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2015 Review of Cougar Mountain – Denali Payroll

Denali Payroll is Cougar Mountain Software’s payroll system. Designed to integrate with other Cougar Mountain software modules, the product can also be used as a stand-alone payroll system.


From the 2015 reviews of professional payroll systems.

Best Fit: Denali Payroll is a good fit for small to mid-sized businesses looking for an on-premise payroll product. Denali Payroll works well for businesses currently using Cougar Mountain Software products, although the product can be used as a stand-alone product.

Product Strengths:

  • The product supports an unlimited number of businesses
  • Integrates with other Cougar Mountain modules
  • Excellent reporting options available
  • Good selection of add-on modules available

Potential Limitations:

  • Product does not offer payroll portals

Denali Payroll is Cougar Mountain Software’s payroll system. Designed to integrate with other Cougar Mountain software modules, the product can also be used as a stand-alone payroll system.

Basic System Functions: 4.5 Stars

Denali Payroll, like other Denali products, offers an easily navigated user interface that is structured as a work flow screen. Denali Payroll is designed to be set up on desktop computers, and does not offer mobile or online options at this time. The product is designed for small to mid-sized businesses that require a full service payroll solution, and easily supports multiple companies. The payroll entry screen is in the form of a grid, which users can easily navigate through, editing individual employee pay data as needed. The Prepare Payroll screen allows users to add a payroll description, choose a pay type, choose whether to pay all employees or just certain employees, and then add the information to the grid. Users can easily navigate through the grid, editing employee data as needed. Denali offers three levels of licensing; single, four-user, and unlimited.

Denali Payroll supports an unlimited number of companies, with less than 1,000 employees per business. Payroll is run in batches, making it a simple process to prepare and run payroll for multiple companies. The product offers complete support for all federal, state, and local taxes, and users can easily set up employees in multiple states, with a maximum of three states per employee. Denali Payroll also offers complete direct deposit capability, and users can easily use the payroll grid to enter manual payroll checks, as well as edit current pay totals for each employee without disturbing the payroll run.

Reporting & Monitoring: 4.5 Stars

All quarterly and annual reporting can be completed electronically using Aatrix, a third party application designed to integrate with Denali Payroll. Aatrix prepares, prints, and eFiles payroll forms in all 50 states, including W-2’s. Denali Payroll offers a good selection of reports, which can be fully customized using the built-in Crystal Reports option. Users can also export reports to Excel as needed.  

Denali Payroll offers single screen management for every employee entered into the payroll system, and the product also contains complete audit trail functionality.

Integration/Import/Export: 4.5 Stars

Denali Payroll is designed to work with all Cougar Mountain Denali modules including AP, AR, Bank Reconciliation, GL, Inventory, Order Entry, Point of Sale, and Purchase Order modules, for a complete accounting solution.

Denali Payroll also integrates with Aatrix State and Federal Forms, mentioned above, along with TSheets Time Tracking, which tracks employee time from any location and from any device. Employee times entered are then synched with Denali Payroll, eliminating duplicate data entry. Users can also import transactions from third-party applications, and update large data sets using spreadsheets.

Help & Support: 4.75 Stars

Denali Payroll contains help functionality throughout the product. Users can be walked through company setup, and a user manual is included with the product. Cougar Mountain’s website contains a wealth of information for product users, including an extensive collection of videos that address system functions and offer overviews of each module. U.S. based support is available to users, with support provided from the company headquarters. The Customer Service Center also offers quick access to the latest versions of all products, along with software updates that can be downloaded, a series of articles, and E-Learning options, where users can sign up for a variety of learning options. Users that subscribe to the Software Assurance program have access to all standard videos, and those that subscribe to Premier Software Assurance have access to all videos. An e-learning package is also available, where users pay an annual fee to have access to all learning segments, 24/7.

Client Self Service Features: NA

Denali Payroll is only available as a desktop/server system, with no online access available.

Advanced Features: 3.75 Stars

Denali Payroll can easily handle union or other specialized payroll calculations. There currently is no HR functionality in the product. Audit trail technology, included in the product, offers safeguards against fraud.

Summary & Pricing

Denali Payroll, from Cougar Mountain Software, offers small to mid-sized businesses a solid payroll product, along with seamless integration to the Denali Accounting Suite of products. Ideal for wholesale, retail, and nonprofit businesses, Denali is easily navigated, offers a tremendous amount of tools designed to assed users in system setup and usage, and can be used as a stand – alone product for those currently not using Cougar Mountain products. Pricing for Denali Payroll starts at $995, with add-on applications or additional modules available at an additional cost.

2015 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars