How Does CenterPoint Accounting for Agriculture Compare with Basic Accounting Programs?

By Stephanie Elsen

Thousands of Red Wing Software customers understand the benefits of using software specific to agriculture in managing their farm, rather than using a basic program. Because of their wide-appeal, basic, mass-marketed accounting systems get a lot of press and have a massive number of users. These products are top-of-mind for many people in search of accounting software. Many people ask us to compare CenterPoint against those products. Red Wing Software's farm accounting software, CenterPoint Accounting for Agriculture, includes the basics you need such as writing checks, entering payables and receivables, and managing your general ledger. CenterPoint offers specific features for farms to help see their true potential. Here are some of the main differences between CenterPoint Accounting for Agriculture and basic accounting programs. To summarize the reason: many CenterPoint users come from basic programs and are seeking specific features that can help them manage their farm better.

  • Book, Market, and Tax Asset Value Tracking:

    Know the true value of your assets for whatever purpose you choose.
  • Budget and Forecasting:

    Gain the ability to create “what if” scenarios for your farm, and you’ll be able to project future sales, cash flow, income statements, and assets and liabilities. You’ll then be able to more accurately plan for future business strategies!
  • Financial Analysis:

    Owners and managers can get in-depth financial analysis with unlimited ability to structure and segment entire operations, profit centers, accounts, and inventories to track data, combine entities, and receive the most relevant farm reporting available today.
  • Information Tracking for Farms, Fields, Landlords, etc.:

    Always have access to information at your fingertips about your farm, land, etc. for yourself and your managers, landlords, bankers, and more.
  • Multiple Quantity Inventory Tracking:

    While basic programs often don’t allow for any inventory tracking, CenterPoint for Agriculture allows for inventory tracking in multiple quantities, so you can keep better track of your items no matter how you buy or sell them.
  • Multiple Tax Entities:

    Allows you to track multiple tax entities in one database for keeping financial data separate, yet still perform combined business analysis when necessary.
  • Production Analysis:

    Provides detailed crop and livestock information on a cost per unit basis.
  • Ratio Analysis:

    Calculates ratios for your farming operation and shows trends, so you can address issues and become more profitable.
  • Transaction Distribution to Multiple Accounts:

    Easily distribute complex transactions across multiple accounts and production units, for an accurate financial picture.

Expand Limited to Unlimited.

Some programs limit the amount of data you can have in your system. When you reach these limits, which you were likely unaware of at the start, you will need to move on to something new. Here are some of the ways CenterPoint compares to typical basic systems when it comes to limits:

 CenterPoint Accounting Basic System
Companies Unlimited Limited
Concurrent Users Unlimited Limited
Customers Unlimited Limited
Inventory Items Unlimited Limited
Support Calls Allowed with Support Plan Unlimited Limited
Transactions Unlimited Limited
Years of History Saved Unlimited Limited

Beef Up Security.

One person might start out running the whole accounting system, but eventually tasks will be divided up. At that point, you will likely want to limit what employees can do and see in the accounting system, based on their job. CenterPoint has menu level security, so users can see only the screens they are given access to within the system.

Not all programs are created equal. Any accounting system has its positive and negative points. Just because something is used and known by the masses does not mean it’s the best product available. Basic programs do a great job for many farms, for many years. But when your farm starts to outgrow its accounting software feature set, it might just be time to contact Red Wing Software. 800-732-9464,

Why CenterPoint Accounting Software for Agriculture?

Accounting Software – CenterPoint Accounting Software

By Stephanie Elsen

Are you looking for something better to handle the financial information for your farm? You might be wondering if you came to the right place. During the search process, you probably noticed that there are many accounting software programs available. It can be hard to decide between them all. Here are some statistics about the people who choose Red Wing Software’s CenterPoint Accounting for Agriculture to handle their farm’s financial information.

  • About 55% need agriculture-specific features or accounting features that work well for farms. By far, the number one reason people move to CenterPoint Accounting for Agriculture is that they want to enter and track information specific to how a farm operates. Functions such as production analysis, multiple quantity inventory tracking, and ag-specific ratio analysis (and much more) provide meaningful information, so it is easier to make profitable decisions for your farm.
  • 27% are outgrowing their basic accounting software. Those who began by using a basic or “shelf” software program can find that as they grow, it can no longer handle their needs. Perhaps they need to manage more than one entity, or the number of transactions has become too large for their current system. In these situations and many more, CenterPoint is a great program to look at. It can handle the multiple entities, and there is no hard limit to the data that can be entered and stored.
  • 18% are new farms. Farms and agricultural operations just starting up can definitely benefit from the accounting and financial tools offered in CenterPoint Accounting for Agriculture. Why not start with a program you know can grow as your operation grows, and can give you the information you need, in the way you need to see it. Staying on top of financial trends and knowing your profitability from the start can really help you grow!

Make the right decision for your farm. Red Wing Software and CenterPoint Accounting for Agriculture have helped thousands of farm accounting software users manage their financial information. Contact us today to see how we can help you by calling 800-732-9464 or e-mailing

Farm Accounting Software – Three Signs it’s Time to Switch to Agricultural Specific Software

Using accounting software to help manage your farm and its finances is a wise decision. Software can help you become more organized and profitable, and can also provide tools to manage taxes, write checks, enter payables and receivables, manage your general ledger, and so much more. But how does a farmer know when to switch from a basic accounting program to an agricultural-based program? Use this article to help you decide if it’s time to replace your general accounting software with agricultural-based accounting software. Here are signs it’s time to make the switch.

  1. You are unsure of your farm’s financial future.

    Entering data into a software system is beneficial because all of your financial information is organized in one place, and is easily accessible. A true agricultural accounting system can do more for you than just organize data. It can help you project future sales and create ‘what if’ scenarios for your farm, which can help you accurately plan for future business strategies. Some systems even include ratio analysis, which helps you calculate standard agricultural-specific ratios, and also understand trends. Knowing where your farming operation stands with ratios can help you address issues and become more profitable.

  2. You don’t know your true crop and livestock costs.

    Knowing the overall profitability of your farm is extremely helpful, but which of your enterprises are generating the most profits? The key to increasing profits is knowing where to focus, and an agricultural-based accounting system can help with this. Production analysis is a tool that provides detailed crop and livestock information on a cost per unit basis. With that information, you can see where changes need to be made, and make intelligent decisions on how to increase your profits. Another helpful tool is the ability to distribute complex transactions across multiple accounts and production units, rather than simply attributing the transactions to a single account. Multiple account distribution, which most basic software programs do not offer, can provide a more accurate financial picture for your farming operation.

  3. People are requesting crucial information you cannot provide.

    As your operation grows, it may become necessary to provide more detailed financial information about your farm to third parties such as bankers, landlords, managers, consultants, and others. Having the ability to track detailed information about each aspect of your farm, allows you to pull that information when you need it, making it easy to provide third parties the detailed information they require. A good agricultural-based system provides in-depth financial analysis with the ability to structure and segment entire operations, profit centers, accounts, and inventories to track data, combine entities, and receive relevant farm reporting

If any of the above signs ring true for you, it may be time to find agricultural-specific accounting software for your farm.

Farm Accounting Software - How Creating a Budget Can Impact Your Operation

Creating a budget for your farming operation may seem like a daunting task at first, but it can make a big difference in the profitability of your operation. You can choose to create a budget by hand, by using a spreadsheet, or you can use your farm accounting software to help you. Either way, the outcome remains the same: increased confidence in decision making and increased profits for your farm.

A budget provides guidelines to help you organize and control your financial resources and also helps you uncover your operation's strengths and weaknesses. Have you ever come face to face with a large purchasing decision, and then made that decision based more on emotional "wants" and not on the actual business need? If so, you are not alone. Unfortunately, this method of making purchases does not take into consideration every aspect of your farming operation. By setting up and following a budget, your purchasing and buying decisions can be made more confidently, and can keep your operation growing strong.

The process of managing a budget involves examining your historical data, to show you which areas in your operation are generating the most profit and which areas need attention. With this information you can easily make long-range projections and increase your profits through better decision making.

A budget also helps you gain control of your finances and gives you the tools you need to project future cash flow and helps you manage your assets and liabilities. A budget helps answer the "what if" scenarios such as buying more land, expanding a crop, purchasing new equipment, etc. Planning your future business strategies becomes easier with the information a well thought out budget can provide.

Creating a budget can provide smart decision making for your farming operation, which can lead to more confidence and increased profits.