Payroll software

Tim Hayes.

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Aug 31, 2001
What software, if any, do you use to process your payroll in-house? Is it part of your framing POS sofware? Is it a stand alone "off-the-shelf" product? Please be specific as to brand and version. Please explain your likes and dislikes about the product that you actually use and have experience with.

Tim Hayes

[ 10-11-2003, 12:45 PM: Message edited by: Tim Hayes ]
Since I use Quickbooks, I use the payroll module from them. It works OK.

The only drawback is the annual subscription to update the tax tables. It is about $125/ yr. :(
We've been using Quick Books Pro 2003 since January 2003 for Payroll, Payables and Receivables. Without my Accountant's help in initially getting set-up I think a change-over would have been very difficult. Sub-Chapter S, personal loans to the business, stock/equity ownership, rental property etc... Once the Accountant makes the first year conversion from the "old software" to Quick Books it operates effortlessly. There are many pluses and no minuses ... so far.
Another vote for QuickbooksPro. We find it very easy.
The yearly subscription cost is a pittance compared to what we used to pay our accountant.

edie the evenicandopayrollwithit goddess
Yet another vote for QuickBooks Pro. It is such a widely used product that most CPA's are very familiar with it. We can email our year end & any questions to our accountant. I like the Excel export feature for state info and for analyzing the payroll data.

Peter Bowe
We've been using Netbooks (the Macintosh version of Peachtree) for several years without any problems.

Netbooks/Peachtree is a stand-alone accounting package. We do not use a commercial POS system.

Nearly all good accounting packages can "export" data into other programs.
We use QuickBooks for our accounting and the Intuit Payroll Service for payroll. Intuit handles everything including direct deposit. We also use Intuit for bill paying. I don't know what the service costs and don't care; it's worth it. The quality of my life went up the day they took over payroll. All we do is send them hours via a dsl connection. No more quarterly reports, no more end of the year work. All we do at the end of the year is open an envelope with W2 forms in it and distribute them. The employees like direct deposit, too. Just not having to handle the canceled payroll checks is a big plus. I've forgotten how much I hated dealing with payroll. Warren
I have to give my vote to MYOB ( I looked at QuickBooks some time ago and thought about switching to it but decided against it mainly because of it's limitations. For many of you it would probably be all you need. I'm incorporated (C Corp) and keep a full set of books (double entry) which MYOB supports and which QuickBooks doesn't.

One of the things I needed was to ability to have a draw account, and to have my paychecks to myself debited from that account when their was a draw balance. QuickBooks didn't support that, the only thing you could do with payroll was to print a check.

I run my books just like a big boys do and need a full set of books including asset, inventory, sales, depreciation, year-end closure, etc. When I do my corporate taxes each year I have a complete income statement and balance sheet to work from.

It has been several years since I looked at QuickBooks so it might have improved. My impression at the time is that it is OK as long as you do things their way. If you want the flexibility of a full accounting system, it falls short.

MYOB is $249. It's normally upgraded at the start of each year for $119 which includes all the new tax tables. I have used MYOB since 1992 and recommend it highly to anyone that needs a full accounting system.

[ 10-13-2003, 03:28 PM: Message edited by: Larry Peterson ]
Quickbooks is a fully functional double entry accounting system. It handles all of the IRS requirements in report preparation. Balance statements, income statements, asset depreciation, cost accounting, etc, etc.

Yes it is a rather simple system. It is however easy to use and you do not have to spend a lot of time with it. BTY, I spent 12 years in accounting with 2 Fortune 500 companies. It will even work for your type of business. I did look at your web site.

As for a "Draw Account". As the owner writing a check against your retained earnings is a draw against your Corporate income. If you are talking about a "draw against commission" for an employee that is a whole different situation. I do not know what the capabilities of QuickBooks Pro are since I do not use that version. The system will however handle commission sales on payroll.
I was doing what I did because I was too lazy to do my payroll on time.

I had a liability account called Salaries Payable. I have always been my only employee. Once a month, (or whenever I got around to it) I would do my payroll and credit the net to the Salaries Payable account. Whenever I wanted money, I would write a check debited against that account. Sometimes I would go half the year before actually doing the payroll and then I would backdate all the payroll transactions to the first of all the months I missed. At the end of the year, I would look at the balance and my profits and write my final paycheck accordingly so that my net profit or loss from the C Corp was a low amount. I would always net out my Salaries Payable account to zero at year end so it wouldn't show up on my corporate tax return. I normally drew less than what I paid myself so I would normally have additional cash at year end. I know that that is lending money interest free to my corporation but it normally isn't an issue unless there is a carryover balance which I never had. I would never let the credit amount get out of hand enough to skew my quarterly tax payments, however.

I just looked at my books and after 11 years of being a C Corp, my total retained earnings are about $500. I spent many years in corporate land when I was an employee and worked a lot with budgeting at the puzzle palace (Corp Headquarters). I used to laugh at the ways that the books would get cooked at EOY to meet whatever fantasy objective they had in mind by moving expenses, sales and capital items around at EOY. I guess it rubbed off.

I have used Quicken (and like it) for as many years as MYOB and once got a trial version of Quickbooks to see if I should convert. I looked first to see if it could do what I was doing above and verified with tech support that it couldn't, so I didn't look further at it. I am also very comfortable with using MYOB and the thought of coverting my prior data was also a factor.

For it's first nine years of existance, my corp (me) did contract programming and I had many years of working 80+ hour weeks so doing the books was left to whenever I had time for it. Now in my more leisurely existance as a framer (only 70+ hour weeks), I have more time to do it properly.

I don't use an accountant and do my own corporate tax returns because I have a sufficient background in accounting. I think that MYOB could be used by just about anyone that can use QuickBooks. Some might need an accountant or bookkeeper to help with the initial setup.

I reread my initial post and it wasn't my intention to knock QuickBooks, just to recommend an alternative although it probably reads that way. Sorry.
That's OK.

As a suggestion to what I see you are now doing, might I suggest that you set up a "contra payroll account" as a "Draw Account". You then can process actual payroll for yourself as time permits.

The contra account would be the actual cash disbursement for earned payroll. The difference in the two accounts would be either overpayment of funds, or funds yet to be disbursed.