Another reminder of why I so “love” Paychex

By | January 1, 2014

Because I am a boring old fuddy-duddy, I was spending the minutes leading up to the New Year trying to reconcile my 2013 medical flexible spending account (FSA), i.e., to match up the FSA transactions listed on the Paychex web site with those listed in my financial management software and confirm that there were no incorrect transactions in either location.

Alas, after several passes through the transactions, there were, in fact, several that I couldn’t reconcile, and even taking those into account, the reconciled balances were not matching up. However, rather than make yet another pass at trying to make them come out even, I decided to go watch the ball drop with my kids.

When I came back to my office, I had been logged out of the Paychex web site due to inactivity, and the transaction history page I’d been looking at was wiped clean. It wasn’t even available in my browser cache, because the Paychex web site is *shudder* entirely implemented as a Flash application. “No problem,” I said to myself. “I’ll just log back in and bring up the data again.”

Alas, when I logged in, I discovered that the web site had rolled over to my 2014 FSA, and none of the data from the prior year was accessible any longer on the site. The stupidity of this cannot be overestimated. Aside my problem, i.e., that I no longer have any way to reconcile my 2013 data with Paychex’s, there’s another, bigger one. Although 2013 FSA receipts can actually be submitted for reimbursement several months into 2014, once they are submitted, there’s no way to view them on the site. Brilliant!

This is not rocket science. The website for Payflex, which administered my FSA for a previous employer, allowed access to all prior years’ data as easily as this years. The need for this is obvious, and yet this is yet another thing the Paychex gets wrong.

While we’re on the topic of things Paychex does wrong, I was told almost two years ago by a software development manager at Payflex that they were working on adding to their web site the ability to upload images of receipts rather than having to send them by Fax our U.S. Mail. As I’ve noted on my blog before, this is something that other FSA administrators have supported for probably nearly a decade. And yet, almost two years after I was told by Paychex that they were “working on it,” this functionality still does not exist on their site.

I’ve contacted Paychex through the form on their web site asking them to either send me all the details of my 2013 FSA transactions, or tell me how I can access them online, so that I can reconcile my accounts. I’d say the odds are about two to one that they either won’t respond at all, or their response will be useless, and I will have to ask my company’s HR administrator to intervene to get me the data I need. I will update this blog posting with details about what happens.


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