respective employer’s company name. This creates a seamless top-down web presence for the employers, employees and accounting professionals.
After the first payroll run, each new employee receives an email explaining how to log into a self-service employee portal. Employees and contractors can view and download recent pay stubs, pay history and view annual tax documents. Routine changes to the employee’s personal profile, including address changes, dependent changes, and the user’s password can be entered by the employee on this website. If permitted by the employer, contractors and staff may also enter time through the portal, which is automatically integrated with the employer’s database in Payroll Relief.
Summary & Pricing
AccountantsWorld prides itself in partnering with accounting professionals to offer payroll services through Payroll Relief. The product is specifically designed with accounting professionals in mind and offers features to aid firm profitability. First year pricing for accounting firms is set at a base price of $997 and includes the ability to process an unlimited number of payrolls. Subsequent years are dependent upon the number of payroll runs or paychecks that are processed on an annual basis. A firm processing 10 paychecks or less for a weekly payroll frequency starts at $5.95 per payroll. A per paycheck option is more beneficial for firms processing 1,500 or more paychecks annually, with 25,000 or more paychecks priced as low as $0.50 per paycheck.
2011 Overall Rating:
Basic System Functions 4.25
Reporting & Monitoring 4.25
Client Self-Service Features 4.75