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PayCycle — PayCycle 2008 Wholesale Program for Accounting Professionals

From the Sept.
2008 Review
of Professional Payroll Systems

As a fully web-based professional payroll preparation and reporting system,
PayCycle provides a comprehensive and easy-to-use option for accounting professionals
with primarily small and mid-sized clients. The online program, which supports
up to 50 employees per client, automates virtually all of the steps involved
in payroll, from processing, application of taxes and withholding of voluntary
and involuntary deductions, through payroll disbursal and period reporting requirements

PayCycle also provides flexibility in operations, allowing the accounting
professional to determine which clients can perform different aspects of their
own payroll, be it data entry or even printing. Pricing for the accounting professional
wholesale version of PayCycle ranges from $9.99 to $14.99 per client business
per month for the first five employees, plus $0.25 per employee thereafter.
This includes unlimited payroll runs, and direct deposit of all employee and
contractor pay is included in pricing, as are state and federal tax payments
and filings. With the wholesale program, PayCycle bills the accountant’s
firm and the accountant bills the client directly.

As a secure web-based system, accounting professionals can log into PayCycle
from anywhere with an Internet connection, allowing instant access to client
payroll data and the ability to process and run batches or individual payments
as needed at any time. For the accounting professional, the program’s
primary interface opens immediately to a centralized client list that is organized
alphabetically by client name and provides contact phone and e-mail, but no
sorting or filtering options. The home page interface also offers text-based
links for accessing To Do lists, Account information, Resources, Help options
and Client Marketing Tools. During initial client setup, PayCycle guides users
through business information required to determine taxation issues for both
state and federal purposes, and allows the first employee entered to be used
as a template to set up additional employees at the same client business.

Within a client’s account, the user is first presented with the To Do
list for that client, reminding of tax payments due, report filings or payroll
runs that need to be initiated, while links for specific tasks across the top
of the screen give options for accessing Pay Day functions, Taxes & Forms,
Setup and Reports. Pay period data entry is performed on a single screen for
all employees assigned to a pay period (weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, monthly,
annually), with base pay automatically filled in for salaried employees, and
the option to add sick, vacation, holiday or other types of additional pay types.
Direct deposit is included with up to two accounts per employee and the ability
to issue a check for remaining balances.

The program supports hourly, salary, commission, overtime, double overtime,
sick pay, vacation pay and tracking, holiday pay, bonuses, commissions, allowances,
cash and paycheck tips, reimbursements, per diem, and other options. Deductions
can be set up for insurance, retirement plans, HSAs, flexible spending accounts,
garnishments and other items, with all data automatically calculated. A summary
view provides full drilldown to individual employee data and YTD totals for
all categories of pay, taxes and deductions. Pay data can also be easily exported
into an Excel spreadsheet. PayCycle automatically generates all compliance forms
and prepares reports as needed depending upon state and federal filing requirements,
then prompts managerial users to review and complete the filings and payments.

A notable feature, PayCycle gives accounting professionals the ability to
let their clients handle some of their own payroll if, for whatever reason,
that business model works best for specific clients. Clients can be given access
to all or part of their account through a secure online portal that reflects
only the accounting firm’s branding, with invoicing always going through
the firm. Whatever the level of client interaction with the system, the professional
firm can maintain management and full access to the client account. PayCycle
also offers an employee portal that enables workers to check their own archived
payroll statements.

PayCycle is geared toward electronic payment of employees, contractors, vendors
and third-party recipients of deductions, as well as electronic filing and payment
of forms and payroll taxes. All of these electronic filing and payment capabilities
are free with the program. The system also offers managerial reporting and printable
forms. PayCycle recently added customizable client engagement letter templates,
along with marketing tools and demos for clients.

PayCycle exports client pay data into Excel format and offers all forms in PDF
format. Plus, it integrates with CCH’s ProSystem fx Write-Up, as well
as with QuickBooks, Quicken, Peachtree and Microsoft Money, ensuring posting
into the GL system.

PayCycle is about as hands-off as a professional payroll service system can
be, providing fully automated compliance for multiple states and all federal
requirements, along with good benefits tracking and employee/pay contractor
capabilities. The program provides flexible features for the firm, with simple
tools that make managing multiple clients easy. PayCycle is best suited to small
clients with fewer than 20 employees and maxes out at 50. Tech support is included
in pricing and, since the system is web-based, all tax table and program updates
are automatically taken care of by the vendor.

2008 Overall Rating – 4.5 Stars