One of the most time consuming tasks in any business is the payment of employees. QL Payroll from TR Computer Systems is a complete package that will prepare your payroll, produce payslips, management reports and even print the cheques.
For £63.25 you get two microdrive cartridges - one for the system and one for the data, an extensive manual and a system that will handle up to 75 employees, with weekly and monthly paid employees being processed at the same time.
For a further £40.25 per year, an optional maintenance contract is available. In addition to a problem solving service you get free updates and are kept informed of changes to tax and National Insurance regulations.
The system allows employees to be paid in a variety of ways to cover almost any situation. Apart from basic pay, salary or hourly rate, up to three overtime rates, bonus payments, SSP and SSP reclaimed, pre-tax adjustments and miscellaneouos payments can be paid. Although SSP is included, only the entry of the actual amounts paid or reclaimed is catered for.
On the deductions side, apart from tax, National Insurance and company pension plan, up to six other types of deductions can be made. Two of those have special uses - one is for the repayment of an interest free loan, the other is used for a variable deduction per pay period. The names are user-definable.
Other features of the system allow employees to be paid by cheque or by cash. For those paid in cash, a coin analysis of the total payroll is available. A minimum number of one pound coins per pay packet can be specified, while to cut down further on the weight of cash collected from the bank, payments can be rounded to the nearest 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p or £1. Before payslips or cheques are printed a range of clock numbers much be given, although the system will work out and print only those that are ready to be printed.
The wide range of management reports includes a net payroll analysis, employee records - showing payments per period and in the year to date, lists of deductions, cheques, SSP payments, National Insurance and company pension payments. Together with an end of tax year report they provide a comprehensive audit trail. P60s and P35s can be printed although there is no facility for printing P45s.
As always with any system, the worst part is always setting up the initial data. Once that is done only the variable items need be entered again. To enter data an on-screen number against the item must be entered first. While data entry is slower than many systems, this method allows a great deal of flexibility in the order items are entered and also provides time to correct entries as they go in.
Selecting options from the menu is done in the same way. With 21 options the menu is spread across two screens. I found switching between the two screens awkward and would have preferred the use of subsidiary menus or a redesigned single-screen menu.
Bearing in mind that in many businesses the people using this package are unlikely to be computer literate, I would prefer to see a few more prompts shown on the screen. However, with the excellent detail in the manual it should cause few problems when in use.