IMS Payroll | Product Comparison | PaySauce

IMS 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.

IMS Payroll

IMS Payroll has been a robust and detailed payroll calculator for a long time. It’s well suited to medium and large New Zealand businesses. IMS has a deep and broad reporting suite, and we haven’t come across too many business scenarios that it won’t look after.

Here’s how PaySauce is different...

Desktop vs Cloud Software

IMS Payroll used to be “desktop” software, which meant your only option was to download and install IMS on one computer.

In recent 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 desktop software won’t be around forever.

With this in mind, IMS has released some online functionality, but feedback from our customers who used to use IMS indicates some online features aren’t completely reliable. This is understandable. It’s harder to update older software than it is to start fresh.

PaySauce is true “cloud” software, which just means you can access it 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:

PAYE Intermediary Service

IMS will calculate your payroll obligations, and prepare banking files and PAYE returns which you then need to upload yourself.

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

Traditionally, PAYE Intermediaries have only saved customers a modest amount of time each payday (though they have kept them safe from forgetting to file with Inland Revenue).

However, with Inland Revenue’s Payday Filing scheme kicking off on 1 April 2019, the benefits of using a PAYE Intermediary will increase. Payday Filing 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 an increased compliance burden, with the associated risk of errors and penalties. Using one of Inland Revenue’s listed PAYE Intermediaries, like PaySauce, will keep your business safe from filing errors and cut down labour cost on administration.


IMS Payroll includes an online timesheet module. Like some of the other IMS online features, feedback from customers has indicated that the timesheet module may be a bit difficult to use. Let us know if you’ve had good experiences with it.

If you don’t have a reliable digital tool for timesheets, you’ll need to type them into your 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 lots of staff working varied hours, or at different locations, you’ll know how many labour hours it takes to prepare payroll each payday. PaySauce is designed to trim these admin costs back.

Read more about timesheets and costing.

Mobile apps

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

Big Business? Complicated Reports?

IMS is a great product for larger businesses. Because it’s been around for so long, it has some useful customisations for very specific circumstances. One example is extremely thorough reporting, with around 50 report options straight out of the box.

PaySauce likes to keep it simple, with 16 commonly-used reports available on demand. If you’re an IMS user and considering making the leap to PaySauce, our support team will make sure we have the features and reports we need to look after you.

If we don’t have what you need, we’ll either:


Basic IMS Payroll is priced reasonably. You pay a one-off license fee and then ongoing support costs. As you add features (like online functions), you pay additional one-off and ongoing fees. They can stack up.

PaySauce works out cheaper for many small businesses, especially if you’re paying staff fortnightly or monthly. You can find our pricing calculator here. We keep the billing simple so you know what you’ll spend each payday.

For larger businesses, e.g. 20 or more staff, there’s a good chance PaySauce will be significantly more expensive (particularly if you pay staff weekly).

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. If you want to crunch the numbers, call our support line on 0800 746 700 and they’ll direct you to someone who can help.

The future for IMS Payroll and MYOB

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

MYOB have continued business as usual for IMS and Ace 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, IMS and Ace customers will eventually be encouraged to transition to one of MYOB’s other solutions. Some of our customers who have joined us from IMS and Ace 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

IMS is a robust and detailed payroll calculator for New Zealand businesses. It’s been around for a long time and has accumulated some great features.

The future for IMS is a little uncertain, with MYOB likely (we think) to mothball the software eventually.

Additionally, as at the time of writing this article, the MYOB website states that IMS is not yet ready for Payday Filing integration. If it was my business, I’d want this sorted before the looming deadline of 1 April 2019. It might be time to start looking at other options.

Making the leap from IMS Payroll to PaySauce

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

Send your IMS 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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