The web site www.findaccountingsoftware.com (and the services they provide) have been helping people find the right accounting software for many years. They do an incredible job of asking the right questions, so software seekers can get to their ideal results more efficiently. In this short video, they do a nice description of how their service works.
By Stephanie Elsen
Red Wing Software provides accounting software for businesses, so the user can be in complete control of their own finances. CenterPoint Accounting Software is Red Wing Software’s accounting application that can fit for many types of businesses, ranging from distribution companies to service-based businesses, manufacturers, and many more.
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. Well, without doing a feature-by-feature comparison of the two products, here are some of the main differences between CenterPoint and basic accounting programs. To summarize the reason: many CenterPoint users come from basic programs and are seeking features that can help them manage their business better.
Improve Financial Management.
Businesses outgrowing basic accounting systems typically need better financial tools. After all what good is a system you plug information into if you are unable to pull it out in a meaningful way for your business. Here are some of the ways CenterPoint is an improvement on a basic system’s financial management.
Audit TrailA good audit trail can help prevent and detect fraud. It also enables you to provide necessary documentation for third party organizations that require it. Also, a good audit trail can help reconstruct events, once an issue is detected. CenterPoint has an excellent audit trail and makes it easy to determine who entered a transaction, created date and time, how many times edited, who voided, and much more. How’s your audit trail?
Information TrackingGet a better picture of your financials by setting up and tracking income and expenses by project, department, or custom parameters that you set up. You are then only a report away from knowing how much a project costs, the income for a specific department, or much more.
ReportingA standard report is a great starting point, but what happens if you or someone else would like fields of information changed, added, or removed from a financial report? CenterPoint allows complete custom editing of reports, and you can save reports as you like for ongoing use. Don’t get stuck with templates that were made for the masses! Get the information you need, in a way that is useful to you and your business.
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
|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 businesses, for many years. But when your business starts to outgrow its accounting software feature set, it might just be time to contact Red Wing Software. 800-732-9464, firstname.lastname@example.org.
CenterPoint Accounting customer Dan Osborn, was featured in the Summer 2013 edition of Financial Partner from Farm Credit East. In the article, “On The Record,” Dan discusses the importance of timely reports and reliable record-keeping in his strategic decision making.
By Stephanie Elsen
Imagine your warehouse full of products. Sometimes you sell the products on your shelves as they are, and other times you put several of your items together to make another item. When you do this, how do you enter that information into your accounting software? It seems like a small question. But your answer can make a big difference to your company, for a variety of reasons. The term ‘assembly’ refers to an item that is sold from inventory and built from other items. The assembly process creates the finished product from various other items (components) from your inventory.
First, be sure you have components and assemblies set up as items in your inventory. Once you have both items set up in your software, you can begin using and building assemblies. Move forward with production as necessary, and when you go to enter the information into your accounting software, simply enter the finished item or assembly into the system and it pulls all the components out of inventory. The assemblies function helps you stay profitable, efficient and accurate! Here’s how.
Know costs and increase profits.
Since you have entered your component items along with their costs, you will be able to know the cost of your finished item. Knowing your cost is the first step in controlling your cost and becoming more profitable. Some accounting systems also allow for the inclusion of labor and overhead expenses, which can help you understand complete product cost. If any of the components within your finished item seem out of line, you will be able to see it and adjust accordingly. This can help you become more profitable.
Streamline order management.
Imagine the time you will save by entering only the finished item into your accounts receivable or order entry of your accounting software, rather than entering every single component that makes up the finished item. You will save time and become more accurate in the entry of data. Some assemblies functions allow for the ability to run a production plan, and a ‘shortage report’, so you know ahead of time which components need to be ordered before production begins.
When using assemblies, a bill of materials report can keep you and your staff organized. It can include necessary information, such as the items that will be needed for the production plan, which unit of measure they are needed in, how many of that item are currently on-hand and how many are required. This way it is easier to pull the correct items from the warehouse, and to know which ones are available.
Using the assemblies function within your inventory and accounting software can help you increase profits and stay organized. Many companies still handle these function by hand which can be tedious, tiring and inaccurate. Production plans are written by hand, and there is no way of telling which components are needed and which are available.
By Stephanie Elsen
An accounting program can be a lot like a car. When you first buy a new car, it’s all shiny and new and hums along the highway smoothly. You probably enjoy that new car with the window down, a smile on your face, arm out the window and the wind in your hair. Who wouldn’t? And then one day, something gives out. Maybe it’s the engine or perhaps the battery dies. What do you do when this happens? Do you keep driving it anyway? The answer is ‘no’. You can’t continue to drive without an engine or a battery.
The situation is similar when the accounting software program you’ve been using for your business does not keep up with your business needs. Oh sure, everyone loved it at the start! They used the shiny new program to enter their respective data day after day; financial reports were run and distributed. Taxes were filed, and financials were managed. Things were great! And then *POOF*, one day you realized things were getting more difficult. Maybe you had two physical inventory locations but your program only let you manage one, resulting in a confusion about where in-stock items were located. Maybe you needed a key piece of information on a financial report which was unavailable for you to add. Or maybe your method for managing local taxes was getting far too time-consuming. Most probably, it was not one thing but many different things all together that made you notice your system could no longer keep up with your business.
I know, I know. You hate change, and so do your employees. You don’t want to find something new because switching is painful, and there are very few who enjoy it. But accounting programs cannot last forever. Use accounting software long enough to manage your business, and you will eventually outgrow its feature set.
If the accounting program you are using to run your business is starting to be that old rusty car with bald tires and a loud whirring noise while driving above 35mph, it’s time to look for something new. Yes the process of finding something new might be a little time-consuming, and yes it will cost you some money, and yes your employees might complain. But when the transition is complete, your business will prosper and have that *new car smell*, and you can rest easy again for a nice long time.
Make your accounting software program search easier with these tips:
Use these to help you find the right software:
Take advantage of these resources to make the transition easier:
- A plan for who does what for the transition.
- Training for all employees involved.
- Easy-to-use resources for users to find answers as time goes on.
I work for an accounting software company, Red Wing Software. Our product CenterPoint Accounting Software can help meet the needs of your growing business, especially if you are outgrowing a basic accounting program. We offer resources to ease every single step of your transition. Click to learn more about Red Wing Software’s Accounting Software Programs for business, agriculture, nonprofits and municipals.