by Stephanie Elsen
CPA Practice Advisor has released its 2012 Review of Professional Payroll Systems. Only ten systems were reviewed this year, and Red Wing Software's CenterPoint Payroll was one of them! Read the complete review by clicking on the link below!
CPA Practice Advisor 2012 Review of Professional Payroll Systems
by Stephanie Elsen
As an accounting and payroll software development company, we talk to customers everyday who are looking to make data entry processes more efficient. Thankfully Red Wing Software products have the capability of helping in various ways. Use these features to avoid data errors and increase data entry efficiency!
Time Clock/Time Capture Tools
Using time clocks or other time capture tools can decrease the amount of time spent processing payroll. Instead of entering data by hand, you import the data that has been collected in the time clock or other device, directly into your payroll software. You can map the fields of information you need to import to your payroll software, so that only the information you desire is imported along with the time.
Copy from Previous and Recall
When entering new information into the system, make use of the recall, recurring and copy functionality instead of entering the data manually. These tools provide a way for you to copy from data that’s already in the system. Consider how many similar transactions, employees, customers, and more that you enter over the year, and you will see why this is such a time-saving feature!
If there is a piece of information you need to update for a wide variety of records, you can use the mass update function to save significant time! One example is the updating of vendors to be marked as 1099 vendors. If you need to update several vendors at once, use the mass update tool! It allows you to see a list of vendors available, pick from a list which ones to change, and then make those changes all at once. The same update function is available for employees, customers, vendors and other master files.
Whether you are using Red Wing Software or other accounting and payroll software, using these functions can save time and make your work more efficient!
Thinking about ways to improve your payroll processes? In this post we have uncovered some ‘hidden gems’, features within CenterPoint Payroll Software that you may not currently be using, but that can help you and your business. These are features that our customers and the Red Wing Software support team have described as valuable, yet you may not be aware they are available. They are actually not at all hidden, but readily available within the program for you to use!
- Reminders Set up reminders in CenterPoint Payroll to help keep you organized and on time! Set up a reminder to pay your taxes when they are due, change the status of an employee’s benefits after a certain time period, and much more.
- Electronic Publish Pay Advice The publish pay advice function provides a secure Web site where employees who receive pay via direct deposit can view an electronic version of their pay check. Employees can quickly access their current and previous pay advice information from any computer that has a connection to the Web. Employers save time, reduce paper waste and decrease the costs associated with mailing pay checks and direct deposit pay advices. (The Publish Pay Advice module is available for purchase as an additional option for CenterPoint Payroll.)
- Customizable Transaction Entry Make transaction entry much easier by only stopping on fields where you enter data often. CenterPoint also allows you to add, remove and sort columns on the transaction entry screen for quicker and easier entry.
- Customizable reports You have the ability to pull out the information you need, whether requested by auditors, management, or others. CenterPoint Payroll makes it easy with the ability to modify reports, or even create a custom report from scratch. No need to be a programmer; the custom report tools are built for all users!
- Time Import If you are storing your time information in one place, and re-entering that data into CenterPoint Payroll, you may want to check out the Time Import function. You can map out exactly which fields of information you want to import, save it as a custom import for just your needs, and then use it every time you want to import pay information. This is a huge time saver! (The Time Import feature is available for purchase as an additional option for CenterPoint Payroll.)
Wondering how to get started using these hidden gems? Call today and we will be happy to help you! 800-732-9464.
Let’s get real about processing payroll. If you search around a bit on the internet, you will see a huge variety of payroll software vendors and payroll service providers. Each one of them is different, with their own set of features, services, and pricing. Some of the companies you read about or speak to will make claims about how you should be processing your payroll. The truth is that nobody knows what is best for your company and its specific payroll need, unless they get to know you first. There is no ‘one size fits all’ alternative to payroll processing. Payroll has many facets, and no two companies handle it in the same way. Here are some of the commonly found myths about payroll processing, and why they are not true.
You will save money by switching to a payroll service or to payroll software.
Sure, one of them might be true. But be skeptical if somebody tells you that you can save money with their system, before they understand your specific needs. Many factors impact the money you spend on payroll processing, just a few of which are your number of employees, method of entering and calculating time, and tax filing method. Making sure your company’s payroll needs are met is more important than saving a few bucks, so make your needs the first priority, and then you can start looking at pricing.
When it comes to payroll tax filing, you should (insert method here).
Growing technology has brought us a variety of choices where payroll tax filing is concerned. You can still purchase the forms and mail them (unless your state requires you to file online), but you can now file online or even have the whole process outsourced. How you choose to do this will depend on your state requirements because states are continually lowering the employee threshold where you must e-file or do online forms. Minnesota, for example, requires all employers to e-file or do online reporting when filing quarterly unemployment wages.
You should be paying your employees via (insert method here).
I once heard a story about a company who decided to pay their employees via direct deposit, eliminating the printing of payroll checks. Most employees were excited about the change, but one man stated he was extremely angry about it and really wanted to keep getting his printed check. Then the switch was made and, well, it turned out he loved skipping the trips to the bank. (Hey, change can be hard!) You can still print checks, or you can use direct deposit or even pay employees with a debit card. Only you and your employees know which method is best. For instance, you may want to use debit cards for those without bank accounts, and direct deposit for the others. Analyze what works best for your company and your employees, and make the decision based on that analysis.
There are lots of vendors out there providing payroll software and payroll services. Just be sure that before jumping ship on your current method, you look out for your own company’s needs first. Don’t fall prey to the sales rep who uses one of the above blanket generalizations without first understanding your business.
This guest post is by Niklus Vetter, who has been Sales Manager at TSYS smartOne Prepaid Solutions and has been in the payment industry for 6 years, and focused on the prepaid pay card industry for 3 years. smartOne Prepaid Solutions has offered prepaid products since 1997, and created a business unit focused on this product in January 2004. TSYS, now the owner of smartOne Prepaid Solutions as of 2011 has been processing prepaid applications for over 10 years in 17 different countries with 90 million accounts globally.
Red Wing Software is proud to offer payroll customers the ability to pay employees with debit cards, thanks to a partnership with TSYS Merchant Solutions?.Red Wing Software payroll customers, who are using direct deposit, can now pay their employees without bank accounts electronically with a smartOne Pay Card®. Red Wing Software customers have been happy with the service, and we caught up with Niklus from TSYS Merchant Solutions to learn more about how the system works. Here are my questions, along with answers from Niklus about the smartOne Pay Card® solution.
Paying employees with debit cards is becoming more and more popular. How does payment via debit card work?
Even with the invention of direct deposit, there has been a gap for employers to be able to pay all employees electronically. Some employees do not have bank accounts or do not wish to have their pay checks direct deposited into their bank accounts, resulting in employers continuing to pay their under banked group of employees with the more manual, costly, and time-consuming paper checks. The pay card closes this gap acting as the receiver of the electronic direct deposit, so regardless of whether an employee has a bank account or whether he or she wants to use his or her bank account to receive their pay, anyone can receive pay electronically with a pay card.
Why would an employee want to be paid by pay card, instead of simply a pay check or direct deposit?
If someone has direct deposit, they will more than likely not wish to change to a pay card. They are already receiving their pay electronically. Pay cards are an alternative to paper checks, with great advantages over the traditional paycheck for both the employer and employee. I have an example of these advantages that most people can relate to in one way or another. Years ago before joining smartOne and before the pay card was available, I worked a job in college but since I did not have a bank account, I did not have direct deposit for my paycheck. There were times I was not be able to get anywhere to cash my check on pay day (maybe my shift wouldn't end until after the banks closed), so if I needed money that evening - too bad. I just had a piece of paper in my pocket (my paycheck) that didn't do anything for me, until I took it somewhere to turn into cash. Usually I would have to wait until the next day and would go to a check-casher, pay a percentage of my total check, and get my remaining pay-day money all in cash. When I was finally able to cash the check, I was carrying around my entire pay in cash, which made it easy to lose or even get stolen. And because it was cash, I couldn't buy anything online or over the phone without purchasing and sending in a money order. The pay card would have solved all of this. I would not have even had to do anything on pay day. My pay check would have been loaded to my pay card that morning and I could have used pay card to make purchases anywhere accepting cards. I would have saved the 3 - 4% of my paycheck that I paid to the check-casher with each pay period. I could also have made a withdrawal from an ATM or at an accepting bank for free during business hours if I did need cash, regardless of having an account there. And, with a pay card, I could have replaced the card and protected my money if lost or stolen. I could have also paid for things online or over the phone without the hassle of a purchasing and mailing in a money order.
I know some employers worry about lost or stolen pay cards. What features are in place to protect against that?
First of all, the pay card tends to be more of a fixture in the wallet than a paper check, so losses of a prepaid card are statistically a lot less frequent than the loss of a paycheck. If the card is lost, the cardholder calls our 24 hour customer service and reports it as lost or stolen for a replacement. The employee works directly with our customer service to resolve the issue. A new card is issued to the employee and all back-end information (account and routing numbers) stays the same. The employer does not have to deal with the hassle of cancelling payment to a check and reissuing a paycheck to its employee, or even need know of the problem. Also, the zero liability policies for the card companies apply to prepaid cards, resulting in peace of mind for both the employer and employee if a card is lost or stolen.
What else should employers know about paying employees with pay cards?
Various states have different rules on employers mandating electronic pay, but whether you mandate electronic payment or offer both electronic and paper check payment options, pay cards are a great alternative for electronic payment. An employer should check on their state’s position on electronic payment. Also, if implementing a pay card program, employees can sometimes be resistant to the initial change, but the satisfaction rate once a pay card program is in place is very high. We have developed best practices for rolling out such programs that will reduce this resistance, and I would be more than happy to help walk any employer looking to implement a smartOne pay card program for their company and employees through the process.