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Mangrove Software — Mangrove Online


From the Sept. 2007 Review of Payroll Systems

Mangrove Software’s Mangrove Online is a high-end, extremely comprehensive online payroll and human resources management system that provides variable levels of service that enable firms to manage as much or as little of the payroll process while still maintaining ownership of the client relationship. The system provides fully automated processing, compliance, direct deposit, third-party payments, HR and benefits management functions with support for federal and all states, e-filing and electronic payment capabilities. Mangrove is geared toward professional payroll providers with midsize and larger clients and can support an unlimited number of employers and employees. Mangrove includes employee workflow management, review and employee self-service functions. Licensing starts at around $50,000 with support for an unlimited number of active employees. The CPA Reseller program offers wholesale monthly all-inclusive per-employee pricing (e.g., 50 employee biweekly payroll at $6.75 per employee per month including unlimited web reporting access, check printing, tax filing, direct deposit services and annual W-2 preparation).

As a hosted payroll service application, professional users log onto Mangrove through their web browser, opening into an interface that is tailored to the type of user they are, whether payroll manager, HR, pay/time data-entry staff, or company management and employees. For firms managing multiple clients, the system opens to a well-designed interface centered around the customizable Main Menu, which offers access to primary system functions such as Company, Attendance, Employee, Events, Benefits, Time Entry, EE Setup, Reporting, Compensation, Personal, and payroll processing features. Mangrove also provides a Pending Approval section on the main screen that is populated with tasks for the current user, along with a news and announcements panel and a reminders and messaging center. Traditional web browsing functions include forward and back buttons and text and icon-based links.

The system’s company and employee selection screens provide various filtering, sorting and search options. The program includes numerous process wizards to guide users through setup of companies, employees, pay types and deductions, benefits, payroll processing, reporting and compliance functions. Mangrove also provides extensive customization options, from the display of information specific to the role of the user, to interface navigation menus and toolbars, to user-defined data-entry fields.

FEATURES — 5 Stars
Mangrove can support multiple customizable pay rates and types for each employee, including salaried, hourly, commissioned, tipped and contract workers, while its comprehensive human resources functionality gives the ability to also manage an unlimited amount of employee-specific work and demographic information including resumes, salary reviews, skills, performance, training and employee relations issues. Sick leave and vacation can be customized to accrue by any method.

Mangrove supports multiple concurrent pay frequencies and has an automated payroll scheduler, and any number of voluntary and involuntary deductions can be applied to employee pay, including garnishments, union dues, retirement plans, insurance premiums, cafeteria plans and worker’s compensation. Mangrove also offers tracking of employer matching contributions and employee vesting.

Direct deposit functions include unlimited accounts for employee payroll deposits and part-electronic/part-check pays, and also provides ACH payment functions for payment of third parties for deductions. Using the full-service option, the Payroll Service Provider manages all processing, compliance issues, reporting, payment, payroll, benefits, etc. They can also let their clients perform some or the majority of these tasks if they choose. For firms who let clients perform data entry, the online portal can be customized to include firm branding elements and can be linked to from the firm’s website. The system also provides impressive security features throughout, from user-level log-ins and role-based interfaces and menus, to user-specific access rights to various features and reports.

The online system includes an Employee Self Service feature that provides outstanding functionality through integration with the HR and payroll components, allowing employees to log in to the secure system to view their personnel files (but only the files and data the company wants its employees to have access to). Employees can view and print pay stubs and W-2s, request changes to deductions and benefits programs, edit personal information such as address and filing status, check holiday and sick leave, view the company handbook or fill out leave requests. Self-service functions can greatly reduce paperwork and low-level tasking for HR and payroll departments.

Mangrove includes overwhelmingly comprehensive reporting capabilities, with nearly 600 standard reports including traditional payroll summaries, tax totals, wages, deductions, period summaries and check details, along with extensive HR and workforce compliance reporting. The system also enables users to customize or create additional user-defined reports through Mangrove’s ad hoc reporting capabilities. Other reporting options include real-time benefits statements, employee performance management, training, reviews and skills, hiring reports, and the ability to electronically store company policies and news items. MICR printing is supported, with checks printable onto pre-printed or blank stock. The program’s security features extend to report access rights.

Mangrove thoroughly integrates payroll and human resources functions, and can import data from spreadsheet and delimited formats. It has a GL bridge for exporting data into many accounting applications, including QuickBooks, Peachtree, Oracle and PeopleSoft. Reports can also be output to Excel, ASCII, *.CSV and PDF format.

Mangrove Online is one of the most comprehensive hosted payroll and HR applications, providing robust support for any number of companies with large client bases. The system is not inexpensive, but provides excellent payroll processing, management and employee functions, universal log-in capabilities to the online system, fully-managed payroll compliance options and features for compliance with EEO, HIPAA, OSHA and COBRA regulations. Mangrove is best suited to large payroll service providers with large and complex client bases. For these professionals, the investment pays off in the relief of compliance headaches. Technical support is included in the program subscription cost.

2007 Overall Rating: 5 Stars