Xero has officially released an integrated payroll offering as part of its cloud accounting platform, just months after announcing a beta version.

While Xero still has third-party payroll relationships with ZenPayroll and SurePayroll, the integrated product is designed to be a single accounting and payroll offering that automatically updates the general ledger, tax calculations, and tax alerts/filings, and provides employees easy access to their payroll information.

Payroll in Xero data can be accessed by unlimited users via a single log-in, but security protocols ensure that accountants and payroll professionals can view data relevant to them while employee’s can only view their individual payroll data.

Other Payroll in Xero features include customer alerts to deadlines; state and federal tax documents that can be auto-populated, filed and paid electronically; an employee portal, which allows for submission of timesheets, access to pay stubs and the ability to apply for time off with just a few clicks; and an API to connect to other key business systems such as timesheets, employee scheduling, HR management and costing solutions.

“Payroll in Xero has been a feature years in the making, as we aimed to create a feature made exactly the way accountants want it. We’ve listened closely to our customers and we are beyond words excited to offer this new feature to help them meet their business demands,” said Xero’s vice president of global payroll Stuart McLeod “In addition to developing efficiency improvements, we aimed to time the release in December, as the month is widely viewed as the optimal time of year to upgrade systems, which usually entails migrating from legacy desktop systems to cloud-based solutions.”

Payroll for Xero is free for one employee, while users can also opt for a "Premium 10" plan, which includes 10 employees for $70 a month, a "Premium 20" plan that includes 20 employees for $90 a month and a "Premium 100" plan for $180 a month.

Payroll in Xero is immediately available in California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Virginia, with availability in other states forthcoming. In addition, Xero is rolling out a series of webinars to help accounting professionals and small businesses – the first of which is on December 10, 2013.

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