PayMaxx's Payroll Services for Small Businesses

By Patricia Fusco
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Small businesses can often increase profits and attain new efficiencies by outsourcing payroll functions to trusted third parties. After all, outsourcing allows you to concentrate on your core business, safe in the knowledge that your legal and statutory payroll obligations are being fulfilled. But if you can't afford a full-service accounting firm, there are other options like PowerPayroll from PayMaxx.

Founded in 1991, PayMaxx offers Internet-based payroll products and human resource services to meet a variety of small business needs. PayMaxx's portfolio includes Windows-based payroll processing, nationwide tax filing, Section 125 and 401(k) administration, human resources management systems, W-2 reporting, as well as electronic time and attendance services.

PayMaxx's flagship payroll service is PowerPayroll, created specifically for small businesses with 100 or fewer employees. PowerPayroll allows U.S.-based small businesses to submit their payroll via the Internet and receive payroll checks and reports the next day or, alternatively, print their payroll checks and reports in the convenience of their offices.

Proficient and Secure
The program has several layers of security — access is password protected and PowerPayroll uses VeriSign's Secure Server ID public key encryption system during data transport. PowerPayroll's payroll-processing server and Web server are not directly connected. Files sent to the Web server are accessible only by an intermediate server that has the ability to pass through a firewall to get to the payroll-processing server. Only after authentication and data input is confirmed, can payroll files be processed.

Additionally, PowerPayroll has an auto logout feature after 20 minutes of inactivity. Any time a payroll process or data modification is made, an e-mail or fax is generated to your designated company contact, which allows them to monitor any unauthorized activity that occurs on your account.

Adding employees to a payroll database is as easy as loading their names into a Master Employee List. Each entry requires demographic and job information about each employee. Administrators can define the employee as either hourly or salaried. From this point forward, PowerPayroll automatically calculates pay rates based on the pay frequency entered for each employee. It's relatively easy to input employee's tax information, and enter any medical, pension and life insurance deductions or garnishments. If applicable, direct deposit instructions can be added.

To prepare a new payroll, all your administrator has to do is enter the pay period end date and check printing date; then select a pay frequency — weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. Next, select the payroll type to factor in predetermined deduction rules applied to this payroll — and PowerPayroll takes it from there to prepare a synopsis of your payroll report. The data will not be processed until a comprehensive review is completed. At this point, all your administrator has to do to comple the process is hit the submit key from the Pay Day Main Menu.

In accordance with automatic clearinghouse (ACH) guidelines, necessary funds to make good on your payroll need only be deposited into your account about days prior to processing. Unlike some other payroll services, PayMaxx does not impound funds for taxes each payroll unless you request that they do so — you maintain control of your payroll funds.

Fees and Service Sets
Pricing is based on the number of employees being processed, frequency of payroll processing, and feature set. For example, the fixed price to process a payroll of 10 each week is $32.00 per processing, — add another $10.50 to this figure if you have PayMaxx print and ship the checks. Customer service, quarterly tax report preparation, and pre-transmission reports are included in this estimate. Direct deposit is not included — add another $1 per employee for this feature. You can also add year-end W-2 processing for $1.50 per employee per year. Estimated annualized costs total $2,210 (without the year-end W-2 or direct deposit services).

A similar scenario of services for processing a 25-employee payroll each week runs $47 per processing or $2,990 on the year. Processing fees per employee decreases dramatically as the number of employees increases #$151; $3.2 per employee for a 10-employee payroll processing versus $1.88 per employee for a 25-employee payroll processing.

Right now, if you sign up for PayMaxx's Power Payroll service by the end of this month, your business is eligible to receive one month of payroll processing for free. Of course, if you have someone take the time to enter in all the pertinent data for processing your small businesses payroll, chances are you're going to stick with the program for at least one tax year.

PayMaxx also offers a referral service — if you send PayMaxx a qualified business reference and the business eventually becomes a PayMaxx customer, you receive a cash award of $2,500 for the deal.

Final Word
PayMaxx's portfolio of Windows-based payroll processing and related human resource services are capable of meeting a variety of small business needs. For as straightforward as PowerPayroll's programming is, its pricing structure is a bit complicated and problematic. If you decide to make PayMaxx your payroll processor, make sure you're only paying for the services that your business uses on a regular basis.

At the end of the day, the greatest gains from implementing an online payroll processing service are made in attaining new back office efficiencies. PayMaxx's versatility is its greatest asset, which makes PowerPayroll a viable payroll processing solution capable of growing with your business.
This article was originally published on February 06, 2003

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