Correction: The original version of this story and its accompanying headline said Wagepoint had launched in the U.S. Wagepoint is currently in a beta launch.
The story also quoted Rao as saying: “If you look at more traditional competitors, a lot of people go back and forth when it comes to signing contracts. It’s a very cumbersome process and could take weeks to set up.”
The quote should read as “If you look at more traditional competitors, a lot of paper goes back and forth when it comes to signing contracts. It’s a very cumbersome process and could take weeks to set up.”
Additionally, the story quoted Rao as saying “We’ve actually had customers who have run payroll in literally a couple of minutes, like 30 minutes and they run their payroll.”
The quote should read as “We’ve actually had customers who have run payroll in literally a couple of minutes, like 30 minutes and they run their payroll.”
We regret the errors.
A Canadian startup has just launched its payroll solution in the U.S. in beta, aiming to help microbusinesses pay their employees quickly and easily.
Geared towards startups and small businesses, Wagepoint launched a cloud-based solution aptly called “Pay” back in June 2013. Last week, the company of 11 people took its solution south of the border in hopes of attracting more customers. The startup currently serves more than 450 businesses, typically with one to 50 employees each, though it has a few customers with more than 100 employees.
Pay allows customers to quickly calculate how to compensate their employees, based on their province and deductions. They can also be flexible about inputting their employees’ pay frequencies – for example, Pay can allow for employees who are paid bi-weekly and those who are paid hourly, and still put them on the same payroll.
There are also options for auto-reminders of upcoming paydays, automatic payroll deposits, and automatically scheduled tax remittances to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Plus, employees are able to login and check their private pay accounts for their paystubs, tax documents, and other personal information.
Customers’ data is encrypted with 256-bit Secure Socket Layer encryption. Wagepoint stores the data in its own data centre, though the company is considering migrating to Amazon Web Services.
In terms of pricing, there’s a free option for businesses that just want to calculate their payroll and give employees access to their accounts, but a fee of $20 per payroll plus $2 per employee gets a business a dedicated account manager, direct deposits to employees’ bank accounts, remittances to the CRA, and T4s at the year’s end.
For Shrad Rao, Wagepoint’s CEO and one of its three co-founders, the company’s goal is to make the chore of doing payroll simple and possibly even fun.
“It’s really everything from how you sign up, to how you set up, to how quick it is to the point you’re doing payroll,” he says. “If you look at more traditional competitors, a lot of paper goes back and forth when it comes to signing contracts. It’s a very cumbersome process and could take weeks to set up.”
“With our product, it’s kind of like using Facebook for payroll. You sign up through the website, and you’re setting up pretty much right after that. We’ve actually had customers who have run payroll in literally a couple of minutes, like 30 minutes and they run their payroll.”
Still, Wagepoint is competing in a relatively crowded space. Some of the more established companies with similar offerings include QuickBooks and Wave Accounting, something Rao acknowledges.
However, he says he feels QuickBooks has less of a focus on customer service than Wagepoint, which prides itself on serving people. And Wave Accounting has less of a feature set than what Wagepoint is offering through Pay, he adds.
“We decided that, let’s automate everything we can, so we can focus on things like faster, friendly service … We can actually spend time and money and focus on getting some of people’s problems solved, as opposed to doing some of the manual [tasks],” Rao says.
“When you’re moving millions and millions of dollars, you need to be able to track every last dollar, or every last penny. We decided that we were going to be a payroll technology company, to invest in the tech to make all these processes seamless, so we can then focus on providing amazing service.”
Right now, Wagepoint is focused on working with Communitech’s Hyperdrive accelerator in Kitchener-Waterloo. The company joined the startup accelerator in March.
It’s also working on establishing itself in the U.S., which Rao sees as having a lot of potential in the next few years. While there’s at least one startup located there with a similar product offering, he says he feels the U.S. market is big enough for more than one payroll solution provider.
Wagepoint will be looking for more funding “sometime in the next few months,” Rao says. The startup has raised $1.4 million to date.