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2015 Review of Thomson Reuters Accounting CS Payroll

Designed to work with firms of just about any size, Accounting CS Payroll offers batch payroll processing, a big plus for firms processing payroll for a high number of clients.


From the 2015 reviews of professional payroll systems.

Best Fit: A workhorse, Accounting CS Payroll is a good fit for accounting firms that process a large volume of payroll for clients.

Product Strengths:

  • Ideal for firms of all sizes
  • Strong integration with CS Professional Suite
  • Solid reporting capability
  • Client portals available

Potential Limitations:

  • Better suited to firms already using CS Professional Suite

Designed to work with firms of just about any size, Accounting CS Payroll offers batch payroll processing, a big plus for firms processing payroll for a high number of clients.

Basic System Functions: 5 Stars

Available as either an on premise product, or a web-based solution, Accounting CS Payroll is designed to work with CS Professional Suite, particularly with Accounting CS.   Each client has their own dashboard that offers a quick view of all client data. A vertical menu to the left of the screen offers access to system actions such as the Client Dashboard, Enter Transaction, Enter Tax Code Adjustments, and a variety of other options. Below, users can choose from a variety of setup options. The dashboard also displays W-2 form information, Tax Payment Information, and a Tax Calendar. Form due dates are also listed for easy reference. Tools like the Edit Multiple Employees wizard helps users edit a large group of employees globally, and customizable templates can be created for different client and employee types, making setup run even quicker.

Designed for those using Accounting CS, the product allows multiple system users to access the system and even the same client simultaneously, and product scalability ensures that even the smallest firm can utilize the product and scale up as their practice grows.

Each client has their own custom dashboard, with users able to easily access each client as needed. The product is designed to process payroll using batches, which allows firm employees to easily process multiple payrolls for multiple clients. After the initial processing and review, payroll is delivered, with many delivery methods available including pre-printed checks, remotely printed checks, direct deposit, paycards, and others. Users can choose the cross-client printing method, where the check creation process is customized for each client, enabling the user to print checks for multiple clients simultaneously. There are also several remote options available, including the ability to upload checks directly to a client portal. Advanced remote payroll processing options are also available to clients, allowing them to enter payroll data remotely, with data uploaded automatically into Accounting CS Payroll.

Reporting & Monitoring: 4.75 Stars

A built-in tax calendar displays all upcoming payroll due dates, with detailed tax information on the client dashboard as well. The product also offers support for all state and federal tax calculations, including local tax jurisdictions as needed. Accounting CS Payroll offers an extensive library of tax forms including W-2, W-2C, 940, 941, 941-X, 944, 944-X, and 1099. Forms can be processed using the same Cross-Client feature that be utilized when processing payroll.

Accounting CS Payroll offers strong reporting capabilities, including several pre-formatted reports that can be customized as needed. A custom report writer is also available so users can create reports and later save those reports to a specific group. All reports can be exported as a PDF file or an Excel Spreadsheet. The product easily handles Workers Compensation tracking.

Integration/Import/Export: 5 Stars

Designed to be used with Accounting CS, Accounting CS Payroll also integrates with other modules in the CS Professional Suite. Accounting CS also has a list of strategic partners that offer a variety of payroll-related products that integrate with Accounting CS Payroll. Time clock data can be imported from a variety of applications including TimeRack, SwipeClock, Qqest Software Systems, Kronos, Points North, Restaurant Magic, and Sierra Computer Solutions. Those looking for HR functionality can utilize HRAnswerLink, which provides users with an online reference tool, and is available by subscription.

Data can be imported and exported from QuickBooks, and users can also choose to import time and attendance data from NetClient CS. Time entry can also be imported directly from Excel.

Help/Support: 5 Stars

Accounting CS Payroll offers good help options throughout the product. A variety of wizards assist users in expediting typical payroll data entry functions. CS Professional Suite offers solid online support options including videos, whitepapers, and demos that can be downloaded after registering with the vendor. The Help & How-To Center provides assistance in dealing with various issues, and web, and telephone support is available to product users as well. There are also a variety of web trainings, as well as custom training options available.

Client Self-Service Features: 5 Stars

Using NetClient CS portal application, firms can expand remote capabilities to their clients, allowing them access to the Employee Self-Service function, which allows clients to enter data remotely from any location. Clients can also view payroll data, and provide their employees access W-2’s and pay stubs. Employees can also edit contact information and withholding information as needed. Using the portal, firms can also provide their clients with the capability to run checks on premise for added convenience.

Advanced Features: 4.5 Stars

Accounting CS Payroll allows users to set up special calculations in payroll including weighted average overtime calculations, union calculations, and federal tax levy detail. While the product does not offer HR tools, it does offer integration to third party HR applications.

Summary & Pricing

Accounting CS Payroll is designed for firms that currently use or are planning to use Accounting CS – part of the CS Professional Suite from Thomson Reuters. Designed for firms of all sizes, and extremely scalable, Accounting CS Payroll is best suited for firms processing a large number of payroll transactions for a large number of clients. Pricing for Accounting CS Payroll starts at $1,800 for 20 payroll clients. Additional clients can be purchased in groups of five, and pricing for NetClient CS is extra, as is integration with other third party applications. Annual renewal pricing for Accounting CS Payroll is based on a percentage of the purchase price.    

2015 Overall Rating: 5 Stars