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Human Resources & Payroll

2012 Review of SurePayroll

SurePayroll, a Paychex Company

From the October 2012 review of professional payroll systems.

Best Firm Fit

Accounting professionals looking for a payroll service resell opportunity for their clients and to centrally manage multiple client payrolls


  • Strong Internet and mobile apps to process payroll virtually anywhere
  • Patent-Pending One-Click Payroll to process payroll with one mouse click
  • Large number of third-party add-ons available
  • Strong third-party accounting and timekeeping integration points

Potential Limitations

  • Limited reporting capabilities
  • Maximum employee count is only 100 for each company file

SurePayroll is a web-based payroll solution providing convenient and accurate payroll services. SurePayroll is offered as a standalone product for clients or as an accounting professional resale opportunity. The payroll service navigation is intuitive and data entry is simple. SurePayroll was purchased by Paychex in early 2011 and will continue normal operations as a wholly owned subsidiary.


SurePayroll is an outsourced web-based service. Users can access the service through any modern Internet browser. SurePayroll currently employs several security features including the current Internet security encryption standard of 256 bit.

One unique security feature is the use of a unique ID number displayed upon signing in. This number is used as authentication to discuss any details about the client. This helps prevent unauthorized users from contacting SurePayroll and gaining unauthorized access to client files.

Introduced in 2010 was the ability to access and process payroll information through a mobile app available exclusively for iPhone, iPod and iPad users. Whether accessed via web browser or mobile phone, users sign in to the service with the typical username and password combination.

SurePayroll offers access for an unlimited number of users. Accounting professionals may associate multiple client files to one login, making it easy to switch between companies. Access restrictions can be placed on each company file based on what the accounting professional’s role will be, such as compliance only or full payroll services on behalf of the client.

Once accessed, SurePayroll is easy to navigate. The top of the screen is grouped into logical categories, such as reports, employees and company.

The payroll process is quick and easy to use. To process payroll, simply enter or import the hours worked for each employee and preview the results. Once the payroll has been previewed and approved, SurePayroll assumes the remainder of necessary processes.

Support is provided for all federal, state and many popular local taxing jurisdictions. Unlimited client files may be setup, but the maximum number of employees allowed under each client file is 100. Direct deposit is included and supports up to three different bank and investment accounts. Prepaid debit cards and traditional checks are available for those without direct deposit capabilities.

SurePayroll offers basic human resource functions, such as employee demographics and employment anniversaries. Several best practice guides are also included with the service including guidelines for conducting interviews, hiring and termination of employees and sample employee handbooks.

SurePayroll has teamed up with many outsourced vendors to provide background checks, behavioral assessments and skills testing. Each of these outsourced services is available for an additional fee.


SurePayroll is an outsourced payroll service and processes all payrolls, payments and reports on behalf of clients. All quarterly reports are archived online and, for now, no time limit has been placed on how long these will be available. Quarterly reports are stored in PDF format and can be viewed, saved or printed at any time.

Multiple reports are available within the service. These reports can be filtered through date and a few other options, but most reports are fixed. No custom reporting capabilities are currently available. All payroll reports can be exported to PDF, Excel or rich text file formats.

Printer friendly reports are also available, which removes the SurePayroll logo, navigation and filtering options from printing. A reminder function is also included with the service, although it is fairly simple in functionality. Email reminders can be sent up to two days prior to each payroll run. Reminders can also be set for employee birthdates and employment anniversaries.


SurePayroll offers integration with QuickBooks, Peachtree, AccountEdge and Intacct. This integration provides direct data entry into the accounting general ledger and helps reduce additional data entry. Integration is also available for many popular time keeping programs.

SurePayroll also offers outsourced retirement plan, benefit administration and workers’ compensation services. All above integration and outsourced features and offerings are available for additional fees.


SurePayroll offers a variety of help and support features. A categorized and searchable online help database is accessible from every screen. Also available through each screen is a live chat feature allowing for instant help from support staff. US-based phone support is available and, as previously mentioned, users contacting SurePayroll will need to have access to the unique ID number that appears upon login. Without this number, the SurePayroll support team will be unable to assist users. All support options are included with the service.


Included with each SurePayroll license is an employee portal. Employee access to the portal is fully controlled by management. Upon the first payroll run, each employee granted access will receive an email detailing login instructions. This portal allows employees to view, save and print current and past paystubs, access detailed pay history and access annual W-2s.

Currently no functions exist for time keeping or submitting documents electronically to employers. Access to the employee portal can also be gained through a mobile app for iPhone, iPod and iPad users.


SurePayroll is a good fit for businesses that have basic payroll needs and desire a more paperless solution. SurePayroll is also a good fit for accounting professionals looking for a resale opportunity. Billing for accounting professionals can be sent directly to the accounting professional or to the client with a built in markup.

Pricing for services is based upon the number of payroll runs and employees and includes all payroll processing, direct deposits and associated reporting requirements. A bi-weekly or semi-monthly payroll starts at a base fee of $30.95 plus $1.85 for each employee. These costs will be incurred for each payroll run. Annual W-2 processing costs are currently $40 per company plus $4.25 per employee.

2012 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

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