Payroll Solutions: What Are My Options?

If you are searching for payroll solutions, then you have surely realized the necessity to streamline the processes for such an important part of your business. The subject of payroll can be daunting with the timely tax filing requirements, employee benefit tracking, and a whole host of other concerns. What system will be best for you and your business for processing payroll accurately and efficiently?

Manual processing

Of course this is the most basic of payroll solutions! Processing payroll by hand might seem like a good solution at first, in fact, it might not be so bad to start out. But then there comes a point when things like employee benefits, wage calculation, and many other payroll functions are too difficult to track by hand or in a spreadsheet.

Payroll software

Payroll software refers to a software application that is installed at your physical business location. Once the system is installed and working, your data is entered and also stored and accessed from your location and on your computers. Many people like the control offered by keeping the software and data in-house, rather than outsourcing it. Things like accessibility and security are completely within your control.

Payroll Service

Payroll services take some of the burden of payroll processing off the shoulders of the employer. While payroll services vary greatly, one of the key benefits is that the service takes care of the punctual filing of tax payments. Payroll services can also provide other services such as the distribution of employee checks and providing reports.

Only you can decide between payroll solutions and which one is best for your business. Things that go into the decision would be the size of your business, the complexity of your payroll, and how much control you wish to have.

Keyword Research - Getting Started

If you have a Web site for your business, you have surely heard of keywords. Keywords are your connection between what people are looking for on the internet, and your Web site. (Or in the case that nobody is finding you, it’s not quite a connection just yet, but it could be!) You might be asking yourself, “Why would I waste my time researching keywords? Why are they so important?” Well, the answer is that people type in words on the internet when they are trying to find something. Each search engine has its own “algorithm”: their own proprietary program and method for finding the most relevant web sites based on words that are typed in. If you aren’t using the keywords on your Web site that people are typing in, your web site probably won’t be found.

You might be completely surprised when you begin researching keywords, that the things you thought people were searching for are not actually the words people are using. Give the Google Keyword Tool a try and see for yourself. Like so many other tools Google provides, their keyword research tool is extremely helpful and is 100% free. Type in a keyword (which can be more than one actual word) that you think people are searching to find your Web site. If you are not signed in to Google, you will need to fill in the code to prove you are a human and then click on the ‘search’ button. Then you will see how many times per month that keyword is searched for globally and also locally (within the U.S.). You can also see the competition, which refers to advertiser competition within Google AdWords paid advertising. In addition, Google will give you a long list of similar keywords you might be interested in, along with the data for each of those terms. Note: the default option for this search tool is “broad match”. This means that the numbers you see come from searches done on your term and its related terms. If you want to get numbers only for that actual exact search term, click on the ‘Exact’ option on the left-hand side, and uncheck the ‘Broad’ option.

Just click on the link below to get to the tool.

Google Keyword Tool

So, what do you do with this information? Knowing which keywords to use is a good first step in your Web site being found, a.k.a. Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”). Be sure you are using the right keywords on your Web site, in natural way rather than planting them in here and there. Keyword research is absolutely necessary for your Web site to be found!

Publish Pay Advice: "A Huge Win"

Wendy Velarde, VP of Human Resources at U.S. Water Services, noticed one day that somebody was walking around the office handing out pay stubs to employees. She thought it seemed inefficient and wanted to see if there was a better way. They were using CenterPoint Payroll by Red Wing Software at the time, so she contacted Red Wing Software to learn more about streamlining that process. Shortly after, they began using the electronic publish pay advice feature offered within CenterPoint Payroll. “Employees have been extremely happy with the online access to their pay information,” said Wendy, “Now they can access their pay data anytime.” Wendy also mentioned several situations during which the electronic access to pay advices could have come in handy. “Once during a snow storm, an employee needed access to his pay information, but only a very few employees had made it to the office. Having the pay advice function back then would have given him immediate access to that data, as long as he had access to the internet,” said Wendy. Also, employees all around the U.S. had to wait for their paper pay stub from the corporate office via mail. The employees are now much happier, having immediate access to their pay information instead of waiting for their stub to arrive in the mail. Providing immediate access to their payroll information allowed one family with a son going to college, to access the financial information they needed for their son’s college easily by using the online pay advice system. Wendy added, “Adding the publish pay advice function has been a huge win from an employee perspective, and it has also saved our company time and money.”

National Blueberry Month

July is National Blueberry Month! Red Wing Software happens to have many blueberry growers as customers. In fact, there is a wide variety of berry growers using Red Wing Software accounting software and payroll software applications. We checked in with one customer, a blueberry grower, and one Red Wing Software partner to see what they had to say about blueberries, in honor of National Blueberry Month.

Red Wing Software customer Liddy, from Lakeside Blueberry Farms, had this to say: “Michigan blueberry growers were much luckier than the tree fruit and grape growers (most of crops were destroyed by frost). Tonnage will be down, but we're in good shape compared to them. The industry is still going strong, but we're seeing less hand picking for fresh because of a limited work force. On top of that, growers are getting better prices for processed (machine picked).”

Red Wing Software partner Phyllis Baldwin has been working with several blueberry farmers in Michigan and had this to say: “Red Wing Payroll both Windows and CenterPoint meet the requirements of the labor department to show the hours worked for pieces picked and Gross dollars on the paystub. The labor department has also required the farmers to make sure the worker understands the paystub (multi-language stub if necessary) and signs the bottom pay stub. We have designed a custom check with approved statement on our pre-printed checks forms. The farmers are very happy with the ability to use data collection equipment to import into both payroll systems.”

Red Wing Software is proud to support blueberry growers nationwide. We wish a happy and prosperous National Blueberry Month to all!