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CompuPay — PowerPayroll


From the Sept. 2007 review of Payroll Systems

CompuPay’s PowerPayroll is a web-based payroll processing and payroll tax compliance application geared toward use directly by businesses, but with accountant-oriented interfaces that enable professionals to manage payroll functions and access reporting for multiple client accounts. The system supports all states and offers departmental and labor allocation capabilities, human resources functions, accruals and benefits services, and guaranteed federal, state and local filing services provided by CompuPay. Direct deposit and employee debit paycard options are also available. Through the company’s CPA Select Program, accountants can co-brand payroll services and receive discounted program pricing or referral fees for client enrollment. Pricing for PowerPayroll is per client and based on the number of employees and paychecks/deposits. CompuPay offers “Innovation Pricing” for CPA clients that bundles key services into one price. Tax filing services, new hire reporting, direct deposit and other services are all included in that price. A client with a payroll of 10 employees paid biweekly would typically pay $50 per payroll or $1,300 per year. The company also has a specialized construction payroll system and offers applications for time and attendance, unemployment cost management and employee background screening.

After logging into the system through a web browser, the initial Main Menu screen provides easy access to the Help utility, and the support phone number is on-screen at all times. The main body of the screen offers linked access to primary activity areas, including Payday, Employees, Company Info, Reports, GL, PayView, Customer Corner and the Employee Self Service function. Each of these activity areas offers additional submenu links to move directly into related tasks, which for Payday include editing or submitting payrolls, starting a new payroll, manual check or tax calculations, and voiding checks.

Employee and company information-gathering screens are simple, with tabbed windows that allow quick entry of general information, pay types, rates, taxes, pay frequencies and deductions. The system’s employee list offers multiple sorting and filtering functions. PowerPayroll offers several methods for entering employee time data, including time clock import and an Express Entry format that offers a spreadsheet view of hourly employees with the ability to enter and edit regular, overtime, sick, vacation and other data quickly for all employees in that pay group. Data for salaried employees is automatically populated and editable as needed. More detailed data entries or edits can be made on drill-down employee-specific screens. CompuPay also offers phone and fax-based payroll time and data-entry options. Alerts and reminders can be set to notify the user of pending payroll tasks or accruals management issues. The company will be releasing a new version of PowerPayroll within the next 12 months that will sport a redesigned interface.

FEATURES — 4.5 Stars
Since PowerPayroll is web-based, all tax updates are automatically maintained, and the system enables accountants to access client payroll accounts at any time, whether for check printing/reprinting, reporting or other tasks. The program is primarily geared as an outsourced payroll processing system, with checks printed and delivered by CompuPay, but leaving all reporting and managerial tasks to either the business or their accountant. Optional on-site check printing is offered, however. Through the system, users can also have all reporting and filing performed by CompuPay, including all federal, state and local entities, along with unlimited tracking and payments of third-party deductions, such as garnishments, child support and workers’ compensation. Benefits services includes insurance plans, deferred savings and flexible spending accounts. The accountant interface for PowerPayroll can support any number of clients, while the payroll system itself can manage departments and cost centers with multiple employee bases and supports multi-state and multi-rate employees. PowerPayroll offers accruals management for vacation and sick leave, as well as a time and attendance system that can integrate with the payroll system.

Direct deposit options allow for up to four deposit accounts per employee as well as part check/part deposit payments. The user of debit payroll cards for employees is also available. Advanced security features include individualized settings that can limit access to specific areas or departments, including geographic locations or cost centers. The system provides a good review process, but also allows paycheck and payroll limits to be set to prevent fraud or data-entry errors. PowerPayroll’s reminders and alerts systems provide notices to administrative users of payroll tasks and other pending items.

An online employee self-service function allows reprinting of check stubs and W-2s, gives access to year-to-date summary data, and allows employees to edit personal demographic information such as address, dependent changes and other data.

The new version of the system, due out next year, will include expanded reporting and analysis features, but the version of PowerPayroll reviewed here provides only eight standard report options, which include summary, wages, earnings, deductions, accruals, a check register, EFT transmissions and a pre-payroll report. Output can be saved to PDF or Word-compatible formats, as well as Crystal Reports-based customization options. Checks and pay stubs printed in-house can be output to pre-printed check stock.

PowerPayroll offers import functions from several time clock systems as well as its time and attendance application, and also provides GL links to QuickBooks and Intacct. Data can be exported to ASCII and *.CSV spreadsheet files, the latter being importable by Excel.

PowerPayroll offers a comprehensive outsourced payroll processing solution that includes accountant management capabilities, but it is primarily intended for use directly by businesses. The system offers an intuitive interface that gives easy access to employee time entry and reporting functions, and the new version due out later this year should offer enhanced reporting. The system is best suited to clients whose professional accounting firm wishes to have management of payroll processing tasks and GL import capabilities, while leaving daily application use in the hands of the client. The employee self-service module is also a valuable tool, helping reduce demands on often understaffed payroll and HR departments.

2007 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars