2011 Review of Sage HRMS



Best Fit: Companies who want a solid on-premises or third-party hosted payroll system with full human resource management capabilities.

From the Sept. 2011 Review of Professional Payroll Programs

Sage HRMS is a human resource (HR) management and payroll solution designed for small to medium-sized businesses and offers a large collection of management tools. Built for use in multiple business organizations of all types, Sage HRMS proves to be a solid in-house payroll system that provides companies with more than just payroll generation.


  • Strong payroll capabilities, including support for both U.S. and Canadian payroll.
  • Employee portal module (Sage Employee Self Service).
  • Human resources management functionality is a leader in the industry, and the application includes support for e-mail alerts and confirmations for changes to employee benefit elections.
  • Integration is supported with most Sage applications, and data can be exchanged with other applications by exporting to Excel, Access or XML format.
  • Sage Employee Self Service appearance can be modified to be consistent with company or firm branding.

Potential Limitations

  • Web-based version not available; however, a hosted version is available through nGenX and Applianz.


Sage HRMS may be installed through traditional methods in a client-server environment or may be hosted through Sage and nGenX and Applianz as a web-based solution. Regardless of the preferred access method, users will sign in with a traditional user ID and password combination. Multiple users may simultaneously access the program and the same client file. The base software offering includes support for up to five concurrent users. Navigation is accomplished through traditional drop-down menus at the top of the screen and logical categories on the bottom left part of the screen.

A key differentiator for Sage HRMS is the ability to process payroll for employees in Canada. Full payroll calculation and reporting is provided, and paychecks and pay stubs can be translated to French via a Sage business partner. For United States or Canadian employees, payroll processing consists of importing time through a variety of methods, (manual data entry, importing via Excel files, or integration with Sage ERP applications). Once payroll is calculated, users simply need to review the calculations and then modify or approve the payroll run as necessary. An unlimited number of employees may be processed through Sage HRMS, but the target market is businesses with less than 5,000 employees. All federal, state and local tax jurisdictions are supported. Businesses may also reduce paper needs through integrated support for direct deposit and available employer-sponsored prepaid debit card options.

Sage HRMS has a wide range of HR functionality through its HR Actions offering, including the following. Event notifications may be setup and sent to employees automatically, such as forwarding appropriate documents and paperwork to employees upon being setup in the system. Email alerts may also be generated upon activating or modifying employee benefits. Employees may be provided with hyperlinks to areas within the payroll system or on the intranet or internet for further research and document requirements. Many documents, such as annual performance reviews and pay rate increase notifications are available through the employee portal module and are fully integrated into the software.


Sage HRMS includes a strong reporting feature set. The system is bundled with Crystal Reports, and users have built-in functionality to edit existing reports and create custom reports. Multiple reports and paycheck formats are natively included. Paychecks may be custom created to include MICR encoding or to accommodate multiple signatures or other design requirements. Signatures may be stored in image formats and printed on each payroll check. All native and custom reports may be grouped together for batch report processing with each payroll run. Reports may also be exported into a number of common file types including Microsoft Excel and PDF.


Tight integration exists between the payroll and HR functions of the system, and data may quickly be shared between the two. Sage HRMS also integrates with various accounting general ledger and timekeeping products within the Sage lineup. Files may be exported to Excel, Access or XML format to be imported into third-party products or to be further manipulated. Time information may be imported via CSV files from a number of third-party time and attendance programs. The program also has two add-on modules available to assist with employer benefit administration and enrollment. These add-on products integrate directly within the payroll and HR functions, as well as the available employee portal option. Any integrated solution not natively supported can be custom programmed by Sage partners using the application’s software development kit.


Sage HRMS provides traditional, indexed and searchable Help through the drop-down Help menu. All help and support options are available through a tiered service plan offering. Each tier offers unlimited telephone support, a variety of discounts on training and other Sage product offerings, all quarterly tax updates, and any software upgrades and enhancements. Additional support options are offered through chat, a knowledgebase and customer forums through the Sage Abra website. A variety of training methods are available, including live and pre-recorded webinars and virtual or on-site training options.


Sage HRMS offers employee portal functionality through an optional add-on module, Sage Employee Self-Service (ESS). ESS may be fully customized and branded to create a consistent appearance for accounting firms or businesses. Employees access the portal through traditional sign-in methods. Once signed in, employees have access to individual demographic information, complete payroll history, time accrual information and time off requests. Company-specific information such as internal employee phone lists, training videos and materials, or employee policy manuals may be provided, as well. Employee access controls may be granted or removed on an employee-by-employee basis by the payroll administrator. Users with defined roles as managers or system administrators have additional functionality to approve and override various employee options and have access to more detailed employer benefit offerings. With the above functionality, the available ESS system has the potential to reduce additional and time consuming tasks performed by payroll administrators.


Sage HRMS offers a strong software solution that provides a number of options to manage payroll and HR functions in-house. Users of Sage HRMS are directly involved with new feature development, which helps ensure the products are up-to-date and offer new features that users really want/need. Pricing for Sage HRMS is dependent upon the number of active employees stored in the database and starts under $2,250. This price level includes all the HR functionality and United States or Canadian payroll processing for up to 75 employees. Discount pricing is available to users enrolled in the Sage Accountants Network.

2011 Overall Rating: