We've tried quite a few payroll programs over time, and they tend to share certain features, such as a database of company, employee, financial, and tax information that greatly simplifies the process of creating payrolls and reports. 2012 Payroll System is a fine example of the type. Once you've populated its database with the facts it needs, doing the payroll becomes a matter of a few clicks, not hours of calculations. 2012 (build 10) is free to try for 30 days and costs $89.95 to register.
It's probably safe to say that business owners and accountants are the sort of software buyers that actually read EULAs and other setup statements, but we recommend not skipping setup notification. It not only contains important information about changes to the federal tax code and how features and capabilities have changed to meet them, but also specific information about tax code changes for many states. When the installation process finished, a Shareware Evaluation Information screen with information for first-time users appeared. We clicked the link to open the program's tutorials and then clicked OK. This produced an On-Line Check tool that displayed a variety of build notes and buttons to Update Tax Tables, Update Program, View Updates, and Close. Clicking Close closed the update tool and opened the program and its user manual.
While it took a while to install and then set up , things got easier when it came time to use it, in part because the program comes with plenty of example data. The user interface integrates a calendar display with buttons to quickly access any quarter's data as well as fields for opening company data, tax tables, and more. These fields all display the selected destination directory instead of a simple Browse button (much appreciated). We also like the Open Windows display just below the Quick Launch center on the left sidebar. It lists your open windows and makes for quick access. This program has some extras, too, such as QuickBooks Export capability. 2012 Payroll System seems like a good fit for a lot of small and medium-size companies.
will save you valuable time in preparing your payroll. It used to take you hours, will be cut down to minutes and your results will be accurate. No more pulling your hair out over tax table booklets and punching numbers into your calculator. Custom Report Builder where you can create your own custom reports with a few clicks of the mouse. It has six additional deduction fields allows for a taxable or tax exempt, percentage, or dollar amount to be deducted from each pay check.
Version 10.0 Build 10.0.34 has added test for opening a company file in the program files folder.
The bottom line: continues to push the envelope of top-shelf free security features with hybrid update tech, file reputation analysis, and more. It's independent benchmarks are a bit weak, but more than 150 million people trust to keep them safe.
Looking to compete with both paid and free security suites, wants to create a unified approach to your computer security. Long gone are the days of the quirky interface. is accessible and robust, with an impressive list of free features and strong, though hardly stellar, performance benchmarks.
2012 gets bigger antivirus cannons
has improved its installation process so it's faster than before. It's not the fastest on the market, not by a longshot, but a standard installation took us about three minutes.
Some items of note during the installation that will come up later in the to avoid the new Windows 7 and Vista desktop gadget, or the new WebRep browser add-on, you must choose the Custom install option and uncheck those here.
Automatic installation of these features is frowned upon, although does provide a clear method for uninstalling them. It's just not as simple as a check box that gets its own installation window, since you have to go through the Customize menu, which makes the auto-install sort of surreptitious.
The current versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer both block forced add-on installation. When you run one of those browsers for the first time after installing , they'll ask you if you want to allow the new add-on.
On the plus side, installing doesn't require a reboot, and using its uninstall tool we detected no remnants in the Registry or on the desktop. has said that the installer has shrunk for all three versions by about 20 percent, although it's still a large download at around 70MB for the free version.
A new installation option, available only from the custom install menu, lets you sideload as a secondary security program to supplement your main one. We're not big fans of this option from a security point-of-view, because it can bog down your system resources without actually making you safer. However, for seeing if you like , it's not a bad thing as long as you remember to choose one security suite to go with.
What's puffing the sails in 2012?
7's interface hasn't changed much over the past three versions. There've been some decorative changes, a darkening of color here, lightening of grays there, but the changes have been either lightly cosmetic or utilitarian. For example, there are big graphics to illustrate the more nebulous security concepts that only have an on-or-off switch. This may sound useless, but it's actually quite clever because it helps you visualize how one of the more complex features is keeping you safe without bogging you down in jargon.
Highlighted with the familiar security colors of green for safe and red for dangerous, the Summary tab gives up-to-date info on shield status, auto-updates, virus definitions, the program version, and whether the silent/gaming mode is on. There's also an unobtrusive ad urging you to upgrade to Internet Security 7 if you're using the free version, and an option to connect an account. (This is for the Web management tool, expected to be live about a month from when this review is published.)
The Summary tab contains two submenus, Cloud Services and Statistics. The former shows you how servers help protect you, and offers a Settings button.
The latter is for those intrepid folks who're curious to see how shields have been performing against threats. It's where you can get your math geek on. For each shield, it tells you how many files were scanned and when, and presents the data in a concise graph.
2012 includes a hybrid update technology for pushing out security updates to you faster.
The scans live in the second tab, where you can choose and adjust four default scan types plus a custom scan option nestled into the bottom right corner. Real-time shields live in the third tab, and again the clean interface comes into play here as navigating what could be a mess of options and tweaks is instead dead simple. Shields are listed on the left, or you can choose one from the interactive shield wheel in the main window.
Click a shield to reveal a real-time chart of what the program's been defending you against, with a Stop button and settings options at the top of the window. Another button at the top takes you to the advanced settings for that shield, and links at the bottom expose the shield's history as a graph and export a log file.
The Additional Protection tab leads to the AutoSandbox, Browser Protection, Remote Assistance, and Site Blocking tools. Pro Antivirus and Internet Security users also get Antispam, Sandbox, and SafeZone options. The Maintenance and Market tabs round out the options. As you might expect, Maintenance is for updating the program, checking out quarantine (called Virus Chest,) and managing your subscription, while the Market tab is a new option for buying extra security components.
While these tools are clearly non-essential, and some of the prices struck as high-$10 for a Rescue disc? $50 for an annual backup service?-we like that gives its fans a chance to stay in its eco-system. The EasyPass, for example, is an -branded version of RoboForm's premium password manager and is well worth the $9.99 annual fee.
2012, aka 7, includes several new features that directly impact your security. One of the biggest changes is a hybrid update technology that pushes out updates in real time. Because a full database update isn't required, users will get their security updates much faster than before. Full database updates will also be pushed out, just not as frequently.
Another important security change introduces a file reputation system for evaluating downloads. This tech has existed for a couple of years in paid security suites like Norton, Kaspersky, and Bitdefender, but is the first free antivirus to offer it. It leverages community data from enormous active user base to help determine if a file is safe.
WebRep browser add-on for instant Web site safety evaluation has been extended to work with Safari, and it will also now check for fake certificates. Faked security certificates were an unexpected problem last year, demonstrating how fragile Web security protocol could be.
In a half-day of testing, none of these appeared to cause any negative impact on computer or browsing performance. Assuming these technologies work as advertised, your computer ought to be a fair bit safer from malware with them.