AccountantsWorld offers a suite of web-based and installed accounting and client service programs for professional accountants, including two payroll and income reporting-related systems. The company’s Payroll Relief is a web-based live multi-client payroll processing and compliance system, and was reviewed in our September issue (available online at www.CPATechAdvisor.com/go/2963). The company’s other system, the web-based After-the-Fact Payroll, is reviewed here. Since the system is not designed for live payroll processing, it does not provide payroll tax tables. Instead, the product focuses on the reporting aspects of payroll compliance, providing all federal and state tax forms and electronic filing options, including year-end and quarterly.
Basic System Functions
Users log into After-the-Fact Payroll from their firm website, which can be built using web development tools also available from AccountantsWorld. This website gives firms the ability to remotely access all of their web-based professional programs. The system can support any number of concurrent users, with data protection features preventing overwrite.
After-the-Fact Payroll is designed for managing multiple employers/payers, with the main interface providing a spreadsheet view of the employer selection screen, with the ability to search or sort and filter based on various client data columns. Within client folders, additional navigation menus give access to company default settings for accruals management, setting up pay types and rates, tax information, customizable deductions, and the ability to create custom items and manage third-party payments. Client employee/recipient selection lists offer similar sort, search and filter functions as the employer screens, and a spreadsheet multi-recipient view is available for batch entry of data. Data can also be imported from payroll registers and spreadsheets.
The vendor’s pricing and marketing models are directed only at professional accounting firms, with no direct communication between the vendor and a firm’s clients, with the ability to brand online client access with the firm’s logo, etc. All payroll forms and the program itself are maintained and automatically updated by AccountantsWorld as necessary. Additional payroll functions include options for entering payrolls by pay period, consolidation of multiple payrolls, automatic computation of FICA and net pay, as well as customization of various deductions and pay types. 4.75
After-the-Fact Payroll includes paper and electronic filing of wage-related forms 940, 941, 943, 944, 945, W-2 and W-3, the MISC, DIV, I, R, S and B versions of 1099, plus 1096 and 1098. These forms are self-computing but allow overrides by authorized users. Also included are quarterly returns and unemployment for most states. Federal and state quarterly and annual reports, along with W-2s and 1099s, can be electronically filed at no additional cost using the built-in utilities. Forms can also be printed to plain paper stock. Managerial reports include the payroll register, summaries of deductions, taxes and unemployment, as well as W-2 reports, employee listings and other output, which can be tailored using the built-in report generator or saved to Excel format for more customization.
The system does not directly include invoicing functions, but is designed to integrate with the Accounting Relief program, which offers full client billing, communications, AR and professional write-up capabilities. Generation of recipient forms includes the ability to save to PDF or print them to plain paper, but there is no offering of self-sealing forms. Firms can choose to outsource the printing and mailing processes to AccountantsWorld. 4.25
As previously noted, After-the-Fact Payroll integrates with Accounting Relief, the vendor’s professional accounting and write-up system. It also offers data import from Excel files, which enables pulling data from most payroll and accounting programs. Likewise, it can export to this format, allowing a two-step process for extracting data to a GL. Prior-year data can be easily routed into new years to reduce data entry. The larger accounting suite from AccountantsWorld includes client portal access to bookkeeping and collaboration features, which are not directly related to the After-the-Fact system, but can be utilized if integrated with the suite. Integration is also available with the vendor’s CyberCabinet paperless document storage system. In addition to Excel, reports and forms can be saved to PDF. 4.5
The system includes a traditional index-based Help utility with links to PDF versions of its user manual and state and IRS instructions for all forms. The company’s support website includes FAQs, video tutorials, whitepapers, tips and reference guides, as well as access to an online user community. Live and electronic technical support is included in system pricing. The web-based system is updated and maintained automatically by AccountantsWorld and supports all modern versions of Windows. It can be used with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari browsers. 4.75
Summary & Pricing
After-the-Fact Payroll provides a cost-effect method of managing quarterly and year-end information return reporting for multiple clients, with electronic filing options and support for all federal and state reports. The program includes strong managerial reporting, and costs $395 per year for any number of users.
2010 Overall Rating 4.5
See inside October 2010
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