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2012 Review of Sage HRMS 2012

Sage – Sage HRMS 2012

From the October 2012 review of professional payroll systems.

Best Firm Fit: Organizations seeking a comprehensive in-house solution to manage payroll and human resource functions for up to 1,000 employees


  • Strong SQL database platform to ensure data is shared accurately
  • Ability to process US and Canadian payroll
  • Employee history is available at any time without changing years
  • Two licenses of SAP Crystal Reports included to enhance reporting needs

Potential Limitations

  • Only available as onsite server/workstation/desktop solution
  • Electronic filing of forms is handled by third party

Sage HRMS is the newly rebranded payroll and human resource management solution from Sage. Formerly known as Sage Abra HRMS, the functions and capabilities largely remain unchanged from previous releases. Sage HRMS serves as an entry-level solution and contains many tools necessary to fully manage payroll and HR functions. Built on a SQL database, Sage HRMS contains payroll compliance reporting functions as well as comprehensive benefits administration.

Basic System Functions: 4.75 Stars

Sage HRMS is an in-house payroll solution designed for companies under 1,000 employees. The interface design is similar to Microsoft Outlook 2007/2010 with a list of general categories on the bottom left of the screen. All tasks associated with these general categories are displayed directly above the list.

Sage HRMS allows each of these tasks to be tailored based on organization needs and may include direct links to various actions and reports within the system. Data entry is generally intuitive and most screens are tab driven.

Sage HRMS allows unlimited earnings and deduction codes for each employee. All federal, state, unemployment, disability and workers compensation functions are built into the system and are available for tracking. Users may also setup various benefit, retirement and cafeteria plan items as necessary.

Each benefit item may be directly linked to the human resource management features to avoid duplicate data entry. Since each module is shared across the same SQL database, information is automatically updated in each module when payroll is processed.

Unlimited payroll runs may be processed through the system. As each payroll is processed, historical employee data is immediately updated and available through reports.

The payroll process is guided through a dashboard screen with shortcut icons attached to each step. Time entry may be accomplished through manual data entry or import from Microsoft Excel and Access as well as text file formats.

Each time card may pull from a preformatted template that may be reused for future payroll runs to maintain consistency with data import options. Upon final processing and posting of payroll data, direct deposit data may be generated and processed. Sage HRMS allows for unlimited processing of direct deposit data. Alternatively, employees may be issued payroll debit cards, though that service is provided at an additional fee.

Sage HRMS provides a number of human resource functions in addition to payroll. As part of the same system, data is easily shared between the modules for accurate payroll processing. Since the modules share the same SQL database platform, HR data remains live even while payroll is being processed.

This allows multiple users to be in the program simultaneously and allows for continuous updates and data entry. An unlimited number of benefit plans and options may be setup and tracked within the system. Additionally, all appropriate eligibility criteria and wage base information may be entered and tracked to ensure all benefits are calculated properly.

Reporting & Monitoring: 4.5 Stars

SAP Crystal Reports serves as the reporting module for Sage HRMS and two SAP Crystal Reports licenses are provided with each installation. This allows users to create and maintain a wide variety of reports based on need.

A number of preformatted reports are included with the system installation and each report may be fully customized and saved for future use. Custom paychecks may be generated to accommodate specific logo and other design requirements. Signatures may be stored in image formats and printed on each payroll check.

Each report in the system may be grouped together for batch report processing and automatically processed with each payroll run. Reports may be exported to Excel format for further customization if necessary.

Integration/Import/Export: 4.25 Stars

As part of a comprehensive offering, Sage HRMS includes payroll and human resource management capabilities built upon a shared SQL database platform. Several add-on modules are also available and share this same platform. Due to this, tight integration exists between each module and data is easily transferred.

As part of the Sage product family, Sage HRMS also integrates with most of the Sage accounting solutions, such as the newly rebranded Sage 100, 300 and 500 ERP solutions. Additionally, Sage HRMS allows direct import and export of data through Excel and text file formats. These file formats will generally allow data to be shared between virtually any modern accounting system.

Help/Support: 4.75 Stars

In addition to the traditional desktop help options, a variety of help and support options are provided. Two tiers of service and support options are available through the Sage Business Care support lineup. Each tier provides all product upgrades and enhancements, quarterly updates to payroll calculations and forms and unlimited telephone support.

Online chat and knowledgebase access are also provided with each Sage Business Care offering. Each Sage Business Care option is available as an annual contract renewal. Specific product training is also available through Sage University and through a number of Sage HRMS business partners throughout the country. Training options may be specifically tailored to each organization and may be accessed through on-site training or a variety of online training options.

Client Self-Service Features: 4.5 Stars

Employees may access a number of payroll and benefits related items through the Sage Employee Self-Service (ESS) add-on. Sage ESS is an online system and allows employees to review pay stub history, update personal information, request time off and review various benefits currently enrolled.

Organizations have full control over the information available through Sage ESS and may also provide various links to specific websites and various document forms, such as direct deposit enrollment. To further enhance the benefits experience, Sage Benefits Enrollment is available. This add-on allows employees to fully manage their benefits through an online system.

Any updates made by employees are directly imported into the payroll module for accurate, up-to-date payroll processing. All above online systems may be accessed via any device capable of running a browser, including smartphone and tablet devices.

Summary & Pricing

Sage HRMS is a highly customizable payroll solution that combines strong human resource management functions. Sage HRMS is built on a sturdy SQL database and provides a number of add-on components to further enhance the system capabilities.

All information within the system is tightly integrated and is easily shared between each add-on system component. Pricing is based on the number of employees, end users and add-on components required. Other pricing considerations include support and maintenance agreement and any upfront implementation and setup of the system.

Human resource functions as well as payroll processing for up to 100 employees starts around $2,500. Discount pricing is available to users enrolled in the Sage Accountants Network.

2012 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars


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