While it’s tough competing in a market populated by the likes of Sage, QuickBooks and Xero, Patriot Software Full Service Payroll has managed to hold its own for seventeen years now. But is it the payroll for your business? We look at the pros and cons of Patriot Full Service Payroll software to help you determine that.
Specifically, we’ll take a closer look at the capabilities offered by the payroll software vendor. We will analyze its setup, features, integration and support to help you weigh its value. By the time you’re done reading the article, you will have a full grasp of what this software can do for you.
The irony of payroll is it drives your employees to work but, on your end, it robs you of critical time to focus on growing the business, which will help you pay your employees more.
Imagine the time lost minding over tax codes. First, you have to pay careful attention that you get the employee gross pay in order from which to deduct the federal income tax using the W-4 form meant for it.
Then there’s the matter of FICA taxes, Medicare tax, Social Security tax and state payroll taxes. State payroll taxes themselves could also be further broken down into state worker’s compensation funds and state unemployment funds among others.
No matter where you look, this is depressing work. If you’re doing it all for your business, that could mean a grim day ahead when reckoning the numbers for your employees. That’s not all: do get your numbers wrong or send the taxes late and you’re due for an IRS visit, not your type of item on your business wishlist.
Source: EY Global Payroll Survey 2017
Little wonder that forty percent of businesses point to doing payroll and all that bookkeeping to keep their business afloat as the worst part of running a business.
On the other hand, you could be subscribing to any one of the leading a payroll software systems that has all the essentials plus more features that you don’t need at the moment but are paying.
What to do under the circumstances? The option is to outsource payroll. And results do bear out.
This is where Patriot Software Full Service Payroll fills the gap. It has an affordable web-based payroll app that lets you process payroll fast, almost in auto-mode. Plus, you can tap its tax preparation services to free up your time.
Patriot Software consists of two components: online software and full payroll services. The web-based app lets you run your own payroll processes starting at $10 per month and at $4 per employee/month. You get free setup support, unlimited payroll, printable W2s and time-off accruals, among others.
As for the full-service plan, it combines both the use of the app (plus some more features) and the vendor handles your payroll taxes. The services include filing and depositing federal, state and local taxes. The vendor will also take care of your year-end tax filings.
If you want to try the web-based software you can easily do so when you sign up for Patriot Software free trial here.
Payroll app is one of the most-used SaaS solutions for small businesses. It’s easy to set up, adopt and scale. Patriot Software is no exception.
There are two main components to setting up Patriot Software to process your payroll: company and employee information.
Your company information will include your company legal name, DBA if applicable and company address. After that, you need to complete the business tax ID numbers which include employer identification number (EIN) tax withholding ID number and local tax ID numbers where applicable.
Further on, you will also need your SUTA account number and SUTA rate for your company.
For the employees, you need their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, tax filing status and details of their current deductions and contributions.
If during this time you find yourself wishing for a more convenient setup wizard to walk you through each important step, Patriot Software offers something better: set up your payroll for you for free. Its army of experts should then take care of entering key data including year-to-date payroll information for you.
If this sounds too good to be true, you may shoot for the 30-day free trial to find out firsthand. This should give you all the time to investigate the features and processes of the software and closely decide with insights at the end of the trial period.
By setting up Patriot Payroll, you get to organize related payroll processes and data in one place.
This translates to a faster timesheet-to-paycheck workflow. Also, you get to streamline critical processes for taxes, deductions and contributions.
Having this software bodes well to employees, too. Paycheck processing is faster and more accurate, avoiding mistakes that can build resentment in your company.
This aspect might have been overlooked in other reviews, but it is essential to some cases. For example, Patriot Software offers free payroll setup if you plan to change providers.
This is a headache for small business owners, whose time is better spent on revenue-building activities. The vendor promises to help you set up payroll and employee history at no cost.
Similarly, the vendor provides free support. If you’re in the US, this should be easily available to you.
While you won’t have difficulty following the software’s navigation and figuring out the tools, you can always contact support at no cost via email, chat or phone.
Lastly, the vendor offers free direct deposit. You also have the option to handwrite or print paychecks.
Patriot Software is designed for freelancers and small businesses in the United States. Its pricing is not only reasonable for someone in a tight budget, but it scales to requirements. That gives you a lot of wiggling room as you grow the business.
Pricing is on a monthly subscription that you can cancel anytime without penalty. Plans start at $10 per month + $4 per employee. The basic plan gives you free payroll setup and support, flexible pay schedules and printable W-2s. Likewise, it lets you print checks or opt for direct deposit and run unlimited payrolls.
You can also select the full-service payroll plan if payroll becomes more than a small business owner can handle. At $30 per month, you get all the basic features plus services on your behalf. The vendor will fill and deposit federal, state and local taxes. It will also take care of annual tax filings. We find this plan more conducive to small operations, whose only option in the past was to get a retainer bookkeeper or do all the tasks at once.
These are as far as cost-efficiency goes. You’ll need to read the fine print for services that you might sign for without realizing fees apply. Mind that these aren’t hidden by the vendor; rather, they are complementary services that you might mistake as part of your plan. As with any subscription, take the time to study your plan terms.
Payroll isn’t siloed, so accounting and HR integration matters. For this, we turn to the vendor’s other products. You can either integrate the payroll software with Patriot Accounting or HR module, or both. Native integration is always a plus compared with third-party apps. The handshake between systems is seamless and data security is more guarded.
The features of Patriot Accounting that should matter to your payroll include secure bank card connections that automate transfers. You also get to enter balances with ease, wages being one of your major expenses. On the other hand, the Time and Attendance software offers employees a way to enter in work hours and after the employer approves, they can seamlessly send hours to payroll.
The vendor provides ready support and we can vouch for it in our experience. While Patriot Software tends to bundle support as a general thing, we categorized its customer service in two measurable metrics so we could put a number on it.
First is knowledge base support. You get quick assistance via easy-to-understand video tutorials and knowledge base during setup. The support materials are intuitive, the vendor having thought of possible use case issues beforehand. In most cases, you’ll walk through the setup in a breeze because of these helpful resources.
Second is initial live support. The vendor is at hand to walk you through during and after the setup, should that be necessary. These include obtaining state unemployment rate, federal, state and local tax identification numbers. As part of the setup, your company, account, payroll and tax settings will be put in order for you, as well as deductions and contributions.
If doing payroll is as much of an alien landscape to you as the surface of Mars, your best recourse is to request help from the vendor and their payroll experts should be on your case in no time.
While it’s understandable that you’d want to be good in this task to avoid incurring another cost to what could be a fledgling startup, you also do not want tax agents knocking on your door for costly errors in your computations. This is especially true once you come face-to-face with multiple tax agencies and varying deductions.
Reaching out to Patriot Software should not be a problem: you have the option to contact the vendor via email, chat support and free phone. Their support persons are some of the best agents around too, which means no long waiting hours before you get the help that you need.
After reading through the pros and cons of Patriot Software Full Service Payroll, one thing you realize is it combines free online software and actual services in one package. Not too many vendors offer this package. Not only that, you can scale the features.
On that note, it is most ideal for small businesses on a tight budget. Busy entrepreneurs will also like having a cost-efficient choice to do their payroll. Where before they have to pay more for a retainer bookkeeper or subscribe to robust small business accounting solutions, they can turn to Patriot Software as a starting base. This gives them more time to focus on their business and grow it to a point that, ironically, will require a more sophisticated HR-accounting-payroll infrastructure.
That said, Patriot Software Patriot works best for small businesses with up to 100 employees. If your small business is not on solid footing with compliance, Patriot Software should be your ideal payroll solution. To see how it works, simply sign up for Patriot Software free trial here.
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