Payroll Download - The Best Way to Test Drive Payroll Software

So you’ve done your research and now you have narrowed down your search for payroll software to a few products. When it’s time to run the free payroll demonstration you’ve downloaded, how do you best spend your valuable time? After all, trying out several different payroll downloads can be time consuming. Use these tips for using your time wisely, and you will get the most out of your payroll software download.

Perform daily tasks.

Let’s face it: marketers like to promote all of the coolest bells and whistles available. However, the point of downloading the payroll demo is to understand how the program functions and whether it can handle the unique payroll needs of your business. So instead of clicking around trying to find the ‘cool stuff’ you may have seen in a brochure or online, focus on the basics. Set up a few new employees and his/her earnings and deductions. Generate a pay run in all the methods you use, hourly and salaried, etc. If you use a time clock, check out the import function. Then test print your pay checks or generate the test pay advice for your direct deposit. Have a look at the tax filing process and see how that works. Go in and run a report or two, and see how easy it is to get the information you need. If there are payroll software deal breakers for your company, such as minimum wage tip calculations for a restaurant, be sure to find out how they operate in relation to what your company needs.

See proof of critical functions.

Remember those bells and whistles? Well, what might be a luxury to one company is a critical function for another. Before you start your testing, write down which of these critical payroll software functions are necessary for your business. If you are unable to find and use them during your testing process, be sure to have your sales rep show you first-hand how they work in relation to your business. This will require you to explain how your company needs them to work, which is not only a surprisingly good way of organizing your own thoughts, but also ensures you see first-hand that they will work specifically for your company.

Keep track of questions.

During your payroll software testing, you will most surely have questions along the way. Instead of letting them become frustrations, simply write them down with the goal of sending them to the sales representative to do their job and answer them. A good sales rep will answer your questions in a timely manner, so you can get on with your testing process.

Remember, once you get to the payroll software download, the hardest part of your payroll software search is over. Use these tips to perform more efficient testing, and you will save time and be confident in your payroll purchasing decision.

Fund Accounting Software vs. Basic Accounting Software - What You Need to Know

Tracking by Funding Source

Fund accounting software allows you to track funding sources in a way that is useful to you, by department, program, grant, profit center, and more. Since information is tracked this way, reports can be pulled and viewed for each source, and the data is easily understood.

Advanced Budgeting

Fund accounting software provides budgeting tools so you are more accurate in your budget projections and reporting. You have the ability to budget by fund and by department, giving department heads or managers the information they need to quickly compare their actual spending to the budget.

Customized Reporting

Because non-profits have different reporting requirements than other organizations or businesses, it’s important to have a customized reporting tool that allows you to edit and save reports tailored to your specific needs.

Small Things Can Make A Difference: A Good Transaction Audit Trail

Internal Controls have been a big buzz phrase in the accounting industry for the last several years. Part of having good internal software controls is to have a good audit trail. Without an audit trail, it is difficult to hold your employees accountable when they make errors, or worse, when fraudulent transactions have been entered.

For companies that have multiple employees entering and editing transactions in accounting and business software, it is important to know who added a transaction and when it was posted. If you don’t have that information, how can you hold employees accountable?

A good audit trail system should include the following features:

  • Keeps a user record for each transaction entered into the system.
  • Keeps the date and time of each transaction entry.
  • When a transaction is edited the system maintains a record of the original transaction.
  • The new edited transaction record must contain the user that edited it along with the date and time it was edited.
  • Ability to track the history of edited records, when multiple edits have been processed.
  • If the system allows checks and invoices to be reprinted the system must keep a record of who reprinted the documents, the date, time and the number of times the documents have been reprinted and any original information that was changed.
  • The ability to prevent duplicate numbers for checks and customer invoices.

Take the (F) Score to see what makes you FASCINATE!

Last month, I attended the NAMA Agri-Marketing Conference in Kansas, Missouri. This conference boasts the best of the best in the Agri-marketing world, and the training seminars are excellent.

Keynote speaker, Sally Hogshead, the author of FASCINATE: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation, gave a fabulous presentation that was enlightening, motivating and very entertaining. Sally is a national award-winning advertising writer, author, and brand consultant and has helped the likes of Starbucks and Microsoft. She has also been featured in the New York Times, Today show, CBS, ABC, and the list goes on and on.

Sally has researched why we are fascinated by some companies, or people, and not others, and the results of this research are eye-opening and, well fascinating! To quote Sally, “People. Products. Brands. My mission is to uncover what makes these things fascinating, and how we can use those innate qualities to make more persuasive marketing messages.”

How are you fascinating? Sally says it all comes down to seven personality triggers, and she and her staff have developed the (F) Score Brand Personality Test to help you uncover your triggers. Take the (F) Score to see what makes you FASCINATE!

Helpful Accounting Software Tools if You Have Sales Reps

These days, there are more and more programs available to help you run your business, ranging from CRM software to help you manage your prospect relationships to the photo editing program used to create your brochures, and everything in between. One crucial application most businesses know they must have is accounting software, which helps manage their sales and purchases, customer information, financial details, and of course, their profitability. Choosing the right accounting software for your business is an important decision. When you choose the right program, your processes flow smoothly and you can see at a moment’s notice how profitable every area of your business is, or not. And if your business has sales representatives, there are specific features you can use to make your business more profitable, and keep the sales staff happy at the same time. Here are the tools you should have, and how each tool can benefit your operation.

Sales Commission Tracking: Since most sales reps are paid on commission, it’s important to have a tool that can track the commission as sales are entered, instead of using a calculator and pencil at the end of each pay period. Why? Tracking sales commissions by hand is far too time consuming and leaves room for error, and can also leave the sales staff skeptical of whether their commission calculation is accurate. Set up the commission calculations within your accounting software, so that each time a sales rep enters their order, their commission is automatically calculated. Also be sure to allow yourself various tracking calculation methods. Since your company pays for different product lines in different ways, it’s important to also be able to pay sales staff in different ways, such as by a percentage of the profit, selling price or cost, or by a percentage plus a fixed amount, and more. When pay day comes, you can provide sales staff with a report showing exactly how their commission was calculated.

Sales Analysis Reporting: Information is power, and this is especially true when you are selling several product lines (or sales categories) and trying to determine which items produce the most profits, and also which sales people are performing at their best. Be sure your accounting software has the capability of separating your sales product lines, so you’ll be able to report on those product lines or even individual items separately. Even better, if the system allows you to view profitability by product line AND by customer, so you can see which customer is the most profitable. The same capability by salesperson is also crucial.

Customer Activity Report: This report shows you all of a customer’s activity for a given period of time, and can help you determine trends and identify those customers who may have left, so you can follow up with them and win them back.

Order Entry: Do your sales reps write their orders on a sheet of paper and deliver it by hand to the order fulfillment staff? This not only wastes time, but also causes unnecessary double entry, as it will no doubt have to be entered into the accounting software as an invoice to bill the customer at some point. This double entry causes additional work and can allow for errors. By using order entry within your accounting software, you can eliminate double entry, and make the filling of orders and creation of invoices flow seamlessly. Order entry also allows for partial shipments and backorders, so they are not forgotten and the customer is assured of receiving what they originally ordered.

When searching for accounting software, be sure you consider the above sales tools to make your business flow seamlessly and keep your sales staff happy.