Crest Payroll can support any number of client employers, including those with multiple locations, any number of employees per employer, and can be used by any number of firm staff, all at a single prices with no additional fees for any functions or modules.
Each client company can have multiple payroll frequencies for employee types or groups, such as weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, quarterly, etc.
Once client employers and employees are set up, the payroll processing functions are almost hands free, since the program can automatically prepare payrolls based on defaults. The user simply starts the run, reviews it for accuracy, receives a payroll report to verify funds are available in the required accounts, then finalizes the payroll run.
Any necessary adjustments to hourly employee’s time worked, or changes to deductions or other factors, are easily performed. Employee data can also be imported directly from Excel and CSV formats.
Another new feature in Crest is the ability to use different client bank accounts for payrolls, payroll compliance and even the fees the client pays the accounting firm for providing payroll services. Paramount Software, the U.S.-based makers of Crest, have CPAs and payroll professionals on staff who process, manage payment of, and submit all payroll taxes and reporting to all federal, state and local jurisdictions, including new hire reporting.
There is no impounding, and the funds go directly from the client or firm account to the taxing entities. This service is guaranteed and provided at no additional charge, and the firm can track acknowledgements through the system.
Crest Payroll’s human resources (HR) management functions are unmatched among the systems reviewed this year, providing full tracking of client employee benefits, from vacation accruals management and insurance plans, to workers’ comp and retirement plans. It offers compliance with E-Verify requirements, with tracking of employee photos, as well as scanned-in IDs, I-9 forms, passports or employee work visas.
The system also offers tools for tracking and managing employee hiring, training and appraisals, including self-appraisal functions that often begin the evaluation process. With the self-service function, if the firm and employer choose to use it, client employees can even submit vacation and other requests online, with the requests automatically routed to the appropriate supervisor. The system can also store employee handbooks, safety and policy manuals and other documents that employees can access online.
Reporting & Monitoring: 5 Stars
Among the newly added features, one of the most impressive is the dashboard feature that appears on the user’s homepage. It includes a calendar that shows tasks for the month, as well as alerts and messages regarding payroll or client activities that need to be addressed. It also has news from the IRS and other sources, and customizable Quick Links that users can set to take them to the most functions they use most.
The Key Metrics section of the dashboard shows charts and graphs that give the firm insight into client status, client locations, employee counts and pay frequencies, allowing them to quickly see which clients are most valuable, the profitability of services by months, and breakdowns of other client data, including active versus non-active clients.
Payroll reports are available immediately after finalizing runs, and EFT notices are accessible as soon as payments are processed. All compliance reporting, from new hires and quarterly and annual reports, to W-2s and 1099s, are managed and processed by Paramount Software at no additional cost. Reporting is also offered for MIS and HR, and can be batch processed for all or selected clients. Direct Deposit is free and professionals also have the option of printing checks with digital signatures at the firm, or giving clients the ability to print them at their own location.
Client billing can be managed directly from within the program, with invoices sent by email (or printable) and with electronic payment capabilities. All reports, invoices and client letters offer exceptional customization options with drag and drop functions that let users select any data and present it in any way.