The MAG-FILER wage and year-end information reporting system provides a professional and comprehensive program for managing 1099 and W-2 compliance. The system offers form generation and electronic filing, with options for printing to plain and pre-printed paper, as well as e-filing. The stand-alone or networkable system includes pre-defined or ‘define on the fly’ import capabilities. Additionally, users can export to multiple format types, including CSV and PDF for digital file management and distribution of recipient copies. The company also offers a service bureau option through which it can create, print and mail all form copies. Filings are guaranteed, with any IRS/SSA issues handled directly by the vendor’s service bureau at no extra charge.
Basic System Functions
The MAG-FILER system opens to a resizable interface that provides a payer/client selection screen with a sortable column view that includes basic information fields such as file type, payer name, EIN and address. Three pull-down menus are positioned at the top of the screen, offering access to file management functions, system utilities and Help features. With a client selected, the detail tab shows full information for the party, including form-specific information for 1099s, W-2s, 1042s and other details. When setting up entities, they can only be of one form type, so if using the system to create and file 1099s and W-2s for a client, it is necessary to enter them into the system twice. The program does not provide quick duplication or template features for payer data entry. However, payer data can be transferred over to the next year. Multiple payers or forms types can be managed from this single screen with all details available on the Details tab. Online Help is available at every stage.
Additional buttons are available at the top of the screen for adding new payer clients, accessing payees associated with the client payer, and E-filing options. Payee selection screens offer the same sorting functions as payer screens, with a button-based menu for adding new payees, printing forms, reporting and importing data. The program offers import options and the ability to duplicate payees, but does not offer a multi-recipient view for manual data entry.
When the Payees button is selected for a Payer, the Payee popup window appears, primarily allowing for importing, printing and reporting functions. Edits can be made, and both batch and individual forms can be printed. Data validation is preformed to the IRS/SSA specifications during importing as well as with manual edits. The company noted that most of its customers import from CSV files, but typically in different formats. MAG-FILER’s “define on the fly” process shows the CSV file to in order to easily assign the associated field names. Customer service is available for assistance with importing as well as for data transformation services where required.
The system can be used on single computers or networked across a server, with multiple users able to access and work in the program simultaneously. It supports an unlimited number of client payers with unlimited payees in each file. MAG-FILER manages all aspects of reporting to federal and all state entities in the IRS combined federal/state program, including e-Filing to SSA. It does not perform after-the-fact payroll capabilities, quarterly reporting options, or state and local tax tables. Annual program updates are generally available in mid-December. 4.5
MAG-FILER can be used to produce all versions of forms 1099, 1098, 3921, 3922, 5498 and 8935, along with 1042-S, W-2, and W-2G, but not W-2 correction versions. Forms can be printed to either blank paper or pre-printed stock, and form print setup screens offer multiple options for output of specific form copies and an on-screen preview. The program offers output to PDF by use of printer drivers such as Adobe Acrobat. Aside from these functions, customization options are limited. Managerial reporting is limited to a totals summary and summaries for IRS and SSA. MAG-FILER’s electronic filing options are included and offer detailed data-entry screens for setting system defaults, including filing type and transmitter information. E-Filing can be processed to the IRS and SSA and to all states that participate in the combined filing program. A masking feature is available for omitting SSNs on printed forms. The program does not offer a built-in invoicing or billing management system but specifically has export options for pushing data into outside programs that have invoicing capabilities. The system does not print Form 941 for quarterly reporting. Spokane Computer offers a service bureau option through which the vendor handles all printing and mailing functions. 4
The system can roll over data from previous years and can import recipient information using ‘define on the fly’ CSV definition that can pull data from client bookkeeping and payroll programs. Pre-defined formats can also be set up and provided or can be set for repetitive imports. It can also export to CSV and delimited text format, which allows data to be imported into most accounting systems. The program does not offer portals or direct integration with document management programs, although its ability to print to PDF if the user has a PDF driver offers some capabilities for electronic distribution of recipient copies. 3.75
MAG-FILER supports all modern versions of Microsoft operating systems, including XP, Vista and Windows 7. The program’s built-in support system includes task-specific Help as well as guides for E-Filing and importing processes. It also offers a user manual and links to the company’s website, the IRS and the SSA. The online support center has the user guide, along with FAQs, a quick start guide and downloadable system updates, which cannot be automatically scheduled from within the program. Live technical support is included with pricing. 4.5
Summary & Pricing
MAG-FILER offers a simple approach to year-end 1099 and W-2 reporting, with easy-to-understand processes but with some limitations in reporting customization options. The system is not geared toward after-the-fact payroll, providing neither tax tables nor quarterly reporting. Spokane Computer offers an outsourced processing service that can handle all printing and mailing functions and can step in and address any IRS/SSA related issues on your behalf. Pricing for MAG-FILER is $324 for a downloadable version that can support any number of users.
2010 Overall Rating 4.25
See inside October 2010
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