Payroll software reviews.Although a client's trust is not easily earned, once it is earned, this trust solidifies a long-term Long-term
Three or more years. In the context of accounting, more than 1 year.
1. Of or relating to a gain or loss in the value of a security that has been held over a specific length of time. Compare short-term. relationship. Completing and delivering timely payroll also serves as a bond-a bond between employer and employees. Perhaps more importantly, it is a legally enforced obligation.
Payroll is something most workers take for granted--until their check fails to arrive and/or and/or
Used to indicate that either or both of the items connected by it are involved.
Usage Note: And/or is widely used in legal and business writing. automatically deposited, or is just plain wrong. After all, how hard can it be to generate a check? Anyone with responsibility for processing payroll can certainly tell you at least one or two war stories; payroll can be time-consuming time-con·sum·ing
Taking up much time.
taking up a great deal of time
Adj. 1. and complicated, fraught fraught
1. Filled with a specified element or elements; charged: an incident fraught with danger; an evening fraught with high drama.
2. with opportunities for error. However, these are also the reasons why our clients trust us to process their payrolls, to get them done correctly and on time. Mistakes break bonds and potentially impact all work associated with the affected clients.
In this new set of payroll reviews, we will share our experiences with various packages and offer factors to consider to select a package that works with your own business needs. Some packages are part of a full accounting suite, while others stand alone. While all of them process payroll and provide reporting functions, they accomplish these tasks differently.
A number of factors must be considered when selecting a package. First and foremost, determine the extent of your efforts. Will payroll be a strategic line of business to pursue, or conversely con·verse 1
intr.v. con·versed, con·vers·ing, con·vers·es
1. To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk. See Synonyms at speak.
2. , is it an accommodation to just a few clients? When thinking about your clients' environments, how many employees do they have and how often are they paid? Clients with many employees, multiple pay frequencies or multiple payment methods (salary vs. hourly vs. piece work) require different solutions than the Mom & Pop shop with a just a few hourly employees. Some vendors charge separately for reporting modules, some include all states, while others charge by federal and state module.
Technology has changed the landscape of accounting and reporting. Many government entities require electronic forms rather than paper. Have the software vendors responded to this challenge? How do they package their software? Is electronic reporting supported? Are there additional costs or modules?
In addition to the variables already mentioned, consider other scenarios. Employees working in different or multiple states, different deductions, withholdings and additions, and irregular HEIR, IRREGULAR. In Louisiana, irregular heirs are those who are neither testamentary nor legal, and who have been established by law to take the succession. See Civ. Code of Lo. art. 874. pay items such as bonuses are factors that can cause the time required to process payroll to multiply mul·ti·ply
1. To increase the amount, number, or degree of.
2. To breed or propagate. . And unlike tax work that is seasonal, payroll occurs regularly--and without extensions. Mistakes are not options. Pricing based on underestimated time will sink profitability, and potentially, the client relationship, if the cost of the service must be revisited. The following reviews give you a preview of various solutions to maximize your investment and minimize the time required to keep your payroll customers' trust.
--By Robert Robert, Henry Martyn 1837-1923.
American army engineer and parliamentary authority. He designed the defenses for Washington, D.C., during the Civil War and later wrote Robert's Rules of Order (1876).
Noun 1. B. Yudkin, CMA CMA - Concert Multithread Architecture from DEC.
A-T-F Payroll Supports up to 1,999 Payers
Import data from spreadsheet spreadsheet
Computer software that allows the user to enter columns and rows of numbers in a ledgerlike format. Any cell of the ledger may contain either data or a formula that describes the value that should be inserted therein based on the values in other cells. packages, text files, Quicken A popular financial management program for PCs and Macs from Intuit, Inc., Mountain View, CA (www.intuit.com). It is used to write checks, organize investments and produce a variety of reports for personal finance and small business. , and others.
Advanced Micro Solutions (AMS AMS - Andrew Message System ) provides a payroll solution as a module in its family of products. Five optional modules/services accompany its base product: W-2/1099 Forms Filer including A-T-F Payroll, Laser Generation, Magnetic Media Filing, E-Filer and Forms-Etc. While A-T-F stands for "after the fact," the package also supports entry of employee compensation and the calculation of federal and state withholdings, as well as other deductions.
Installation and Getting Started
All accountants' PCs should be capable of running the software based on the installation instructions' technical requirements (although it says up to 30MB could be required depending on installed options). The cost of the software, with a list price for the base program and payroll option of only a few hundred dollars, is hard to beat. For that price, the software can be loaded either on a network or on multiple PCs at the primary office location.
The software was loaded on a PC running Microsoft (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, www.microsoft.com) The most successful and influential software company. Microsoft's software and Intel's hardware pioneered the PC and revolutionized the computer industry. XP Professional with a DSL connection DSL connection n (Comput) → DSL-Anschluss m . It automatically checked for an update upon entry after I completed the initial setup See BIOS setup and install program. . The update process was technically clean and worked well, offering options to do a full download To receive a file transmitted over a network. In any communications session, "download" means receive, and "upload" means send. The download/upload often implies a big/little scenario, in which data is being downloaded from the "big" server into the "little" user's computer. or a differential download.
A tutorial An instructional book or program that takes the user through a prescribed sequence of steps in order to learn a product. Contrast with documentation, which, although instructional, tends to group features and functions by category. See tutorials in this publication. was available through the 1099-Etc Main menu. Rather than a self-playing video, it required mouse clicks to progress. I found it well done and useful, particularly when used in conjunction with the provided sample data.
Payers must be set up. The software supports up to 1,999 payers and 9,999 employees per payer. Payers can be created from scratch or by copying another payer's information. In addition to name and address, the software has factors for overtime, holiday, vacation and sick pay--although these labels can be modified. Various preferences are selected for each payer relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc required data elements and sequencing. Deductions and additions are then defined. The software supports all states, although states must be associated with payers. Rates for SUTA, SDI (1) (Serial Digital Interface) A physical interface widely used for transmitting digital video in various formats. For electrical transmission, it uses a high grade of coaxial cable and a single BNC connector with Teflon insulation. and Other are available for each state.
Employees are the next group to set up. Name, address and other information is entered on the first screen, including up to six hourly and two miscellaneous rates. Pay for salaried employees is created through a default check function at the employee level. Default checks are templates used each time for employees. Withholdings can be entered or set to calculate.
Check entry is straightforward. Employees are selected and information is keyed for each check. Once calculations are performed, save the data and move to the next employee, a potentially cumbersome cum·ber·some
1. Difficult to handle because of weight or bulk. See Synonyms at heavy.
2. Troublesome or onerous.
cum exercise for clients with many employees. In an effort to assist with this effort, payroll data, including names, addresses and dollar amounts, can be imported from spreadsheet packages, text files, Quicken, QuickBooks A small business accounting system for Windows and the Macintosh from Intuit, Inc., Mountain View, CA (www.intuit.com). It works like Intuit's popular Quicken program but is designed to track a whole business. , Peachtree Peachtree can be several things:
While there are aspects of A-T-F that were not intuitively obvious, Help screens, accessed by pressing F1 or from the pull-down menu Also called a "drop-down menu" or "pop-down menu," the common type of menu used with a graphical user interface (GUI). Clicking a menu title causes the menu items to appear to drop down from that position and be displayed. , were extremely informative and well done--a strength of the package. Descriptions and examples provided the assistance I needed to move forward.
My test case involved setting up a new client with five employees who were paid with different pay methods (hourly and salaried). Processing included entering and printing checks; generating quarterly 941s; and printing the 940, W-3 and W-2s.
A-T-F offers much functionality and features for a low price. While not as aesthetically pleasing as some other payroll programs, A-T-F was technically clean and well done, making it easy to use. While there are other products available that better support clients with large payrolls (in terms of number of employees or multiple pay frequencies), given its price point and features, this product must be considered for processing small- to medium-size Adj. 1. medium-size - intermediate in size
medium-sized, moderate-size, moderate-sized
sized - having a specified size payrolls.
Advanced Micro Solutions, Inc.
By Robert B. Yudkin, CMA
"We have been using 1099-Etc for roughly ten years. Back then I reviewed 4 or 5 different vendors and chose 1099-Etc because it offered flexibility that the others didn't. By being receptive to our ideas and programming needs, AMS has become our partner in payroll." --Alan Goldberg, CPA NannyTax, Inc. New York, N.Y.
Abra Payroll Handles Simple and Complex Payroll Environments
The Sample Data option provides a laboratory to explore functionality.
The Abra product line of products was launched more than 20 years ago, and is positioned in Best Software's family as its "most comprehensive HR and Payroll Software." While this review focuses strictly on Abra Payroll, other members of its suite include Abra HR, Abra Attendance, Abra Recruiting Solution and Abra Training, as well as Web-enabled solutions, Abra Benefits Enrollment and Abra ESS (1) (Electronic Switching System) A large-scale computer from Lucent used to route telephone calls in a telephone company office. The 5ESS is a Class 5 central office switch, and the 4ESS is a Class 4 tandem office switch. .
Installation and Getting Started
The software arrived on a CD, along with a User's Guide for getting started. In addition, a soft-copy of the User's Guide was provided in PDF (Portable Document Format) The de facto standard for document publishing from Adobe. On the Web, there are countless brochures, data sheets, white papers and technical manuals in the PDF format. format, accessed from the help pull-down menu once the software was installed.
While I could not load the tutorial software without technical support, the live software installed without a hitch hitch
to fasten by a knot, usually used to describe tying a horse to a post. . The Abra suite sign-on page presented four options--Live Data, Sample Data, Tutorial (a Macromedia Flash presentation) and Help.
The Sample Data option provided a safe laboratory to explore the software's functionality. Initial entry into Live Data initiated an interview to set up required information, although the interview can be bypassed for direct entry. An Activity Center screen is the primary user interface and organized into seven categories--Actions, Processes, Analysis, Reports, Rules, Details and Query. Each category is further broken down into various tasks presented in logical sequences. While I liked and used the Activity Center presentation, the software also included pull-down menus at the top of the window, as well as quick launch icons to navigate (1) "Surfing the Web." To move from page to page on the Web.
(2) To move through the menu structure in a software application. through the tasks.
The software is flexible with up to five user-defined organization levels (defaults are division, department and location). Another useful feature is Abra's audit capability. At the enterprise level, audit trails can be established for files and fields, including user-defined tables.
Help text is available at the screen level and activated activated
a state of being more than usually active. In biological systems this is usually brought about by chemical or electrical means. Commonly said of pharmaceutical and chemical products. by pressing the F1 key. The help was extensive and used a small pitch. While I found it tough reading, screens were full of information with hyperlinks to related processes and screens.
Data entry screens were laid out well and not crowded. Fields, labels and blank space Noun 1. blank space - a blank area; "write your name in the space provided"
surface area, expanse, area - the extent of a 2-dimensional surface enclosed within a boundary; "the area of a rectangle"; "it was about 500 square feet in area" were well mixed. While screen labels are the same pitch as the help text, data entry screens were easy on the eyes and easy to process. Right clicking on fields resulted in various actions depending on the type of field. For date fields, a calendar appears. For employee selection fields, a list of employees appears. Some fields, such as employer name, had drop-down windows indicated by arrows on the right of the fields.
My test case involved setting up a new client with five employees who were paid with different pay methods (hourly and salaried).
Employees are added from the Activity Center by selecting Payroll, Actions and Record New Hire. The New Hire process was divided under four tabs--New Employee (name, address and SSN SSN
Social Security Number ); Job and Pay (hire and start dates, pay rate and frequency); Payroll Information; and Payroll Processing (pay group, earnings codes, work code and shift information). One neat feature is that there are separate fields for annual pay and pay period salary. While some packages force you to enter one or the other, Abra allows entry of either number and calculates the other based on pay frequency.
Processing payroll involves following the options under Processes from the Activity Center. It covers automatic time sheets, entering and updating time, running trial and final payrolls, printing and posting checks, and running quarterly and annual processes. Flags and date fields keep track of status. No problems were encountered during the test.
Abra Payroll has the power to handle simple and complex payroll environments. It has nice features that facilitate organizing and processing employee subsets. Unlike some packages, Abra includes federal and state reporting. Best Software indicates that the package is appropriate for small- to mid-sized companies, as well as small enterprises. It should definitely be on the short list of packages to consider.
By Robert B. Yudkin, CMA
"The software is set-up very well for any type of allocations providing quick export/import functions and offers more advantages than some in- house platforms." --Donna Martin, Payroll Manager Houston Zoo Houston, Texas
CPAPayroll Requires Six Steps to Complete Actions
It was clear as to what information was required versus that which was "optional."
CPASoftware, acquired by Best Software in 2002, offers CPAPayroll as part of its CPAAccounting Manager suite (formerly know as CPASoftware Visual Accounting). CPAPayroll provides comprehensive payroll processing services with multi-department and multi-state reporting capabilities.
Installation and Getting Started
Prior to installing the program, I downloaded and watched a worthwhile 15-minute self-running demo demo - /de'moh/ 1. A demonstration of a product, often of an early version or prototype. A demo is a far more effective way of inducing bugs to manifest themselves than any number of test runs, especially when important people are watching.
2. demo version.
3. for CPAPayroll that prepared me for the package. Loading the software was straightforward and the various setup options were reviewed in a sample client. CPAPayroll is well organized with the most frequently used options right up front on the screen. Pull-down menus are used for setup options, inquiries, reporting, utilities and the company's paperless (or less paper) solution, CPADocument Manager, a separate product in the suite and not included in the cost of CPAPayroll.
Getting started is a six-step process through client setup, fiscal periods, payroll options, chart setup, checking account and payroll setup. Client information can be imported into the payroll module from other suite applications. Step six, payroll setup, provides seven options for defining payroll basic elements, including payroll states, payroll municipalities, other pays, other deductions, multi-company names, job titles and G/L (General Ledger) G/L is often the acronym for the general ledger application in an organization. The general ledger maintains a summary of financial accounts for the business. accounts for payroll. An unlimited number of deductions and pay codes for clients are allowed. Step six also provides "Employee Express Setup," where employee information is entered and categorized cat·e·go·rize
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.
cat based on whether the employee is hourly, salaried or tipped. Employee information, including pay rate, frequency, residency A duration of stay required by state and local laws that entitles a person to the legal protection and benefits provided by applicable statutes.
States have required state residency for a variety of rights, including the right to vote, the right to run for public office, the and exemptions, is entered here. One neat feature is the ability to check a box at the employee level to designate des·ig·nate
tr.v. des·ig·nat·ed, des·ig·nat·ing, des·ig·nates
1. To indicate or specify; point out.
2. To give a name or title to; characterize.
3. that attendance is automatically generated.
While there is no context-sensitive help Context-sensitive help is a kind of online help that is obtained from a specific point in the state of the software, providing help for the situation that is associated with that state. over the fields, relevant and understandable help is available for all fields on a screen by pressing F1.
Screens were nicely presented and uncluttered. It was clear as to what information was required versus that which was "optional." Navigation across options was easy. The only frustration I encountered while writing this review was that a number of times I was forced to use my mouse to click on the CPAPayroll button at the bottom of my screen to restore the CPAPayroll screens, rather than use my usual "alt" + "tab" keystrokes to toggle To alternate back and forth between two states.
toggle - To change a bit from whatever state it is in to the other state; to change from 1 to 0 or from 0 to 1. This comes from "toggle switches", such as standard light switches, though the word "toggle" actually refers to from Microsoft Word A full-featured word processing program for Windows and the Macintosh from Microsoft. Included in the Microsoft application suite, it is a sophisticated program with rudimentary desktop publishing capabilities that has become the most widely used word processing application on the market. back to the program.
As with most packages, data can be imported from many programs. Menu options include conversions from 10 packages.
My test case involved setting up a new client with five employees who were paid with different pay methods (hourly and salaried).
As with client setup, navigation through the employee setup screens was straightforward. I found one challenge in setting up salaried employees: instead of being able to enter the annual salary, the program required me to enter the salary per pay period.
Once my employees were defined correctly, multiple payroll runs were processed consisting of entering employee time, calculating payroll, selecting checks to print and posting the payroll. The package includes a folder In a graphical user interface (GUI), a simulated file folder that holds data, applications and other folders. Folders were introduced on the Xerox Star, then popularized on the Macintosh and later adapted to Windows and Unix. In Unix and Linux, as well as DOS and Windows 3. concept where activity for payroll runs is stored in separate folders. Each folder is processed independently. The software also has the flexibility to allow corrections to payroll runs through an "unpost folder" option. An abundance Abundance
See also Fertility.
horn horn of Zeus’s nurse-goat which became a cornucopia. [Gk. Myth.: Walsh Classical, 19]
conical receptacle which symbolizes abundance. [Rom. Myth. of reports are available to support payroll runs.
Federal and state reporting modules are available at additional cost. The federal module produced 941s and W-2s with minimal effort. While I did not attempt this function, the software also prepares direct deposit files needed by banks.
CPAPayroll provides an effective means to prepare payroll, as well as accompanying reports. While it incorporates a number of features to modify and fix payrolls when the information received from clients is faulty fault·y
adj. fault·i·er, fault·i·est
1. Containing a fault or defect; imperfect or defective.
2. Obsolete Deserving of blame; guilty. , the program works best for companies with single pay frequencies within the salaried and hourly categories. One additional perk perk 1
v. perked, perk·ing, perks
1. To stick up or jut out: dogs' ears that perk.
2. To carry oneself in a lively and jaunty manner. is that the company has a reseller An organization that sells hardware and software to the general public. Resellers purchase products from software publishers and hardware manufacturers. program that allows a limited version of the program to be placed in clients' offices so that clients can enter time and print checks. The payroll data can then be returned to the CPA (Computer Press Association, Landing, NJ) An earlier membership organization founded in 1983 that promoted excellence in computer journalism. Its annual awards honored outstanding examples in print, broadcast and electronic media. The CPA disbanded in 2000. for tax reporting.
By Robert B. Yudkin, CMA
Payroll Solution Packs Useful Tools
The toll-free support staff are knowledgeable and friendly.
Creative Solutions, a Thomson company, offers two payroll modules within its Creative Solutions accounting family: Payroll Solution (PRS PRS Partnership (IRB)
PRS Printer (File Name Extension)
PRS Paul Reed Smith (Guitar Brand)
PRS Pairs (shoe industry) ) calculates payroll, while Payroll Compliance Solution (PCS) enables after-the-fact payroll processing and the production of many federal employment tax forms.
Installation and Getting Started
Installing the program was simple and painless pain·less
Free from complication or pain: a painless operation.
painless·ly adv. . While my package arrived with a 3.5 inch floppy 1. (programming, tool) Floppy - A Fortran coding convention checker. A later version can generate HTML.
See also Flow.
ffccc posted to comp.sources.misc volume 12.
2. floppy - floppy disk license diskette The official name for the floppy disk. See floppy disk.
diskette - floppy disk , the vendor says that licenses will be distributed electronically rather than on diskette starting first quarter 2005. My package also included a small guide for getting started and a somewhat larger tutorial manual.
The company provides a number of useful tools to familiarize users with the software, including the electronic tutorial located under the help tab. It was a well done presentation, integrating slides with narration. A separate tutorial for payroll under the help tab (PRS Electronic Tutorial) goes into more detail. Something I found useful is that the software comes preloaded with sample clients illustrating various real-world client scenarios. These sample clients not only offered a laboratory, but acted as baseline The horizontal line to which the bottoms of lowercase characters (without descenders) are aligned. See typeface.
baseline - released version templates to create new clients with similar attributes.
PRS is designed such that some items are client specific (such as chart of accounts) and others are global (pay items, deduction deduction, in logic, form of inference such that the conclusion must be true if the premises are true. For example, if we know that all men have two legs and that John is a man, it is then logical to deduce that John has two legs. items and withholding Withholding
Any tax that is taken directly out of an individual's wages or other income before he or she receives the funds.
In other words, these funds are "withheld" from your wages. items). It is important to understand each one's role and how it interacts with employee templates, payroll departments Noun 1. payroll department - the department that determines the amounts of wage or salary due to each employee
department, section - a specialized division of a large organization; "you'll find it in the hardware department"; "she got a job in the and employees.
Common deduction types are supplied. In addition, new deduction types can be defined. Multiple calculation methods are allowed, including none, gross income percentage, fixed amount, hourly amount and after-tax income percentage. As with most packages, data can be imported. Menu options include conversions from 16 packages.
My test case involved setting up a new client with five employees who were paid with different pay methods (hourly and salaried).
Before setting up the client, I had to define my staff. The system allows groups to be defined and staff assigned as·sign
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate: assigned a day for the inspection.
2. to one or more groups. Privileges are defined to groups and Staff IDs are password protected.
Setting up the client was not difficult, but because of the software's flexibility, thought and planning is required up front. For example, two licensed modules were associated with the client, PRS and PCS, so users must decide which one to use. The program then asked for client information organized under three tabs: General Information, Payroll and Calculating Payroll. Screens were well organized and navigation was easy; the program uses standard Windows conventions for cursor (1) The symbol used to point to some element on screen. On Windows, Mac and other graphics-based screens, it is also called a "pointer," and it changes shape as it is moved with the mouse into different areas of the application. movement. Help is available by right clicking on field labels.
Baseline information can be copied from other clients or templates. A setup checklist is available for manually creating files.
Employee information is organized under five tabs: General, Personal/W-2, Earnings, Tax withholdings and deductions, and other (contains hours, multipliers, FICA FICA
Federal Insurance Contributions Act
Noun 1. FICA - a tax on employees and employers that is used to fund the Social Security system
income tax - a personal tax levied on annual income
, FUTA FUTA Federal Unemployment Tax Act (US) and SUTA information).
Once my employees were defined correctly, entering and processing payroll checks, as well as producing 941 and 940 forms, went smoothly. From a data entry standpoint The Standpoint is a newspaper published in the British Virgin Islands. It was originally published under the name Pennysaver, largely as a shopping-coupon promotional newspaper, but since emerged as one of the most influential sources of journalism in the , one feature I would have liked was a default button for my hourly employees that loaded their standard hours, rather than my having to enter the specific number for each employee.
The toll-free support number was staffed by knowledgeable, friendly people who diagnosed what I did wrong and put me back on track each of the three times that I called.
PRS is a solid, well-thought-out package that gets the job done. Because of its flexibility and broad range of features, consider training to maximize its effectiveness and minimize the investment of upfront time. PRS did not only what I asked of the package, but also has the potential to handle more complicated payroll scenarios. Additional modules, such as direct deposit, employee web reporting, and electronic filing, are available for licensing.
By Robert B. Yudkin, CMA
"This payroll program can produce any type of payroll check imaginable. It totally integrates with our accounting software and thus eliminates the need to reenter information." --Ray Busch, Owner Raymond J. Busch, Ltd., CPA Tinley Park, Ill.
WinFiler Products Fill Need for Adequate Wage Reporting Tools
Built-in data-checking features reduce errors.
WinFiler 2004 and WinFiler Plus 2004 are two versions of wage reporting software The following is a list of notable reporting software. Commercial software
WinFiler supports 24 federal forms (W-2, 1099, 1098, 5498) while the WinFiler Plus version adds nine more, including Forms 940, 941, 943 and 945. The Plus version supports 44 state wage forms, allows e-filing of 941 forms and includes downloadable quarterly updates. Both versions can be installed in a network or in a standalone stand·a·lone
Self-contained and usually independently operating: a standalone computer terminal. configuration.
Features and Functions
The WinFiler interface is pure Microsoft Windows See Windows.
(operating system) Microsoft Windows - Microsoft's proprietary window system and user interface software released in 1985 to run on top of MS-DOS. Widely criticised for being too slow (hence "Windoze", "Microsloth Windows") on the machines available then. , with a menu bar at the top and toolbar A row or column of on-screen buttons used to activate functions in the application. Many toolbars are customizable, letting you add and delete buttons as required. Toolbars may be fixed in position or may float, which means they can be dragged to a more convenient location in the immediately below. From the toolbar icons, the user selects from a variety of screens for payer and payee The person who is to receive the stated amount of money on a check, bill, or note.
payee n. the one named on a check or promissory note to receive payment.
PAYEE. The person in whose favor a bill of exchange is made payable. . Once payers are entered, they can be grouped together to speed up printing of returns and/or journals, even across tax years. Any number of states can be entered for each payer.
In the Plus version, the user can enter depositor information for 941, 943 and 945. For any selected payer, W-2 preferences can be established, and preferences can also be applied to all payers, if desired. Payee information is similarly entered. Default settings for any form allow for quick set-up and completion of entries. In addition to manual entry, the software supports several data import methods.
If desired, the user can import last year's WinFiler data along with ASCII ASCII or American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a set of codes used to represent letters, numbers, a few symbols, and control characters. Originally designed for teletype operations, it has found wide application in computers. or DOS third-party data files. An extensive Wizard Instructional help in an application or system development environment that guides the user through a series of multiple choice questions to accomplish a task. For the most part, wizards are more effective than the help menus found in most applications, which often border on the atrocious. helps set up parameters for ASCII data input. WinFiler imports data as Returns, while WinFiler Plus imports data as dated transactions that sum to a Return. Because they deal with unlimited payers and payees, commercial tax preparers will find these WinFiler products quite useful.
Several areas demonstrate the flexibility of the WinFiler products. I liked the notes button on payer and payee pages that allow quick entry of relevant information. Filters also provide selective display of payer or payee types. Available default options can speed later entries, and built-in data-checking features reduce errors. Customize payer, payee and pro forma As a matter of form or for the sake of form. Used to describe accounting, financial, and other statements or conclusions based upon assumed or anticipated facts.
The phrase pro forma journals for maximum efficiency.
WinFiler ships with a small, printed Quick Start Guide, and a PDF user manual installs with the program; it would be more useful with a hyperlinked table of contents. Fortunately, a thorough online manual is available from the program itself, both on the toolbar and from any input screen. A Quick Start Tutorial that's included in the online guide will be especially helpful for new users.
WinFiler provides printouts for W-2, 1099, transmittals and journals. Full printouts or summaries are options, and a print preview A software function that displays on screen the way a document will print on paper. Print preview eliminates wasting paper as corrections are made before the document is printed. In addition, network printers are not always close by and easily accessible. appears automatically to allow checking of the format and contents before printing. The primary purpose of WinFiler is to provide printed forms, so there is no export capability. Since Greatland also offers preprinted forms, a large number of compatible forms are available for the WinFiler products. The user can also print on blank stock blank stock
Stock for which voting powers, preferences, and rights are determined by the issuer's board of directors after the shares have been purchased by subscribers. as well. Both versions support federal and state magnetic media for W-2 and 1099 forms, with a separate module installed.
With both WinFiler and WinFiler Plus, users can opt to have W-2, 1099 and 941 (Plus only) forms e-filed to the federal government. Along with the e-filing service, there is an option to have the recipient/payee copies printed and mailed.
Data entry is a quick and intuitive process. Add a payer along with the necessary information for the states involved, and follow by entering payee information. Select any return type for each payer and add the appropriate information. Printing is equally simple, with a pull down menu for W-2, 1099, transmittals and journals.
WinFiler and WinFiler Plus are easy to install and use for quick entry and printing of wage-related data, and they fill a niche where other applications have inadequate wage reporting tools.
By Glenn Gordon
Expanded Accountant Wholesale Service
Includes one-click electronic tax payments in 19 states.
If you're in the market for a payroll system that offers online self-service, right down to tax payments and filings, PayCycle's Accountant Wholesale Service may be just what you're looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. in a software package.
Installation and Getting Started
PayCycle charges a flat monthly fee of $14.99 per client for the first five clients, and $9.99 per client for each additional client. The fee includes all functions of the system, including any multiple payroll cycles. Recently, the company expanded its Accountant Wholesale Service to include paycheck printing on blank check Blank check
A check that is duly signed, but the amount of the check is left blank to be supplied by the drawee. stock, state tax payments and filings in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia District of Columbia, federal district (2000 pop. 572,059, a 5.7% decrease in population since the 1990 census), 69 sq mi (179 sq km), on the east bank of the Potomac River, coextensive with the city of Washington, D.C. (the capital of the United States). , one-click electronic tax payments in 19 states, and customized marketing materials.
Setup proved to be a breeze with the user-friendly templates provided. Users are able to set up new employees on payroll. Adding new clients proved just as easy. All information on clients' payroll, including deductions and tax information, are easily accessible and instantly calculated.
The main window is the Client Overview that lists current clients and contact information, as well as each one's service industry. All fields are hyperlinked, and one click allows access to client files. Also included on the Overview screen is access to one's own payroll setup that makes payroll and tax payments quick and effortless ef·fort·less
Calling for, requiring, or showing little or no effort. See Synonyms at easy.
effort·less·ly adv. .
Clicking on one's own company payroll allows an accountant to create paychecks for each employee, and then approve payment with one click. Once the paycheck is approved, the accountant is able to view the employee's pay stub A small software routine placed into a program that provides a common function. Stubs are used for a variety of purposes. For example, a stub might be installed in a client machine, and a counterpart installed in a server, where both are required to resolve some protocol, remote procedure for that pay period, opting to print the paycheck or delete To remove an item of data from a file or to remove a file from the disk. See file wipe, trash and undelete.
1. (operating system) delete - (Or "erase") To make a file inaccessible. it.
The deeper one goes into the system, the fewer surprises there are. And that's good; this system maintains easy-to-use functionality throughout the program. Always available are the hyperlinks back to the Client Overview window and clickable clickable adj (COMPUT) → cliqueable
clickable adj → cliccabile tabs to various areas, including client To Do list, Pay Day, Taxes and Forms, Employees, Account, Reports and Help.
The only area of functionality that I initially questioned was customer support. While the company provided a large help index, setup information, troubleshooting Troubleshooting is a form of problem solving. It is the systematic search for the source of a problem so that it can be solved. Troubleshooting is often a process of elimination - eliminating potential causes of a problem. and links to other resources, there was the possibility of lag-time should you decide to contact the customer support center through e-mail. The company promises the phone will be answered "within three rings For the video game developer see Three Rings Design.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, the Three Rings of the Elves of Eregion are fictional magical artifacts. They are three of twenty Rings of Power. ," yet no mention is made of how quickly an e-mail is answered.
To test the response time, I sent out a "help" e-mail to the customer support staff. The e-mail was sent within the company's normal hours of operation, 6:30 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. PST PST Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, see there . Monday through Friday. Within 20 minutes, I received a response from a customer-service rep who had apparently spent 19 minutes looking for my nonexistent non·ex·is·tence
1. The condition of not existing.
2. Something that does not exist.
non file. I apologized sheepishly sheep·ish
1. Embarrassed, as by consciousness of a fault: a sheepish grin.
2. Meek or stupid.
sheep and declared customer support impressive.
Tax forms are in place, and all one has to do to get a report is to click a button. Payroll deductions are instantly available, and the system gives a year-to-date Year-to-date (YTD)
The period beginning at the start of the calendar year up to the current date. summary of all deductions and payments within seconds.
In testing the system, there's no doubt it is easy to use by making the nasty task of payroll simple and almost enjoyable. The reminders of tax payments, payroll payments and even vacation pay for employees makes this system worth the price. Also, accountants are able to print tax liability reports. What's most impressive is the system's ready-to-file tax forms. W-2s, 940s, and 941s can be filed electronically, saving numerous hours.
The client To Do list is a one-stop cyber-memo for the busy accountant. Clicking on the client's file opens the To Do window, which includes such reminders as tax payments and their due dates, entering pay rate of employees, printing appropriate tax forms and payroll reminders.
PayCycle charges a flat fee per client per month, regardless of the number of times you do payroll in a month. It was refreshing to click through various functions in the program and not be stymied by an unexpected additional charge. Payday is truly streamlined with PayCycle. It's a worthwhile product and will certainly make payroll cycles more palatable pal·at·a·ble
1. Acceptable to the taste; sufficiently agreeable in flavor to be eaten.
2. Acceptable or agreeable to the mind or sensibilities: a palatable solution to the problem. .
By Lori D. Widmer
"PayCycle provides all services electronically so small firms can compete with larger competitors on a level playing field." --Patricia (Pat) Carson, Owner Carson & Crew San Jose, Calif.
Payroll Integrates Seamlessly with Other Red Wing Products
Export reports in Excel A full-featured spreadsheet for Windows and the Macintosh from Microsoft. It can link many spreadsheets for consolidation and provides a wide variety of business graphics and charts for creating presentation materials. , HTML HTML
in full HyperText Markup Language
Markup language derived from SGML that is used to prepare hypertext documents. Relatively easy for nonprogrammers to master, HTML is the language used for documents on the World Wide Web. , MS-DOS MS-DOS
in full Microsoft Disk Operating System
Operating system for personal computers. MS-DOS was based on DOS, developed in 1980 by Seattle Computer Products. Microsoft Corp. bought the rights to DOS in 1981, and released MS-DOS with IBM's PC that year. Text and RTF (Rich Text Format) A document format from Microsoft for encoding text and graphics. It was adapted from IBM's DCA format and supports ANSI, IBM PC and Macintosh character sets. formats.
In business since 1979, Red Wing Software, Inc. offers a number of accounting and financial management products for small- to medium-sized businesses. Payroll is a stand alone Microsoft Windows-based product designed for those businesses, as well as service providers and agricultural operations. Payroll integrates seamlessly with other Red Wing accounting products.
Features and Functions
The Main Menu appears at start-up Start-up
The earliest stage of a new business venture. in a window that first appears in a quarter of the screen before separating into quadrants. It is organized around two main functions, System Manager and Payroll. The System Manager allows access to company setup, security and general setup. A company setup wizard guides you quickly through the necessary steps. Select Payroll and a list of functions appear in the lower left quadrant quadrant, in analytic geometry
1 In analytic geometry, one of the four regions of the plane determined by two lines, the x-axis and the y-axis. with a choice of functions listed in the lower right quadrant.
Time can be entered for each employee or copied from a previous pay run for all employees or a selectable range. A time clock import function makes any ASCII file A file that contains data made up of ASCII characters. It is essentially raw text just like the words you are reading now. Each byte in the file contains one character that conforms to the standard ASCII code (see ASCII chart). of time transactions importable.
A great deal of flexibility is built into the Payroll product. For example, to speed up repetitive processes, existing information--including employee data and time entries--can be copied. In addition, the user can select deductions from existing types or new ones defined in unlimited categories. Many other areas similarly allow definition of new categories that may be unique to a company. For payroll service providers, the number of companies is unlimited; however, the available system resources (1) In a computer system, system resources are the components that provide its inherent capabilities and contribute to its overall performance. System memory, cache memory, hard disk space, IRQs and DMA channels are examples. will impose a practical limit.
The Payroll product ships with a thorough set of paper documentation--certainly a desirable feature for an application of this size. A thick, spiral-bound Payroll User Guide and thinner Supplement accompany a Quick Start Guide and a Practice Guide.
Help from within the application is also extensive. Click a question mark atop the screen to access general help, and a Main Menu explanation appears. The Help feature also is accessed with a pull-down menu on the page. The Main Menu itself has a Cue Cards cue card
A large card held out of the audience's sight, bearing words or dialogue in large letters as an aid for a speaker or actor chiefly in television broadcasting. button that accesses Help by entering words, clicking existing index entries or displaying a hierarchical A structure made up of different levels like a company organization chart. The higher levels have control or precedence over the lower levels. Hierarchical structures are a one-to-many relationship; each item having one or more items below it. index of all contents. Context sensitive help is also available on most screens.
A number of predefined reports are available for payroll use, accessible from the Reports list. Reports can be printed or previewed in summary or detail. Interestingly, some of the reports one might expect to find here are missing, such as a vacation report. It is necessary to go to employee setup, where a number of employee-related items are listed in report form.
The most recent release of Payroll adds support for federal tax forms, including W-2, 1099 and 941, and allows the user to print the entire form. Reports can be exported in Excel, HTML, MS-DOS Text and RTF formats, or e-mailed in any selected format. Checks can be printed on forms available from Red Wing, and MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) The machine recognition of numeric data printed with magnetically charged ink. It is used on bank checks and deposit slips. MICR readers detect the characters and convert them into digital data. blank-page printing is available through a third-party arrangement.
With the extensive help available, setting up a company, adding employees and entering pay information was a simple task. The report preview available from many screens provided a quick way to see a summary of data already entered without having to go to the reports menu.
Red Wing Payroll is an easy-to-use, well-documented payroll package that can fit the needs of a number of small- and mid-sized businesses as well as service providers.
Red Wing Software, Inc.
By Glenn Gordon
"Red Wing Payroll is the best payroll software I've used to date." --Roxie Huber Director of Finance Girl Scouts of Minn-Ia-Kota Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Next Generation from UBCC UBCC Uniform Building Code Commission (Utah) Features Speed
Compatibility with more than 600 platforms eliminates need for recompiling.
The Next Generation (TNG TNG Training
TNG The Next Generation
TNG The Newspaper Guild (Union)
TNG Transitional National Government
TNG Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (national facility of the Italian astronomical community) ) is the latest release from Universal Business Computing computing - computer Company (UBCC) of Taos, N.M. Since 1981, UBCC has offered a comprehensive set of accounting and payroll packages for enterprise that feature portability, productivity and flexibility.
The company ensures portability by designing software that requires no recompiling because the program is compatible with more than 600 platforms, including Unix, Linux, all Microsoft Windows' platforms, and a host of minicomputers and mainframes.
UBCC also built in speed--instantaneous response regardless of file size--by bypassing more common database approaches, such as Access, SQL SQL
in full Structured Query Language.
Computer programming language used for retrieving records or parts of records in databases and performing various calculations before displaying the results. or Oracle, in favor of upon the side of; favorable to; for the advantage of.
See also: favor a data file structure called ISAM (Indexed Sequential Access Method) A common disk access method that stores data sequentially, while maintaining an index of key fields to all the records in the file for direct access. (indexed sequential access method See ISAM.
(database) Indexed Sequential Access Method - (ISAM) An IBM file management system allowing records to be accessed either sequentially (in the order they were entered) or via an index. Each index orders the records on a different key. ), originally developed for mainframe use.
Along with speed, the ISAM approach produces a more reliable file structure with flexibility and power that a database cannot match. UBCC TNG also allows true real-time operation Noun 1. real-time operation - data processing fast enough to keep up with an outside process
data processing - (computer science) a series of operations on data by a computer in order to retrieve or transform or classify information with no batch processing (1) Performing a particular operation automatically on a group of files all at once rather than manually opening, editing and saving one file at a time. For example, graphics software that converts a selection of images from one format to another would be a batch processing utility. , meaning all data is online instantly.
TNG provides three navigation modes In a flight control system, a control mode in which the flight path of an aircraft is automatically maintained by signals from navigation equipment. that give users a choice based on their experience level and familiarity with the program. As shipped, the software is enabled in the Graphical Expert Mode, in which the user selects functions using the mouse or by entering a corresponding two- to five-letter mnemonic Pronounced "ni-mon-ic." A memory aid. In programming, it is a name assigned to a machine function. For example, COM1 is the mnemonic assigned to serial port #1 on a PC. Programming languages are almost entirely mnemonics. in the Enter your choice box at the bottom of each screen. Entering the proper code in this box switches the screen to provide Windows-style drop-down menus See pull-down menu.
drop-down menu - pull-down menu , the second mode.
The user selects the third mode to navigate in DOS and pure text mainframe style systems. That mode displays menus that allow item selection through up/down arrow keys Arrow keys are buttons on a computer keyboard that move the cursor in a specified direction. They are typically located at the bottom of the keyboard to the side of the numeric keypad, usually arranged in an inverted-T layout but also found in diamond shapes. , or by entering the first letter of a menu item.
Experienced users can move quickly from screen to screen using mnemonics mnemonics /mne·mon·ics/ (ne-mon´iks) improvement of memory by special methods or techniques.mnemon´ic
A system to develop or improve the memory. , which they can enter instantly without having to move a cursor. When using screens involving data input, pressing Esc displays the entry box. Data also can be imported from virtually any .csv file.
UBCC has enhanced TNG to allow up to 9,999 concurrent users In computer science, the number of concurrent users for a resource in a location, with the location being a computing network or a single computer, refers to the total number of people using the resource at the same time. . New operator profile options now allow each user to customize the software to personal preferences. A welcome addition for many users is the ability to control screen font A font used for on-screen display. For true WYSIWYG systems, screen fonts must be matched as close as possible to the printer fonts. Contrast with printer font. size. The Unified Payroll is integrated with all other modules in use. Up to nine ACH (Automated Clearing House) A system of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank that provides electronic funds transfer (EFT) between banks. It is used for all kinds of fund transfer transactions, including direct deposit of paychecks and monthly debits for routine payments to (Direct Deposit) distributions per paycheck with unlimited labor distributions can be designated, with full paper or electronic compatibility.
A host of other features simplify payroll use, such as a "gross up" form that allows instant creation of all deductions, and gross pay from entry of the net amount that eliminates headache headache
Pain in the upper portion of the head. Episodic tension headaches are the most common, usually causing mild to moderate pain on both sides. They result from sustained contraction of face and neck muscles, often due to fatigue, stress, or frustration. when issuing bonus checks.
The product ships with a separate documentation CD containing various files. Unfortunately, the files are not organized in an easily usable USable is a special idea contest to transfer US American ideas into practice in Germany. USable is initiated by the German Körber-Stiftung (foundation Körber). It is doted with 150,000 Euro and awarded every two years. manual form. However, a Help button on each screen leads to context-sensitive help tied to the particular field in question.
A number of master reports are available for payroll use, including vacation and sick accrual accrual,
n continually recurring short-term liabilities. Examples are accrued wages, taxes, and interest. , overtime, and employee withholding status. A built-in report generator Same as report writer. creates other reports as well.
Attaching and using system printers is simplified, with Windows spoolers access now available. The software also supports MICR blank check stock printing in batch or real-time 1. real-time - Describes an application which requires a program to respond to stimuli within some small upper limit of response time (typically milli- or microseconds). Process control at a chemical plant is the classic example. mode. A truly paperless option also is available, providing automatic creation of PDF files See PDF. for all reports and documents, with provision for quick e-mailing to clients. This is a feature likely to become more important in future years.
Although some training is undoubtedly necessary, an uninitiated un·in·i·ti·at·ed
Not knowledgeable or skilled; inexperienced.
An uninformed, unskilled, or inexperienced person or group of people. user can enter sufficient information to display some of the package's capabilities.
There is, undoubtedly, a steeper learning curve involved for new UBCC TNG users than for some other packages. However, the flexibility of the product and the long-term productivity it allows should place it in consideration for payroll service bureaus A payroll service bureau is an accounting business whose main focus is the preparation of payroll for other businesses. Such firms are often run by Certified Public Accountants, though a typical payroll processing company will refer to itself as a service bureau rather than a CPA , as well as firms wanting a payroll package that integrates effectively with other accounting functions.
Universal Business Consulting Company Noun 1. consulting company - a firm of experts providing professional advice to an organization for a fee
business firm, firm, house - the members of a business organization that owns or operates one or more establishments; "he worked for a
By Glenn Gordon