The question put forth:
Does anyone have a payroll service co they would recommend??

We have always done our own with an excel spreadsheet, but are considering
other options.

We want to cover H2A employee requirements, as well as Americans.

It seems the option is payroll service; or payroll software.
Is there payroll software nicely compatible with Mac computers.??

It would be nice to start 2018 with a clear path on this.
Thanks for your thoughts.

I got many thoughtful and helpful responses which i will pass along:

We use Quickbooks for all our accounting needs, including payroll - we purchase the payroll software (not the service) which allows us to run payroll through the basic QB software program.  It automatically updates any tax changes etc.... and does all the calculations for payroll.  You can set up for each employee, so works fine for H2A needs too.  Also will track personal time accrued/used etc....  It's a committment to get up and running with Quickbooks, but we have found it easy to use and well supported for the most part.  We also track all our expenses/sales etc... and can run all kinds of useful reports to analyze the performance of the various enterprises in our farm business.  

I used to do spreadsheets, as well, and we switched to Quickbooks Payroll 2 years ago.  So, so, so much easier.  It's not free, but significantly cheaper than using an outside payroll service and only takes 5 minutes to do on payday.  Quickbooks payroll is available for Macs. 

 if you are thinking for h2a it is hard to beat bookends since they are so familiar with all requrements. however, i still do my own since a good spreadsheet is pretty straightforward and easy. both our u.s. and h2a paid through our quickbooks and thus is tied to all of our financials for year end taxes. i found it takes no more time to just punch in hours in quickbooks as it does to prepare the same info for an outside service to prepare paychecks. the auto adding timeclock is a real time saver.  i did choose to have payroll taxes done for us by a service to make sure nothing gets inadvertently skipped.

Farm Credit East for me. I think what I am paying is $120/mo. for our three H2A guys and one local gal. I hear this is a bit expensive, but I don't mind because it buys me a reliable and trustworthy buffer between me and DOL.

I have used QuickBooks software and the payroll service for many years. The annual subscription is always increasing but the few clicks it takes each week to do payroll and then payroll tax reporting is worth it to me. I typically had 2-5 employees depending on the time of year. You can easily do all end of year W2ís, 1099ís and other payroll related reports with it too. QuickBooks works differently with Mac than with PC. I would have switched away from PC computers years ago but for this one point. I think itís mostly that the Mac version has some limitation in the monthly business reports compared to PC and that may not affect payroll capability. Others may chime in with better info. 

I use the pay roll software available through QuickBooks on my Mac and Iíve been happy with it. Itís relatively straightforward to run payroll, all my records are in one place and integrated with quickbooks, it helps me prepare quarterly payments, annual  returns and w2s. It costs $8 or $9 per employee per month and that feels worth it. They send reminders about tax forms due to my email which I find helpful during the busy season. Iím not sure if the basic service covers H2a employees, but Iím guessing they have an option to upgrade for that option. 

We have used Farm Credit for many years now and it has been great.  I send them a spreadsheet with everyoneís hours each Monday morning and they send back pay stubs and payroll reports.  My American employees do direct deposit.  I write checks for my h2a workers. 
The best part was that when I got a paper audit by DOL this fall, I called up Farm Credit and they provided all the payroll info that I needed for the audit in one package and they got it put together in 30 minutes - far better than I could have ever done with my less than ideal filing system.  And probably better than I could have done pulling it off my computer with my own software.  They also do all the quarterly tax filings and monthly deposits for payroll taxes.  When I get a notice from IRS saying something hasnít been deposited correctly, I send it to my payroll specialist and they take care of it.  Peace of mind about this stuff being done right and on time is well worth the $2500 a year.  I try to focus on what I do best, and payroll stuff is definitely not one of them.

I lurk on the list and am from CT, so not sure our situation will work in VT but anyways, we started using Applied Underwriters about 5 years ago.  We were getting killed on workers comp insurance in the CT pool and they quoted about 30% lesst but we had to enroll in their payroll service.  We have been very happy with payroll part so far,have not had to use workers comp part (thankfully).  You need to have min payroll of 100K a year total.
Before that I used Quickbooks payroll which makes filling forms easy but its still very manual (you have to mail everything) and one more thing to remember.
Total cost for Applied Underwriters payroll service/workers comp was about 20% less than quickbooks plus my old workers comp, and is very convenient as they do all filing saves me about 30 to 40 hours a year of headaches.

I wonder if the regular payroll services will know what to do with an H2a employee. I know Bookends does payroll for  H2a employees. Maybe they do US employees as well.

We use paydata, reasonable prices, VT employees! 
Great customer service

Start with a clear path in 2018 ?
It's Farming.
You have to redo,restart, reseed and redirect everything.. 
The only clear  path  leads out of the farming life. If you can find it. 

We use Yankee Farm Credit for the past two years, and like Cheryl who does the payroll.    Susan does our taxes at the end of the year, and she is great. 

Bob and Jane Pomykala
802-372-5157 (home)
802-363-3369 (mobile)

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