PayCycle, Inc., today announced the 2009 version of its online payroll service that features new tools and features designed to eliminate barriers that small businesses face when considering a move to online payroll.
The biggest barrier to starting online payroll is the setup process. According to the PayCycle, other services rely on form-based interfaces, interview questions or wizards to collect the necessary information, which can be time-consuming and intimidating for anyone new to the process.
PayCycle's new tool, the PayToday setup relies on an icon-based navigation system designed to make it easier to get employees paid right away. "Seventy percent of the small businesses that come to online payroll want to create a paycheck immediately," said Jim Heeger, PayCycle's president and CEO. "The PayToday tool simplifies a scary proposition and turns the process into something closer to a conversation rather than a lecture."
The company added new features based on feedback from customers and from research gleaned by watching small business owners as they worked through their payroll. "Our big 'ah-ha' moment was realizing that people dont complete the setup at one sitting," said Heeger. "They get interrupted all the time."
As a result, the PayToday tool lets customers start, stop and pick up wherever they left off. "The software reminds them where they are in the process," said Heeger. "We didnt want to assume they'd remember once they were able to return to finish the setup."
Another 2009 release feature includes an Export Manager that lets you transfer your payroll data to your accounting software into QuickBooks accounting software. That integration, said Heeger, said saves small business owners a lot of time and effort.
PayCycle also lets you file federal and state payroll taxes and forms online. The company claims it provides e-filing support for more than 90 percent of small business owners.
In addition, small business owners can now use PayCycle to pay employees across state lines. About 10 percent of our customers pay employees in multiple states, said Tina Korabiak, senior manager regulatory services. As the trend toward telecommuting continues to increase, we anticipate even greater need for this feature.
One of the big challenges is that there's a lot of payroll inertia among business owners. Approximately 25 percent of PayCycle's customers initially did their payroll by hand, and another 40 percent are first-time employers. "The trick is to make the online process so simple that people will make the switch from what they're using. This release offers a lot of new features that will get them over the hump," Heeger said.
The company typically serves company with up to 20 employees, but this new release expands service to companies with up to 100 employees. Heeger describes the typical target customer as a "modern employers who is comfortable with the Internet and outsourcing.
The service costs $43 per month for the first five employees. Contact PayCycle for more detailed pricing information.
Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com
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