What’s in a name? Well, if the name is PayCycle, just about everything you need to know is right there in those three little syllables. That’s because PayCycle offers a do-it-yourself cyclical online payroll system, and it is precision-geared for a company of your size.
“The bulk of our customers have five or fewer employees,” says company vice president of product management Karen White, “and we’re growing fast, adding as many as 400 new customers a day.” That reflects the fact, she adds, that nearly nine out of ten employees work in companies with 20 or fewer employees.
Accounting is by itself a generally boring chore. You are, after all, responsible for more exciting things, such as designing your next product, pulling together a marketing plan for your business, and selling your products. But sooner or later you have to do the accounting and, possibly worse, you have to pay people, which means complying with all sorts of tax rules, rates, and regulations. It also means paying federal, state, and local taxes on your employees’ behalf every quarter.
Payroll is a lot of tedious work, but according to a study conducted for PayCycle by National Family Opinion (NFO) only 35 percent of small businesses have enough knowledge to do payroll correctly–yet about three quarters of small businesses are doing some or all of their own payroll work.
Payroll Made Simple
PayCycle can do it all for you instead. Almost all you have to do is sign up, sign in, describe your employees, and get them paid. “PayCycle is just unbelievable,” says Gary Scheittler, president of Paradise Properties in Alden, MI. “We used to scramble around every Friday trying to figure out who should get paid what amount, and how to allocate the funds. PayCycle just eliminated all that with practically no effort on our part.”
There is a bit more to the PayCycle process, but it’s all not very hard to do. And PayCycle’s latest innovation is a startup system called “My Setup Wizard” announced this week that walks users through the process with little or no pain. The style of the startup system is reminiscent of the interview scheme that TurboTax has used successfully for a number of years, something that White freely acknowledges. “I’m a huge fan of that system,” she says.
“Getting started with a new payroll solution can seem like a daunting task,” says White, “especially for small employers who are still doing payroll by hand.” PayCycle staffers spent time during the past two years observing customers work in order to design the easiest setup process possible. “Remember,” says White, “our mission is to make paper-based payroll obsolete and our new My Setup Wizard is a great step forward on that mission.”
Doing It With You
The new startup system is really an enhancement of what the company likes to call its “do it with you” (DIWY) approach to Web-based applications software. No matter where you are in the PayCycle process, the system offers help designed to move you through whatever task is in front of you, whether it’s adding new employees, implementing new features, or just running cyclical chores.
That requires a strong level of interaction, and PayCycle has it. One important example is a system of reminders that keep users apprised of when tax payments or other payments or transfers of funds are due. “Maybe the best thing about PayCycle is that it keeps tabs on things and sends me notes when I have to do something,” says Scheittler. PayCycle makes payments to federal, state, and local authorities electronically or by checks, and can comply with user requests for immediate or quarterly payments.
The system supports many types of employees, including regular salaried staff, hourly employees, commissioned sales representatives, contractors, and others. “We support twenty different profiles,” says White, “and employees can be paid by check or by direct deposit, with notices on paper or by e-mail.” The system also takes care of employee contributions for benefits, including health insurance, and pension contributions.
You’re in Control
While PayCycle’s DIWY approach is designed to keep users organized, the company has made substantial efforts to make sure that users remain firmly in control. “The most frequent reason people give for doing their own payroll,” says White, “is that they don’t want to lose control of their money. We have to be sure that they don’t lose control, and that they don’t think they are losing control.”
PayCycle is also designed to integrate with other systems, including Intuit’s popular QuickBooks and Microsoft Money accounting software. “That’s right up there in importance with the reminders,” says Scheittler. The company no longer integrates with Intuit’s Quicken because of changes that company made in its supported file transfer formats.
The product is also designed to be reasonably priced. You can sign up directly at www.PayCycle.com, and begin with a free trial. Prices start at $14.99 per month, and there are no extra charges for setup, direct deposit, electronic tax payments and filings, reports, or W-2’s. The company provides free toll-free phone and e-mail support to registered users.