Intuit QuickBooks, makers of popular accounting software solutions for small to midsize businesses (SMBs), recently released the findings of The Small Business Cash Flow: The State of Payroll 2020 study which revealed that payroll continues to have a profound impact on the cash flow of SMBs.

The study was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Intuit. It involved the participation of 3,500 small business owners at companies with 0-100 employees, including 1,000 in the U.S. and 500 in the U.K., Australia, Canada, India, and Brazil. The study took place between November 1 and November 18, 2019

According to the study, “This year, more than four in 10 (43 percent) of small business owners said they have frequently been at risk of not being able to pay their employees by payday.” The study further revealed that SMBs often run into issues where they have human resources (HR) problems or questions that they are unable to handle.

To help SMBs meet these needs, Intuit QuickBooks (5.00 Save 50% for 6 months at QuickBooks Self-Employed) recently launched an expanded suite of automated payroll solutions. QuickBooks Online Payroll, which is being offered to new customers, helps SMBs manage their payroll and file taxes automatically, the new solution also offer tax penalty protection, as well as access to essential services like on-demand access to HR specialists, health benefits, and workers’ compensation.

“With our new expanded QuickBooks Payroll suite of offerings, we’re helping business owners overcome common cash flow and human capital management challenges. Thanks to innovations like Same Day Direct Deposit, money will stay in the business’s account until the day employees are actually paid,” QuickBooks said Sandra Edwards, Group Product Manager for Intuit.

“The expanded QuickBooks Online Payroll suite focuses on three key benefits for our customers – automation, accuracy, and additional services,” said Laurent Sellier, Vice President and Business Leader of QuickBooks Online Payroll.

Simplifying Payroll for SMBs

SMBs looking at QuickBooks Online Payroll benefits have three tiers to choose from, they are Core, Premium,and Elite.

The Core tier, which costs $45 per month and $4 per employee, takes over from the product previously known as QuickBooks Online Self-Service Payroll. It is the most basic solution for reliable, automated payroll. and includes full-service payroll, automated tax and forms, auto payroll, next-day direct deposit, automated federal and state payroll taxes (including year-end filings), a Workforce Portal for employees, product support from U.S.-based experts, and health benefits for employees powered by Simply Insured.

The Premium tier, which costs $75 per month and $8 per employee, takes over from what was known as QuickBooks Online Full-Service Payroll. It includes all the Core features and adds same-day direct deposit, time tracking on the go, expert setup review, and an HR support center powered by Mammoth.

The Elite tier, which is a completely new product offering, costs $125 and $10 per employee. This tier gives subscribers the ability to manage projects and track time on the go, access to white glove customized setup by U.S.-based specialists, tax penalty protection, as well as an on-demand HR advisor powered by Mammoth. The Tax Penalty Free Guarantee, which applies to the Elite tier, means subscribers that receive a federal, state, or local payroll tax penalty from an error made while using QuickBooks Online Payroll Elite, will receive assistance and QuickBooks will reimburse any penalty and interest cost—up to $25,000 a year.

This guarantee is an industry first and relies on Intuit’s mastery of its various technologies to help avoid errors. “There are various areas where we apply machine learning (ML) technology and artificial intelligence (AI), specifically around detecting errors in your payroll in advance, so that adjustments are made before the payroll automatically runs. We’re also looking at using ML to help with the tax penalty protection,” Sellier said. “Applying the data set that we have from our historical customers against taxes and tax notices, we are able to predict them and detect possible penalties ahead of time and helps prevent them.”

Integrated Technology Solutions

Intuit QuickBook’s aim is to help simplify various repetitive business tasks into one seamless integrated technology solution. By integrating with our time tracking category Editors’ Choice winner, TSheets, QuickBooks Online Payroll can automate various payroll processes. “Using TSheets, hours are automatically fed into the payroll system at the end of the day. So, when payroll needs to be run, we send an email to our SMB customers.” Sellier said. This email gives customers an overview of the timesheet hours as well as any variances from previous months. If there are no anomalies, the client can approve the payroll, which then runs automatically.

QuickBooks Online Payroll’s various tiers integrate access to third party products and services that Intuit QuickBooks may not be able to offer themselves. In the case of HR support, integration with Mammoth’s HR specialists gives SMBs quick access to an HR professional but without having to leave QuickBooks Online Payroll.

“We’ve been working on this for a long time. It is a combination of a number of deep research projects across our segment and a result of thousands of customer interview surveys and live testing hours to understand what customers are interested in,” Edwards said.

QuickBooks Online Payroll is available to new customers now, existing customers of QuickBooks Online Self-Service Payroll and QuickBooks Online Full-Service Payroll will be given the option to transition to the new solutions in 2020.

Source: PCMag

Press Release: QuickBooks

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