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Compare the Best Microsoft Payroll Software Apps

If you’ve been searching for the perfect payroll software that can integrate smoothly with your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central system but are not sure where to start, we have good news for you. In this article, we have reviewed three of the best Microsoft payroll software apps available today to help you decide which will fit your operation best.

Evolution of Microsoft Payroll Software

In early 2000, Open Door Technology became the first Canadian partner reseller for Navision – one of the first payroll modules developed for Microsoft. Open Door supported the product for several years through a variety of name changes and ultimately acquisition of the module by a different company. By the time of the acquisition, more payroll module options had arrived on the market, and we decided to part ways with the partner the acquiring partner. We chose to work with and support the alternative payroll partners and solutions built for Dynamics NAV and Business Central.   

Comparing the Best Integrated Payroll Software Apps for Microsoft 

Today there are at least three viable integrated payroll app options in the United States and Canada built for Dynamics 365 Business Central. All three are reviewed below, so you can compare each option. Note that these three options are built using the Business Central toolkit, unlike some of the other payroll options listed on Microsoft’s AppSource that are integrations to third party payroll services or modules.

  1. The first and most commonly installed (because of its history from the Navision days) is NaviPayroll from Serenic Software.
  2. The second is Primo Payday from the publisher of the same name.
  3. Last we will look at Payroll Now from Integrity Data.

1. NaviPayroll

The NaviPayroll app is an integrated payroll management and human resources solution. This in-house solution is designed to work with businesses in any industry from manufacturing and services, to distribution, retail, and the public sector. In our many years of experience working with Dynamics NAV, we were always able to configure or customize the software to meet almost any unique requirement. This flexibility came with a cost as the software could be complex to implement and customize.

We were also able to optimize the payroll module (which was originally written to handle only 100 employees) in Dynamics NAV to process over 4,000 employees simultaneously. The payroll controls combined with the supporting method steps were the key to this flexibility – and complexity. If you could define the formula for something, you could configure the system to do the calculation or you could create a custom method step or payroll control. As an example, we were able to create education/experience grids for the system long before they became a standard feature.

Overall, NaviPayroll by Serenic is a solid Microsoft payroll software solution. If you like the unique feature set and the pricing works for you, it is a good choice. Here are some of the features it includes:

Complete Payroll Processing

  • Define an unlimited number of pay controls
  • Define pay cycles to suit the business
  • Support multiple business locations and job types
  • Customizable earnings distributions
  • Enter, track, and report pay by hour, pay cycle, and source
  • Calculate commissions and track and post expenses, automatically calculate taxes, print checks
  • Create direct deposits and automatically export direct deposit files
  • Automatic postings to General Ledger, Accounts Payable
  • Mass updates and automatic accruals

Tax & Regulatory Updates for U.S. and Canada

  • Easily manage Federal and State/Provincial tax and regulatory updates
  • Print your own W-2’s or T4’s
  • Affordable Care Act compliance
  • Simplified interface for e-filing and other third-party tax services

Human Resources Capabilities

  • Define all positions within the company
  • Employee setup wizards
  • Streamline salary administration and automatically print checks
  • Simplify the applicant tracking and hiring process
  • Manage employee-related information and communications
  • Deploy employee self-service through native Dynamics 365 Business Central capability

2. Primo Payday

The Primo Payday payroll app, similar to NaviPayroll, was designed to work with businesses in any industry, including manufacturing and services. The designers were familiar with the complexity of the Serenic payroll module for Dynamics NAV and made a deliberate effort to design Primo Payday for simplicity, which apparently leads to easier implementations, higher performance, and expedited support.

The Primo Payday AppSource page is less informative, so we have compiled the following details from their website. It states, “Primo Payday is the integrated payroll solution for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central users. It was built from the ground up with one goal in mind: simplicity. A pay period can be run and posted with just a few clicks of the mouse, and the payroll code setups are automated. This integrated payroll app delivers exceptional visibility into payroll expenses and how they impact your company’s profitability.”

We have limited experience with Primo Payday, but it is almost exclusively the preferred payroll option for us today if we have to choose between Serenic’s NaviPayroll and Primo Payday. It has easier to install than the Dynamics NAV version of Serenic. Primo Payday also made the move to Business Central much sooner than Serenic did, which gave them the “first start” advantage in our books. The flexibility of the user licensing, at least compared to Serenic’s Dynamics NAV model, has been more attractive.

True Integration 

  • Fully integrated payroll app for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Easy to Use

  • Quick to calculate payroll, remit wages via printed checks or direct payments, post payments, and efficient batch payroll processing.
  • Payroll is always balanced to the general ledger and other operating modules.

Labor Cost and Dimensions

  • Employees and their associated labor costs can be linked to any dimension in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, delivering accurate visibility into labor costs by project, department, division, or any other cost dimension in your general ledger.

Highly Configurable 

  • Built to be configured for your unique accounting and payroll requirements including unique deductions and paid time off (PTO) calculations with support from Primo Payday.
  • Make all of your payroll tax deposits and file all of your payroll-related tax returns with Primo Payday’s Dynamics 365 Tax Filing Service. This includes Tax filings, including EFTPS, W-2, W-3, 940, 941 and FUTA, State Income Taxes, SUTA, Local Tax Withholdings, and New Hire Reporting.

3. Payroll NOW

Similar to the first two apps reviewed above, Payroll NOW by Integrity Data offers an integrated app embedded in your Business Central system. The app has deep roots in payroll from its Dynamics GP (Great Plains) days and has now made the transition to Business Central. As you might expect, it has a fairly mature feature set. Integrity Data has been providing payroll software and services for more than twenty years.

The following notes are taken from AppSource’s Payroll NOW page with a few tidbits thrown in from Integrity Data’s website. It states, “Payroll NOW by Integrity Data is a fully integrated, embedded payroll system for Dynamics 365 Business Central. It delivers all the capabilities and efficiencies you expect in a payroll system and more. Easy to configure with setup wizards and employee groups, it manages your organization’s entire payroll process and integrates seamlessly with other vital components in Dynamics 365 Business Central.”

This payroll system includes complete payroll processing, employee self-service, HR Onboarding, ACA Compliance Reporting and E-Filing, and Federal and State Tax Filing. Payroll NOW has been working with the ProjectPRO group to improve the integration of payroll with construction management. Pricing can be based on a monthly charge or based on the number of employees.

We have no direct working experience with Payroll NOW as it is fairly new to the Business Central world.  Because of its deep roots in payroll, we encourage you to check it out if you are looking for a Business Central payroll option and especially if you need advanced integration to construction accounting. Integrity Data brings many years of experience to the game and should be a serious player in the years to come. Dynamics GP and SL partners have relied on the legacy payroll app for many years and we would expect Integrity Data to bring that same level of competency to the Business Central space.

Choose the Microsoft Payroll Software That Meets Your Accounting Needs

There you have it, three good options with no clear-cut winner unless one meets your very specific needs. We hope this summary and the provided links have given you the information and comparisons you need so you can decide which integrated payroll option would fit best with your operation. If you need more information about these apps, feel free to reach out to us directly. As a Microsoft Dynamics Gold Partner, we have extensive experience helping customers select the right apps for their Dynamics 365 Business Central system. Book a consult with our experienced team below!