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2012 Review of Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals

Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals

From the October 2012 review of professional payroll systems.

Best Firm Fit: Accounting professionals mainly reliant on the QuickBooks accounting software platform but need a higher level of outsourced payroll support


  • Internet-based solution to allow anytime payroll processing
  • Provide platform for collaborating with clients on various payroll tasks
  • Much improved mobile applications
  • Predictable pricing to help ensure profitability

Potential Limitations

  • No HR functions or add-in modules available
  • Concurrent file access not allowed
  • No after-the-fact payroll capabilities

Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals is an Internet-based solution for accountants to process payroll for small business clients. Built to process payroll for organizations with 150 or fewer employees, the service provides most commonly requested features at a fixed monthly rate. New features and enhancements for the current release are the addition of job costing and updates to the mobile interface.

Basic System Functions: 4.5 Stars

Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals is built as a web-based solution and requires an Internet browser to access and process payroll. Currently, Intuit is focusing programming efforts on the current versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari browsers. Other browsers may access the solution, but are not currently supported by Intuit.

User login information may be tightly controlled to allow full or limited access to various client and respective data. This additional user access control provides the unique ability to collaborate with clients on payroll related issues. For instance, clients may only be granted access to enter time data and the accounting professional manages the remaining payroll processing.

Unlimited clients and payroll runs are allowed with the service but programming limitations only allow up to 155 employees within each company. Multiple earnings, deductions and benefit codes may be setup and assigned to employees. The system will also track various time accruals for vacation and other time off.

To process payroll, all required time data will need to be posted manually or imported from the available online employee timekeeping module (available for a nominal monthly fee).Once time data is approved, Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals handles the remainder of the process. All required compliance filings, tax payments and direct deposits are processed on behalf of the client and a variety of reports are made available.

New for the current year is the addition of job costing. For current users of QuickBooks, all customer and related job information may be directly imported to the payroll service. Once imported, all time data may be allocated across these jobs.

Upon processing payroll, this information will be immediately available for import back into QuickBooks and will update all associated job cost reports as appropriate. Intuit has also enhanced the mobile offerings for the online payroll experience and now supports Android devices in addition to iOS.

The mobile platform provides accounting professionals the ability to process payroll for their clients as well as review a handful of reports. Additionally, tax payments for 22 states may also be processed directly through the iOS mobile app.

An additional mobile app was recently introduced by Intuit called Snap Payroll.This free app provides small employers the ability to enter time data and calculate individual paychecks on their iOS devices. For now the service is only available in a few states and does not provide any electronic compliance filings or tax payments.

Reporting & Monitoring: 4.5 Stars

As a full featured service offering, Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals processes all federal compliance filings and tax payments on behalf of the accounting professional. State electronic compliance filings and tax payments are also processed as required and allowed by the respective state agencies.

Annual W-2 filings are automatically filed with the Social Security Administration upon closing of each calendar year. To keep track of the compliance issues, a dashboard is provided for the accounting professional that details all upcoming events.

Reports have been slightly enhanced over the past year and a new job cost report has been added to correspond with the job cost functions added. Reports may be grouped together and processed with each payroll run.

Reports may be filtered by date and other options based on company setup and displayed in a print friendly format or exported to Microsoft Excel. Other than exporting data to Microsoft Excel, currently custom report building tools are not available. A few reports are now accessible through the mobile application as well.

Integration/Import/Export: 4.5 Stars

Although an Intuit provided product, Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals offers a variety of integration points inside and outside the Intuit family of products. Seamless integration with all respective QuickBooks products, including QuickBooks for Mac and QuickBooks Online, is built in and all appropriate data is imported with little user intervention.

Most current versions of Quicken and Sage 50 – US Edition (formerly Peachtree) products are also supported. Other accounting solutions may achieve integration through Microsoft Excel file as exported from the service. Timekeeping capabilities are integrated through the employee portal feature included with the service.

Help/Support: 4.75 Stars

All support for Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals is provided by United States based dedicated support members. These support members are available 7 days a week for email and chat support and 5 days a week for telephone support.

Also available is access to Intuit’s online user community that allows peer-to-peer assistance. Platform enhancements and updates happen throughout the year and all customers receive the updates as they are rolled out. Mobile platform app updates are updated incrementally as well. All updates and support options noted are included in the pricing.

Client Self-Service Features: 5 Stars

Intuit maintains a secure online portal,, to be accessed by employees. This portal is included in the base fee and provides a central repository for employee paystubs and W-2 information. Time tracking is available for a nominal monthly fee per employee and allows employees to track time through In/Out time clocks or through time sheets that may be allocated across multiple jobs.

Any time entry is automatically transferred to the payroll system for the most accurate processing of payroll. The portal may be branded to the accounting professional and employees are provided a payday reminder email directing them to the portal to view information as appropriate.

Summary & Pricing

Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals provides accounting professionals a web-based platform to process payroll virtually anywhere with an Internet connection.

A unique aspect of the service allows the client to collaborate directly with the accounting professional through various levels of user rights. This allows the client to be as involved or uninvolved as necessary. With the new improvements to the mobile application and addition of job costing capabilities, Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals presents a solid solution for accounting professionals.

All pricing is fixed per client and is on a tiered pricing structure determined by number of clients using the service. Priced at $19.99 per month, per client, accounting professionals may process up to five separate clients, each with up to five employees. Based on the number of clients processed, monthly pricing may be as low as $10.99 per client. Pricing for employees in excess of five within each company is priced at $0.50 per month. All pricing includes unlimited payroll runs, direct deposit, all noted integrations and electronic tax payments and filings.

2012 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

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