Health Insurance Marketplace is Open- What Now?

The Health Insurance Marketplace (aka State Health Exchanges) opened November 15th for individuals to enroll in non-employer sponsored plans for 2015. Why might a small business care about this date?

Ease of signing up for a SHOP plan- small businesses wanting to purchase plans for their employees on the exchange can sign up any month, but in order to qualify, 70% or more of employees have to sign up. If you can’t meet that 70% threshold, than you flat-out don’t qualify. However, November 15th marks a one month window where you can enroll in a SHOP plan with less than 70% of full-time employees partaking. During this window is definitely a prime-time to investigate if you are considering a group health plan this next year and aren’t sure if you’ll meet the 70% sign up rate.

Online SHOP enrollment launch (finally!)- last year due to difficulties, the online portion of SHOP wasn’t launched, but it finally has! Forget the paper form headache from last year and browse the online exchange with much more ease. Check out what’s available in your state!

If you are ready to enhance your current HR set up, consider CheckMark’s Online HR Support Center to boost your current HR department with extra resources and stay up-to-date on ever changing regulations.

 

 

 

How to Prepare for the Holiday Season with CheckMark

It seems like the holiday season comes out of nowhere and for many businesses, it is also the busiest time of year. With year end, we all know tax season is looming. We have been getting some common questions with how CheckMark Payroll works with year end now that each year is a separate application.

With your 2014 Payroll, you should have already downloaded your patch containing W-2s and W-3s. Once the IRS releases the 940 Form, we’ll have another patch come out for that to update you 2014 Payroll. So, in short, keep using that 2014 like usual and use it to process your year-end forms.

The 2015 Payroll is available currently for purchase. What are the advantages of purchasing now? While it’s not critical to purchase and download now, you can take comfort that if you get in a pickle, it’ll be quicker for tech support to get you the help you need and you can focus on enjoying the holiday season instead of stressing over payroll. Once you are ready to run that first payroll in 2015, when you open the 2015 Payroll, it’ll ask if you’d like to bring over the company data. Once you bring that over, you’ll be good to go for 2015. A Basic Tech Support plan (up to 30 minutes) is included with your update.

MultiLedger 7.7 contains the 2014 1099-MISC, so if you are needing that, you’ll want to be sure to get that updated. A Basic Tech Support plan (up to 30 minutes) is included with your update.

2014 1099 Software is pretty explanatory- it contains the 2014 forms. The ones included are 1099-MISC, -INT, -DIV, -S, & -R. If you are wanting to e-file for the first time, make sure you request your IRS Transmittal Code well in advance! It can take awhile. Save yourself the headache and apply early. Tech support is included with CheckMark 1099 Software for free.

As the year-end closes, support gets more and more backed up. Our team is committed to taking the time to take care of each and every individual, and we promise it’ll be worth the wait. The quickest way to get tech support is to request it online here. You’ll pop directly into the queue and they’ll get back to you as quickly as possible! We hope that this helps clear up any of those basic questions…with updates only happening annually, it’s easy to forget!

How to Save Time on Your 1099s This Year

Running 1099s for the tax season is very costly for many businesses both in time and money. At CheckMark, we have a very slick and fast 1099 Software that runs UNLIMITED companies and recipients. Many software and service options charge you per 1099 run, which can really add up, in contrast, we like to keep things simple around here. CheckMark 1099 Software can handle 1099 -MISC, -INT, -DIV, -S & -R forms, with the print version running only $69 and the e-file version running $139 (also can print!).

The simple interface of the main screen allows you to toggle between companies, recipients, and 1099 types with the speed of a cheetah.

It takes seconds to import your data, and minutes to be ready to print or e-file. No more headaches or hassle. Treat yourself this tax season. Check out the free demo today, or order the print version or e-file version and download in minutes.

 Screens look similar to the 1099 forms for ease of use.

 

How do you Feel About Your Business’s Future?

The 2014 U.S. Bank Small Business Annual Report Survey was full of optimism and positive future outlook. With only 34% of small business owners feeling like we’re still in a recession and 70% of small business owners feeling like they are in good financial help, the future is bright! The larger businesses show the most indication of growth, while some of the smaller businesses may need a boost. Exit planning for 2014 is also on the rise for women and large business owners.

The top concerns of these small business owners are:

  • The Federal deficit and debt
  • Healthcare
  • Taxes

Small business owners are also more likely to be early-adopters of new technologies and 64% of them use social media for their businesses.  They also find themselves more on-the-go than in past years.

As a small business owner you might have different feelings about these conclusions- please share! Do you feel optimistic about future business? What are your biggest business worries? Do you consider yourself to be technologically forward?

2014 Q4 Newsletter

  4th Quarter Newsletter 2014

A Word from Our CEO

October 201430_1 2

Year end is back again! Our 30th anniversary year is flying by. We look forward to many more!

2014 has been a year of change for CheckMark, Inc. and we have a lot of surprises up our sleeves in the upcoming years. In the meantime, I believe you’ll be impressed with the rich, additional features of Payroll for 2015, along with additional changes for MultiLedger and 1099, available now.

As always, we love your feedback and seek to make this the best software for small business owners on the market at the most affordable price.

Mohammed Ghani

President and CEO

News

In Case You Missed It: 2015 Software New Features

CheckMark Payroll

  • New Restricted Second Password: Now with the ability to enter a second password that limits access to only the Distribute Hours and Enter Hours screens for data entry.
  • New Report Check Register Summary: Quickly access summary totals for Income, Taxes, Deductions and Net Totals in numeric order.
  • New link to 941 mailing addresses (Federal Tax Reports Screen): Now easily reference those needed addresses.
  • Added Pay Period dates in the Check Detail reports found under the Earnings Register screen.
  • Check Register now shows 941/943 payment for better clarification that this number includes both payments.
  • Current tax tables and forms for the entire 2015 calendar year.
  • Free Basic Support to ensure you have a trouble free installation and easy transition into the new year.

CheckMark MultiLedger

  • 2014 1099-MISC Form and e-File.
  • Updated formatting for 2014 1099-MISC on blank sheets.
  • New Summary report to help you reconcile your 1096 totals in Box 5 without having to physically print all reports first.
  • With the update you also receive a free Basic Support package. Have peace of mind knowing our tech support team is there when you need us.
  • Same lightening fast speed and user friendly experience you’ve known for years.

CheckMark 1099 Software

  • 2014 1099 Forms and e-File requirements.
  • New 1099 INT Form printing! Now print recipient and payer copies for 1099 INT on 4-up blank perforated sheets. One sheet per vendor.
  • New Summary report to help you reconcile your 1096 totals in Box 5 for MISC, INT, DIV, R & S forms.
  • Import prior year data for faster processing.
  • Import new data with an easy-to-use import screen using a tab-delimited text file.
  • Preview data before you print to ensure accuracy.
  • Handles any number of companies and an unlimited number of recipients.
  • Support included with your purchase for the filing year!

Payroll Software versus Service

Choosing between Payroll Software and Payroll Services is a tough choice every business owner has to face at some point. There are three main methods of running payroll for the small business owner: manually, a DIY software, or a payroll service. While running payroll manually is not recommended, payroll software and payroll services each hold their own pros and cons making your payroll processing method a personal business choice:

Payroll Software Pros: 

  • Control- you have control of all the details of running payroll, creating and viewing reports, and paying employees and payroll taxes.
  • Cost- usually less than you’d spend on payroll services.
  • Time Savings- compared to manually running payroll, you save a lot of time with software.
  • Security- someone hacking in and stealing your payroll information is less likely when you have control.
  • More data- you have easy access to any and all payroll data at any time.

Payroll Software Cons: 

  • Time- running payroll takes time. If you make a mistake you could spend a lot of hours trying to fix it.
  • Staff- it takes time AND manpower to run payroll. Depending on your company size or complexity, payroll can take a lot of manpower to run in-house.
  • Errors- In-house payroll accuracy cannot be guaranteed so you are more at risk for IRS penalties.
  • Up-front Investment- some payroll software comes with a hefty price tag. Annual fees are something to take into consideration too when evaluating overall cost.
  • Learning curve- DIY software can be complex and the learning curve could be steep.

Payroll Service Pro: 

  • Time savings- You save a lot of time in comparison to manual methods and payroll software.
  • Free Up Staff Time- Payroll services opens up more time for employees to focus on other areas of your business.
  • Cost effective- Payroll Services are cost effective for many companies after you add up the software costs and the staff costs to run it.
  • Accuracy Guaranteed- Payroll services often guarantee accuracy of their payroll processing which reduces your liability for mistakes.

Payroll Service Cons: 

  • Cost- Payroll Services often cost more than payroll software methods.
  • Less nimble- You don’t have access to as much data as you want, when you want it.
  • Less control- you sign up for a service with set offerings.
  • Expectations versus reality for service- might not be the same.
  • Data security- although companies put a lot of effort into data security, it is more at risk when outsourcing.
  • Initial cost- Set up costs for services can be expensive.

If you are going back and forth between Payroll Software or Payroll Service, give us a call at 800-444-9922 and we are happy to help you with that decision!

Order Forms in the Mail

Order forms for 2015 went out last week so you should be expecting them at any time now. You are always able to order onlinedownload and mail in our online order form, order over the phone at 800-444-9922, or wait for your mailed order form to arrive. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call or email us at info@checkmark.com

CheckMark’s Services Revisited

Looking for change in 2015? Outsourcing services can be a huge time saver and ultimately can save you money. CheckMark offers customizable Payroll Services run by a certified payroll specialist assigned to you. We also have a multitude of Time Clock options and our Online HR Center to keep you in compliance with regulations. Request a FREE demo today!

Tips From Our Support Team

Top Tips of the Quarter

Watch for End of Year Patches for Tax Forms

Keep an eye out for patches soon to come. They will update the 940 and the W2/W3’s. Remember instructions on printing your W2/W3’s can be found under the help menu of your program. Always look at your forms and make sure everything seems correct before mailing out.

New computer? Let us know!

Needing to update your computer? Just let us know and we can send you your CheckMark program installers. We can also assist you with migrating your data from the old computer to the new. Call 800-444-9922 or email us at info@checkmark.com and we are happy to help!

Review: Payroll Software Report by Software Advice

We recently read the 2014 Payroll Software Small Business BuyerView by payroll technology reviewer Software Advice and wanted to share some of the interesting findings and how CheckMark Payroll can help address common concerns of buyers.  According to the survey, 67% of small business buyers are seeking to replace their current solution, with a majority using a software solution currently. Commonly, tax liability and the sheer complexity of payroll drive small businesses to get help!

By changing their solution, 31% of small businesses hope to improve the organization and efficiency of their business. Many are unhappy with their current offering and feel they need more features or services. Some seek more robust features like reporting or integration with other software modules like HR.

As far as features go, top requests are self service (31%) and reporting (33%). 401(k), insurance tracking, and direct deposit also made the list.

CheckMark Payroll has the needs of small business owners at the center of its decision making with our software. Our Payroll Software is full of dozens of easy-to-read reports, ability to export to other programs like accounting, ability to import hours from different time clock solutions, and ability to do direct deposit. We offer a variety of other programs that work well with CheckMark Payroll like our MultiLedger Integrated Accounting Software, 1099 Software, online HR, and a plethora of time clock solutions. Running unlimited companies with unlimited employees means that our software and other programs are already set up to grow with you and your company. And with all our tech support located right here in beautiful Colorado, you get expert service when you need it!

Pros and Cons of Payroll Software versus Services

Choosing between Payroll Software and Payroll Services is a tough choice every business owner has to face at some point. There are three main methods of running payroll for the small business owner: manually, a DIY software, or a payroll service. While manual is not recommended, payroll software and payroll services each hold their own pros and cons making your payroll processing method a personal business choice:

Payroll Software Pros:

  • Control- you have control of all the details of running payroll, creating and view reports, and paying employees and payroll taxes.
  • Cost- usually less than you’d spend on payroll services.
  • Time Savings- compared to manually running payroll, you save a lot of time with software.
  • Security- someone hacking in and stealing your payroll information is less likely when you have control.
  • More data- you have easy access to any and all payroll data at any time.

Payroll Service Cons:

  • Time- running payroll takes time. If you make a mistake you could spend a lot of hours trying to fix it.
  • Staff- it takes time AND manpower to run payroll. Depending on your company size or complexity, payroll can take a lot of manpower to run in-house.
  • Errors- In-house payroll accuracy cannot be guaranteed so you are more at risk for IRS penalties.
  • Up-front Investment- some payroll software come with a hefty price tag. Annual fees are something to take into consideration too when evaluating overall cost.
  • Learning curve- DIY software can be complex and the learning curve could be steep.

Payroll Service Pro

  • Time savings- You save a lot of time in comparison to manual methods and payroll software.
  • Free Up Staff Time- Payroll services opens up more time for employees to focus on other areas of your business.
  • Cost effective- Payroll Services are cost effective for many companies after you add up the software costs and the staff costs to run it.
  • Accuracy Guaranteed- Payroll services often guarantee accuracy of their payroll processing which reduces your liability for mistakes.

Payroll Service Cons

  • Cost- Payroll Services often cost more than payroll software methods
  • Less nimble- You don’t have access to as much data as you want, when you want it.
  • Less control- you sign up for a service with set offerings.
  • Expectations versus reality for service- might not be the same.
  • Data security- although companies put a lot of effort into data security, it is more at risk when outsourcing.
  • Initial cost- Set up costs for services can be expensive.
If you are going back and forth between Payroll Software or Payroll Service, give us a call at 800-444-9922 and we are happy to help you with that decision!

 

Business Strategy From the Inside Out

When you think about strategy for your business you might think about your product offerings, adding or discontinuing products, streamlining production or service processes, adjusting prices or features, or venturing into new target markets. Those are all absolutely essential to stay competitive in today’s ever-changing market.

However, have you ever thought about some of your in-house processes like payroll, accounting, HR, or time keeping and how that effects your bottom line? Even altering your in-house administrative processes can be a positive strategy for your business. Evaluating rate of payroll errors, accounting slip-ups, or inaccurate time-keeping can take both a toll on your company’s time and money. You might be able to reduce errors (and the cost of errors) by implementing a new system or process or even outsourcing.

Increasing that internal efficiency and accuracy only frees up time and money for your outbound strategies to continue to grow and flourish in the future.

 

 

 

Happy National Payroll Week!

It’s National Payroll Week! With 156 million wage earners and payroll professionals, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate! CheckMark, Inc. is proud to support small business owners with their payroll and accounting for 30 years!

Here are some ideas on how to celebrate the week:

Source: National Payroll Week

The History of Time Clock

The first time clock was invented in 1888 by Willard Le Grand Bundy, a New York jeweler. A year later, his brother, Harlow Bundy, formed Bundy Manufacturing Company which started mass producing time clocks. At that time they were mechanical machines.

By the late 20th century, time clocks switched over to electronic or computer-based time clocks. Some common types included: magnetic strips, RFIDs, and barcodes. Many systems even allow employees to request vacation or view their hours worked through the system. Smartclocks include technology similar to smartphones, with biometric components available to prevent “buddy clocking”.

CheckMark offers a large variety of different time clock solutions including biometric options. To figure out which type is right for your business, request a quote today.

Info from Wikipedia