Vendor Solution Brief: PayrollGuru’s Mobile Payroll Software
Average rating: 4 (from 95 votes)
By Dave Foxall
An Independent Surface Review for PayrollGuru’s Mobile Payroll Solution
PayrollGuru’s Company Overview
Headquartered in Wyoming, PayrollGuru is a payroll service provider offering a complete range of payroll processing services to clients in all 50 states and US territories. Listed as one of our top 5 mobile payroll applications, the promise that the company makes to their clients is to reduce current payroll processing costs by 35-50% (and offering a money back guarantee of satisfaction) depending on the current payroll arrangements. However, as a way of broadening its offering, PayrollGuru also have a range of mobile payroll applications – separate to its processing services – which enable both employers and employees to accurately calculate salaries.
PayrollGuru’s Mobile Payroll Application Purpose
The ‘flagship’ app is simply named Payroll Guru and is available for a small download fee to business owners that need to calculate exact payroll amounts, including net pay and payroll taxes, including (where applicable) federal withholding, Medicare, social security, state income tax, state unemployment and state disability withholding. Operation is driven by PayrollGuru’s trademarked “Payrollguru Tax Engine” (PTE) which accurately determines the amounts of federal and state payroll withholdings based on the payroll frequency, marital/filing status, and number of federal and state exemptions. The PTE also takes into account the wages paid to date, which may affect the amount of tax to be deducted from the gross paycheck amount.
The Payroll Guru app calculates payroll for both salaried and hourly employees. For salaried, the employer enters the amount of gross wages and any pre-tax deductions for the employee (e.g. 401(k), flexible spending account, etc.), and the net paycheck amount will be calculated. For hourly employees, the hourly rate, regular hours worked, and any overtime or double-time hours worked are entered and the app will produce the net paycheck amount and income taxes. The app can also be used by employees to verify the accuracy of the paycheck that they have received or to anticipate the next paycheck due as an aid to better financial planning. The Payroll Guru app comes in three varieties: Windows Phone 7, Apple and Android.
Also available for all three operating systems, the Paycheck Calculator app is a scaled down version of Payroll Guru. Paycheck Calculator can be downloaded free or paid (the difference is that the free version is limited to 20 calculations per day and contains advertising). This ‘entry level’ app calculates net paycheck, federal taxes, and payroll withholdings, including SDI and SUI payroll state taxes. The main difference between these two apps is that the Paycheck Calculator lacks the functionality to specify pre-tax and after-tax deductions; and cannot handle both salary and hourly payroll calculations. Further, Payroll Guru also allows storage of user settings thus minimizing data entry, and permits the saving of an unlimited number of payroll profiles (whether for different employees or different states).
PayrollGuru’s Customer Target Market
For their payroll processing services, PayrollGuru aims to provide an online service to U.S. small businesses. Similarly, the company’s mobile payroll applications are narrowly-focused on the payroll legislation of the U.S. However, the range of mobile apps includes functionality specifically designed for employees as well as employers, thus widening both the utility and the appeal of the product range.
PayrollGuru’s Perfect Prospect Profile (PPP)
The Payroll Guru app is primarily designed for U.S. small business owners (with small workforces) who want to use the mobile app to reinforce or check their existing payroll management. The Paycheck Calculator is designed for employees wishing to check their salary payments.
PayrollGuru’s Technical Specs
As stated above, both apps are available for the Windows Phone 7, Apple, and Android operating systems. Of note though, unlike many mobile-capable payroll technology solutions, PayrollGuru’s mobile applications have been specifically designed for this particular form factor-meaning that users are not relegated to simply a miniaturized browser-based version of the software.
PayrollGuru’s Primary Competitors
It is difficult to find any like-for-like offerings that compare with PayrollGuru. Most employer-focused payroll apps are designed for existing customers of a vendor’s payroll outsourcing services, such as SurePayroll, ADP, and Intuit. For the employee’s Paycheck Calculator there are numerous similar apps on the market (e.g. Paycheck City and Wage Calculator) that receive varied feedback from users regarding their accuracy and are available free or for a minimal cost.
Strengths of PayrollGuru’s Mobile Payroll System
Payroll Guru provides calculation functionality to employers without requiring them to be an existing customer of the company
Availability for three operating systems gives a broad coverage of the smartphone and mobile device market
Weaknesses of PayrollGuru’s Mobile Payroll System
Though designed with the lower-end of the SMB market in mind, payroll calculations are done one employee at a time; making this a suitable tool only for employers with smaller workforces.
The PayrollGuru app is focused on the basics of payroll calculation and does not include access to actual payroll management type functions such as direct deposit, mandatory reporting, etc.
Bottom-line for PayrollGuru’s Mobile Payroll Software
Both the Payroll Guru and Paycheck Calculator apps are good at what they do (for example the former gets 4.5 stars out of 5 from downloaders of the Android version) and for users who simply want to know how much an employee’s paycheck should be, they do the job. For employers who need help with the full payroll process though, the utility of either app is limited. To be fair to PayrollGuru however, the company does offer those fuller services and their range of mobile apps do not pretend to be anything other than what they are: sophisticated calculators.