FindAccountingSoftware: Helping businesses select the right accounting software.

The web site (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.



How Does CenterPoint Payroll Compare with Basic Payroll Programs?

By Stephanie Elsen

Red Wing Software provides payroll software that streamlines the payroll process, and makes tax filing and paying employees easier. For businesses just starting out, basic payroll programs may work fine. As a business grows, payroll management needs can quickly outgrow a basic payroll system.

Basic, mass-marketed payroll 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 a payroll system. Many people ask us to compare Red Wing Software's payroll solution, CenterPoint Payroll, 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 more basic programs. To summarize : Many CenterPoint Payroll users come from basic programs and are seeking features that can help them manage their payroll better.

Flexible Calculations

Where your basic payroll system stops short, CenterPoint can take over and allow you to perform calculations the way you need to for your business payroll. Ditch the spreadsheets and keep all your calculations within one system for more streamlined payroll management.

  • Track Pay to Multiple Variables:

    Get more information from your payroll system. Track information the way you need to, and run reports to quickly see labor expenses by department, location, and any way that is meaningful to you. Many basic systems allow for limited methods of payroll information tracking.

  • Tax Filing Options

    File taxes manually if you prefer, or upgrade any time to online tax filing or ‘eFiling’. To streamline even further, have the whole process of tax filing completed for you.

  • Custom Earning and Deduction Codes

    As a business grows, earning (pay) and deduction (benefit) codes become more complex, and a standard earning or deduction may not handle the calculation as necessary. CenterPoint allows you to set up as many custom earning and deduction codes as you need, with the correct calculation method. Don’t limit yourself to a limited set of codes that often drives people to complete calculations on paper or on a separate spreadsheet.
  • Variety of Time Entry Methods

    Choose to enter pay for hourly and salaried employees separately, copy pay from a previous pay run, or pull hours directly from a time clock. You can even enter different pay rates for different jobs done in the same day. There is rarely a pay scenario that can’t be handled in CenterPoint, unlike more basic systems that limit time entry methods.

  • Employee Pay Options

    Employees are happier when they have fast and easy access to their pay. This might mean some employees get paper checks, others get direct deposit, and still others receive pay via prepaid debit cards. Does your payroll system offer all these choices?

Expand Limited to Unlimited.

Some payroll systems limit the amount of data you can have in your system. When you reach these limits, which you may not have known about when you started it, you will need to move on to a new system . Here is a chart that shows some of the ways CenterPoint Payroll compares to typical basic systems when it comes to limits:

&nbspCenterPoint PayrollBasic System
Companies Unlimited Limited
Concurrent Users Unlimited Limited
Earning/Deduction Codes Unlimited Limited
Employees Unlimited Limited
States Unlimited Limited
Support Calls Allowed with Support Plan Unlimited Limited
Years of History Saved Unlimited Limited

Beef Up Security.

One person might start out running the whole payroll software 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 payroll system, based on their job function. CenterPoint has menu level security, so users can see only the screens they are given access to within the system.

No two payroll systems are created equal, and some will excel where others fail. 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 to start out. But when your business outgrows its payroll software feature set, it might just be time to contact Red Wing Software. 800-732-9464,

The Best “FREE” Payroll Software

By Stephanie Elsen

The Best “FREE” Payroll Software

I work for a company that has been developing, distributing and supporting payroll software since 1979. As part of my job, I monitor the terms people use to search the internet for payroll programs and services. At the time of writing this, around 3,600 people per month* search for the term “free payroll software”. I find it simply amazing that businesses try to find a free tool for such an important function. The stakes are high! Getting employees paid` and tax payments done correctly (and on time) are important to employees and the government. The penalty for filing taxes late or incorrectly can be severe. Paying employees late or incorrectly, well you know that’s just not good. If you got a vehicle for free and didn’t want to pay any money to keep it up, fill it with gas, get the oil changed and maintenance done regularly, how long do you think it would last? Well, in fact without putting gas in the car, it would probably quit running by the end of the week. What would happen to a payroll program, if somebody created a payroll program, put it out there for FREE, for people to download, and didn’t support the program after the sale was made?

Computer operating systems would still change.

Microsoft® is always working on and improving their operating systems, and as time goes on, the older operating systems become obsolete (and un-supported) and the newer operating systems take their place. Software needs to keep up with the changes and upgrades to operating systems, or it will not continue to operate properly.

Tax requirements and tax tables would change.

More and more states are requiring business to file taxes electronically. When government entities make requirements like this, payroll processing systems must adapt, or their software won’t meet the needs of its users and will become obsolete. Similarly, payroll tax rates change by state, and those rates need to be used correctly by employers. How will you process payroll if the tax rate changes haven’t been updated?

Technology would advance.

W-2s used to be filled in with a typewriter and pay used to be limited to printed checks. Now W-2s can be done on your printer, and checks can be deposited directly into bank accounts. Technology is always changing. If your payroll system doesn’t remain current, you will not be able to take advantage of things that can help your processes and make employees happy.

You would need help.

There are many things to think about when it comes to payroll, and payroll processing. Some programs are easier to use than others, but as your business grows and adapt, you will have questions along the way. It is crucial to have a support team available to help you with questions on setting things up in the system so they work correctly, help troubleshooting a problem, or just help with using the system.

Updating, maintaining and supporting a payroll program takes time and resources. Those things cost money. So the next time you see the term ‘FREE payroll software’, it’s a good idea to ask the vendor how they keep the program up to date and how they support the software users, without charging them any money.

*Data comes from Google AdWords Keyword tool. Global monthly searches with exact match keyword.