Do you need to manage payroll for your company, or for your clients, while you are out of the office? Intuit provides a free app that works with Intuit Online Payroll that lets you enter employee hours, preview pay information, and deliver paychecks and paystubs all from your iPhone or iPad. Let’s take a look at the latest version which expands this to support accounting professionals.
Intuit provides a number of different payroll products. The Intuit Online Payroll product comes in two versions:
- Intuit Online Payroll is a product that a business would use to manage their own payroll.
- Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals is used by accounting professionals to manage payroll for multiple clients.
Intuit released the Intuit Online Payroll app for the iPhone (and iPad) in October 2010. This worked for the single company payroll product. If you were using the Accounting Professionals version you would have to log in to each of your clients separately, which was inconvenient.
An updated version that supports the Accounting Professionals product was released on April 6, 2011. The app is available through the iTunes store, and it is free. This allows you to manage all of your client payrolls very easily, from one login.
This app is not a complete payroll management product. The primary purpose is for you to enter hours for employees, preview and approve checks, and then deliver the checks and paystubs. You won’t use it to set up employees, cut special checks, or generate management reports.
Log in from your iPhone or iPad using your IOP credentials. Note that I tested this with an iPad 2, although some of the screen shots are from an iPhone.
If this is an Intuit Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals account you will see a list of companies that you are managing. Your own company account at top, followed by your client list. This is the primary addition in the recently released 2.0 version.
Once you select a company to work with, you will see the list of employees. You can see which are salaried and which are hourly.
To enter the hours for the employee, simply tap on the box and enter the number of hours. You don’t need to enter anything for salaried employees.
If you tap on the arrow next to the employee you will see more detail about that employee. The first screen shows you details of the pay rate, and has a button that you can use to prevent a paycheck from being cut for this employee. This is an important feature, as I’ll describe later.
Once your payroll is entered tap Preview to see a list of the checks, with the total net pay.
If everything looks good, tap approve, then you can send the paychecks to be processed.
Confirmation comes back quickly. You have the option to send the paystubs to employees.
I do have a confession to make before I get to my analysis. If you have been following my blog you probably know that I am not always a fan of mobile apps. I live at my desktop, and I’ve been known to say “I don’t own an iAnything” when ranting about Intuit’s emphasis on mobile computing over working from your office computer. Well, it finally happened, I gave in to iPad envy like my friend Michelle Long. I now have an iPad 2 (thanks, Doug!) and I actually have used it while on a couple of trips. I still rely heavily on my desktop computer, but my resolve may be weakening a bit!
This payroll app is the first iPad business app that I’ve worked with. I found it very easy to navigate, everything was laid out logically and simply. Performance (on my iPad on a wireless hotspot) was excellent. I do, however, have a couple of concerns after spending some time evaluating this with the demo file:
- If you have an extensive list of employees, it may be easy to overlook entering hours for an employee. There is a review screen before you process payroll, but you have to scroll through the list to see each employee and notice if you skipped one. I found that entering hours was very easy, but I would like to see some better checks and balances to find potential errors or omissions before I tap that process paychecks button.
- This is best suited for situations where you are managing your regular payroll cycle, not for cutting individual employee checks. If you have a special situation and you want to cut a check for just one employee, you can just enter the hours for that employee and not the others. However, if you have salaried employees, you have to go into each individual salaried employee record and disable payment for them. If you have a lot of salaried employees this can be tedious. I would like to have a simple way to turn off all salaried employees if I want to cut a special check.
These aren’t major problems. Intuit doesn’t intend this to be a method for doing all of your payroll processing. Also, you will note that there are “email us” links in several places where you can provide feedback about what you might want to see changed or added.
All in all, I’m happy with what I see here. If you are using Intuit Online Payroll this is an excellent tool.