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2016 Review of Cougar Mountain Software – Denali Payroll

Denali Payroll, part of the Denali suite of applications, is designed to process payroll in a business environment, though it can be used by accounting firms providing payroll services as well.


Denali Payroll Accounting Software

Cougar Mountain Software

Best Fit: Denali Payroll is part of the Denali suite of products that is well-designed for the small to mid-sized business. Denali Payroll can be used as a stand-alone product, or in conjunction with other Denali products for a complete business solution.

Product Strengths:

  • Excellent integration with other Cougar Mountain Denali modules
  • Good selection of add-on modules available
  • A wide variety of training videos and webinars are available
  • Good selection of reports are available

Potential Limitations:

  • Limited on-line access

Denali Payroll, part of the Denali suite of applications, is designed to process payroll in a business environment, though it can be used by accounting firms providing payroll services as well.

From the 2016 Review of Professional Payroll Systems.

Basic System Functions: 4.5 Stars

Denali Payroll makes good use of the work flow screens which are standard in all Denali modules. The Payroll interface screen offers users quick access to all payroll and related functions, with users able to click on the option the y wish to access. Denali Payroll is only available as a desktop/server product, and does not offer online or mobile access, though the product does integrate with time keeping applications.

Optimally designed for small to mid-sized businesses, the product can also be utilized by accounting professionals looking to offer payroll services, but the lack of online or portal availability may complicate the process of receiving pay data from clients on a timely basis. The main payroll entry screen is designed like a grid, with users able to access one company at time, while viewing all employees within that company. Default salary totals are set up in the system, and users only need add any changes to those totals as needed.  Edit buttons are available throughout the grid, with users able to easily edit employee information and hours at any time prior to running payroll. Denali Payroll supports all federal, state and local taxes, and users can easily set up employees to be paid from multiple states. The product also supports direct deposit capability, and users can also enter manual check data directly into the system via the grid interface, making processing after-the-fact payroll as simple as processing standard payroll.

Reporting & Monitoring: 4.5 Stars

Quarterly tax filings and reporting can be completed using Aatrix, which allows businesses to quickly eFile all supported federal and state tax forms. Aatrix also processes employee W-2’s as well. Now available, Aatrix also offers a set of HR forms that can be utilized as needed, including the ability to create a fully customizable employee manual. Denali Payroll offers users a decent selection of standard reports, all of which can be customized as needed using the built-in Crystal Reports tool, or users can purchase custom reports from the Denali website. All reports can be viewed on screen, printed, or exported to Excel as needed. In the latest edition of Denali Payroll, users can not choose from a variety of Employee Leave report options which include Detailed, Condensed, or Summary. Payroll check stubs and payroll history reports have been enhanced as well.

Integration/Import/Export: 4.5 Stars

Denali Payroll integrates with all other Denali modules, which include GL, AP, AR, Bank Reconciliation, Inventory, Order Entry, and Point of Sale. The product also supports a variety of add-on modules such as time sheet tracking, eCommerce integration tools, and tax updates.  

Denali Payroll also integrates with Aatrix, mentioned above, and users can easily import transactions from other third-party applications directly into Denali Payroll. Though Denali Payroll does not include an API, custom services are available for those that need integration with other applications.

Help & Support: 5 Stars

Denali Payroll, like all Denali modules, offers excellent help functionality throughout. A variety of Payroll Essentials Training Videos are accessible from the Cougar Mountain Software website. Advanced training videos are also provided, as is access to various product webinars. Product support is U.S. based, with Basic and Priority Support packages available, and support available during regular business hours. Users can also request support via the online support request. Denali’s Customer Service Center offers the latest versions of all Cougar Mountain products, and users can visit the training center that offers a variety of training options including training at Cougar Mountain University, as well as on-site and e-learning options. Online learning options are available as well. Software Assurance subscribers also have access to Advanced Training Videos. Users can opt of have a designated support specialist, and Reports Support is available as well.

Client Self Service Features: NA

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

Advanced Features: 4.25 Stars

Denali Payroll easily handles both union and specialized payroll calculations.   Mentioned earlier, the product also offers an unlimited number of user-defined fields that can track other specialized deductions. Denali Payroll does not currently offer complete HR functionality, though integration with Aatrix will provide business owners with access to HR related forms that can be utilized as needed. The Payroll Employee Management window also allows users to track basic HR information such as general information, leave, benefits and deductions, and any notes. Users can also add PDF’s of HR related files such as employee handbook acknowledgements, benefit enrollment forms and employee evaluations. The product also contains excellent audit trail functionality, helping to prevent fraud and other payroll related issues.

Summary & Pricing

Denali Payroll, from Cougar Mountain Software, offers small to mid-sized businesses a comprehensive, easy to use product that can be combined with other Denali modules for a complete accounting and payroll solution. Well suited for a variety of niche markets including retail and nonprofit organizations, as well as general businesses, Denali provides users with a variety of tools that combine to make the payroll process quick and relatively pain free. Pricing for Denali Payroll begins at $995.00, with the cost of additional modules or add-on options priced separately.

2015 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars