Viewing Vista payroll
May 07, 2019

Viewing Vista payroll

Darrell Robinson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Vista by Viewpoint

We use Vista by Viewpoint company-wide, for Accounting, Project Management, and Service Management functions. It is the primary software for Payroll, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and general ledger accounting processes. Additionally, jobs costs and project management are ably handled by Vista by Viewpoint.

We do a considerable amount of business serving commercial customers throughout the Front Range metro area via our Plumbing and HVAC Service departments. Vista by Viewpoint includes a robust Service Management module that is an integral part of that successful business enterprise.
  • Vista by Viewpoint provides a large capacity for flexibility in job/phase coding and associated costs, by individual cost types. For example, if phases are set up based upon the 16 divisions of the CSI MasterFormat, sub and sub-sub phases can be added for individual jobs on an as-needed basis. Each phase can be further defined by which cost types are available on that phase. Lastly, billings can be done by contract item, which can include several different phases, from various divisions, without limits.
  • Vista by Viewpoint's payroll system allows for many different earnings codes, to define any type of pay imaginable. For example, my company uses 20 different earnings codes on a regular basis. These can be grouped into different earnings types, which then can be coded to different GL accounts as needed.
  • Payroll costs can be differentiated between job costs and non-job costs. Payroll burden can be added to job costs via several different methods, depending upon the company's needs. More or less detail can be available for viewing in the job cost system when T&M backup is needed. All of these are examples of the flexibility available with Vista by Viewpoint.
  • In the payroll arena, occasionally some combination of actions will cause a Payroll Timecard Entry batch to become stuck in a Status 4 - Posting in Progress. Vista by Viewpoint requires that Customer Support be contacted whenever a batch is stuck in Status 4, as it is unclear what parts of the batch have posted to the other modules, especially General Ledger. Support is a whiz at untangling these situations.
  • However, a Payroll Timecard Entry batch does not post anywhere except its' own table - Payroll only posts to GL and other modules when the PR Ledger Update process is run. Support could conceivably allow customers to change the Status of only these batches, as no other modules would be affected. Then the customer could fix their problem and move on without further delaying the payroll process.
  • The User Interface in the Payroll and Accounts Payable modules have traditionally been clunky for non-accounting personnel to use. The increase in non-accounting people using some aspects of the system - for instance, remote payroll entry or project staff reviewing AP invoices - used to cause some angst. This has been greatly alleviated by the advent of the KeyStyle modifications in these two areas.
  • The functionality of the Service Management module continues to be added with each new update. It would be even better if Service could function more like Job Cost in the way of tracking costs. There seems to be a lack of commonality between the two modules - though it is getting better.
  • Vista by Viewpoint has allowed our company to grow without being restricted by software.
I personally have used Timberline by Sage, Sage Master Builder, and American Contractor by Maxwell (before it was purchased by Viewpoint). Neither of those solutions provided the depth of flexibility that Vista by Viewpoint does. With each, there were several aspects (such as a WIP schedule) that were easier to do in Excel, outside of the software.

Vista also has the commonality of Crystal Reports, rather than a proprietary reporting system.
Vista by Viewpoint works well for a company that has professional project staff, that is experienced with a robust phase code matrix, where job cost can be tracked by division, and billings are completed by contract item. Accounting staff should be knowledgeable about using jobs and phases to denote payable and payroll costs.

Vista by Viewpoint can be a challenge for smaller companies that may only have experience with a QuickBooks-style of accounting. It is likely that the learning curve may be too steep, especially in the accounting areas. Vista by Viewpoint forces discipline in accounting. This is good, but it can be exacting.