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PrimePay Payroll Review 2021: Features, Pricing, Alternatives

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If you’re in the market for payroll software, one name you may have heard is PrimePay. PrimePay launched in 1986 with the goal of saving small-business owners time by managing their logistical tasks. Today, PrimePay provides a variety of services, from HR to insurance and compliance — but its bread and butter is still payroll.

Let’s take a closer look at PrimePay Payroll: How it works, its features and how much it costs. We’ll also offer up some alternatives to PrimePay so you can understand your full range of options when deciding on a payroll service provider.

What is PrimePay Payroll?

PrimePay Payroll is a cloud-hosted payroll service, meaning it can be accessed from anywhere on the web and does not require the business owner to install or manage any software. The platform was designed specifically for small-business owners looking to track, manage and process payroll, and deliver payment to their employees.

But to say that is all PrimePay can do would be reductive. Built into the payroll platform are HR, time clock and workers compensation capabilities, allowing you to manage all aspects regarding payroll in one place.

How it works

To get started with PrimePay Payroll, you need to sign up for an account. This requires submitting some basic business information via a form on the PrimePay website, including your company name, number of employees and contact information. Once submitted, a PrimePay sales representative will contact you and walk you through the details of setting up your account.

Setup

With your account set up, you can configure it in accordance with how you run payroll. This includes creating your payroll calendar (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly), entering tax, earnings, benefits deductions and workers compensation information, and linking your business bank account to the software.

Once you have completed these steps, you can start adding in employees. This is where PrimePay’s HR capabilities come into play. To add an employee to PrimePay Payroll you must first add them to PrimePay HR. To do so, navigate to the HR portal from your account dashboard and click the “Add Employee” option. You will be prompted to provide the employee’s classification (W-2, independent contractor), name, birthday, gender, address, date of hire and Social Security number.

You’ll also provide the employee’s pay schedule and pay method (direct deposit, prepaid check, paper check). Once all this information is entered, you must sync PrimePay HR with PrimePay Payroll by selecting the “Manage Employees” option in the HR portal. After HR and Payroll are synchronized, you can enter in all relevant federal, state and local tax withholdings information for the new employee in the Payroll portal, as well as earnings information.

Finally, if an employee opts for direct deposit, you must enter their bank name, account type (savings or checking), and account and routing number into the Payroll system.

Processing

With all of this information collected in the Payroll and HR systems, you can begin processing payroll for the employee. Processing payroll with PrimePay is a three-step process. When the next pay period comes, log into your payroll system and import your time and attendance data from PrimePay’s time clock platform. Once the data is imported, you will be provided with the option to create checks for your employees. Select the “Calculate Your Checks” icon, which provides a preview of the pay information for each individual employee. Review the data and, if all looks right, click “Submit” to process payroll.

Taxes

When payroll is processed, PrimePay automatically calculates, files and pays local, state and federal taxes based on the information you have provided. Deductions for things like health benefits and savings contributions are also automatically calculated. For employees who opt to be paid by paper check, PrimePay Payroll offers free check signing, stuffing and sealing services.

At the end of the year, PrimePay will deliver tax forms for your employees for an additional fee. There is also an online portal that your employees can access to view pay stubs and tax forms. If there are ever any errors regarding taxation, PrimePay will fix the mistakes and pay any fines that may have been incurred.

Features of PrimePay Payroll

Most of what PrimePay Payroll can do is fairly typical amongst payroll platforms. Fortunately, PrimePay also offers a lot of extra functionality (like the HR and time clock platforms mentioned earlier) to really sweeten the pot for small-business owners. Let’s take a look at some of the additional items:

Payroll reporting

PrimePay’s payroll reports are designed to provide small-business owners with insights into their labor expenses. Reports range from departmental summaries, payroll journals and tax summaries, to customized 401(k) reports, direct deposit recaps, terminated employee history and more.

Payroll add-ons

For an extra cost, PrimePay will extend the functionality of your platform with a variety of add-ons. This includes adding a bank reconciliation file, electronic child support garnishment, general ledger imports, 401(k) imports and more. PrimePay does not list the cost of these add-ons on its website, so we recommend speaking to a sales representative if you are interested in adding any of these features.

Applicant tracking

Using PrimePay’s built-in HR software, you can post job listings to major job boards. When someone applies for that role, their information will be automatically imported into the HR system. Once you make a hire, their information will be sent directly to Employee Onboarding.

Employee onboarding

Onboard new hires digitally via the PrimePay HR system. All the information entered during onboarding can also be transferred directly to Payroll. PrimePay will also handle all new hire paperwork and submit it to the appropriate state and federal agencies.

Time clock

As previously mentioned, Payroll subscribers have access to a cloud-based time clock that integrates directly with its system. The time clock can handle punch-in/punch-out functions for employees, scheduling, PTO management and overtime settings.

HR advisory

Within the HR portal, Payroll customers have access to a variety of free step-by-step guides on topics relating to human resources. For an extra $29 per month, you can also get access to an employee handbook builder, 200 employee training courses and a direct line to a certified HR professional.

Additional services

Although all of the aforementioned services come included or as extensions of the Payroll platform, PrimePay offers a variety of additional subscription services that may be of use to small-business owners, including benefits and merchant services, and additional HR and insurance services. Pricing is quote-based. Contact a sales representative for more.

Customer service

To contact customer service, you must submit an online form via the PrimePay Support Portal. For a faster solution, look through the documentation provided in the Support Portal on all the different facets of the PrimePay platform. PrimePay also maintains a blog with useful information.

Pricing of PrimePay Payroll

PrimePay Payroll’s pricing is based on the number of employees you have and how frequently you run payroll. The PrimePay website features a tool where you can calculate your payroll costs based on your company’s information. The price breakdown is as follows:

Weekly payroll

Bi-weekly payroll

Semi-monthly payroll

Monthly payroll

1-9 employees

$42 per pay period plus $3.45 per check.

$60 per pay period plus $3.70 per check.

$60 per pay period plus $3.70 per check.

$95 per pay period plus $2.65 per check.

10-49 employees

$50 per pay period plus $2.75 per check.

$66 per pay period plus $2.90 per check.

$66 per pay period plus $2.90 per check.

$97 per pay period plus $2.65 per check.

50+ employees

$116 per pay period plus $1.85 per check.

$131 per pay period plus $1.85 per check.

$131 per pay period plus $1.85 per check.

$163 per pay period plus $1.85 per check.

*Semi-monthly payroll means payroll will be processed twice a month.

There are no contracts to sign with PrimePay. You can use the service month-to-month and cancel at any time. Note that PrimePay is currently offering a 60-day free trial.

Pros of PrimePay Payroll

HR services

Although PrimePay isn’t the first payroll software to integrate HR services into its platform, it certainly offers a lot of functionality at no cost. When you sign up for the payroll platform, you get applicant tracking, new hire reporting, and onboarding and advisory services baked into the product. That’s a lot of free features.

Ease of use

PrimePay Payroll is designed for small-business owners who have a lot on their plates. Therefore, it tries to make the payroll process as seamless as possible by integrating HR and time tracking functions into the payroll platform, and by making processing payroll a simple three-step process. For those who are new to payroll processing, you won’t face a steep learning curve with PrimePay.

User reviews

Here is how PrimePay ranks on the major review sites:

  • G2 Crowd: 5 stars out of 5.

  • Capterra: 4.5 stars out of 5.

  • Better Business Bureau: A+ (not accredited).

In reviews, customers say they find PrimePay’s UX extremely intuitive, and that they can process payroll very quickly using the platform. In addition, users find the PrimePay blog to be extremely informative, and that payroll consistently processes without any errors.

Cons of PrimePay Payroll

Scalability

It’s not that you can’t scale your business using PrimePay Payroll. But for businesses that have grown past the 100-employee mark, there are payroll service providers that can provide payroll solutions more tailored to your business needs. PrimePay’s services are built to serve small and midsize businesses.

User reviews

There aren’t many negative reviews of PrimePay Payroll on the major review sites. The most common complaints were that the reporting isn’t as in-depth as some would like, and that it is hard to get a customer service representative on the phone quickly.

Alternatives to PrimePay

Automatic Data Processing (ADP)

ADP is a professional employer organization, meaning it offers payroll services and a whole lot more. For small businesses, ADP offers four plans: Essential Payroll, Enhanced Payroll, Complete Payroll and HR Pro. Based on which plan you subscribe to, you’ll get access to some or all of those additional services. Among the additional services are an employee discount program, free background checks and legal assistance.

Gusto

An economical choice for businesses that don’t have many employees is Gusto. Gusto is an all-in-one payroll/HR/benefits system. Its low-cost plan charges a flat rate of $39 per month plus $6 per employee per month. Some of the features that come with Gusto include 401(k) and workers’ compensation management, and integrations with popular time tracking and accounting software. Gusto also has a new option for contractor-only employers, who simply pay the $6/employee rate and no base price.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet

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Sage Intacct Accounting Software Review 2021

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Sage Intacct is an all-inclusive cloud-based financial management and business accounting software — and according to the Sage Intacct website, is the first and only preferred provider of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), designed for full accounting and financial management for CFOs and CIOs. Sage is best-suited for larger businesses or small businesses that are growing extremely quickly.

Sage Intacct features

Sage Intacct is a cloud-based accounting software — meaning you can access your account anywhere you have an internet connection. This being said, however, unlike other accounting software options on the market, including other Sage accounting software products, Sage Intacct does not have a dedicated mobile app to allow you to manage your account on the go.

Additionally, as an enterprise-level software, it’s important to explain a little more about how Sage Intacct works. In short, whereas many small-business accounting platforms offer standard software plans — each of which has a specific list of features for a certain price — Sage Intacct can be uniquely customized to meet your particular needs.

Although Sage Intacct offers six overarching modules as part of its software (listed below), you can pick and choose the ones you need as part of your plan.

  • Core financials: Manage essential accounting tasks and processes.

  • Dashboards and reporting: View real-time insights and statistics about your business performance.

  • Billing: Automate revenue and billing processes.

  • Budgeting and planning: Create and manage budgets and collaborate within your organization.

  • Platform: Integrate with other platforms and tools to meet your business’s needs.

  • Advanced functionality: Utilize additional modules to further automate and streamline financial processes.

Overall, the first five modules seem to come standard with the Sage Intacct accounting software and the modules that fall under “advanced functionality” can be added separately — like with additional costs.

Sage Intacct sample dashboard. Image source: Sage Intacct

As you can see, Sage Intacct has an unparalleled amount of features and integration options to offer business owners. With all of this functionality, therefore, you’re probably wondering what the Sage Intacct pricing looks like.

Unfortunately, unlike many other accounting software platforms that are priced on a standard monthly or annual subscription basis, Sage Intacct’s pricing is quote-based. In essence, this means there is no standard Sage Intacct cost, and instead, pricing is customized based on your business. Therefore, in order to find out how much it would cost your business to use Sage Intacct, you would have to contact its sales team and work with them directly.

This being said, however, it’s very likely that the cost of Sage Intacct will vary based on a number of factors, such as:

  • The size of your business.

  • Your business’s industry.

  • The specific features you need.

  • The level of customization and automation you need.

It’s very likely that if you only need the functionality of Sage’s standard modules, your price point will be lower than if you require any of the advanced functionality modules. Likewise, if you only need the Core Financials module, and don’t require Budgeting and Planning or Billing, your Sage Intacct cost will be even lower.

Nevertheless, as an enterprise-level accounting software system, it’s safe to say that Sage Intacct is going to have a higher price point, especially if you consider the cost of Sage 50cloud, Sage’s desktop-based accounting product. When it comes to Sage 50, pricing starts at around $50 per month and ranges all the way to nearly $330 per month. Similarly, this pricing structure can lead you to assume that the larger your business and the more you require from your accounting software, the higher the Sage Intacct pricing will be.

At the end of the day though, although you may see some Sage Intacct users writing about their pricing experiences online (which will be discussed below), the only way to know how much it will cost your business to use this accounting software is to contact the Sage sales team and receive a customized quote.

Sage Intacct customer reviews

So, what do customers have to say about their experience with Sage Intacct?

Overall, online Sage Intacct reviews are mostly positive. It seems that a sizable number of Sage Intacct users are satisfied with their experience and would recommend the product to other business owners.

More specifically, the positive Sage Intacct reviews highlight:

  • Saved time by using the platform.

  • The flexibility of the cloud-based system.

  • Impressive customization.

  • Integration opportunities and more.

In particular, one reviewer mentioned that Sage Intacct is a worthwhile step up from QuickBooks — but at the same time, it doesn’t include the same level of guidance for the user as QuickBooks does.

On the other hand, although there didn’t seem to be wholly negative reviews with any sort of consistency, there were some areas that users often mentioned as drawbacks:

  • Reporting: Users wrote that the reporting functions left something to be desired and seemed inflexible considering the enterprise-level of the software.

  • Learning curve: Many customers felt that Sage Intacct required a large learning curve and could, on the whole, be more user-friendly.

  • Cost: Although users didn’t mention the specific price they were paying, many users wrote that Sage Intacct was expensive, especially if you required more than the standard modules.

Pros of Sage Intacct

Now that you’re familiar with all the various details of Sage Intacct, let’s evaluate how this accounting software stands out as a solution for small-business owners. What are the most beneficial aspects of Sage Intacct — and likewise, what are the most notable drawbacks?

Let’s continue our Sage Intacct review by starting with the positives. Here are three advantages to consider:

Automation and customization

If you read any information about Sage Intacct on its website, there are two words you’ll see used to describe this accounting software again and again: automation and customization. At the end of the day, as an enterprise-level accounting solution designed to handle more than simple business bookkeeping and accounting, but the whole of a business’s financial processes, automation and customization are key to this platform.

One of the largest benefits of Sage Intacct is that every facet of its software can be customized to your business — features, workflows, modules, reports, users, etc. Additionally, each of these customizable features, in fact, every capability that Sage Intacct offers, seems to be designed with the goal of automating and streamlining your processes.

Therefore, with this extremely detailed level of both automation and customization, Sage Intacct seems to be designed for businesses that need to manage complex and nuanced processes and would largely benefit from a single software that allows them to seamlessly handle everything in one place.

Advanced features

As you can see, not only does Sage Intacct include advanced features within its core accounting software, but it also offers extended modules to add even greater capabilities to your platform.

With functionality for financial processes like budgeting, multi-location, multi-currency, revenue recognition and team collaboration, Sage Intacct offers detailed features far beyond what you’ll find with many other small-business accounting software options like Wave or Zoho Books.

This being said, as an accounting software designed to manage the full range of financial processes, there’s no doubt that Sage Intacct includes the tools that allow you to do so. Therefore, as an enterprise-level software with an incredibly impressive feature set, Sage Intacct can truly serve businesses that need these advanced features and overall level of financial management.

Integrations

Finally, on top of all of the advanced features, automation and customization Sage Intacct offers, another benefit of this accounting software is the integration opportunities it offers.

Sage Intacct includes built-in integration with both Salesforce and Avatax, as well as allows you to integrate as many other tools and platforms as your business requires using their APIs and SDKs.

Therefore, despite the wide variety of features that Sage Intacct includes within its platform, if you’re missing a function or service you already use, you have the option to add it to Sage — thereby further increasing the number of business processes you’ll be able to manage within one system.

Cons of Sage Intacct

Despite these notable benefits, just like any other accounting software out there, Sage Intacct has downsides to consider as well.

Let’s discuss two of the biggest drawbacks of this Sage product.

Pricing

With a quote-based system, there’s no way to know what Sage Intacct pricing will actually be without going through the process of working with its sales team. Although this process is intended to offer a price customized to your business, it’s less than ideal — as you have no way of knowing whether you’re receiving a fair price, especially compared to what Sage is charging other businesses.

Additionally, without knowing what the cost of Sage Intacct looks like upfront, it’s harder to compare Sage Intacct to other accounting software options on the market. Ultimately, transparent, upfront pricing is certainly preferable when it comes to business tools like accounting software.

This being said, although we can’t be totally sure of Sage Intacct’s pricing — comparing this product to Sage’s other products, as well as other enterprise-level accounting software platforms, like QuickBooks Enterprise (plus customer reviews) — it’s safe to say Sage Intacct is probably going to be on the high end of the pricing spectrum. With a high cost, possibly hundreds of dollars per month, this price point is going to be unaffordable for many small-business owners.

Extensive capabilities

Although Sage Intacct’s vast feature set can be beneficial for a certain type of business owner, there’s no doubt that it also can be a barrier-to-entry for many other businesses. With advanced functionality even within its basic “core financials” features, this Sage software is certainly not going to appeal to beginners or those with little accounting experience. Similarly, if you’re looking for the fastest and easiest way to get accounting software set up for your small business, Sage Intacct is not going to be your best option.

Ultimately, though Sage Intacct will be able to fulfill the needs of larger businesses, it’s relatively unapproachable for small-business owners. With an overwhelming amount of features, customization options and (likely) a high price point, it’s simply going to be more than many small businesses need.

Top alternatives to Sage Intacct

Before you decide whether Sage Intacct is the right choice for your business, it’s worth looking into top accounting software alternatives. With all of the accounting solutions on the market, there are a variety of Sage Intacct alternatives to choose from — however, it’s probably best to consider these options in two ways.

First, we’ll discuss an enterprise-level alternative that closely compares to Sage Intacct in terms of features and probable pricing. Second, we’ll consider a top accounting software alternative that can accommodate a wider variety of smaller and midsize businesses.

QuickBooks Enterprise

Of all the products that fall into the QuickBooks suite, QuickBooks Enterprise is the most robust — and therefore, most equatable with Sage Intacct. QuickBooks Enterprise offers 6x the capacity of any other QuickBooks version, and like Sage Intacct, it includes features allowing businesses to manage the whole of their accounting and financial processes.

One of the big differences between Sage Intacct and QuickBooks Enterprise, however, is that Enterprise is a desktop-based software — unless you pay an additional cost for online hosting. And unlike Sage Intacct, QuickBooks Enterprise is available in three different plans — Silver, Gold and Platinum — so that you can choose the option that works best for your business.

This being said, like Sage Intacct, Enterprise is extremely customizable and includes capabilities for payments, billing, inventory, forecasting, invoicing, sales orders, integrations and more. Plus, if you opt for the Gold or Platinum level of Enterprise, you receive built-in, full-service QuickBooks payroll. Pricing for QuickBooks Enterprise Silver starts at $145 per month for one user, or $1,213 per year for one user. With the higher-level plans and more users, the monthly and annual prices increase accordingly.

Therefore, as an enterprise-level solution known as one of the most feature-rich accounting products on the market, QuickBooks Enterprise is a worthy alternative to larger businesses that are considering Sage Intacct.

Xero accounting

On the other hand, if your business doesn’t need such extensive accounting software like Sage Intacct or QuickBooks Enterprise, you might instead consider a solution like Xero accounting. With three different plan options, a significant feature set and numerous integration options, Xero can accommodate businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Xero’s three plans — Early, Growing and Established — cost $9, $30 and $60 per month, respectively, making this accounting software much more affordable than either Sage Intacct or QuickBooks Enterprise. And while Xero is much more affordable, it isn’t lacking in terms of features. Xero offers tools for reconciliation, inventory, invoicing, bills, expenses, projects, purchase orders, fixed assets and more. Plus, Xero integrates with over 700 third-party services and platforms. Moreover, the Xero system is known for its usability, accessibility and mobility.

Therefore, with a lower price point, user-friendly platform and substantial capabilities, Xero offers a much more fitting accounting solution for business owners who don’t need all of the complex and advanced features of Sage Intacct.

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What are the benefits of automating systems within your business?

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As times change, technology becomes far more advanced in every industry and most businesses decide to use automated systems to take over some of their simpler operations. Here’s how automated systems can help your business.

What is automation?

Business process automation is the process of using technology-enabled automation services to complete tasks within your workplace. This could be something like scheduling appointments and sending out a direct text, setting up an automatic email response to let someone know you are out of office, or automatic confirmation emails for orders. 

Why is it important?

Automation services allow you to spend more time on the more important and time-consuming tasks so that you can better your business. For example, rather than having to ask someone within your HR and communications department to send text reminders to patients about their upcoming appointments, an automated service will do this for you. This means that they can spent the time that would have been used doing this on an area that is much better. 

Automation also provides you with more precise data. As human errors are inevitable, it’s much more accurate using an automated service to ensure that everything is done precisely as it is set up to be. This way you can track and trace communications and keep customers and employees in the loop. 

What types of things in the workplace can be automated?

Automation can be used all over the workplace in multiple ways. One good example of workplace automation services is using payroll software to ensure employees are paid correctly and on time, by keeping a close eye on the hours that your employees are working and calculating the deductions in live time. This software means that there’s less room for errors and with the help of digital ‘clock in’ services, you are able to pinpoint your employees’ working times right down to the minute.

You can also automate your stock levels to sync up as you make sales, this way you can easily be notified of when stock is running low, and you need to order more in. This saves hours of time doing stock counts on a regular basis and means that you won’t end up overstocked with products going out of style or out of date, as items that aren’t selling won’t flag up. 

You could even automate your booking system, allowing customers to book online or over the phone with an automated service and the notification coming straight to your management system, so that you know exactly how many covers are needed for every night for the following few months. 

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