AccountantsWorld — After-the-Fact Payroll
From the Oct. 2011 Review of W-2 & 1099 Compliance Systems.
Best Fit: Firms managing year-end compliance and ATF payroll for multiple entities.
- Strong multi-client views, dashboards.
- Web-based system provides remote access.
- Integration with larger web-based suite.
- Comprehensive forms support.
- Electronic filing of federal and state quarterly forms, W-2 and 1099
- No built-in invoicing functionality, but offers integration with other systems.
AccountantsWorld is most noted as the developer of Accounting Relief, a completely web-based professional accounting and write-up system that includes an integrated online client bookkeeping system. AccountantsWorld also offers various other web-based (software-as-a-service; SaaS) programs, including live and after-the-fact payroll, document management, website building, practice management and utilities for financial planners. The core W-2 and 1099 preparation and year-end compliance offerings are found in the vendor’s payroll systems. This review is of After-the-Fact (ATF) Payroll, which supports all states and includes quarterly reporting and e-filing capabilities.
Basic System Functions (4.75 Stars)
The ATF Payroll system is designed specifically for and marketed only to accounting practices. As a web-based system, hosted on AccountantsWorld’s secure servers, firm staff log in to a customizable home screen that gives them access to their firm information center. This center can be used to communicate in-firm information, and also provides links to the AccountantsWorld programs to which they subscribe. The system includes specific user access options that can be tailored to tasks, modules and clients, restricting other information as necessary. System pricing includes use by any number of concurrent firm users. Because it is web-based, the program can be accessed securely from virtually any location, including home offices or on web-enabled devices.
Once within the ATF Payroll module, the main screen offers a dashboard view with a spreadsheet-based client selection screen, which also displays basic payroll-focused data. Users can sort, filter and search lists by various methods, and navigation menus offer access to key program areas, including client setup, banking, employee information, reporting, Help and system functions. Payee selection screens include similar usability functions.
When working inside client files, additional menus allow users to jump directly to data-entry functions, with screens that include “smart” features such as auto-population of basic company and employee information, as well as selection lists for entities. The system automatically computes FICA withholding based on payroll entries, but these can be overridden by authorized users, with overrides highlighted on applicable forms. In addition to the core functions of quarterly and annual state and federal (and most localities) reporting and unemployment reporting, ATF Payroll includes payroll-specific functions that can manage live processing. This includes management of pre- and post-tax standard and custom deductions, accruals, benefits, third-party payments, and payroll registers. Its payroll functions support allowances, cash and paycheck tips, and reimbursements.
Reporting (4.5 Stars)
Electronic filing is included at no cost for filing of federal and state W-2s, 1099s, and state and federal quarterly filings. Specific form support includes 940, 941, 943, 944, 945, W-2 and W-3, the MISC, DIV, 1099 (I, R, S and B versions), plus 1096 and 1098. ATF Payroll also supports reporting to multiple states for individual employees.
Payroll and managerial reporting options include payroll reports, registers, summaries, employee listings, earnings and taxes. Extended practice management and client invoicing functions are available in the separate, but integratable, Practice Relief system, which also offers time and billing utilities.