Special Reports

Special Reports (155)

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.

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.


Battlefield Research – Where Experience Pays!

It’s harvest time and our colleagues all over America are “burning the midnight oil” in an effort to stem the ever-rising tide of personal tax returns our profession is charged to prepare. In a perfect world we’d have met with most (many, some, a few …) of our clients back in September for a preliminary tax planning session. Yeah, and in that world I’d exercise daily, floss after every meal, write in my journal regularly, and spend more quality time with my spouse. And none of my clients would be fee sensitive, and all would be proactive in financial matters. I wonder what color the sky would be in that world. Read more...

Sales & Use Tax: Your To Do List Might Be Missing An Item

I know. It’s almost the end of tax season and here I go telling you to add another item to your to do list. But wouldn’t you rather have me messing with your workload than a state tax auditor?

Members of our profession have been burying our collective heads in the sand when it comes to sales tax. We just don’t worry about this bothersome, nit- picky tax and expect our clients to handle this one on their own.  Sure, we review their sales tax liability account at the end of the year. But paying the amount reported on the sales tax return is the easy part.


SUTUS BC200 – A Step Ahead

Every year in Las Vegas, the world of Consumer Electronics gathers at the Consumer Electronics Show to talk about what’s new and exciting.  As a member of the press, I have attended the show for several years looking specifically for what may benefit accountants in the practice of public accounting.  That’s a fairly narrow focus and since the show is intended for the consumer side of electronics as the name suggests, every once in a while a gem is uncovered which really has the potential to benefit the practicing accountant.  If you’ve taken any time to understand the demographics of the practice of public accounting, you know that the vast majority of public accountant firms fall into the ‘small’ classification i.e. less than 10 people.  Many of these firms are less than 5 people.  With the firm size of this group, you can understand the total frustration at the prospect of spending tens of thousands of dollars to provide basic business infrastructure. 

Document Management System Review

It’s that time of year again! As you read this review you’re knee deep into busy season and beginning to think about putting the finishing touches on another pressure packed tax season. So it’s a great time to begin the perennial exercise of exploring ways that you can improve the efficiency of your workflows so that you make next busy season more efficient and profitable. Or in other words, get more done by doing less. That concept should sound real good to you about now. This review of document management systems (DMS) is intended to help you down that path and to short circuit some of the research that can consume a lot of your valuable time.

Before we get into a discussion of specific vendor solutions, I would like to set the table by offering some insight into the benefits that firms that have gone down this path before you are experiencing. In order for you to believe that you are making the right decision for your firm to invest your time and money to deploy a DMS, you have to develop an appreciation for the benefits.


AICPA Establishes 'Economic Crisis' Blog

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has launched a blog as part of its Economic Crisis Resource Center. The blog will be dedicated to helping CPAs navigate through tumultuous economic times.


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