CompuPay – Xpress Payroll for Accountants
CompuPay has a variety of payroll systems designed primarily for direct use by small businesses that offer varying degrees of automated processing, reporting and compliance. The company also offers an Accountant Solutions division, which offers guidance to professionals on using the system as a back-office solution or how to refer their business clients to CompuPay. The XpressPayroll for Accountants offering is the vendor’s primary online payroll system designed to allow the accountant to continue to play a role in their client’s payroll activities by providing multi-client login access to reporting functions. For this review, XpressPayroll for Accountants fits into the “Outsourced/Referral” model, with the client and vendor having a direct relationship. The client manages all of the day-to-day data-entry functions and the vendor performs compliance tasks, but the professional accountant maintains an advisory and management role. As noted, the system can also be used as a back-office solution.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS
CompuPay’s XpressPayroll for Accountants is an entirely web-based system that streamlines most of the payroll functions for a business into more easily understandable and performed tasks. The program is designed for a business’ management to use directly, with users logging in through their web browser to an interface that offers tabbed access to key functions for payroll, employees, reports, check printing and a GL register, with each of the screens providing intuitive data-entry forms and links to additional related functions. This simplifies navigation throughout the system, whether adding new employees, entering their pay rates, setting up their direct deposit or creating custom deductions. Multiple users can access the program at the same time, but they cannot simultaneously work within the same data records, such as an employee information screen.
The XpressPayroll system supports one to five active paid employees and is priced monthly based on the frequency of the payroll runs of the employer using it. Therefore, it is intended to be used with only a set number of runs and does not directly support multiple payroll groups of different frequencies within the same business. Likewise, since it is designed for individual business use, the program does not provide processing management functions for multiple employer entities. However, multi-client reporting management tools are available through the Accountants’ version of the program, which provides a single login to access individual client data. Program pricing includes tax tables and compliance reporting to federal and one state. Multi-state employees can be managed through additional services from CompuPay. Direct deposit is also included with pricing, along with the ability to distribute funds to up to two accounts per employee.
Employee data-entry screens are simple and offer multi-staff views for quick entry of time and other information. But since the program is not designed for multiple business payroll management, no batch processing functions are offered. The system includes basic accruals management options and can also be used for tracking any number of customizable pre- and post-tax deductions, including employee benefit plans. CompuPay offers integrated add-on options for managing workers’ comp, 401(k), Sec. 125 plans, COBRA administration and advanced human resources tools, including employee background checks and tax credit services. 4
REPORTING & MONITORING
All of XpressPayroll’s compliance functions are automatically handled by CompuPay, with the vendor filing reports and making payments to federal, state and local entities as deadlines require, and with the system alerting the user to pending payments when due dates are near. Payments are made electronically or by paper, depending on the requirements of the taxing entity. Pricing for the system is built around a model that provides automated compliance for a single state, with the ability to scale up into one of CompuPay’s more powerful payroll systems if a business needs more reporting options (see www.CPATechAdvisor.com/go/XXXX for reviews of these products). Recipient copies are also managed by the vendor and are made available to employees through an online portal. The system offers reports after processing is completed, with options for labor and taxable wages, payroll check registers, earnings reports, deductions and EDT entry registers. All reports can be downloaded into Word, PDF, RTF and HTML formats, which allows for customization as desired. The system’s employee data screens provide good overviews of pay, benefit, deduction and banking information, with users easily able to add and manage employees and perform quick gross-ups using a built-in calculator. 4.5
INTEGRATION/IMPORT & EXPORT
XpressPayroll offers integration with the HR, benefits, insurance and other add-on services available from CompuPay. The built-in GL export function offers quick generation of file formats that can be imported by most small business accounting systems. Time sheets provide basic overviews of employee activity but are not designed for project management or attendance purposes, and the system does not offer integration or data import from time clock systems. 3.25
XpressPayroll is easy to use and provides good support and guides for its users, who are likely to be small business owners with little accounting and payroll experience. The vendor also offers online support and advice from payroll specialists, and its website provides a resource center with FAQs, basic payroll training, tools, calculators, information on federal and state payroll, and downloadable forms. Since the program is fully web-based and compliance is managed as a service by the vendor, all updates are automatically maintained by CompuPay with no action required by users. Live web and phone-based support is included with system pricing. 5
CLIENT SELF-SERVICE FEATURES
XpressPayroll is designed for employer managers to log in and enter time data through a secure portal, with access to reporting and employee management tools. Accountants have similar access through their login, with the ability to view payroll information and reports for each of their firm’s clients. The portals are all branded as CompuPay and XpressPayroll, with an option for firm branding, although this model of payroll program is likely to be used with the client fully aware of the vendor role in the payroll relationship. For employees, the system provides secure online access to current and prior pay stubs, W-2s and other documents. 4.75
SUMMARY & PRICING
CompuPay’s XpressPayroll for Accountants is designed for direct small business use, with management functions available to accounting firms. This allows the firm to keep a hand in its clients’ payroll functions and provide advisory services, while outsourcing the actual processing and compliance. Pricing is based on the frequency with which the employer runs payroll, with a biweekly version with one state and all compliance reporting and payments included costing $60 per month.
2010 Overall Rating 4.25
See inside September 2010
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