Paramount Software Solutions, Inc. – Crest Payroll
From the October 2012 review of professional payroll systems.
Best Fit: Firms seeking an automated payroll preparation and compliance system that can support any number of businesses, provides client-side and employee self-service tools, free direct deposit, and quarterly/annual reporting handled and guaranteed by the vendor at no extra cost and with no impounding.
- Fully web-based
- Can integrate with firm website with firm branding
- Custom batch reporting
- Wholesale payroll options
- All-inclusive pricing, no add-on charges
- Full HR module
- Automated, guaranteed reporting
- Supports multi-state employees
- Online support options could be more plentiful
While Crest Payroll is still a lesser known brand in the market, its professional payroll solution is an example of a company listening to the needs of professionals and developing a system that provides excellent usability, streamlined workflow features, automated processing and exceptional ease-of-use.
The totally web-based system, recently redeveloped on the .NET platform, provides full payroll compliance features with total control over any number of deductions and third-party payments, plus contractor management, full HR management, pay-as-you-go workers’ comp, a client billing system, multi-account banking for payers and employees, the ability to integrate it with a firm’s website and branding, and automated compliance, where the vendor handles and guarantees all payments and reporting to all federal, state and local jurisdictions, including new hire reporting. Plus, it offers nearly total user customization.
Basic System Functions: 5 Stars
The completely web-based Crest Payroll was designed specifically for accounting firms that manage payrolls and compliance for multiple employers. The system includes interfaces for firm users, their client’s business managers and even client employees, with each having access to only the functions and data that the accounting firm has decided they can access.
While some firms may wish to let some clients access nothing or only final reporting, some clients may be given the ability to directly enter time and employee data. Likewise, if granted access, client employees can be given online access to view paystubs, W-2s, W-4s and make vacation requests. The firm remains in control of what any user can see, and the website interface the clients and employees use can be branded to reflect only the name of the firm, including the website address.
For payroll staff at a practice, users log in through a secure interface that works on any major browser. Initial setup of firm, client and employee data is very easy, thanks to wizards and guides that assist in selecting default deduction categories and types, pay types and rates, pay frequencies, and other defaults, or to create custom types of each. Users can create any number of these, including those with third-party recipients for garnishments, insurance, retirement plans cafeteria plans, transportation allowances, child care and literally anything else.
The redesigned interface offers a customizable dashboard with quick links and access to key metrics, an inbox that displays reminders of payroll activity, a calendar, links to various calculators and payroll information resources, and recent news items. The main menu offers access to additional dashboard functions, client management functions, employee management, payroll processing, compliance functions, reporting, tools HR tools and the built-in workers’ comp utility.
Client management screens are exceptionally well designed, providing spreadsheet lists with search, filter, import and export options, as well as complete drag-and-drop customization.
Employee and contractor screens offer the same functions, and each employee can have any number of pay rates, overtime rules, deductions, multiple direct deposit banks, and employees can even have multiple states if they work in varying locations.