Payroll services in the cloud: Intuit vs. ADP

By , PC World |  Cloud Computing, payroll

When setting up individual employees, you can configure federal, state, and local tax withholding. Intuit provides the required tax forms, such as the W-4 (Employee Withholding Certificate), I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), and new-hire state forms. Supported deductions include insurance, retirement plans, flexible spending accounts, HSA plans, garnishments, and other items such as cash-advance and loan repayments. You can even add custom after-tax deductions. In addition to regular pay, it supports commissions, bonuses, holiday pay, overtime, reimbursements, allowances, tips, and other miscellaneous earnings and compensation.

For employee payments, Intuit supports free direct deposits, preprinted QuickBooks-compatible check stocks, blank check stocks, and plain paper stubs that can accompany handwritten checks.

Like ADP's RUN, Intuit Online Payroll offers employees online access to view their information, including paycheck details, as well as to download W2s. Intuit also supplies free apps for iPhone and Android that let you perform most payroll-management tasks, but it doesn't provide mobile access for employees.

Overall, Intuit Online Payroll is sufficiently user-friendly and feature-rich for most small businesses. It offers additional help and tips for many topics and fields while you're inputting data. For instance, during the initial setup it gives tips on the employer ID numbers you need and how to obtain them. And when you're entering employee data, it explains how to verify Social Security numbers. Intuit also provides a to-do list showing required and recommended tasks, and its email reminders can help keep you on your toes.

ADP RUN

Pros: More employee payment methods; mobile access for employer and employees; live 24/7 phone help

Cons: More expensive and complex to set up than Intuit Online Payroll

RUN, from payroll giant Automatic Data Processing, offers three main online services for small and medium-size businesses: Essential Payroll, Enhanced Payroll, and Complete Payroll and HR 411. The first subscription is the most comparable to Intuit's, whereas the remaining two subscriptions offer additional payroll and HR information and services. RUN is a good option for any small business, but those without payroll experience may need to call for assistance.

For the sake of my example, I once again calculated the pricing for 15 employees: The cost totaled about $284 per month for Essential Payroll and $370 per month for Enhanced Payroll. For employee time-tracking, the EZLaborManager service costs $57 per month for a 15-employee operation. Though the pricing is much higher than Intuit's, RUN offers additional features and services. The RUN interface and configuration process aren't as wizard-like as Intuit's, but they're still fairly user-friendly.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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