The best day of the work week just got easier and cheaper, says a Cambridge, Ont. company.

Parkwood Computer Services Inc. launched its online payroll service, Payweb, Monday. According to Max Corso, the company’s director of marketing, the appliction service provider tool allows companies to perform all payroll functions via the Web while cutting costs.

“This is a lot less expensive way to process their payroll because they eliminate the need for obvious couriers back and forth. Traditional outsourcing bureaus you have to submit by fax, telephone or by time cards to the data input service,” said Corso. “They have to input the data, process, print reports, print pay stubs and then courier everything back to either the company or the company’s bank branch.”

Parkwood already has 150 clients using the service, said Corso, but he refused to name any for confidentiality reasons. He said, however, that customers range from small retailers to large municipalities in Canada and the united States.

Corso said it does more than save money. Payweb, which was beta tested for eight months, prepares T-4s, eliminates cheques and prepares and remits governmental source deductions. He said what makes it unique is the remote printing function. The software can prepare and print reports to any printer in a Windows environment.

On the security side, Corso said users access the ASP through a browser and a Java client establishes a secure connection between its server and the PC. Dynamic encryption is used to scramble transferred data. He said it had considered using a virtual private network, “but it was too cumbersome — too many connections, too much to support.”

The 60-employee company charges customers based on processing. Corso said for a company under 20 employees it costs about $850 a year based on bi-weekly payrolls.

Kirby Kumagai, a controller with Toronto-based Evans Research Corp., said until recently it had outsourced its payroll, but it proved too expensive. Now, an Evans employee does the payroll off-site using third-party software.

While the ability to do the payroll from anywhere is an attractive feature, it is not the be-all, end-all to Evans. Kumagai said the features it most coveted when it made the switch were price and the ability to do direct deposit.

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