I have tried my very best to avoid getting involved with payroll. It is such a pain with so many different rules and dates to worry about, that I have wanted to avoid it. My advice has always been, "Find a person or an online software to take care of it for you." I had heard from a client about Patriot Software and checked into it briefly. It seemed easy to use and at $25/month, it was much cheaper than QuickBooks- that was enough to sell me initially.
Then I worked with a client who had paid for the full "enhanced" version of QuickBooks payroll and was helping him to sort through that to make sure it was being done correctly. Come to find out, the "enhanced" version of QuickBooks payroll does not actually do the filing for Iowa withholding or unemployment! It simply does the calculations and creates the forms, then provide the instructions for the user to go to each of the Iowa websites to file and pay online. I'm sorry, if you're paying $39/month for payroll, it definitely should be doing all of the filing for you- and maybe even fix you breakfast on occasion.
This compelled me to really dig into Patriot Software and make sure that it was actually easy to use and that it in fact filed all of the Iowa filings with a push of a button. After going through their demo, I have been sold! They also make it very easy for professionals to become Certified Advisors, so I have jumped on board to start that process. This will allow me to be more hands on with clients as they get their payroll processes started, as well as offer it for a discounted rate.
There are of course some initial set up processes, but if you have already gotten your federal EIN, your Iowa BEN, and your Iowa unemployment number, then you're most of the way there. Best of all, you get 30 days free to give it a try! Let's get rid of your payroll headaches. The best part is: I don't even have to do the heavy lifting, once it's set up, Patriot does it all!!