This sponsored First Hand article appeared with the 2015 reviews of payroll systems.
Payroll can be a headache for many small businesses, especially for professional firms like law offices. With partners, staff and paralegals to pay, the tasks associated with payroll can be tedious even for those with financial experience.
Before Using Payroll Mate
That was the case for the Hunt Law Firm, PA (www.huntlawpa.com), which has offices in central Florida. Founded by former University of Cincinnati football player Ashley Hunt in 2001, the firm saw initial growth but chose to keep managing payroll functions manually. Even when his wife Mary Ann, a CPA, joined the practice and took over financial operations and payroll, the firm still thought it didn’t need a payroll system.
“We just didn’t think we needed a payroll system because we were small,” she said. “But as we grew even by a few more staff members, it started to become more and more work just keeping up with payroll.”
When the firm grew to more than 10 employees she decided it was time to find a better solution. After discussing payroll issues with a colleague, Mary Ann discovered how much more simple and effective payroll and year-end reporting functions could be by using Payroll Mate (www.realtaxtools.com), an easy-to-use and inexpensive system from Real Business Solutions.
Comprehensive and Affordable
Starting at only $99 per year, the program lets her prepare payroll, pay employees, provide direct deposit, print payroll checks, run reports and prepare ready-to-file annual forms, including W-2, W-3, 940, 941, 943 and 944, which can all be printed to plain paper. Payroll Mate also includes several state reporting forms. An optional payables module makes it easy to also manage vendor and contractor payments, and to generate comprehensive reports and print year-end forms 1099-MISC and 1096.
The system even supports multiple pay frequencies for staff who are paid weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly or monthly. And when Mary Ann needs to bring the payroll data into the firm’s financial management system, it easily exports to several file formats, including QuickBooks, Sage 50, Excel, CSV and PDF. A GL export feature also simplifies data transfer. Payroll Mate automatically calculates federal and state withholding for all states, and includes vacation and sick pay accrual features.
Up and Running
Mary Ann says that the system was very easy to use and she was able to get all of the firm’s staff set up in minutes. Since then, she has put a different person in charge of the day-to-day processing of the system, and she says it required virtually no training to get that person up and running and proficient with Payroll Mate.
Having used Payroll Mate for more than three years now, Mary Ann says she wouldn’t ever go back to manually processing payroll, since the system is so easy to use and takes the headache out of those functions.
“Payroll Mate definitely makes it easier and less time-consuming,” she said. “It’s just really straight-forward. We enter the hours for part time staff, and the system automatically makes the necessary calculations for them and for the salaried professionals.”
She said she’s never needed technical support, aside from finding a year-end form, and the staff at Real Business Solutions were fast and friendly.
“It’s not rocket science. It’s payroll, and Payroll Mate makes it easier than ever.”
See inside October 2015
Building a Thriving Payroll Practice
Now serving clients in 30 states, he says the feature of Payroll Relief he values the most is the ability to securely send payroll runs to his clients where they can print payroll checks at their location. The system also has direct deposit. Year-end repo