PayCycle review: PayCycle

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Another PayCycle plus is its To Do list, which displays pending tasks when you log in, such as paying taxes, entering an employee's social security number, and so on. By comparison, SurePayroll's Account Center provides similar details but is cluttered with extraneous information (including a Referral Program pitch).

For small businesses, PayCycle costs less than SurePayroll. A five-employee shop would pay $40 per month for PayCycle with tax-filing and direct deposit charges included; SurePayroll charges about $70 for a comparable service. PayCycle's advantages include giving employers more control over tax impounding and the collection of payroll taxes, which are due quarterly. SurePayroll also impounds taxes from each employee paycheck and immediately withdraws the money from the employer's bank account for quarterly taxes. But PayCycle withdraws payroll taxes only upon an OK from the employer, typically a few days before the taxes are due.

PayCycle makes it easy to enter regular, bonus, and vacation pay.

PayCycle is flexible in other ways, too. For instance, it can handle non-white-collar payrolls. Unlike SurePayroll, PayCycle offers a tax allocation system for restaurants, as well as a time and attendance interface for multiple pay rates, often needed to pay overtime rates to hourly workers.

PayCycle uses 128-bit encryption, and this summer it improved its log out procedure to prevent people from viewing private information by clicking the browser's Back button. Another new addition to PayCycle is its individual employee login feature, which SurePayroll also offers. And PayCycle now allows you to send pay stubs to employees via e-mail.

We were impressed with PayCycle's free phone and e-mail support. The company accurately answered our phone questions right away without wait time and responded to our e-mails within 48 hours. You can reach phone support Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PT. Self-help fans will appreciate the extensive Help Index on PayCycle's keyword-searchable Web site, which includes links to dozens of payroll and tax topics in its Help Library.

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