Ace Payroll | Product Comparison | PaySauce

Ace Payroll

Product Comparison

It’s common to see businesses talking rubbish about their competition. We’re not fans of that approach.

In our product comparison series, we’ll give you an unvarnished look at the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to other payroll software providers.

Ace Payroll

Ace Payroll has been a reliable and simple payroll calculator for decades. It’s still popular with many accountants and SME owners across New Zealand because it’s what they know and it’s easy to use.

Here’s how PaySauce is different...

Desktop vs Cloud Software

Ace Payroll is “desktop” software, which means you have to download and install Ace on one computer. This approach has a few drawbacks:

PaySauce is “cloud” software, which is a term that lots of people still aren’t familiar with. All it means is that you can access PaySauce from any computer with internet access (as long as you remember your email and password). PaySauce also has apps for iOS and Android so you can run pays on the go. The main benefits of this approach are:

Over the last ten years we’ve seen desktop software providers from all sorts of industries steadily move towards providing their services online or “in the cloud.” This means that desktop software like Ace won’t be around forever.

If you’re looking for new software in any part of your business, look for an online provider as you’ll be able to stick with them for longer.

PAYE Intermediary Service

Traditional payroll “calculators” like Ace Payroll do just that - calculate what you owe your staff and Inland Revenue. From there it’s up to you to upload bank files to your business banking login, and file PAYE returns with Inland Revenue.

PAYE Intermediaries like PaySauce, on the other hand, will also take care of all your banking (via direct debit) and PAYE filing with Inland Revenue. Think of the intermediary service as a one-stop shop.

Some business owners prefer handling payments and filing themselves, which we understand. For these customers, it’s good to be aware of Inland Revenue’s Payday Filing scheme which kicks off 1 April 2019. This change will require many businesses to file PAYE within two business days of payday rather than on the 20th of the following month.

Payday Filing means more compliance admin with greater chance of missing filing date, with the associated risk of errors and penalties. We recommend looking for an intermediary service that takes this burden off your plate.


Ace Payroll requires employers to type up staff timesheets into their software. If your staff work regular hours, no problem. If your staff use paper timesheets which you have to collect and tally up, this adds extra work every payday.

PaySauce’s mobile apps let staff punch hours directly into their smartphone for approval. Once you sign them off, they go directly into payroll for calculation. If you’ve got multiple waged staff, or they’re working at different locations, the PaySauce mobile app will save you plenty of time.

Read more about timesheets and costing.

Mobile apps

We believe that the future of small business computing is mobile. That’s why PaySauce’s smart apps for iOS and Android let you run payroll from wherever you are.

Even better, staff love being able to check payslips and make leave requests directly from their phone.

Agricultural customers

This is our area of expertise. PaySauce allows tracking of timesheets for salaried staff, tops up to minimum wage to keep the labour inspectors happy, and integrates with agri-specific products like Cashmanager RURAL and Cash Manager Focus.

Plus, because we look after over 600 agri customers (mostly dairy with some sheep & beef and croppers), when you call our support desk they know all the whacky stuff that happens with farm payroll.


Ace Payroll is priced very reasonably. It’s $349 plus GST for a year’s license, which includes 6 months worth of free support. You’ll also need to pay $300 per year for ongoing software updates and phone support.

PaySauce actually works out cheaper for many small businesses, especially if you’re paying staff fortnightly or monthly. You can find our pricing calculator here.

Even where we are more expensive in dollar terms, in many cases our extra functionality will justify the spending. The real question is always whether PaySauce will save enough labour cost (or solve enough headaches) to make the purchase worthwhile.

The future for Ace Payroll and MYOB

As you might have heard, in 2015 Ace Payroll was acquired by MYOB. This is part of MYOB’s overall strategy for New Zealand payroll software, which includes purchasing IMS Payroll in the same year.

MYOB have continued business as usual for Ace and IMS customers following these purchases, but we suspect that over time MYOB will look to prune back its payroll offerings (it’s pretty hard to develop and support so many different pieces of software while keeping customers happy).

If we’re right, Ace and IMS customers will eventually be encouraged to transition to one of MYOB’s other solutions. Some of our customers who have joined us from Ace and IMS have already reported that support quality took a dip after MYOB took over, and that the software will no longer receive feature updates. It might be time to start assessing your other options.

The Verdict

Ace is a reliable, simple payroll tool for small New Zealand businesses. If you’ve been a happy Ace Payroll customer for a long time, we get it! Changing sucks. Unfortunately, with Payday Filing coming in April next year and the (probably) limited shelf-life of Ace, it might be time to take a look at other options.

Making the leap from Ace Payroll to PaySauce

For all new customers, we handle set up free of charge.

Send your Ace Payroll records to our lovely support team, and we will handle entering your staff details and balances in PaySauce, ready to go. We’ll even sit on the phone with you as you run your first pay to make sure it all goes smoothly, and provide free 0800 support whenever you need a hand.

Thank you for reading!

Any questions, feel free to give our friendly support team a call on 0800 746 700.

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Posted on 25 October 2018

Logan Tyson
Head of Growth & Partnerships

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