2011 Review of PenSoft Payroll Solutions—PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition


PenSoft Payroll Solutions - PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition

Best Fit: Accounting professionals who provide payroll processing for multiple clients and prefer an on-premises application.

From the Sept. 2011 Review of Professional Payroll Programs

PenSoft offers a variety of payroll solutions designed for small to medium-sized organizations for processing in-house payroll. PenSoft offers payroll solutions in multiple editions based upon features needed to service employees. The premier edition, PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition, offers the most comprehensive feature set designed for accounting professionals who process client payroll, and is the focus of this review.


  • Drag-and-drop report modification allows custom reporting, and report customizations can be saved for use in future months.
  • An unlimited number of users can access each company file simultaneously.
  • Export files are available for QuickBooks and Sage Peachtree, or data can be imported or exported using Microsoft Excel.
  • Supports complex requirements such as job costing, multiple shift differentials, Certified Payroll, and consolidated reporting.
  • No additional charge for processing multiple payroll in multiple states.

Potential Limitations

  • Does not include a due date tracking feature.
  • Employee portals and state electronic payments not supported.


PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition is installed in a network-client or desktop-only environment. Users can sign in to the system with a user ID and password, and an unlimited number of users may access the program simultaneously. Each user may be restricted on access and client rights within the system’s user security configuration. Navigation is typical of desktop software through drop-down menus. Data-entry screens display a tabbed interface for navigation.

PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition supports an unlimited number of company files. However, the number of employees permitted in client files is limited based on a number of tiered price levels. A predefined set of pay rate and deduction items is automatically setup for each client and may be modified to suit the needs for each client file. Custom pay rate, taxes, and deduction items may be setup, with a maximum of 279 pay and deduction codes, which should be more than enough for the majority of businesses. Employee groups may be setup for a variety of employees, and employees may be included in more than one group. These groups allow for selecting multiple employees to perform specific tasks and data-entry needs.

Payroll processing consists of entering the time manually or importing through a variety of available methods. Time entry may be done for an individual employee or for multiple employees in groups. After entering the hours, PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition will make the appropriate calculations. Each employee paycheck may be assigned to a job code and may be split out based on hours worked or through specific dollar amounts. All federal and state tax tables are included, and multiple states may be processed for any employee. Local taxes are not natively supported, but users have the ability to manually create these items for calculation. Direct deposit is supported with no limitations on number of accounts. Direct deposit files are outsourced to Intercept EFT or manually processed through client bank accounts. Employees without direct deposit capabilities may receive a prepaid debit card through rapid! PayCard for an additional fee to the employer or receive a traditional paper check. 4


PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition does not currently offer any due date tracking or monitoring features. The solution does offer the ability to file federal forms electronically through an add-on service. Currently, state related payments cannot be submitted through the software. MICR encoding capabilities are included for accounting professionals printing client checks on blank check stock.

Multiple reports are included, and most may be filtered through a variety of options. Custom reports may be achieved through modifying existing reports and drag-and-drop custom column headings and fields. Customized reports can be saved. With the exception of printer output, reports are unable to be exported from the system in any other format. Users desiring PDF file formats will need to install a third-party PDF creation application.


PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition tightly integrates with other modules offered in the PenSoft product lineup. Export files formatted for QuickBooks, Sage Peachtree and a few other third-party accounting solutions are natively provided. Importing and exporting through Microsoft Excel is also fully supported. Time data may be imported through the available Remote Client and TimeOnline add-on solutions, through a variety of products currently partnered with PenSoft, or through CSV and Excel files.


PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition offers a variety of Help and support options, all of which are are included in the annual subscription license fees. Traditional Help is located within the program, and telephone, email and fax-back support are available during normal business hours. PenSoft’s website also has a fully searchable knowledgebase, a FAQs site, and peer-to-peer assistance through an online forum. Training is offered at PenSoft’s office location or may be arranged on-site. Customized training options are available for an additional fee. Updates for the software are sent out quarterly and are available via disk-based media or directly through the PenSoft website. Interim federal updates are sent to everyone, while state updates are only provided to those users affected.


PenSoft currently does not offer any employee portal capabilities. However, a few add-on modules are offered for remote data entry and collaboration. The available Remote Client module is provided for clients to install on their local computer and transfers data entered to the accounting professional via PenSoft’s secure site. Through this module, clients may modify employee lists and information as well as enter time information. All of this may be directly imported into PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition. TimeOnline, an optional PenSoft solution, is available for employees to enter time data through PenSoft’s secure site and directly integrates with the payroll solutions. Due to the limited feature offerings, no rating has been assigned to this section of the review.


PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition is an easy-to-use and -navigate payroll solution. With no additional charges to process multiple states or to have access to unlimited support, PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition may prove to be a cost-effective payroll solution for accounting professionals. PenSoft prices each edition as a calendar year subscription and is based on the number of employees in the largest company currently processed through the system. Initial pricing for PenSoft Payroll Accounting Edition starts at $1,629 for processing unlimited clients each with less than 50 employees. Annual renewal pricing is slightly discounted for future years.

2011 Overall Rating: