2011 Review of Cheque-Mate International, Inc. — Cheque-Mate Payroll Solutions


Cheque-Mate International, Inc. - Cheque-Mate Payroll Solutions

 Best Fit: Payroll processors with large numbers of payroll clients who need an application with an inexpensive entry point but do not need general ledger (GL) integration.

From the Sept. 2011 Review of Professional Payroll Programs

In business since 1983, Cheque-Mate International has evolved its payroll solution, Insta-Pay, to be a solution for large-volume payroll practices. Insta-Pay’s core design is to allow accounting professionals to spend less time with data entry and to perform quick and accurate payroll runs. Insta-Pay is a full-service payroll system for accounting professionals managing all aspects of client payroll, including data entry, payment processing and compliance reporting.


  • Includes support for multiple payroll frequencies, job costing & direct deposit.
  • Call Calendar helps staff manage multiple priorities & shows upcoming client payroll runs based on date ranges, client groupings or task assignments.
  • Time data importing is supported from numerous applications, but exporting general ledger data to accounting software is not supported.
  • EFTPS & electronic tax filing available where supported by taxing authorities.


  • Product supports state payroll taxes in only 38 states.
  • Users cannot export GL data to any accounting software applications.


When Insta-Pay is opened, a login screen appears for users to enter their login credentials. Once inside the software, a client list is displayed to allow users to select the desired client. The user interface presents a series of traditional Windows drop-down menus, as well as a set of large icons across the top of the screen. The icon set is static and cannot be altered to include other shortcuts or preferred tasks. Wizards are used to add employees or perform most setup tasks. These wizards perform much of the backend configuration required to ensure that all payroll items are setup correctly in the system.

Once set up, the software is designed for quick data entry and payroll processing. Insta-Pay can support an unlimited number of employees, but is designed to handle a normal payroll run of around 100 employees to prevent degradation of software performance. Currently, Insta-Pay supports 38 state and local tax jurisdictions. Any jurisdiction not currently included may be added through requests to the Cheque-Mate support staff. Once these additional jurisdictions have been added, all subscribers to Insta-Pay will receive the functionality through available updates. Each employee paycheck may have any number of deductions and additions. Insta-Pay supports multiple payroll frequencies and job costing.

New for 2011 is the addition of Windows 7 support. Insta-Pay will work on both 32- and 64-bit operating systems, except Windows 7 Home Edition, which may affect some users. Also new for 2011 is the Call Calendar. The Call Calendar is designed for those with multiple payroll clients and shows upcoming client payroll runs. The Call Calendar can be customized based on date queries as well as each payroll clerk’s client responsibilities or client grouping. A list of companies, contact names and phone numbers are listed on the report, making it easy to contact clients for accumulating information.

Direct Deposit is supported and allows an unlimited number of bank and investment accounts. Employees without bank accounts can receive a traditional paper check or opt to receive a prepaid debit card. Insta-Pay offers after-the-fact payroll abilities, but the software is primarily designed for live payroll. User-level security allows for client-level login activity. Also, an audit trail is turned on by default and shows any changes made throughout the system along with the user login ID.


Insta-Pay tracks all payroll run information on a client-by-client basis. This includes all taxes and liabilities due as well as required reports. Ancillary data such as employee birthdays and employment anniversaries can also be tracked. Full support for EFTPS and electronic submission of W-2s and 1099s is included. The application also supports states that accept documents via electronic filing.

Insta-Pay has 30 native reports, but also includes the ability to create and save customized reports. Once reports and payroll runs have been performed, the documents are permanently archived as PDF documents and can be accessed through the archived reports option. Pay stubs and reports can now be emailed to employees and clients directly through the system.


Insta-Pay offers direct export to Excel and to the GL module within QuickBooks. Currently, Insta-Pay does not directly integrate with any other GL accounting software. However, Insta-Pay can import time data from numerous time management programs. Time clock capabilities are contained within Insta-Pay, but the general focus of this functionality is for payroll runs and is not used for real-time data capture.


Insta-Pay provides built-in support functions accessible directly from the Help menu. These Help options include quick-start guides on setting up various modules and screens within the software, as well as the most recent version of Publication 15 (Circular E). Email and fax-back support, as well as live, phone support, are all included with the software license. The update process is user-generated by selecting Update from the menu options and following the appropriate prompts.


Currently, no web-based client or employee solutions are being offered or considered. Therefore, ratings were not considered for this section. N/A


Insta-Pay is used by hundreds of accounting professionals, representing thousands of clients, and is designed for practices managing multiple employer clients. Current annual pricing for the software starts at $179 for a two-client payroll package and tops out at $895 for the unlimited package, which includes all available modules, functions and related support.

2011 Overall Rating: