2011 Review of Thomson Reuters — Accounting CS Payroll


Thomson Reuters - Accounting CS Payroll


Best Fit Accounting firms who use the Accounting CS application to work with clients on payroll and bookkeeping, as well as accounting professionals who use other CS Professional Suite tools for accounting, tax or document management.

From the Sept. 2011 Review of Professional Payroll Programs

Accounting CS Payroll is intended for accounting professionals who process large volumes of payroll for clients. Initially released in spring of 2010, the system is designed for quick data entry and can handle a variety of simple or complex payroll needs.


  • Uses combination of SaaS & hosted technologies to facilitate collaboration between clients & accounting professionals; integrates with Virtual Client Office & Virtual Office CS.
  • Part of the Thomson Reuters CS Professional suite of applications, which offers a wide range of productivity solutions for accounting professionals who serve multiple clients.
  • Existing payroll reports can be modified & custom reports created to meet almost every reporting need. Reports can be seamlessly exported to PDF, Excel, be made available to clients via client portals, or stored in FileCabinet CS.
  • Payroll data can be imported from QuickBooks or Excel; time data can be brought in from Thomson Reuters web portals, time clock or Excel files. W-2s created with Accounting CS Payroll are automatically imported into client tax returns in UltraTax CS.

Potential Limitations

  • Does not interface with accounting software other than Accounting CS, QuickBooks or Excel.


Accounting CS Payroll may be installed on a standalone computer, in a network environment or as a hosted solution through Thomson Reuters. Navigation is intuitive, and users of the Thomson Reuters CS Professional Suite of applications will immediately note several similarities, as the system was built on the same platform and database structure as Practice CS. Each screen is designed for quick and easy data entry. Multi-user licenses are available, and users can simultaneously access the same file. This allows staff members to perform payroll and accounting functions at the same time.

Accounting CS Payroll opens to the default dashboard, which details all state and local tax authorities currently setup within the system. This provides a quick reference for upcoming due dates and filing requirements for each jurisdiction. The dashboard is fully customizable and may contain a variety of Help resources, Internet pages, product updates and notification information.

Users may easily toggle between clients using a drop-down client listing at the top of the screen. This allows users to perform multiple tasks on multiple clients without the time-consuming chore of opening and closing client files. The payroll process consists of importing employee time information through a variety of available methods and reviewing the resulting payroll calculations. Prior to running the payroll, a report is available to show cash needs and allows for adding, adjusting or removing employee paychecks as necessary. An after-the-fact payroll feature is included and allows gross-up payroll entry for client checks. All data is entered through a spreadsheet-style worksheet and is directly integrated into the appropriate monthly or quarterly tax forms.

All federal, state and most local payroll taxes are supported. When setting up clients, users may access a location feature within Accounting CS Payroll that identifies taxes and taxing authorities associated with the company’s location. This feature automatically adds appropriate tax jurisdiction authority and payment information to a company file in Accounting CS Payroll, which may quickly be added to new or existing employees with little user effort. Each client file may contain an unlimited number of employees, with each employee paycheck containing an unlimited number of pay rates and deduction items. Each employee paycheck may be assigned to multiple locations or departments and may be allocated by percentage or hours worked. Direct deposit is included in the licensing costs and includes support for an unlimited number of bank and investment accounts. Prepaid debit cards are available and may be used by employees for an additional fee arrangement through a variety of financial institutions.


The system includes multiple payroll-specific reports, (both client based and firm wide reporting) each of which may be filtered based upon various client setup options and saved for future reporting needs. Fully customized reports may also be created, providing reporting capabilities for almost any payroll-related need. Native and custom reports may be saved in report profiles, allowing for batch report runs. Further, each payroll report profile may be run concurrently for multiple clients.

Electronic processing of reports and payments is available, and multiple clients may be simultaneously processed. Based on company setup options, reports that are not submitted electronically may be sent to a specific printer or printer tray, to a PDF file or archived within the FileCabinet CS document management system. Any liability payment processed that requires a paper form or coupon is automatically pre-populated and sent to the appropriate printer or printer tray. All monthly, quarterly and annual payroll tax forms may be previewed on-screen along with diagnostics detailing any errors or omissions.


As part of the CS Professional Suite from Thomson Reuters, Accounting CS Payroll integrates directly with a number of other products in the suite. W-2s and 1099s are automatically exported for users of UltraTax CS tax software, general ledger posting information for payroll is fully integrated with the accounting system side of Accounting CS, and reports can be archived in FileCabinet CS. Additionally, Accounting CS supports data import from QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel. Time data may be imported from third-party applications through CSV and Excel files or may be directly imported from available employee portal timekeeping functionality. Setup options are available to automatically import time information prior to each payroll run, reducing user intervention or manually selecting import files for each payroll run.


Accounting CS Payroll offers built-in traditional Help and support, and is fully indexed and searchable. Links are also provided to the online knowledgebase and frequently asked questions contained on the Thomson Reuters website. Telephone support is available on a per-call basis or through a variety support subscriptions. Updates are provided via the Web and may be automatically downloaded for users to install. All updates are included in the product licensing and support costs.


Accounting CS Payroll integrates directly with the add-on client and employee portal option, NetClient CS. Through NetClient CS, clients may access reports, enter and approve timekeeping data for employees, and remotely print payroll checks. Employees may access recent and previous pay stubs and pay history, as well as annual reporting documents. Timekeeping may be recorded through the employee portal, as well. NetClient CS provides accounting professionals the ability to customize and brand each portal to match firm color schemes and designs. 4.75


Accounting CS Payroll is an effective solution for accounting professionals who rely on the Thomson Reuters CS Professional Suite of products or who process a large volume of payroll clients. With the ability to quickly maneuver between client files and process multiple client files at once, Accounting CS Payroll is an attractive tool for accounting professionals. Pricing starts at $1,800 for an initial purchase and allows payroll processing for up to 20 client files. Additional payroll processing may be purchased in five-client bundles. Annual renewal prices for support and updates start at 20 percent of the original purchase price.

2011 Overall Rating: