Special Reports

Special Reports (146)

The Progressive Accountant is the leading online communit of public tax and accounting professionals focused on using technology to better manage and grow their practice.

Construction/Contractors Software– Review

Construction companies have struggled through this current mess of an economy. Whether you think this economy is a depression or a recession or a catastrophe, there are many things that CPAs can and should be doing to assist companies to improve and support their methods and procedures. The construction industry is one such group that CPAs can help with guidance and support.

CPAs have capabilities and talent to develop and implement systems that collect, categorize and analyze data from company operations. While this typically starts with the overall accounting system, the detail transactional analyses include all aspects of the company operations from historical analysis to long-range planning. Not every CPA has construction company clients and therefore may not be interested in this information. However, as the economy recovers over time, it is clear that construction of all types will recover – residential building, commercial building, highways, bridges and tunnels, transportation centers, local roads, and more. Renewable energy facilities will be undergoing major new development and building. And there are all over the remodeling and fixing of older buildings and facilities.


SurePayroll or SureChoice

SurePayroll is a solid, mid-range web-based payroll product targeted at companies with fewer than 100 employees.  While it has a nice combination of ease of use and features for companies on the higher end of the range, 90% of SurePayroll's customers have fewer than 20 employees.   The product is marketed and sold using Direct (Retail) and Accountant/Wholesale models, and offers an impressive number of add-on services for benefit plans, human resources, etc. The retail (direct) payroll offering is called SurePayroll, and reseller and referral offerings through accountants are branded with the SureChoice name.


Run by ADP

ADP has had numerous offerings targeted at accountants, and Run represents its latest product aimed at the self-service wholesale payroll market.  This product, which is exclusively for companies with 50 or fewer employees, can be purchased on a retail basis directly by a small business, or on a wholesale basis through a reselling accountant.  Sales and support are provided by a dedicated sales team focused on the needs of this market segment and their outside accountants.


WebPay by Paylocity

WebPay by Paylocity is a strong system with look, feel, and functionality more like a traditional ERP system payroll module than a web-based payroll application.  Although WebPay can be used for any sized company, because of its very strong functionality and the numerous options available, WebPay is a better fit for companies with 50 to 500 employees, and will support up to 5,000 workers.



PayCycle was created in 1999 to offer web-based payroll to retail and wholesale customers, and currently provides interfaces to most entry level accounting packages, including QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks for Mac, Quicken, Microsoft Money, and Peachtree by Sage.   Paycheck and tax payment data can also be exported to client write up packages like ATX Client Write-Up™, TaxWise Client Write-Up™, and CCH ProSystem fx® Write-Up.


Intuit Online Payroll

Intuit Online Payroll is a very streamlined and easy to use product, and is in fact, the easiest to use of all of the products reviewed.  Pricing is at $9.95 per month, including direct deposit, and current promotions give new users the first six months free.  The navigation in the product is similar to Intuit's QuickBooks financial software, and users of this popular general ledger package will find that Intuit Online Payroll does a great job of calculating simple payrolls.  Not surprisingly, the package also interfaces with QuickBooks and business editions of Intuit's popular Quicken personal financial software.


CompuPay Payroll Online

CompuPay is one of the major payroll processors, and like its competitors, ADP and Paychex, it offers its online payroll product directly to companies, and does not have a traditional wholesale sales model (although CompuPay has plans for using their application as a hosted application or back office solution for accounting firms). CompuPay Payroll Online is offered in three versions (Basic, Advanced, and Premier), and includes traditional processing bureau services such as printing and stuffing checks and direct deposit advices for all customers, electronic payroll tax filing, direct deposit, electronic funds remittance, and electronic new-hire reporting in some areas.



Ceridian Payroll & Human Resources

Ceridian Payroll and Human Resources is a great product for companies who need to move from an entry level package to a more robust, sophisticated package which combines payroll and human resources information in a single database.  Ceridian's real strength is its human resources content, which includes features like determining the tax jurisdictions for employees based on their home address and work site address.  The application supports a maximum of 300 employees, and requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher (sorry, Mac and Linux users).  Other key features include:


Payroll Relief from AccountantsWorld

Payroll Relief is part of the Accountants World suite of applications for practicing CPA's (other applications assist public accountants with sales tax, bookkeeping, after the fact payroll, and other tasks). The application is sold to public accountants, who then charge their clients for their work on payroll services, and the offering includes marketing materials as well as a web-based portal which can be used to manage payroll across multiple client organizations (see Figure 2). Since this is part of the Accountants World suite of applications, it offers extensive interoperability with Accountants Relief as well as other client write up packages. The service does not offer some traditional payroll service bureau features such as print and stuffing checks, tax filing and payment processing, and other outsource options, but it does support payroll processing for organizations as small as one employee, and as large as 1,100 employees.


Web-Based Payroll Offerings for Accountants

Payroll preparation may not be the most glamorous aspect of public accounting, but it is an area where we have expertise, and our clients want and need our help. Over the past few years many smart practitioners have made payroll services a staple of their practice as they found it to be a great client retention service and also very profitable.

A generation ago, calculating paychecks and preparing quarterly reports was the sole domain of accounting offices. As payroll became more complex practitioners began to shy away and national providers such as ADP and PayChex rose to prominence.

In the mid 90s technology advances made it possible for many clients to prepare their own payroll. Then along came the Internet and with it the ability for accountant and client to actually collaborate in the payroll process. Since most clients feel more comfortable when someone outside the organization is looking for obvious mistakes and errors this new paradigm has grown dramatically. There is value in the consultative role for the outside accountant in the payroll process of a client and web-based payroll offerings make providing the service practicable for small firms and their small business clients.


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