Perquest — Payroll as a Web Service

Good overview of Perquest by Rafe Needleman at Always-On:

“First of all, payroll is a difficult accounting function to track. According to David, there are over 3,500 payroll tax authorities in the United States, and if you mess up your compliance with one of the myriad payroll laws you could get fined. Apparently four out of 10 small businesses get nailed each year, for about $840 per infraction. So it’s important to keep a payroll system up to date, and as Marc, David, or any Web services wonk will tell you, that’s a lot easier when there’s only one central system to manage, instead of one at each of your customers’ locations. Small business owners, who are unlikely to have an IT department, are also less likely than large businesses to regularly update their line-of-business software.”

I really like ASP/Web Services like and this looks like another winner.

The “kipple” as Philip K. Dick would call it keeps piling up in our lives blocking out what is important — the things we really get paid for (or enjoy doing for their own sake). We’re expected to manage more tasks ourselves all the time in this self-serve world. And all of those tasks become more complex and regulated over time, so the skill required to manage these tasks well often increases. Web Services and online applications can do a lot of the heavy lifting that allows people to have an “expert on call” when needed. I particularly like Rafe’s article because it points out that one of the key advantages of Perquest is the fact that best practice and legal compliance is baked into the application.