Paramount Software - Crest Payroll
Best Fit: Companies and firms who want a sophisticated, web-based payroll product that integrates with their existing websites, as well as organizations that use Paramount’s other applications (eVault 365 DMS, Meridian MSP recruiting).
From the Sept. 2011 Review of Professional Payroll Programs
Crest Payroll from Paramount Software Solutions is a web-based payroll solution for accounting professionals that can be used to service clients of all sizes. Designed for easy use, Crest Payroll does not
require any formal training to process payroll. The application is currently undergoing significant interface and feature upgrades, and the next generation solution should be available to users in the upcoming months. Except where specified, the review focuses on the current generation offering.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
Crest Payroll is a web-based solution and may be accessed through most modern Internet browsers. Management has indicated that all data captured within the system is maintained in a secure, offsite location. The user sign-in process includes the user’s defined role (accountant, client or employee), an email user ID, password and a challenge text field. Navigation is done through logically categorized tabs at the top of the screen with additional options on the left part of the screen.
Crest Payroll opens to a dashboard view, which allows for the addition of new companies and details the status of any upcoming or outstanding payroll runs. Users may also initiate wizards to guide through the setup process for adding companies or employees. Integration with outside services, such as social network feeds, news and stock quote information will be added in the upcoming product revision.
Crest Payroll has programmed payroll to be a three-step process within the system. Users enter or import time, review ending results and end with processing the payroll. After these three steps are completed, Crest Payroll processes any necessary remaining items, including paying benefit providers and garnishments. Users may export current payroll data-entry screens to Microsoft Excel, which may then be forwarded to clients to populate and return. This data may then be imported into Crest Payroll to alleviate any data entry. As an alternative, employees may enter time through the employee portal, which integrates directly to the payroll entry screens. Each employee can have an unlimited number of earning and deduction codes, as well as have payroll costs assigned to locations and departments. Direct deposit is included and allows paychecks to be allocated to two separate accounts.
Crest Payroll offers human resource (HR) features, as well. Many of these features are the same as used by large enterprises, but are scaled to fit smaller businesses. All features may be accessed by the employee or client, and the HR features are not designed for collaborative use by the accounting professional. Functionality within the HR features includes expense reimbursement requests, timekeeping and time off requests. Clients may also store employee handbooks, safety and policy manuals, and other compliance documents. Paramount plans to incorporate electronic signature by employees to note the receipt and/or reading of company documents in a future release.
REPORTING & MONITORING:
Upon completion of each payroll run, Crest Payroll processes all payments and compliance reporting on behalf of clients. Compliance reporting is filed electronically where possible and permitted. All quarterly reports are generated and archived online and are available at any time.
A number of native reports are offered in a variety of categories. Each report can be filtered based upon various company setup options. Users can also create and save fully customized reports from within the application. Any report can be added to a group, allowing multiple reports to be run at the same time. These groupings can also be exported to Excel, with each report represented on a separate tab within the workbook. A newly added feature includes the ability to email a report or group of reports to clients at set time intervals. All reports can be branded with the accounting professional’s name and logo and exported to Excel, PDF, HTML and numerous image file formats.
INTEGRATION/IMPORT & EXPORT:
Crest Payroll integrates directly with other products within the Paramount Software Solution lineup, such as the eVault 365 document management system, its Meridian MSP recruiting management solution, the Summit DMS service management tool, as and the included employee portal. Direct integration is provided for QuickBooks. Other accounting general ledger and timekeeping solutions may integrate through importing and exporting CSV and Excel files as appropriate.
HELP & SUPPORT:
Crest Payroll offers a variety of Help and support options. On-screen Help is available on each data-entry and reporting screen and explains each feature and field listed on that page. A searchable knowledgebase and frequently asked question section is available through the Paramount Software Solution website. Live chat, email and phone support are also available, and all Help and support options are included in the system pricing.
CLIENT SELF-SERVICE FEATURES:
Crest Payroll offers industry leading integration with existing firm websites. Each firm website may provide direct access to a firm-branded version of the Crest Payroll service directly through its website. Tools inside Crest Payroll allow for custom color schemes to be selected to better match the firm website design, as well. Sign-in security certification is provided through the Crest Payroll service and is extended to the accounting professional at no charge. These features allow the accounting professional to maintain a professional appearance.
Crest Payroll provides an employee portal, through which employees have the ability to electronically view and modify their existing W-4 information, which is directly linked to the subsequent payroll upon approval from supervisors. Employees may also view current and past pay stubs, view complete pay history, submit time off requests and submit expense reimbursements along with a supporting image or PDF file attachment.
SUMMARY & PRICING
With a user friendly and flexible interface as well as the ability to brand web views and reports with firm name and logo, Crest Payroll provides a number of service offerings in one easy-to-use package. Client billing can be accomplished by automatically drafting client bank accounts. Pricing is all-inclusive and is a flat fee regardless of features used or the number of states. Base pricing for each client file starts at $17 per month with a tiered discount pricing model based on the number of clients and average number of employees within those clients.
2011 Overall Rating: