Integration/Import & Export: 4.75 Stars
In addition to the ability to import client employee time data directly from Excel and CSV files, which allows for two-step import from virtually all time clocks and attendance systems, Crest offers integration with QuickBooks and can save reports to Excel, PDF, HTML and image formats. These reports can then be emailed (with sensitive data masked) directly from within the program, or shared with the client’s management via a secure portal included with the system.
Help & Support: 4.75 Stars
Crest is very easy to use and provides good assistive features, including help and instructions for each data entry screen, as well as explaining what each field is for. This makes it easy to get new administrative staff up to speed. The company’s support website provides FAQs and videos, along with live web-based chat and email contacts, while live phone-based support is included in pricing.
Since it is a web-based program, all system updates, including all state and federal employment tax rates, are automatically maintained by Paramount Software, with no IT requirements needed by firms. The program works on all modern browsers.
Client Self-Service Features: 5 Stars
Crest Payroll offers client-side access to the payroll system, with the payroll service/accounting firm having control over specifically what any user at the client business can access. This can range from zero access, to allowing them to view reports, to giving them the ability to enter employee time and other information and even print payroll checks at their own business. If the firm and client employer want, they can also offer employee access to things such as viewing pay stubs, their YTD information, W-2s, 1099s, make W-4 changes, and request PTO or other HR functions.
For both the client and employee views of the program, it can be completely branded with the accounting firm’s logo, color scheme and other features, with no reference to Crest Payroll or Paramount. The system can even have a website address that is a part of the firm’s, such as www.payroll.YourFirmWebsite.com. Firms can also add a login on their homepage that can take a client directly to their payroll view.
Summary & Pricing
With the latest update and redesign of Crest Payroll, it has remained very user friendly but is among the most comprehensive payroll solutions for professionals managing any number of clients of any size. It includes full compliance reporting at the federal, state and local levels that is performed and guaranteed by the vendor at no additional cost, has excellent drag and drop customization options , and has a full HR system included.
Additionally, it offers client and employee self service options that can be completely tailored by each firm on a client-by-client basis, and the firm can brand the portals so that the client relationship remains strong. Pricing for the program is based on the total number of client employers, starting at about $17 per month per client, and going under $12 per client per month. All functions and services are provided at no additional cost, including website integration, Direct Deposit, compliance reporting and the HR tools.