Payroll Software: What to Consider Before Your Search

If you are searching for new payroll software, you are either just starting up, or you have outgrown your previous system. Either way, there are certain problems you must solve with your payroll software! Before you begin conducting your search and calling vendors, take the time to consider these four important points. They will leave you better prepared for your search.


Maybe you need to keep track of employee garnishments in a certain way, or you want to use direct deposit rather than issuing paper checks. No matter what your needs, be sure to write them all down on paper so you don’t forget them during your search! Use this check list to organize your thoughts.


Several things can affect the scale of payroll software that will fit for you. If your budget is $2,000, then that’s where your search efforts should be focused. Having said that, you might find that your needs exceed your budget. Things that can affect the cost of your payroll software are the number of users, employees, and companies managed. Some of the features that typically affect cost are: direct deposit, tax filing method, multiple state tax filing, custom payroll setup, and more. Therefore start with a budget in mind, but understand that your needs may require you to adjust the budget accordingly.


Do you have the computers and/or networking capabilities necessary to run your payroll in-house? This is the major question you need to answer to help you decide whether to use in-house payroll software or software as a service. Some people like the control of having the whole system in-house, while others do not want the cost or responsibility of purchasing and maintaining hardware. If you are one who doesn’t want to deal with the hardware, then software as a service is probably the right direction to go. On the other hand, if you have the staff and hardware available, and you desire more control, then go down the road toward the payroll software option. Both in-house payroll and software as a service are extremely popular; it just depends on the needs of your business.

Future needs.

The reason many people switch software is that their payroll needs outgrow their software. They need to manage payroll for more employees, or need more flexible pay entry, etc. The list of reasons all depends on that company’s needs. You can prolong the life of your payroll software by projecting your needs for the next seven years or so. Ask yourself, will you expand to paying employees in other states? Will you add another business location? Will you want to offer employees debit cards or direct deposit for their pay? These are all things that should be considered, and then you should choose the payroll software accordingly.

Being prepared for your payroll software search can help ensure you get a payroll system that fits well and can grow with your company for years to come.

Accounting Software – Five Main Differences between Basic and Advanced Accounting Software

With the startup of a new business comes a wide range of choices. Often, accounting software is not the most top of mind concern. However as a company grows, the need for a more robust accounting software package becomes evident. The basic software package that was installed upon startup lags behind and cannot keep up with the complexity of the growing business. Here are five main ways that basic accounting software packages differ from more advanced (or mid-range) accounting software.

Customizability: The longer you are in business, the more you realize that your business has a unique set of needs. For example, you want to show a special field on your invoice, or you want to start tracking information by sales category or by project. With a basic accounting software package, there is limited customizability, and therefore you must make due with a system that is made for the masses. Advanced accounting packages recognize that your business develops its own specific needs over time as it grows, and therefore allows for customization.

Data Limits: This is a major different between basic and advanced accounting software packages. A basic system will only allow for a finite number of things like inventory items, concurrent users, transactions, accounts, etc. Often this is the main reason for needing to upgrade to a more advanced system. When your business starts to require additional data storage, this is when a more advanced system can really make your life easier. Reporting: Again, for the sake of ease of use, basic accounting programs provide a limited set of reports for you to run. Yet your business may really need to see the data in its own way. For example, perhaps you want to include a line that shows the subtotal per item with tax. A more advanced program will allow for revisions to be made, and the reports can then be saved for later use, so that you can view the information in a way that is more helpful to you and your accountant.

Data drill down: How easy is it to view all of the details of a transaction when you are looking at your business numbers on a report? In a more basic system, you will likely need to close out the report and go searching through layers of information to find the details. By contrast, a more advanced system will allow you to view the transaction details that make up the number with just a few clicks, and will even allow you to edit the information on the fly.

Service: As with any product available today, the end result of paying too little means your service will be less as well. Many basic accounting software programs will defray service expenses by outsourcing their service to an overseas call center. More advanced programs provide more complete support services, with a variety of contact methods, and technicians with years of experience.

When choosing accounting software for your business, be sure to consider all of the above points so your system will grow along with your business.

Free Press – Web Sites to Submit your Press Releases for Free

Do you have some exciting news to release? Make the most of your news! There are Web sites out there that allow you to submit your press releases at no charge. (Of course, most of them do also offer upgraded services for a fee.) This link offers a great list of 20+ free press release distribution Web sites.

More and more people are turning to the internet to find their news. Having your press releases submitted online is another way for you and your news to be found.

Hint: If you are able, include your company’s most popular keywords within the press release, and also include a link back to your Web site. Even better if you can make the keywords be the link back to your site! This helps the search engines and people find you and your news.

Happy Retirement, Carol!

Carol Dicke with her retirement cake

After almost 30 years, Carol Dicke, Finance Manager at Red Wing Software, retired in November. Carol is one of the first employees that helped the company grow from just a few hard working employees to a place where many dedicated people write and sell the software and support to customers. Carol handled all of the internal accounting needs of the company. Outside her normal accounting duties, Carol was also quite often in charge of fun. She coordinated the company golf outings and most recently - a marshmallow driving competition that Red Wing Software held in conjunction with the United Way fundraising week. Starting in December, Carol will be bowling, camping, and golfing around the country with her husband, Keith!